Rosemary – Introduction, Health Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects – Rosmarinus Officinalis

Table of Contents

1. Post Introduction
2. What is Rosemary? 
3. Characteristics
4. Chemical Compound
5. Habitat
3. Ayurvedic Properties of Rosemary 
4. Health Benefits & Uses
5. Side Effects of Rosmarinus Officinalis
6. Frequently Asked Question

1. Post Introduction

Welcome to the world of Rosemary, where the aromatic charm of this herb meets a spectrum of potential health benefits and versatile applications. Known for its scientific name Rosmarinus officinalis, Rosemary has graced kitchens, gardens, and traditional remedies for generations, offering a distinctive fragrance and a wealth of potential advantages.

In this post, we embark on a journey to uncover the secrets of Rosemary, delving into its historical significance, the array of benefits it offers, and the myriad ways it can enrich your culinary creations and well-being. From its potential to support cognitive function and enhance memory to its role in elevating dishes with its fragrant flavor, Rosemary stands as a versatile herb with an aromatic touch.

Join us as we unravel the layers of Rosmarinus officinalis's allure, while also considering the potential side effects and considerations associated with its consumption. Whether you're a culinary explorer, a wellness seeker, or simply captivated by the essence of herbs, Rosemary invites you to embark on this enlightening journey. Let's explore the fragrant wonders and potential virtues that Rosemary has to offer, discovering its essence and richness together.

2. What is Rosemary? 

Rosemary scientific name is Rosmarinus Officinallis, it has long been regarded as the herb for remembrance Mystically, it symbolizes loyalty, love, and immortality, and it was once believed to strengthen the heart as well as memory. The Greeks and Romans prepared fragrant distilled water from the flowers and inhaled the odor so that the evils were destroyed from the mind and the memory no longer played tricks. In ancient Greece, students prepare for examinations with threaded sprigs of rosemary in their locks to induce clear thinking and a good memory. During Medieval times in France, rosemary was burned for church incense and used to purify the air in hospitals. Famous Napoleon's Eau de Cologne was made with rosemary oil.

3. Characteristics 

It is a sweet-scented evergreen shrub that grows up to two meters high, its leaves are narrow and resemble curved pine needles, and the small pale blue flowers grow in little clusters on the stems. It belongs to the mint family. It is an evergreen aromatic shrub. Dried leaves of rosemary are used for commercial purposes. The dried herb is brownish-green in color, and the leaves have a tea-like fragrance. Crushed rosemary has a spicy camphoraceous aroma and a pungent, bitter taste.

rosemary fresh

4. Chemical Constituent 

Rosemary is a common household plant grown in many parts of the world. The most important constituents of rosemary are caffeic acid and its derivatives such as rosmarinic acid. These compounds have antioxidant effects. The rosemary essential oil contains terpenes, terpenoids, rosmanol, carnosic acid, and carnosol.

On fractional distillation, dried rosemary leaves to yield 1 to 2 percent of a volatile oil used in perfumery and medicine. They also contain several acids and other chemical substances; a fraction of phenolic possessing antioxidant properties has been isolated from the leaves and their oil.

5. Habitat

Rosemary is a sun-loving herb, native to the south of France and other Mediterranean regions, it is cultivated across Spain, Portugal, and the U.S.A. In India, it is cultivated in the temperate Himalayas and Nilgiris hills which have dry to moderately moist climates. It is also grown in gardens for its pleasantly fragrant leaves.

It grows widely along the north and south coasts of the Mediterranean seas, and in the sub-Himalayan areas. In the United States and Europe, rosemary is a unique species commercially available for use as an antioxidant.

6. Ayurvedic Properties of Rosemary

Rosemary, known as "Rusmari" in Ayurveda, is a fragrant herb with various medicinal properties. While not traditionally a prominent herb in Ayurvedic practices, it has gained recognition for its therapeutic benefits in recent times.

Ayurvedic properties of rosemary:

1. Rasa (Taste): Rosemary is believed to have a pungent (Katu) taste.

2. Virya (Potency): It is heating in nature (Ushna Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is pungent (Katu Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Rosemary's heating nature can increase Pitta dosha and Vata dosha in excess, but it can be balancing for Kapha dosha due to its pungent and heating qualities.

Ayurvedic Uses:

  1. Digestive Health: Rosemary is used in Ayurveda to stimulate digestion and improve appetite. It can be used in small amounts to enhance digestive fire (agni).

  2. Respiratory Health: Due to its warming and expectorant properties, rosemary may help manage respiratory congestion, colds, and coughs.

