Although it is famous in the world of culinary and cooking, rosemary essential oil has other usages that can have some health benefits for our body. Rosemary, scientifically known as Rosmarinus Officinalis, is an evergreen shrub which can be recognised by its needle-like leaves and a woody aroma. It belongs to a family of aromatic herbs that also contains Basil, Lavender, Myrtle and Sage. Although it is very well known for its use as a food seasoning, it has other usages that goes far beyond cookery and food. In aromatherapy (a therapy that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being), rosemary oil has widely been used. For example, it is used to reduce stress and ease nervous tension, increasing mental activity, encourage clarity and insight, relieve fatigue as well as providing support for respiratory function.
Rosemary oil has a lot of usages in folk medicine. Therefore, scientists have started to research its potential health benefits. They say that it possesses some beneficial properties such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal and also anti-inflammatory properties. It is also capable of enhancing microcapillary perfusion. Rosemary oil can help to improve brain function. Scientists have shown that it prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is a chemical in your bairn involved in thinking, concentration and memory. Also, in folk medicine it is used as a means of pain reliever. A group of scientists reported that application of rosemary oil resulted in a 30% reduction in shoulder pain in some patients. In addition, it can be used to ease stress by simply smelling the oil. It has the capacity to reduce the level of cortisol hormone, which can have harmful effects on your body.
Rosemary oil and hair
Like many other essential oils, rosemary oil can promote your hair growth. But is there any scientific evidence to support this claim? The answer is a yes, science has provided enough evidence that shows this oil can be effective in promoting hair growth and preventing hair loss. Rosemary oil has been shown to be effective against androgenic alopecia (the most common type of hair loss). There is scientific evidence that shows this effect occurs by preventing a testosterone product from attacking hair follicles, which is normally the cause of androgenic alopecia.
Another study compared rosemary oil against minoxidil (a common treatment for hair loss) and showed when this oil was applied to the scalp twice a day for six months, the same effect as minoxidil was observed in terms of increase in hair thickness. Although the group that were treated with minoxidil experienced more scalp itching when compared to rosemary oil treated group. This suggest that your scalp can endure rosemary oil better than minoxidil.
In addition to androgenic alopecia, rosemary oil has been shown to be effective against another type of hair loss known as alopecia areata. A research group has shown that when alopecia areata patients massaged their scalp with rosemary oil every day for seven months, 44% of them experienced a reduced hair loss. This was a significant improvement since only 15% in the control group experienced improvement in their hair loss who used other neutral oils.
In conclusion, we can say that science has provided enough data to prove the beneficial effects of rosemary essential oil on hair. It does not seem to have any particular side effects. But if you are suffering from allergens or has particular health concerns, it is better to consult with your doctor.
- Stimulates hair growth
- Protects against hair loss
- Prevents premature graying
- Fights dandruff
- Helps with dry, itch scalp
- Harries, M. J., Sun, J., Paus, R., & King, L. E., Jr. (2010). Management of alopecia areata. Bmj
- Hosking, A. M., Juhasz, M., & Atanaskova Mesinkovska, N. (2019). Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Alopecia: A Comprehensive Review. Skin Appendage Disord
- McCaffrey, R., Thomas, D. J., & Kinzelman, A. O. (2009). The effects of lavender and rosemary essential oils on test-taking anxiety among graduate nursing students. Holist Nurs Pract
- Murata, K., Noguchi, K., Kondo, M., Onishi, M., Watanabe, N., Okamura, K., & Matsuda, H. (2013). Promotion of hair growth by Rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract. Phytother Res
- Sayorwan, W., Ruangrungsi, N., Piriyapunyporn, T., Hongratanaworakit, T., Kotchabhakdi, N., & Siripornpanich, V. (2013). Effects of inhaled rosemary oil on subjective feelings and activities of the nervous system. Scientia pharmaceutica
- Shin, B. C., & Lee, M. S. (2007). Effects of aromatherapy acupressure on hemiplegic shoulder pain and motor power in stroke patients: a pilot study. J Altern Complement Med