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There are numerous rosemary benefits, including promoting hair growth, reducing stomach troubles, and the treatment of bad breath and headaches. While full scientific understanding of how rosemary benefits work has not yet been reached, some research has shown that some of these benefits and uses do have a foundation in proven evidence. Other benefits have not been as thoroughly proven through medical research, but the essential oils from rosemary are often used for treating these conditions and have been for thousands of years.
Rosemary is an herb native to the Mediterranean region and is especially prevalent in countries such as Italy and Spain. Officially known as Rosmarinus Officinalis, rosemary has been used for thousands of years both in cooking and for medicinal purposes. The leaves of the plant are often used for cooking, while essential oils extracted from the herb are typically added to other treatments and medicinal preparations.
Among the most widely regarded rosemary benefits is its usefulness in combating baldness and hair loss. Even in scientific research, there has been evidence to indicate that when applied to the scalp and massaged, either through direct application or inclusion in a shampoo or hair conditioner, rosemary promotes hair growth. It may take several months of use, and is often combined with thyme, lavender, and cedarwood, but the evidence indicates that it stimulates follicles and can help hair grow stronger and longer.
Rosemary benefits also include usage in mouthwash, as rosemary not only freshens breath but may kill bacteria as well. Though it is not used as often in skincare products as in hair care, rosemary benefits can include combating dry skin, promoting healthier skin, and can sometimes be found in face wash. Rosemary has been used for centuries to combat aching or stiff joints and muscles, and though once applied in a poultice to the skin, it is more often used as a vapor treatment in the form of essential oils being placed in a hot bath. These rosemary benefits have not been as extensively proven through scientific inquiry, but there are many people who testify to its effectiveness.
There are some potentially severe negative consequences from the use of rosemary extracts, however, and care should be taken. Rosemary essential oils can be very powerful, and though rosemary is safe if eaten in typical food preparation, taking rosemary oil orally can cause stomach cramps and vomiting. There is also some evidence to indicate that rosemary may increase or promote menstruation and women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid using rosemary oils.
Testing is currently being done on several spices, rosemary is one of them. I've read that it can slow Alzheimer's but that's not indicated (yet). It has been shown to have antioxidant properties so who knows?
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