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.
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.
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:
- Liver health
- Insects and pests
1. It stimulates hair growth
Using rosemary oil for hair is an increasingly popular practice, and the science behind it is compelling. In fact, it's become one of the strongest rosemary oil benefits out there.
Androgenetic alopecia – or male/female pattern baldness – is a hormonal form of hair loss for which one of the common treatments is minoxidil.
A 2015 study 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.
Rosemary essential oil is also known to help boost circulation, meaning it can increase blood flow through the body, including to the scalp and hair follicles.
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.
Learn more tips and tricks on how to use rosemary oil for your hair.
2. It can improve your liver health
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.
A 2017 study even found that rosemary extract provided liver protective benefits to rats with chemically induced liver cirrhosis.
A similar study conducted in 2014 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.
3. It helps 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.
A 2017 study 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 brain function of those with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, with no side effects.
4. It can help you relax
A study in 2007 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 effectively relieve stress, as well as be very beneficial in supporting the immune system, regulating emotions, controlling high blood pressure, and helping with sleep.
Learn more about using essential oils to reduce stress.
5. It can repel bugs and mosquitos
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 mosquitoes.
A 2007 study 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 conducted in 2010 measured the effective use of rosemary oil spray to control the spread of lice containing Lyme disease.
How to use Rosemary Essential Oil
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 essential oil 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.
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 oil.
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 a study conducted in 2019.
We always advise to perform a patch test before using rosemary essential oil on the skin.
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.
4. 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. You can also try combining it with other hair-boosting oils like peppermint oil for an even great effect.
Rosemary oil’s anti-inflammatory properties also make it great for naturally reducing redness and puffiness in the skin.
We always advise performing a patch test before using rosemary essential oil on the skin.
5. 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.
What's the 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 Bandits” concoction, used in the Middle Ages by grave robbers to protect themselves from the plague.
What is the correct dosage for rosemary oil?
To fully reap these rosemary oil benefits, it's essential to use the correct dosage. The appropriate amount of rosemary oil depends on its specific application and other individual factors.
For aromatherapy, 3-5 drops in a diffuser is a common dosage.
When applying topically, it's crucial to dilute it properly with a carrier oil (1-2 drops per teaspoon) to prevent skin irritation. For massages or addressing specific concerns, like hair or scalp, dilution is key.
As for internal use, it's generally not recommended due to potency. Pregnant, nursing individuals, and those with medical conditions should consult professionals before usage.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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 argan or Jojoba 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.
|100% Pure Rosemary Essential Oil|
|Botanical Name||Rosemarinus Officinalis L.|
|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|