  3. Circulation: Rosemary's warming effects can support healthy blood circulation.

  4. Mental Clarity: In aromatherapy, rosemary essential oil is used for its potential to improve mental clarity, focus, and memory.

  5. Hair and Skin: Rosemary is used in some Ayurvedic formulations for hair care and promoting a healthy scalp.

7. Ayurveda Health Benefits and Uses of Rosemary

Rosemary has been used as an aromatic herb and medicine. In folk medicine, rosemary extract is a treatment for urinary ailments, chronic weakness, nervous disorder, hair loss, and peripheral vascular diseases. It is an antidote to mental fatigue and forgetfulness, and a tea made from the herb is a good natural remedy for added mental agility. 

Rosemary is extensively used as a medicinal herb for its astringent, spasmolytic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, carminative, antirheumatic, analgesic, antimicrobial, and hypotensive properties. It is beneficial to treat dyspepsia, high blood pressure, and rheumatism.

It is believed that if the crushed leaves of rosemary are inhaled with eyes closed the becomes clear as the vapor courses through the brain cells. The oil of rosemary is used as an ingredient in rubefacient liniments. Rosemary is formally recognized as a drug in some pharmacopeias. It is mildly irritant and used to relieve flatulence.

Dried rosemary leaves are aromatic and yield a slightly camphoraceous odor when crushed. They are used to flavor salads, vegetable dishes, soups, meat dishes, sausages, and sauces. Rosemary oil, widely employed in cosmetic products, sometimes replaces the dried leaves in the flavoring of food products.

Rosemary plant is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and folate, as well as important minerals like Ca, Mg, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and copper.

Here are some Ayurveda health benefits and uses

Common Cold

Rosemary oil induces copious perspiration, it can be beneficially mixed in hot water and taken as a drink by these suffering from cold and chills. The oil is obtained by fractional distillation of the leaves, flowering tops, and twigs of the plant. This emulsion is used as a gargle for sore throat, the oil exhibits antibacterial activity.


The plant has been found useful in atonic dyspepsia that is, indigestion and stiffness in the stomach. It is also valuable in digesting starchy foods and vegetables like eggplant and lima beans besides rich meats like pork, beef, and lamb.


The flowering tops and leaves have a camphor-like odor that induces copious perspiration, they are used for vapor baths in rheumatism.

Other Uses

Heart Stimulant

Taking a few drops of rosemary oil is a heart stimulant, and a five percent tincture prepared by mixing oil of rosemary in alcohol is used as a circulatory and cardiac stimulant.


Shampoos and hair lotions containing pure extract of rosemary help to rejuvenate the scalp and hair while preventing dandruff and premature baldness. A lotion from leafy rosemary branches is prepared by simmering them in water for 30 minutes before straining and cooling. It can be used as the final hair rinse.


Fresh tender tops are used for garnishing and flavoring cold drinks, pickles, soups, and other foods. Its leaves are used as a condiment. Dried and powdered, they are added to cooked meats, fish, poultry, soups, stews, sauces, garnishing, preserves, and jams.

Skin Care

Rosemary is one of the famous herbs used in skin care products with potent antioxidant activity due to its bioactive metabolites rosmarinic acid, rosmanol, carnosic acid, and carnosol.

rosemary dried



8. Side Effects of Rosemary

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’t have any side effects, but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have unique health issues.

Overdose or wrong dose may cause some health problems like vomiting, sun sensitivity, stomach, and intestinal irritation, stomach upset, and reddening of the skin, too much rosemary oil on your scalp may cause irritation and drinking large quantities may cause nausea and vomiting. It is also not recommended for pregnant women, lactating women, or a person who is suffering from indigestion or skin problems.


9. Frequently Asked Question

Q - What is rosemary called in India?

Rosemary called Rujamari in Ayurveda, its scientific name is Rosmarinus Officinallis.

Q - What is rosemary good for?

Rosemary has been used as an aromatic herb and medicine. In folk medicine, rosemary extract is a treatment for urinary ailments, chronic weakness, nervous disorder, hair loss, and peripheral vascular diseases. 

Q - What are 5 benefits of rosemary herb?

1. It helps to treat common cold, gives relief from sore throat.

2.  It is useful in atonic dyspepsia that is, indigestion and stiffness in the stomach.

3. Rosemary help to rejuvenate the scalp and hair while preventing dandruff and premature baldness. 

4. Rosemary is one of the famous herbs used in skin care products with potent antioxidant activity.

5. It can be used as a circulatory and cardiac stimulant.

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