Rosemary Essential Oil Benefits & Uses


by Erica Jones MHS

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Rosemary comes from the Labiatae (mint) family and offers a wide variety of wellness benefits. While most people are familiar with rosemary, the herb commonly used to make poultry, soups, and stews delicious, today we’re going to talk about rosemary, the essential oil. 

Rosemary oil is extracted via steam distillation from the flowering plant and can be used aromatically, topically, and internally. Aromatically, rosemary essential oil can stimulate memory and open the conscious mind. It blends well with basil, frankincense, lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and marjoram. 

Historically, the rosemary plant was regarded as sacred by many civilizations. It was used to help drive away evil spirits and protect against infectious illnesses and plague. Today, primary uses of rosemary oil include bronchitis, chills, colds, nervous exhaustion, immune stimulant, preventing respiratory infections, stress-related illness, and more. 

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In this article, we’re going to dive into the top uses and benefits of rosemary essential oil. This is one of my favorite oils to have around, and I know it will be yours too!

Rosemary Essential Oil Benefits 

Rosemary essential oil benefits are all thanks to its incredible list of potent properties.

  • Analgesic 
  • Antibacterial
  • Anticancer
  • Anticatarrhal
  • Antifungal
  • Anti-infectious
  • Anti-inflammatory 
  • Antioxidant
  • Expectorant

Stimulates Hair Growth and Health 

Similar to how rosemary oil can stimulate the mind, when applied topically, rosemary essential oil can help stimulate hair growth. A 2015 randomized comparative trial looked at rosemary oil’s effectiveness on hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia (AGA) compared to minoxidil 25, a common conventional treatment. 

The study took 100 subjects with AGA; 50 used rosemary oil while another 50 used minoxidil. After six months, both groups saw equally significant increases in hair count. This means that rosemary oil can act as a natural hair loss remedy alternative to conventional medicine. Moreover, rosemary oil cause less scalp itching than minoxidil. 

AGA is a common form of hair loss and is thought to be related to genetics and sex hormones. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a byproduct of testosterone, is known to attack hair follicles that lead to permanent hair loss (1,2). Animal research also shows rosemary’s ability to inhibit DHT in those trying to regrow hair but was disrupted by testosterone treatment. 

Lower Cortisol Levels 

Research supports rosemary essential oil as a natural remedy to reduce cortisol level a.k.a stress hormones. Meikai University, School of Dentistry in Japan looked at lavender and rosemary aromatherapy effects on cortisol levels of 22 volunteers. 

The study found that both oils reduced cortisol levels, therefore, providing some promising research that these oils can protect the body from chronic illness related to oxidative stress. 

Improves Memory and Brain Function 

Throughout history, civilizations have harnessed rosemary’s mental strengthening ability. In fact, Greek scholars would wear rosemary to improve their memory when taking exams! 

The International Journal of Neuroscience published a 2017 study that evaluated the cognitive performance of 144 participants after using rosemary and lavender aromatherapy. The study found that rosemary oil produced a significant enhancement for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors. Rosemary also helped participants become more alert while producing a sense of contentment. 

Another study published in Psychogeriatrics found that rosemary essential oil may help and prevent Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study looked at 28 elderly people with dementia (17 had AD). Post-inhalation of rosemary, lemon, orange, and lavender oil, the researchers found that aromatherapy could have some potential for improving cognitive function, especially in AD patients. 

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Similarly, nursing students who used rosemary oil aromatherapy while taking a test reported increased concentration and information recall compared to lavender oil and no essential oil at all. 

Pain Relief 

Rosemary oil has powerful analgesic and anti=inflammatory properties that make it a great natural remedy for pain. Preliminary studies also suggest that rosemary oil may be more effective than acetaminophen as a pain reliever!

One study looked at the effects of rosemary oil acupressure massage on stroke survivors with shoulder pain. In the study, patients who received 20 minutes twice daily rosemary oil acupressure reported a 30% reduction in pain compared to thoughts who only had acupressure, who reported a 15% reduction in pain. 

To use rosemary oil for pain relief, add 5 drops to a diffuser and inhale deeply, inhale directly from the bottle, or mix 1-2 drops with a teaspoon of carrier oil and apply to the area of pain. 

Other Uses of Rosemary Essential Oil:

Creating the Perfect Study Environment 

Rosemary’s chemical makeup makes it one of the best essential oils for focus, concentration and studying. Have a big project, test, or work presentation? Diffuse a couple of drops of rosemary essential oil to create an energizing yet relaxing environment to help maintain concentration and boost brainpower. 

Cooking 

Don’t have any fresh rosemary on hand? No problem. A drop or two of rosemary essential oil is enough to make any veggie, poultry, or meat dish taste amazing. Plus, you’re getting incredible wellness benefits with incredible flavor. 

Hair Care 

Give your scalp and hair some extra love with rosemary essential oil. To help stimulate hair growth, prevent hair loss, and boost fullness, add 1-2 drops of rosemary essential oil to your shampoo or conditioner. You can even try an overnight coconut hair mask by adding 2-3 drops of rosemary oil with coconut oil and massaging it into your scalp. Rinse well in the morning! 

Stress Less

Sometimes, lack of sleep increases our stress levels. Because of rosemary’s rejuvenating and invigorating scent, diffusing a little or inhaling directly from the bottle can be the perfect reset. 

Now that you know all the incredible benefits and uses of rosemary oil, what are you most excited to use it for? Let me know in the comments below! 


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Meet Erica

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Meet Erica Jones, MHS

Hi there! I'm Erica Jones, MHS.
I'm a mom to 4 amazing little kids, wife to an incredibly talented doctor and I’ve been doing this “healthy lifestyle” thing for over a decade. I’m super passionate about essential oils, health, wellness and making natural living easy. I’m so grateful to be living my BEST life and I'm here to help YOU live yours.

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