Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a common
household plant grown in many parts of the world. Rosemary is used for flavoring food,
a beverage drink, as well as in cosmetics. In folk medicine, rosemary is used as an
antispasmodic in renal colic and for dysmenorrhoea, in relieving respiratory
disorders and to stimulate growth of
hair. Extracts of rosemary relax smooth
muscles of trachea and intestine, and have liver protective and
What's in rosemary?
The most important constituents are carnosol, carnosic acid, caffeic acid and its derivatives such as rosmarinic acid. These compounds have powerful antioxidant activity. Rosmarinic acid is well absorbed from gastrointestinal tract and from the skin and appears to be a strong anti-inflammatory agent.
with Saw Palmetto, Pygeum, Stinging
Nettle, Quercetin, Rosemary extract, and Key Ingredients for support of normal prostate size
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Prostate Power Rx is carefully formulated with important herbs and nutrients to provide optimal prostate health.
Saw Palmetto extract (standardized to contain 45% fatty acids - serenoa repens fruit)
Stinging Nettle 4:1 extract (urtica diocia root)
Quercetin, a flavonoid
Rosemary extract 4:1 (Rosemarinus officinales leaf)
Beta Sitosterol, a phytosterol
Pygeum 4:1 bark extract (Pygeum Africanum)
Daidzein (standardized to contain 40% isoflavones)
Genistein (standardized to contain 40% isoflavones)
Lycopene (Lycoperscion escatatum fruit)
Rosemary and its constituents have a therapeutic potential in bronchial asthma, peptic ulcer, prostate disorders, inflammatory diseases, liver toxicity, atherosclerosis, stroke, ischaemic heart disease, cataract, leukemia, cancer and poor sperm motility. However, at this time we know very little regarding rosemary extracts and their clinical application in human health and disease.
J Med Food. 2012. Short-term study on the effects of rosemary on cognitive function in an elderly population. Rosmarinus officinalis has traditional reputations that justify investigation for a potential role in reducing widespread cognitive decline in the elderly. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, repeated-measures crossover study was conducted to investigate possible acute effects of dried rosemary leaf powder on cognitive performance. Twenty-eight older adults (mean age, 75 years) were tested using the Cognitive Drug Research computerized assessment system 1, 2.5, 4, and 6 hours following a placebo and four different doses of rosemary. Doses were counterbalanced, and there was a 7-day washout between visits. There was a biphasic dose-dependent effect in measures of speed of memory: the lowest dose (750 mg) of rosemary had a statistically significant beneficial effect compared with placebo, whereas the highest dose (6,000 mg) had a significant impairing effect. There were significant deleterious effects on other measures of cognitive performance, although these were less consistent. Speed of memory is a potentially useful predictor of cognitive function during aging. The positive effect of the dose nearest normal culinary consumption points to the value of further work on effects of low doses over the longer term.
Adding a dash of rosemary extract to ground beef reduces the amount of cancer -causing compounds created during the cooking process. When antioxidants extracted from rosemary were added to ground beef, hamburgers contained smaller amounts of heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, carcinogenic compounds that form when muscle meats like beef, pork and poultry are cooked at high temperatures. Antioxidants in rosemary are also found in smaller amounts in other spices such as oregano, sage and basil. The antioxidants likely reduce HCAs by blocking the chemical process that creates the cancer-causing compounds. Previous research has also suggested that frequently flipping burgers, trimming off fat and skin before grilling meat, and removing charred portions after grilling may reduce the amount of HCAs in meat. Microwaving meat does not appear to create HCAs because the temperature in a microwave stays relatively low.
Chemical composition, plant genetic differences, antimicrobial and antifungal activity investigation of the essential oil of Rosmarinus officinalis L.
J Agric Food Chem. 2004.
The chemical composition of the essential oil of the Rosmarinus officinalis was studied. Rosemary samples were collected at different latitude and longitude of Sardinia (Italy). The yields ranged between 1.75 and 0.48% (v/w, volume/dry-weight). A total of 30 components were identified in rosemary oil. The major compounds in the essential oil were alpha-pinene, borneol, camphene, camphor, verbenone, and bornyl-acetate.
