- 1 Section A
- 2 A Sacred Herb that Defies Time
- 3 Why the name “Rosemary” ?
- 4 Section B
- 5 Phytochemicals and Health Benefits
- 6 Rosemary’s Essential Oils
- 7 Memory and Cognitive Sharpness
- 8 Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
- 9 AD Mechanisms of Action
- 10 Rosemary as a Longevity Enhancer
- 11 Evidence via the Caenorhabditis elegans worm, the IFG-1 and Longevity Pathways
- 12 Evidence via a Mouse Model on motor dysfunction and Life Span
- 13 Evidence with regard to European Centenarians
- 14 Ikarian Confirmation
- 15 Other Health Properties
- 16 Diabetes protection
- 17 Cancer protection
- 18 Infections
- 19 Macular degeneration protection
- 20 Neural Tube Defects in Newborns
- 21 Skin & Natural Beauty
- 22 Discussion
- 23 Conclusion
- 24 Rosemary Precautions
- 25 Reference and Precision Notes
- 26 Share this:
- 27 Like this:
- 28 Related
Multiple university studies have shown that the herb Rosemary enhances the brain’s cognitive functions, a healthy centenarian lifespan and much more. In this blog-article, after briefly introducing this sacred herb (Section A) i will first examine the brain cognizance claim (Section B) and follow up with an analysis on the evidence regarding this herb’s longevity activation (Section C). Thereafter, I will look at other Rosemary health claims that have been made over the last few millennia. (Section D)
A Sacred Herb that Defies Time
Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, (1) is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region. (2) It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs. The name “rosemary” derives from the Latin for “dew” (ros) and “sea” (marinus), or “dew of the sea” (3).
Why the name “Rosemary” ?
According to Tradition and Renaissance scholars, the Virgin Mary is said to have spread her blue cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush when she was resting, and the flowers turned blue. The shrub then became known as the “Rose of Mary” (4). Rosemary was considered sacred to ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. (5) In the Middle Ages, rosemary was associated with wedding ceremonies. The bride would wear a rosemary headpiece and the groom and wedding guests would all wear a sprig of rosemary. From this association with weddings, rosemary was thought to be a love charm. (6).
“It was an old custom to burn rosemary in sick chambers, and in French hospitals it is customary to burn rosemary with juniper berries to purify the air and prevent infection. Like rue, it was placed in the dock of courts of justice, as a preventative from the contagion of gaol-fever.” (7)
Phytochemicals and Health Benefits
Rosemary contains a number of phytochemicals, including rosmarinic acid, camphor, caffeic acid, ursolic acid, betulinic acid, carnosic acid and carnosol. (8).
Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of R. officinalis have been shown to contain many substances with pharmacological health-promoting properties. Health benefits include the following characteristics: antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antithrombotic, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant and gastroprotective.
Rosemary’s Essential Oils
The culinary, medicinal, and fragrance uses of rosemary are attributed to the vast arrays of chemical constituents collectively known as plant secondary metabolites. Of these, one group are small molecular weight aromatic compounds called essential oils which play vital role in the fragrance and culinary properties of the plant.
Essential oils of rosemary dominated by 1,8-cineole, α-pinene, camphene, α-terpineol, and borneol as principal constituents [17, 18]
17. Atti-Santos A. C., Rossato M., Pauletti G. F., et al. Physico-chemical evaluation of Rosmarinus officinalis L. essential oils. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology. 2005;48(6):1035–1039. doi: 10.1590/s1516-89132005000800020. [Cross Ref]
18. Touafek O., Nacer A., Kabouche A., et al. Chemical composition of the essential oil of Rosmarinus officinalis cultived in the Algerian Sahara. Chemistry of Natural Compounds. 2004;40(1):28–29. doi: 10.1023/b:conc.0000025460.78222.69. [Cross Ref]
are also responsible for various pharmacological effects of the general antioxidant 
8. Estévez M., Ramírez R., Ventanas S., Cava R. Sage and rosemary essential oils versus BHT for the inhibition of lipid oxidative reactions in liver pâté LWT—Food Science and Technology. 2007;40(1):58–65. doi: 10.1016/j.lwt.2005.07.010. [Cross Ref]
and antimicrobial [2, 19–25] properties known for many essential oils, as well as other effects including anticarcinogenic activities .
26. Başer K. C., Buchbauer G. Handbook of Essential Oils: Science, Technology, and Applications. New York, NY, USA: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group; 2010.
The other group of secondary metabolites of rosemary are polyphenolic compounds including the flavonoids (e.g., homoplantaginin, cirsimaritin, genkwanin, gallocatechin, nepetrin, hesperidin, and luteolin derivatives) and phenolic acid derivatives (e.g., rosmarinic acid) [27–29].
