Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an evergreen shrub with needle-like leaves and a woody aroma. Despite its name, Rosemary essential oil is in fact, not a true oil, as it doesn’t contain fat. Often used as a food seasoning it is popular for its flavour, aromatic aspects and medicinal properties.
In Ancient Greece rosemary was thought to improve memory. Traditionally rosemary has been used to treat a variety of conditions including dyspepsia (stomach pain), headache and nervous tension. The oil is used in aromatherapy for its reputed stimulant properties and has a history of use in promoting hair growth. It is because rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties, promotes nerve growth and improves circulation that it is thought to promote hair growth and help dry, itchy scalp.
Common uses today is for its antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antileishmanial (treats certain parasites), anthelmintic (parasites in animals), anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and antiamnesic effects.
Rosemary essential oil is extracted using three main methods: carbon dioxide supercritical extraction, steam distillation, and hydro distillation.