Effects of a novel gaseous antioxidative system
containing a rosemary extract on the oxidation induced by nitrogen dioxide and
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2004.
Rosemary is commonly used as a spice and a flavoring agent in food processing. Although the antioxidative properties of its extracts have been investigated, there have been few reports on the volatile components of rosemary. These data suggest that the volatile constituents of a rosemary extract had antioxidative properties.
Carnosic acid, a component of rosemary, promotes synthesis of nerve growth factor in T98G human glioblastoma cells.
Biol Pharm Bull. 2003.
Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a factor vital for the growth and functional maintenance of nerve tissue. The authors found that a rosemary extract enhanced the production of NGF in T98G human glioblastoma cells. Furthermore, the results indicated that carnosic acid and carnosol, which are major components of the rosemary extract, were able to promote markedly enhanced synthesis of NGF.
Antioxidant activities of rosemary, sage, and
extracts and their combinations on stability of natural peanut oil.
J Med Food. 2003.
The antioxidant efficacy of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), sage (Salvia fruticosa), and sumac extracts were investigated. Methanolic extracts of rosemary, sage, sumac, and their combinations were applied to peanut oil stored at 80 degrees C for 24 h. All extracts showed antioxidant effects compared with control. But the antioxidant effect of all extracts was low compared with that of butylated hydroxytoluene. Rosemary extract exhibited the most antioxidant effect compared with other individual extracts.
Phenolic diterpenes, flavones, and rosmarinic acid
distribution during the development of leaves, flowers, stems, and roots of
Rosmarinus officinalis. Antioxidant activity.
J Agric Food Chem. 2003.
The distribution of six compounds with three different polyphenol skeletons have been studied in rosemary: phenolic diterpenes (carnosic acid, carnosol, and 12-O-methylcarnosic acid), caffeoyl derivatives (rosmarinic acid), and flavones (isoscutellarein 7-O-glucoside and genkwanin), each showing a characteristic behavior and distribution during the vegetative cycle. Only in leaves were all six compounds present. Rosmarinic acid showed the highest concentrations of all the polyphenols in all organs. The antioxidant activity of six extracts with different polyphenolic composition was evaluated in aqueous and lipid systems. The results clearly suggest that rosemary extracts are excellent antioxidants in both aqueous and lipid systems.
Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils
differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults.
Int J Neurosci. 2003.
This study was designed to assess the olfactory impact of the essential oils of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and rosemary (Rosmarlnus officinalis) on cognitive performance and mood in healthy volunteers. One hundred and forty-four participants were randomly assigned to one of three independent groups, and subsequently performed the Cognitive Drug Research (CDR) computerized cognitive assessment battery in a cubicle containing either one of the two odors or no odor (control). Visual analogue mood questionnaires were completed prior to exposure to the odor, and subsequently after completion of the test battery. The participants were deceived as to the genuine aim of the study until the completion of testing to prevent expectancy effects from possibly influencing the data. Analysis of performance revealed that lavender produced a significant decrement in performance of working memory, and impaired reaction times for both memory and attention based tasks compared to controls. In contrast, rosemary produced a significant enhancement of performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors, but also produced an impairment of speed of memory compared to controls. With regard to mood, comparisons of the change in ratings from baseline to post-test revealed that following the completion of the cognitive assessment battery, both the control and lavender groups were significantly less alert than the rosemary condition; however, the control group was significantly less content than both rosemary and lavender conditions. These findings indicate that the olfactory properties of these essential oils can produce objective effects on cognitive performance, as well as subjective effects on mood.
Suppressive effects of rosmarinic acid on
mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis in rats.
Rosmarinic acid is known to be a natural phenolic compound widely distributed in Labiatae herbs such as rosemary, sweet basil, and perilla. In the present study, we evaluated the suppressive effects of rosmarinic acid on mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis in vivo. Rosmarinic acid would suppress the proliferation of mesangial cells and glomerular matrix expansion in vivo by its fibrinolytic and anti-oxidative activity.