By far the most important group of rosemary compounds that gain significant attention in recent years, however, are the unique class of polyphenolic diterpenes.
In traditional medicine, extracts and essential oil from flowers and leaves are used in the belief they may be useful to treat a variety of disorders. (9)] Rosemary essential oil contains 10-20% camphor. (10) Camphor itself benefits from multiple health properties, including, but not limited to brain sharpness. (11)
The Nutritional and Personal-Care Benefits
Rosemary extract has been shown to improve the shelf life and heat stability of omega 3-rich oils which are prone to rancidity.
Rosemary oil is used for purposes of fragrant bodily perfumes or to emit an aroma into a room. It is also burnt as incense, and used in shampoos and cleaning products.
Rosemary leaves are used as a flavoring in foods such as stuffings and roast lamb, pork, chicken and turkey. Fresh or dried leaves are used in traditional Mediterranean cuisine. They have a bitter, astringent taste and a characteristic aroma which complements many cooked foods. Herbal tea can be made from the leaves
A good source of calcium, iron and vitamin B6, rosemary also contains copper, magnesium and potassium. It’s an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A and C, folate, calcium and iron, as well.10
Manganese may be the most prominent mineral, working with an important antioxidant called superoxide dismutase to decrease the risk of cancer, particularly breast cancer.11
Rosemary’s numerous B vitamins include pantothenic acid, pyridoxine and riboflavin, and its folate content is necessary for DNA synthesis..
Europeans often use rosemary to help with digestive troubles.Neurological Benefits
Memory and Cognitive Sharpness
In the same way that ancient Greek scholars have worn rosemary garlands on their heads during examinations to improve their memories, in a similar way, today’s students are also using this herb to prepare for their exams. Not too long ago. The Guardian reported that sales of Rosemary oil to students in the UK studying for exams had skyrocketed because of Rosemary’s perceived benefits to memory. (12) In this perspective, Scientists have formally proved for the first time that the fragrance of rosemary enhanced memory during a study published in 2012 in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology (13).
In addition to memory enhancement, studies have shown cognitive sharpness.
“Here we show for the first time that performance on cognitive tasks is significantly related to concentration of absorbed 1,8-cineole following exposure to rosemary aroma, with improved performance at higher concentrations. Furthermore, these effects were found for speed and accuracy outcomes, indicating that the relationship is not describing a speed–accuracy trade off. The relationships between 1,8-cineole levels and mood were less pronounced, but did reveal a significant negative correlation between change in contentment and plasma 1,8-cineole levels (.)… These findings suggest that compounds absorbed from rosemary aroma affect cognition and subjective state independently through different neurochemical pathways. (14)
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Rosemary’s pine scent comes from 1,8-cineole, a terpene also found in bay leaves, wormwood, sage and eucalyptus. It’s the compound scientists have used in dementia patients, which brings about increased surges of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.
“These compounds do this by preventing the breakdown of the neurotransmitter by an enzyme. And this is highly plausible — inhalation is one of the best ways of getting drugs into the brain”.
When you eat a drug it may be broken down in the liver which processes everything absorbed by the gut, but with inhalation small molecules can pass into the bloodstream and from there to the brain without being broken down by the liver.” (15)
Among the most important group of compounds isolated from the plant are the abietane-type phenolic diterpenes that account for most of the antioxidant and many pharmacological activities of the plant. Rosemary diterpenes have also been shown in recent years to inhibit neuronal cell death induced by a variety of agents both in vitro and in vivo. (16)
Another review concluded that “carnosic acid (in rosemary) may be useful in protecting against beta amyloid-induced neurodegeneration in the hippocampus.” (17)
In still another study, carnosic acid, a compound in rosemary, was shown to be effective against brain aging. (18) Other researchers observed that rosemary impacted speed as well as accuracy, since the speed at which an individual is able to recall is a useful predictor of cognitive function during aging. The scientists’ overall conclusion also shows that higher concentrations of rosemary essence improves all the above.
“Although less pronounced, the chemical also had an effect on mood.” (19) (Source)
These findings suggest that compounds absorbed from rosemary aroma affect cognition and subjective state independently through different neurochemical pathways.
