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21 October 2021 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Rosemary Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

Rosemary is a remarkably healing oil commonly used for recovery and rejuvenation.

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Rosemary Bush

A popular, sweet-smelling herb, rosemary oil has powerful benefits for your hair, mind, and overall health.

Most commonly used to promote hair growth, improve cognitive performance, and lower stress, rosemary essential oil is a powerhouse staple to any aromatherapy collection.

With an antioxidant ORAC value as high as that of goji berries, rosemary has long been considered a “health food”, and the use of rosemary oil is a great way to experience those health-boosting effects.

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What is Rosemary Essential Oil?

Also known by the botanical name Rosemarinus Officinalis L, rosemary essential oil is a fresh and herbal scent with delicate floral undertones.

Native to the Mediterranean, the rosemary herb is generally associated with cooking, as it provides an aromatic element to several roasted foods. Rosemary can also be found in England, North America, and North Africa.

Rosemary essential oil is often clear in colour and is commonly extracted via steam distillation, which involves separating the plant material from the oil inside using steam and water.

A member of the mint family, rosemary oil has a very strong and distinctive fragrance and shares ties with other herbs such as basil, lavender, myrtle, and sage.

What are the health benefits of Rosemary Essential Oil?

Rosemary oil’s uses are incredibly varied, and it is one of the few oils that have cosmetic, mental, and physical benefits. Not only that, but its sweet, herby scent makes it an ideal choice for aromatherapy.

The areas and ailments that rosemary essential oil can benefit include:

  • Hair
  • Memory
  • Liver health
  • Stress
  • Pain
  • Insects and pests

Is rosemary essential oil good for hair growth?

Using rosemary oil for hair is an increasingly popular practice, and the science behind it is compelling.

Androgenetic alopecia – or male/female pattern baldness – is a hormonal form of hair loss for which one of the common treatments is minoxidil.

had 50 subjects with AGA use rosemary oil on affected areas whilst another 50 used minoxidil.

After six months, both groups saw equally significant increases in hair count. In other words, rosemary oil performed just as well as the most common form of treatment, and induced less scalp itching as a side effect than the minoxidil.

Using diluted rosemary oil as part of a hair care routine is a great way to thicken hair and promote growth.

Rosemary essential oil is also known to help boost circulation, meaning it can increase blood flow through the body, including to the scalp.

This improves scalp health overall and thus creates a sounder environment for hair growth. Rosemary oil can also soothe the scalp from itching and irritation using its natural anti-inflammatory effects.

If you’re searching for more tips and tricks on how to use rosemary oil for your hair, check out our complete guide here.

    Rosemary Plant Stem

    How can rosemary essential oil help your liver?

    Rosemary oil has naturally choleretic effects, as does the herb itself, meaning that it increases the amount of bile secreted by the liver.

    Rosemary is also hepatoprotective, which makes it able to help prevent damage to the liver. Both of these properties combined mean that rosemary essential oil is very beneficial to liver health.

    even found that rosemary extract provided liver protective benefits to rats with chemically induced liver cirrhosis.

    A similar study also tackled induced liver injuries in rats using rosemary essential oil, studying instead the benefits to the liver as a result of the oil’s strong antioxidant qualities.

    Applying diluted rosemary oil topically on the lower abdomen is a great way to feel these liver-boosting effects. Simply dilute the oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut or jojoba) and spread evenly.

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    Using rosemary oil to improve memory

    Rosemary was once worn by Greek scholars in exams to enhance their memory, and the herb has long been linked to memory and remembrance.

    tested this connection by having participants smell rosemary oil before testing several aspects of their cognitive function.

    They found that the rosemary oil had a significant positive impact on the participants’ alertness and overall quality of memory.

    It has also been suggested that rosemary essential oil could help improve the  including Alzheimer’s disease, with no side effects.

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    Does rosemary oil relax you?

    conducted by a team of dentists found that five minutes of rosemary oil aromatherapy greatly reduced salivary cortisol levels in several healthy participants.

    Since cortisol is the ‘stress’ hormone, this suggests that rosemary can be very beneficial in reducing stress levels, as well as supporting the immune system, regulating emotions, and helping with sleep.

    Learn more about using essential oils to reduce stress here.

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    Repelling insects and pests using rosemary essential oil

    Though it may not be its most commonly known benefit, rosemary oil is widely effective in repelling the presence of spiders, ticks, and disease-carrying mosquitos.

    A conducted against mosquitoes in Argentina, found that a dilution of 12.5% rosemary oil repelled mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus with 100% efficiency for up to 90 minutes after application.

    A similar study measured the effective use of rosemary oil spray to control the spread of lice containing Lyme disease.