Carnosic acid inhibits proliferation and augments
differentiation of human leukemic cells induced by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and
Nutr Cancer. 2001.
Carnosic acid, the polyphenolic diterpene derived from rosemary, is a strong dietary antioxidant that exhibits antimutagenic properties in bacteria and anticarcinogenic activity in various cell and animal models. In the present study, we show that carnosic acid inhibits proliferation of HL-60 and U937 human myeloid leukemia cells without induction of apoptotic or necrotic cell death. These results indicate that carnosic acid is capable of antiproliferative action in leukemic cells and can cooperate with other natural anticancer compounds in growth-inhibitory and differentiating effects.
Carnosol, an antioxidant in rosemary, suppresses
inducible nitric oxide synthase through down-regulating nuclear factor-kappaB in
Carnosol is a naturally occurring phytopolyphenol found in rosemary and functions as antioxidant and anticarcinogen. In the present study, we compared the antioxidant activity of carnosol and other compounds extracted from rosemary. Carnosol showed potent antioxidative activity.
Evaluation of the effectiveness of Rosmarinus
officinalis in the alleviation of carbon tetrachloride-induced acute hepatotoxicity in the rat.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2002.
The effect of oral administration of rosemary on CCl(4)-induced acute liver injury was investigated. Rats were daily treated with the plant extract at a dose of 200 mg/kg corresponding to 6.04 mg/kg of carnosol as determined by reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The treatment was initiated 1 h after CCl(4) administration and rosemary fully prevented CCl(4) effect on hepatic lipid peroxidation after 24 h of CCl(4) administration.
Rosemary-stimulated reduction of DNA strand breaks and
FPG-sensitive sites in mammalian cells treated with H2O2 or visible
light-excited Methylene Blue.
Cancer Lett. 2002.
In this study possible protective effects of rosemary against oxidative DNA damage induced by H2O2- and visible light-excited Methylene Blue in colon cancer cells CaCo-2 and hamster lung cells V79 were investigated. We suggest that the extract of rosemary exhibits a protective effect against oxidative damage to DNA as a consequence of scavenging of both *OH radicals and singlet oxygen ((1)O2).
Antioxidant properties of phenolic diterpenes from
Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2001.
To investigate the inhibition capacities of carnosol, rosmanol, and epirosmanol, which are phenolic diterpenes from rosemary, to oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) formation in human blood and detect their scavenging activities to lipid free radical and superoxide anion in vitro. carnosol, rosmanol, and epirosmanol showed activity in inhibiting LDL oxidation.
Carnosol-induced apoptosis and downregulation of Bcl-2
in B-lineage leukemia cells.
Cancer Lett. 2001.
We investigated whether carnosol was cytotoxic against several pro-B and pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) lines. In all ALL lines tested, carnosol induced apoptotic cell death distinguished by loss of nuclear DNA, externalization of cell membrane phosphatidylserine, and depolarization of mitochondrial membranes. These results suggest that carnosol may be useful as a novel chemotherapeutic agent against B-lineage leukemias, and possibly other types of cancers that express high levels of the protective protein, Bcl-2.
Chemistry and antioxidative factors in rosemary and
Rosemary and sage are common spices used in food. In our recent search of cancer chemopreventive agents from spices, the alcohol extracts of rosemary and sage showed strong antumorigenic activities. Rosemary and sage extracts contain active antioxidative factors such as phenolic diterpenes, flavonoids and phenolic acids.
Allied studies on the effect of Rosmarinus officinalis on experimental hepatotoxicity and mutagenesis.
Int J Food Sci Nutr. 1999.