AD Mechanisms of Action
The scientific literature suggests that among the most important group of compounds isolated from the plant are the abietane-type phenolic diterpenes that account for most of the antioxidant and many pharmacological activities of the plant. These multifunctional nature of Rosemary’s compounds range from the general antioxidant-mediated neuronal protection to other specific mechanisms including, but not limited to brain inflammation, amyloid beta (Aβ) formation, polymerisation and acetylcholine dysfunctions. (20) (Source) (See also the Institute’s Disease section)
Rosemary as a Longevity Enhancer
Three different lines of evidence substantiate that Rosemary activates longevity genes via similar biochemical pathways.
Evidence via the Caenorhabditis elegans worm, the IFG-1 and Longevity Pathways
Given that R. officinalis appears to have beneficial effects in diseases that are strongly linked to aging, Scientists investigated the effects of the ethanolic extract of this plant (eeRo) on aging using the non-parasitic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model
“In the present study, we explored the effects of the ethanolic extract of R. officinalis (eeRo) on stress resistance and longevity using the non-parasitic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model. We report for the first time that eeRo increased resistance against oxidative and thermal stress and extended C. elegans longevity in an insulin/IGF signaling pathway-dependent manner. These data emphasize the eeRo beneficial effects on C. elegans under stress.” (20) ??
C. elegans has been shown to be a valuable model in understanding the molecular mechanisms that modulate aging and stress responses. Its short lifespan, fully mapped genome and its application in genetic manipulations have enabled researchers to study the function, regulation and output of insulin/IGF-1 signaling (10). This pathway is highly conserved between worms and mammals. Daf-2 encodes the only insulin/IGF-1 receptor expressed in C. elegans. Studies have demonstrated that mutations in daf-2 increase C. elegans resistance to oxidative stress (11) and heat stress (12) and lead to an extended lifespan in a DAF16/FOXO-dependent manner (13). Tullet et al. (14) suggested that the transcription factor SKiNhead (SKN-1/Nrf2) directly integrates insulin/IGF signaling and the stress response.
Recent studies have also implicated heat shock factor (HSF) as a regulator of longevity that interacts with the insulin pathway (15,16). MEV-1 is also involved in aging and sensitivity to oxidative stress. The expression patterns of the antioxidant enzymes genes superoxide dismutase (sod) and catalase (ctl) mirrored one another in the two mutants daf-16 and mev-1. In addition, both strains were extremely sensitive to paraquat, a superoxide anion generator. However, the short life span and oxidative stress-hypersensitivity of daf-16 mutant may result from suppression of anti-oxidant genes, such as sod-1 or sod-3, rather than increase of ROS production from mitochondria as in mev-1 (17).
Studies have proposed that integration of cytoprotective and stress-responsive signaling pathways is crucial for environmental adaptation and hence, control of longevity (18).
Despite documentation of the many protective properties of the R. officinalis extract, there have been no studies on the signaling pathways that may be involved. C. elegans has the potential to bridge the gap between in vitro and in vivo approaches. This model complements genetic studies and helps in the search for a mechanism of action of the extract. In this study, we investigated the effect of eeRo on C. elegans stress resistance and longevity and evaluated the signaling pathways involved.
This section under construction
(20) Braz J Med Biol Res. 2016; 49(9): e5235.
Published online 2016 Aug 1. doi: 10.1590/1414-431X20165235
Rosmarinus officinalis L. increases Caenorhabditis elegans stress resistance and longevity in a DAF-16, HSF-1 and SKN-1-dependent manner
Evidence via a Mouse Model on motor dysfunction and Life Span
J Neurosci Res. 2010 Mar;88(4):896-904. doi: 10.1002/jnr.22242.
Effect of rosmarinic acid in motor dysfunction and life span in a mouse model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late-onset progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting motor neurons. About 2% of patients with the disease are associated with mutations in the gene encoding Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1). The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of rosemary extract and its major constituents, rosmarinic acid (RA) and carnosic acid (CA), in human SOD1 G93A transgenic mice, which are well-established mouse models for ALS. The present study demonstrates that intraperitoneal administration of rosemary extract or RA from the presymptomatic stage significantly delayed motor dysfunction in paw grip endurance tests, attenuated the degeneration of motor neurons, and extended the life span of ALS model mice. In addition, RA administration significantly improved the clinical score and suppressed body weight loss compared with a vehicle-treated group. In conclusion, this study provides the first report that rosemary extract and, especially, RA have preventive effects in the mouse model of ALS.
Evidence with regard to European Centenarians
Rosemary is prevalent in South Europe, including at the Institute’s rejuvenation Center in the Eastern Pyrénees. One village was identified having over 10 percent of its dwellers living over 100 years old. (US…01 pecent). This village is also known to be free from free of heart disease and Alzheimer’s. These residents are from a coastal hamlet called Acciaroli, near the resort of Salerno.
