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Rosemary, scientifically known as rosmarinus officinalis, is used to improve attention and fatigue, and to treat cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension or hypotension, along with flatulence, headache, cough, opiate withdrawal, liver and gallbladder complaints, loss of appetite, and cough. Rosemary is used topically to prevent baldness, circulatory disturbances, toothache, eczema, joint pain such as myalgia, sciatica, and intercostal neuralgia. Rosemary can also be used topically to heal wounds and as an insect repellent. Rosemary is used as a spice in food and as a fragrance.

Also known as:  Compass Plant, Compass Weed, Encensier, Herbe Aux Couronnes, Old Man, Polar Plant, Romarin, Romarin Des Troubadours, Romero, Rose de Marie, Rose Des Marins, Rosée De Mer, Rosemarine, Rusmari, Rusmary

Diseases and Conditions

There is insufficient evidence to determine whether rosemary is effective at treating conditions such as the following:

  • Alopecia
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Stress
  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hypotension
  • Opiate withdrawal
  • Sunburn

Rosemary is ineffective as a means to terminate a pregnancy.


Rosemary is safe in doses used for cooking. However, rosemary oil can be toxic and should not be taken orally.

Large doses can cause the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Kidney damage
  • Pulmonary edema

Rosemary oil may cause uterine contractions and should be avoided during pregnancy (although the use of the herb in food is considered safe).

Medication Interactions

Rosemary may interefere with the clotting ability of platelets, so it may cause bleeding or bruising when used in conjunction with anticoagulant drugs such as the following:

  • Aspirin
  • NSAIDs
  • Warfarin

Since rosemary is thought to contain salicylate, it is safer to avoid taking it concurrently with drugs which also contain salicylate, such as aspirin and choline magnesium trisalicylate.

In addition, rosemary may interfere with the ability of ACE inhibitors to lower blood pressure.

Supplement and Food Interactions

The use of rosemary may cause bleeding or bruising when used with other supplements that promote anticoagulation, such as the following:

  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Turmeric

Rosemary may also create an additive effect when used with other herbs which contain salicylate, such as the following:

  • Black haw
  • Aspen
  • Willow bark
  • Poplar


The correct dosage of any supplement requires a comprehensive analysis of many factors including your age, sex, health conditions, DNA, andlifestyle. 

Daily intake of dried rosemary should not exceed 4-6 grams.


Rosemary is commonly used in cooking, especially in Mediterranean cuisines. Both the leaf and oil are used in foods. The leaf (either dried or fresh) can be used as a rub, simmered into sauces, or baked into breads. Rosemary oil is also used in beverages.

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