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    How to use Rosemary Essential Oil

    Aromatherapy

    As with most essential oils, rosemary’s most common use is in aromatherapy.

    Its strong, herbaceous scent makes for a great natural air freshener, and its relaxing, memory-boosting benefits can help calm and focus your mind through scent alone.

    Combine 5-7 drops of the oil with water and add to an oil burner or diffuser for a distinctive and invigorating herbal scent.

    Alternatively, you can simply hold a bottle of rosemary essential oil to your nose and inhale.

    Add a few drops to a tissue or cotton ball for on-the-go aromatherapy to help boost your cognitive thinking and ease your mind into focus.

    Massage

    Rosemary essential oil benefits the body in a number of impactful ways. Naturally anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving, it is a great choice for a restorative, at-home massage.

    Dilute 5 drops of rosemary essential oil to 10ml of carrier oil (such as coconut or jojoba oil) and massage evenly into the skin.

    Rub onto the abdomen in soft, gentle motions to help promote liver health and renewal, or use to ease painful areas in the body.

    Massaging painful areas using a rosemary oil solution has even been found to help ease osteoarthritis in older adults, according to

    We always advise to perform a patch test before using rosemary essential oil on the skin.

    Bath

    Add 6-8 drops of rosemary essential oil to warm bathwater for a soothing and calming experience for the mind and body.

    Including a few drops of rosemary oil into your bath can carry many of the same therapeutic benefits as aromatherapy, as the smell will carry through and fill the air with a herbaceous aroma.

    Taking a bath with rosemary is also good if you are experiencing muscular pain or discomfort, as the oil can help soothe and reduce the swelling.

    Skincare & haircare

    Make the most of rosemary oil’s incredible benefits for hair by creating your own hair mask using a carrier oil, adding to your shampoo and conditioner, or even making a treatment spray to nourish and grow your locks to perfection.

    Find out how to use rosemary oil for hair, as well as other great tips, by following our guide here.

    Rosemary oil’s anti-inflammatory properties also make it great for naturally reducing redness and puffiness in the skin.

    Add a couple of drops to a carrier oil (such as coconut or jojoba oil) or your chosen lotion, facewash, or toner, and spread evenly, or on affected areas.

    We always advise performing a patch test before using rosemary essential oil on the skin.

    Soaps & candles

    Suitable for soap making and candle making. We recommend following a tested recipe.

    Looking for creative ways to use your rosemary essential oil? Discover a number of fun candle and soap recipes in our Make at Home blog section.

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    History of Rosemary Essential Oil

    Native to the Mediterranean and used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, Rosemary is a herb with quite a history behind it.

    The first mentions of rosemary were found on cuneiform stone tablets as early as 5000 BCE, and it is said that many civilizations, including the ancient Greeks, Hebrews, Egyptians, and Romans all found the herb to be sacred.

    The smell is so beloved that it was actually the primary ingredient in possibly the first alcohol-based perfume in Europe and continues to be used in many scented products today.

    Rosemary essential oil is also one of the five oils involved in the historical “Four Thieves” concoction, used in the Middle Ages by grave robbers to protect themselves from the plague.

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    Still after some further insight into the benefits of rosemary essential oil? These frequently asked questions can help. 

    How does rosemary oil work? 

    Like all essential oils, rosemary oil works best when inhaled or applied topically.

    Adding a few drops of rosemary oil to a diffuser or combining it with a carrier oil can target a number of physical and mental ailments - from inflammatory pain to memory recall. 

    Which rosemary oil is good for hair? 

    Any pure rosemary essential oil works very well for hair. Combining it with a hair-boosting carrier oil like  or  can also further support healthy hair. 

    You can find both of these oils featured with rosemary in our two Hair Care Bundles - created specifically for incorporating into your daily hair care routine. 

    Does rosemary oil help hair regrowth? 

    One of the most popular rosemary essential oil benefits is hair regrowth - and for good reason.

    It can help stimulate blood circulation in the scalp, which in turn produces longer, thicker, and stronger hair over time. 

    Find out more about the benefits of rosemary essential oil for hair

    Rosemary Illustration

    Product Name

    100% Pure Rosemary Essential Oil
    Botanical Name Rosemarinus Officinalis L.
    Scent Type Herbs
    Benefits & Uses Enhances Focus, Hair Care, Relaxing
    Suitable for Diffusers? Yes, this rosemary essential oil is perfect for diffusers.
    Suitable for Candles and Soaps? Yes, this rosemary essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.
    Extraction Method Steam Distillation
    Bottle Type Tamper proof and UV resistant

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