The hamlet, 85 miles south from Naples on the Cilento coast,
Check tannat and Prats
Teams of medical experts from the University of San Diego and Rome were given permission for the first time to study this group. The task of identifying rosemary as the key element was not simple, because this Mediterranean group, like many others, also benefit from a Mediterranean diet, pristine environment, an abundance of sunlight and even “rampant sex”.
“Sexual activity among the elderly appears to be rampant,” Dr Maisel said. “Maybe living long has something to do with that. It’s probably the good air and the joie de vivre.” (Source)
But rosemary is particularly prevalent in their cooking, said researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and University of Rome, who are carrying out the study
About 300 individuals, 100 years old and older, were found living in a remote Italian village. 300 out of 3000. Ten percent. In Us ..001.
Scientists at first thought they lived so long because of their Mediterranean diet. However, rosemary was consumed regularly and in large amounts in the centenarians’ diets.
According to coronary/cardiac researcher Dr. Alan Maisel, who was given permission to research the village with a team of scientists, the impressive age factor may have been augmented by fresh mountain air or long hikes in the mountains, but previous studies on rosemary made it the probable reason for the extraordinarily long-lived seniors. Maisel noted:
“Rosemary contains an ingredient that fights off free radical damage in the brain.
This active ingredient, known as carnosic acid (CA), can protect the brain from stroke and neurodegeneration that is due to toxins and free radicals which are thought to be one of the contributors to stroke and conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.”12
The researchers established that the carnosic acid content in rosemary activates a “signaling pathway” to protect brain cells from damage, but additionally, caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid throw powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support behind the other compounds in rosemary to reduce liver disease, heart disease and asthma.
J Neurosci Res. 2010 Mar;88(4):896-904. doi: 10.1002/jnr.22242
Most Ikarians have a family garden where they work daily. High-quality, fresh-picked, home-grown organic produce comprises the bulk of their diet. Additionally, Ikarians have developed a rich herbal tradition. Wild-harvested herbs such as marjoram, sage, mint, rosemary and dandelion are concocted into beverages, the flavor of which changes seasonally according to whichever herbs are ready to be harvested.
Other Health Properties
Greek and Mexican oregano, marjoram and rosemary were determined to be a natural way to keep glucose levels in check.4
Compounds in rosemary were reported to have antiproliferative effects on leukemia and breast cancer cells.7
Another review reported it to be beneficial against inflammation, and tumor-protective.8
Such historical anecdotes may have helped prompt scientists to compare the effects of essential oils with commonly used antibiotics. One of the more recent studies found that rosemary and oregano oils:
“Resulted in the same amount of growth in chickens as the antibiotic avilamycin, and that the oils killed bacteria, too. Additional findings have shown that essential oils help reduce salmonella in chickens, and another study found that a blend of several oils can limit the spread of salmonella among animals.”2
Science has churned out multiple studies to substantiate many of the early health claims of this fragrant herb, finding that besides being an excellent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, benefits include:
Macular degeneration protection
Carnosic acid was found to be a protective agent against this most common age-related eye-related problem in the U.S.
Neural Tube Defects in Newborns
Just prior to conception, many of the compounds in rosemary help prevent neural tube defects in newborns
Skin & Natural Beauty
Description: An aromatic shrub, Rosmarinus officinalis has scaly bark and dense, leathery needlelike leaves. Tiny pale blue blossoms abound from December through spring. Rosemary can grow to heights of five to six feet (close to 2 meters) in height. Rosemary Essential Oil stimulates cell renewal and improves dry or mature skin, easing lines and wrinkles. It can also clear acne, blemishes or dull dry skin by fighting bacteria and regulating oil secretions. It improves circulation and can reduce the appearance of broken capillaries and varicose veins. Rosemary Essential Oil helps to overcome mental fatigue and sluggishness by stimulating and strengthening the entire nervous system. It enhances mental clarity while aiding alertness and concentration. Rosemary Oil can help you cope with stressful conditions and see things from a clearer perspective.
Aging and lifespan of multicellular organisms are affected by several genetic factors. Signal transduction pathways that regulate gene expression in response to extracellular cues are common targets in the search for longevity genes (1). Insulin/IGF signaling is a conserved signal transduction pathway that regulates growth and anabolic functions of multicellular organisms at the expense of cellular stress defenses and repair by modulating stress resistance and longevity (2).
