Daily Dose of Rosemary: 4-6g
Rosemary, also known as Rosmarinus officinalis, is a shrub that is used as a spice and also for medicinal purposes. Interestingly, it was used during medieval times by mourners to show respect for the dead by sprinkling the herb on graves. Traditionally, it was used for rejuvenation and to treat gout. In modern times, research has found many uses for its medicinal properties. One would be its possible impact on memory and cognitive performance. Students in ancient Greece wore wreaths of the herb to help them during their exams. Recent studies have shown that it improves learning retention, but it decreases processing speed. It can support circulation to the brain and thus has potential in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. This is all due to the antioxidant “carnosic”, which may protect neurons from free-radical damage. Another approved medicinal use is for treating digestive problems like dyspepsia and for treating ailments such as gas and gall bladder disorders. Rosemary may also be used to reduce fungal infections and it is natural and less harmful compared to some synthetic drugs. It has been studied for its affects on prostate, breast, and liver cancer cells. The results showed that the herb was able to inhibit cancer cell proliferation. It showed low toxicity, however, studies are still in the preliminary stages and long term effects are unknown.
Some extra caution should be considered when thinking about taking rosemary. It is generally safe for everyone as long as they are taking the right dose but large doses can result in vomiting, coma, spasm, or liquid in the lungs. It can interact with some drugs like blood thinners. Pregnant women should avoid large quantities of it because it is a uterine stimulant and may cause a miscarriage.
- Pengelly A1, Snow J, Mills SY, Scholey A, Wesnes K, Butler LR. Short-term study on the effects of rosemary on cognitive function in an elderly population. J Med Food. 2012 Jan;15(1):10-7. PMID: 21877951.
- Ball LJ1, Shoker J, Miles JN. Odour-based context reinstatement effects with indirect measures of memory: the curious case of rosemary. Br J Psychol. 2010 Nov;101(Pt 4):655-78. PMID: 20021709.