Rosemary

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What other names is Rosemary known by?

Compass Plant, Compass Weed, Encensier, Herbe Aux Couronnes, Old Man, Polar Plant, Romarin, Romarin Des Troubadours, Romero, Rose de Marie, Rose Des Marins, Rosée De Mer, Rosemarine, Rosmarinus officinalis, Rusmari, Rusmary.

What is Rosemary?

Rosemary is an herb. Oil is extracted from the leaf and used to make medicine.

Rosemary is used for digestion problems, including heartburn, intestinal gas (flatulence), liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite. It is also used for gout, cough, headache, high blood pressure, and reducing age-related memory loss.

Some women use rosemary for increasing menstrual flow and causing abortions.

Rosemary is used topically (applied to the skin) for preventing and treating baldness; and treating circulation problems, toothache, a skin condition called eczema, and joint or muscle pain such as myalgia, sciatica, and intercostal neuralgia. It is also used for wound healing, in bath therapy (balneotherapy), and as an insect repellent.

In foods, rosemary is used as a spice. The leaf and oil are used in foods, and the oil is used in beverages.

In manufacturing, rosemary oil is used as a fragrant component in soaps and perfumes.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Causing abortions.Taking rosemary by mouth does not seem to cause an abortion.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Age-related mental decline. Early evidence suggests that taking 750 mg of powdered rosemary leaves in tomato juice might improve memory speed in healthy, older adults. However, taking higher doses (150-6000 mg) seems to make memory worse. There is also early evidence that suggests rosemary aromatherapy can improve the quality but not the speed of memory.
  • Hair loss. Early evidence shows that applying rosemary oil with lavender, thyme, and cedarwood oils to the scalp improves hair growth.
  • Stress. Early evidence about the effects of rosemary aromatherapy for anxiety and stress is unclear. Some evidence suggests that rosemary and lavender oil may reduce pulse rates, but not blood pressure, in people taking tests. Other research found that applying rosemary oil to the wrist increased feelings of anxiety and tension during testing.
  • Arthritis. Early research shows that taking a product containing rosemary, hops, and oleanolic acid (NG440 or Meta050) can reduce pain associated with arthritis.
  • Gas (flatulence).
  • Indigestion.
  • Increasing menstrual flow.
  • Gout.
  • Cough.
  • Headache.
  • Liver and gallbladder problems.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Toothache.
  • Eczema.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of rosemary for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Quick GuideHair Loss: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

Hair Loss: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

How does Rosemary work?

Although it's not clear how rosemary works for hair loss, applying it to the scalp irritates the skin and increases blood circulation.

Are there safety concerns?

Rosemary is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in amounts found in foods. Rosemary is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when used as a medicine when taken by mouth, applied to the skin, or inhaled as aromatherapy.

However, the undiluted oil is LIKELY UNSAFE to take by mouth. Taking large amounts of rosemary can cause vomiting, uterine bleeding, kidney irritation, increased sun sensitivity, skin redness, and allergic reactions.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Rosemary is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts. Rosemary might stimulate menstruation or affect the uterus, causing a miscarriage. Not enough is known about the safety of applying rosemary to the skin during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, it's best to avoid rosemary in amounts larger than food amounts.

If you are breast-feeding, also steer clear of rosemary in medicinal amounts. Not enough is known about what effects it might have on the nursing infant.

Aspirin allergy. Rosemary contains a chemical that is very similar to aspirin. This chemical, known a as salicylate, may cause a reaction in people who are allergic to aspirin.

Bleeding disorders: Rosemary might increase the risk of bleeding and bruising in people with bleeding disorders. Use cautiously.

Seizure disorders: Rosemary might make seizure disorders worse. Don't use it.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Aspirin
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Rosemary contains chemicals similar to aspirin. Taking rosemary along with aspirin might increase the effects and side effects of aspirin.



Choline Magnesium Trisalicylate (Trilisate)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Rosemary contains chemicals that are similar to choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate). Taking rosemary along with choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate) might increase the effects and side effects of choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate).



Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Rosemary might slow blood clotting. Taking rosemary along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin; clopidogrel (Plavix); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), and naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others); dalteparin (Fragmin); enoxaparin (Lovenox); heparin; warfarin (Coumadin); and others.



Salsalate (Disalcid)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Salsalate (Disalcid) is called a salicylate. It's similar to aspirin. Rosemary also contains a salicylate similar to aspirin. Taking salsalate with rosemary might cause there to be too much salicylates in the body. This might increase the effects and side effects of salicylates.



Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) substrates)
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Rosemary might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking rosemary along with some medications that are changed by the liver might increase the effects and side effects of these medications. Before taking rosemary, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some of these medications that are changed by the liver include chlorzoxazone and theophylline.



Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates)
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Rosemary might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking rosemary along with some medications that are changed by the liver might increase the effects and side effects of these medications. Before taking rosemary, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some of these medications that are changed by the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol), amitriptyline (Elavil), clopidogrel (Plavix), clozapine (Clozaril), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), diazepam (Valium), estradiol, fluvoxamine (Luvox), haloperidol (Haldol), imipramine (Tofranil), mexiletine (Mexitil), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), olanzapine (Zyprexa), ondansetron (Zofran), propranolol (Inderal), ropinirole (Requip), tacrine (Cognex), theophylline, tizanidine (Zanaflex), verapamil (Calan, Covera-HS, Isoptin, Verelan), zileuton (Zyflo), zolmitriptan (Zomig), and others.

Dosing considerations for Rosemary.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
  • For the treatment of bald spots (alopecia areata): A combination of the essential oils including 3 drops or 114 mg of rosemary, 2 drops or 88 mg of thyme, 3 drops or 108 mg of lavender, and 2 drops or 94 mg of cedarwood, all mixed with 3 mL of jojoba oil and 20 mL of grapeseed oil has been used. Each night, the mixture is massaged into the scalp for 2 minutes with a warm towel placed around the head to increase absorption.
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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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