The hepatoprotective and antimutagenic effects of the rosemary essential oil and the ethanolic extract were investigated using carbon tetrachloride and cyclophosphamide as hepatotoxic and mutagenic compounds, respectively. Our results revealed that i.g. administration of the rosemary ethanolic extract to rats for 3 weeks produced the most pronounced hepatoprotective effect compared to silymarin (reference compound) due to the amelioration of most of the studied serum and liver parameters and confirmed by histopathological examination of the liver tissue. Pretreatment of mice for 7 days with the rosemary essential oil followed by i.p. injection with cyclophosphamide reduced significantly the induced mitodepression in the bone marrow cells of the animals. The potential hepatoprotective and antimutagenic activities of the rosemary ethanolic extract and essential oil, respectively, are attributed to the presence of a relatively high percentage of phenolic compounds with high antioxidant activity (according to our chemical studies).
Pharmacology of rosemary
and its therapeutic potentials.
Indian J Exp Biol. 1999.
The use of plants is as old as the mankind. Natural products are cheap and claimed to be safe. They are also suitable raw material for production of new synthetic agents. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.) is a common household plant grown in many parts of the world. It is used for flavouring food, a beverage drink, as well as in cosmetics; in folkmedicine it is used as an antispasmodic in renal colic and dysmenorrhoea, in relieving respiratory disorders and to stimulate growth of hair. Extract of rosemary relaxes smooth muscles of trachea and intestine, and has choleretic, hepatoprotective and antitumerogenic activity. The most important constituents of rosemary are caffeic acid and its derivatives such as rosmarinic acid. These compounds have antioxidant effect. The phenolic compound, rosmarinic acid, obtains one of its phenolic rings from phenylalanine via caffeic acid and the other from tyrosine via dihydroxyphenyl-lactic acid. Rosmarinic acid is well absorbed from gastrointestinal tract and from the skin. It increases the production of prostaglandin E2 and reduces the production of leukotriene B4 in human polymorphonuclear leucocytes, and inhibits the complement system. It is concluded that rosemary and its constituents especially caffeic acid derivatives such as rosmarinic acid have a therapeutic potential in treatment or prevention of bronchial asthma, spasmogenic disorders, peptic ulcer, inflammatory diseases, hepatotoxicity, atherosclerosis, ischaemic heart disease, cataract, cancer and poor sperm motility.
Rosmarinic Acid Research
Institut fur Pharmazeutische Biologie, Philipps-Universitat Marburg, Deutschhausstr. 1Marburg, Germany.
Rosmarinic acid is an ester of caffeic acid and 3,4-dihydroxyphenyllactic acid. It is commonly found in species of the Boraginaceae and the subfamily Nepetoideae of the Lamiaceae. However, it is also found in species of other higher plant families and in some fern and hornwort species. Rosmarinic acid has a number of interesting biological activities, e.g. antiviral, antibacterial, antiinflammatory and antioxidant. The presence of rosmarinic acid in medicinal plants, herbs and spices has beneficial and health promoting effects. In plants, rosmarinic acid is supposed to act as a preformed constitutively accumulated defence compound. The biosynthesis of rosmarinic acid starts with the amino acids L-phenylalanine and L-tyrosine. All eight enzymes involved in the biosynthesis are known and characterised and cDNAs of several of the involved genes have been isolated. Plant cell cultures, e.g. from Coleus blumei or Salvia officinalis, accumulate rosmarinic acid in amounts much higher than in the plant itself (up to 36% of the cell dry weight). For this reason a biotechnological production of rosmarinic acid with plant cell cultures has been proposed.
Rosmarinic acid is a natural polyphenolic substance contained in many Lamiaceae herbs such as Perilla frutescens.
Additional pages of interest
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vinpocetine for oxygen supply to the brain
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My name is Dushka Dimitrijevic and I am Technical
Sales Director of Vitiva. The reason I am contacting you is more of
commercial nature. Vitiva is one of the largest rosemary extract
producers in the world and our products are application specific. We
have high quality new generation water and oil soluble rosemary extracts
and various combinations of its active ingredients. All our products are
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rosemary extract for your formulas. Therefore I would like to offer you
our high quality products. Thank you in advance. Best regards Dushka
Dimitrijevic Technical Sales Director
Vitiva. September 2009.
Rosemary is used in aromatherapy
Rosemary is found in Zyflamend, a product that contains multiple beneficial herbs.