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Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosmarinus officinalis                              Common name:  Rosemary

Parts used: Aerial


  • Terpenoids (carnasol, carnosic acid, oleanolic & ursolic acid) & Volatile oils (borneol, camphene, camphor, cineole, pinene, limonene & linalool)
  • Flavonoids (apigenin, diosmin) & Caffeic acid derivatives (e.g. rosmarinic acid)
  • Resin
  • Tannins

Medicinal actions:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antioxidant
  • Astringent
  • Cardiotonic
  • Carminative & Antispasmodic
  • Cerebral circulatory stimulant
  • Diuretic
  • Nervine tonic & stimulant (Nootropic)
  • Rubefacient

Medicinal use:

  • Rosemary relaxes smooth muscle spasm and the smooth muscles of capillaries and arteries, thus enhancing blood flow.  It is used to increase circulation to the head and to improve mental clarity, improve memory, and improve vision.
  • It increases coronary blood flow and exerts a positive inotropic action in the myocardium.  Rosemary has a tonifying effect on the circulation and on the nervous system, making it effective in chronic circulatory weakness including hypotension.
  • An excellent tonic for the elderly as it will stimulate the appetite and tonify the circulatory and nervous systems. It has specific use for depressive states with debility and cardiovascular weakness.


  • Volatile oils (borneol, camphene, camphor, cineole, limonene) are carminative, analgesic and stimulant.
  •  Anti-inflammatory effects largely due to rosmarinic acid, ursolic acid and apigenin.
  • Rosmarinic acid is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, stimulant and antioxidant.


  • Infusion: 1 tsp/cup, TID.
  • Tincture (1:5, 40%), 1-2 ml TID; 50 ml weekly max.
  • Whole herb (dried): 2-4 g TID.
  • Culinary uses
  • External applications & aromatherapy: baths, ointments, chest rub, massage oil.


  • Pregnancy.
  • Internal use of essential oil

Toxicity: None reported


  • May inhibit iron absorption (avoid taking with meals and supplements). No drug interactions reported.


  • Find a complete list of references for this monograph as well as images and a review of its evidence based applications in Dr. Marciano’s Herbal Textbook.


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