Improving overall health and quality of life, preventing diseases and increasing life expectancy are key concerns in the field of public health. The search for antioxidants that can inhibit oxidative damage in cells has received a lot of attention. Rosmarinus officinalis L. represents an exceptionally rich source of bioactive compounds with pharmacological properties.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) is one of the most economically important species of the family Lamiaceae. Native to the Mediterranean region, the plant is now widely distributed all over the world mainly due to its culinary, medicinal, and commercial uses including in the fragrance and food industries
is in theSalerno area where US nutritionist Ancel Keys cited the highest concentration of centenarians in the world in 1950, as he sought to establish evidence that a “Mediterranean diet” contributed to longevity. He moved to the region with his wife, and lived to be 100 years old
Rosemary has been reported to be safe in small amounts but potentially problematic when used excessively and depending on the persons.
Additionally, extremely large amounts may also cause miscarriage, so rosemary supplementation is not advised for pregnant women.17
Reference and Precision Notes
(4). “Rosemary”. ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee (Qld) Incorporated. 1988. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
(5). Burlando, B; Verotta, L; Cornara, L; Bottini-Massa, E (2010). Herbal Principles in Cosmetics Properties and Mechanisms of Action. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. p. 303. ISBN 978-1-4398-1214-3.
(7) “A Modern Herbal,”1 published by Maud Grieve in 1931 www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/rosema17.html
Gaol, or jail, was where a number of prisoners contracted a typhus-like, highly infectious disease. The physicians of the period may have been on to something, because modern-day scientists have identified rosemary as an herb with anti-bacterial qualities.
(8)Vallverdú-Queralt, A; Regueiro, J; Martínez-Huélamo, M; Rinaldi Alvarenga, J. F.; Leal, L. N.; Lamuela-Raventos, R. M. (2014). “A comprehensive study on the phenolic profile of widely used culinary herbs and spices: Rosemary, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, cumin and bay”. Food Chemistry. 154: 299–307. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.12.106. PMID 24518346.
(10). “Rosemary”. Drugs.com. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
(12) Emine Saner (2017-05-23). “Rosemary: the mind-bending herb of choice for today’s students”. The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
Mark Moss, a psycholobiogoly professor at Northumbria University, worked with a team in the exploration of rosemary and its effectiveness as an essential oil to help improve future memory. In one series of experiments, both lavender and rosemary oil were tested for their effects on 60 “older” participants, who thought they were testing vitamin water.
The same volunteers were then taken into rooms permeated with the same two essences, or nothing at all, after which they were tested on their memories. Objects were placed in odd spots around the room, which they were asked to recall while they simultaneously underwent what was described as “distracting but fun” word puzzles.
The requirements included challenges such as, “When you come across a question about the queen in the word puzzles, can you remind me to call the garage?”
Researchers found two things to be significant: Volunteers from the rosemary infusion room did “statistically significantly better” than those in the “nothing” room, and the subjects in the lavender room did much worse, no doubt because the lavender’s modus operandi is to encourage relaxation and sleep.
Plasma 1,8-cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to rosemary essential oil aroma: Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2012 Jun; 2(3): 103–113.
(15). BBC News July 15, 2015
The Therapeutic Potential of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Diterpenes for Alzheimer’s Disease
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016; 2016: 2680409.
(20) One of the current well-accepted pathologies of AD is the “amyloid hypothesis” that puts the accumulation and aggregation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) as the major cause of the progressive neuronal cells deaths in the brain. Neuronal deletion particularly in the cortex region is now known to lead to cognitive impairment including acquired learning skills and memory. The hosts of behavioural symptoms arising from AD include agnosia, aphasia, apraxia, erratic emotion, sleep disorders, and interpersonal/social deterioration (Source). Numerous studies have shown that these clinical symptoms of AD are associated with the loss of cholinergic neurons induced by toxicants such as Aβ, reactive oxygen species (ROS), inflammatory cascades, and excitotoxicity mechanisms. Critical to the AD pathology is the basal forebrain region from where cortical cholinergic neurons originate. The loss of neurons in the basal forebrain has been shown to correlate with the degree and severity of clinical symptoms of AD (Ibid). To date, in conventional medecine, the handful of drugs available to treat AD are the acetyl cholinesterase (ACHE) inhibitors (e.g., rivastigmine, galantamine, tacrine, and donepezil) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist (memantine) which have some benefit in alleviating the clinical symptoms of AD Source). With conventional medicine, a drug based cure for AD not within sight. However, with holistic medicine, holistic experts have been able to reverse the AD process via over twenty natural and holistic means. (See the Institute’s take on this disease). However, for advanced AD, clinical hurdles still exist. This is why rosemary diterpenes should be better examied. However, pharceutical companies, which are married to conventional medicine, are not interested in what cannot generate massive cash flow. Hence, the value of holistic and happiness medicine. The genuine People’s medicine.