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), and loss of appetite. It is also used for liver and gallbladder complaints, gout, cough, headache, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, reducing age-related memory loss, improving energy and mental tiredness, opiate withdrawal symptoms, sunburn protection, and diabetic kidney disease.

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

Rosemary is applied to the skin for preventing and treating baldness It is also used for treating circulation problems, toothache, a skin condition called eczema, muscle pain, pain along the sciatic nerve, and chest wall pain. 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. Some early research suggests that taking powdered rosemary leaves might improve memory speed in healthy, older adults. However, higher doses seem worsen memory.
  • Patchy hair loss. Early research shows that applying rosemary oil with lavender, thyme, and cedarwood oils to the scalp improves hair growth in some people.
  • Male-pattern baldness. Early research suggests that applying rosemary oil to the scalp is as effective as minoxidil for increasing hair count in people with male-pattern baldness.
  • Arthritis. Early research shows that taking a product containing rosemary, hops, and oleanolic acid (NG440 or Meta050) can reduce pain associated with arthritis.
  • Mental performance. Early research shows that rosemary aromatherapy can improve the quality of memory recall. It also seems to increase alertness in healthy adults.
  • Diabetic kidney damage. A high level of protein in the urine of a diabetes patient is an early marker of diabetic kidney damage. Early research suggests that taking a product containing rosemary, centaury, and lovage (Canephron N by Bionorica) can decrease the amount of protein in the urine when taken with standard antidiabetes medications.
  • Mental tiredness. Early research shows that taking rosemary does not improve attention or mental energy in adults with low energy levels.
  • Fibromyalgia. Early research suggests that that taking a product containing rosemary, hops, and oleanolic acid (Meta050) does not improve symptoms of fibromyalgia.
  • Hypotension. Early research shows that taking rosemary oil three times per day increases the top number in a blood pressure reading (systolic blood pressure) and the bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) in people with low blood pressure. Blood pressure seems to return to pretreatment values once rosemary use is stopped.
  • Opiate withdrawal. Early research suggests that taking rosemary leaves along with methadone, improves opium withdrawal symptoms.
  • Stress. Some early research suggests that rosemary and lavender oil aromatherapy may reduce pulse rates, but not blood pressure, in people taking tests. But other research shows that applying rosemary oil to the wrist increases feelings of anxiety and tension during testing.
  • Sunburn. Early research suggests that taking a product containing rosemary and grapefruit extract (NutroxSun by Monteloeder Inc.) may protect against sunburn
  • Cough.
  • Eczema.
  • Gas (flatulence).
  • Gout.
  • Headache.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Increasing menstrual flow.
  • Indigestion.
  • Liver and gallbladder problems.
  • Toothache.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate 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, which helps hair follicles grow.

It is possible rosemary extract protects against the damaging effects induced by UVB radiation, and can protect the skin from sun damage.

Are there safety concerns?

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

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 increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking rosemary along with some medications that are changed by the liver might increase the break down and decrease the effects of these medications.

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 increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking rosemary along with some medications that are changed by the liver might increase the breakdown and decrease the effects of these medications.

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 appropriate dose of rosemary depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for rosemary. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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