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Medicinal Plant Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) is a shrub with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers native to the Mediterranean region.












Rosemary is a plant with a fascinating history associated with many interesting facts. The name rosemary itself comes from the Latin “ros marinus”, which means “sea dew”.

It is an evergreen shrub belonging to the Lamiaceae family. The branches are woody, strongly branched, erect or ascending, and grow up to 2 m tall. The leaves are opposite on the branches, they are stalkless, oblong and narrow, 2-3 cm long, 2-4 mm wide, twisted on the edge, leathery, dark green and smooth on the front and glandular hairy and grayish white on the back. The flowers are small, light blue, purple, blue or white and grow in spikes on small stalks in the axils of the upper leaves. There are two stamens that protrude from the flower. They usually bloom in spring and autumn. he fruit is a calla that splits into two brown nuts (calla). The whole plant has a strong and aromatic smell3.

Rosemary originates from the Mediterranean region and is native to the Mediterranean scrub. Today it is grown all over the world, often as an ornamental plant.

It has many uses: as a natural preservative in the food industry, as a spice, as an ornamental plant and for medicinal purposes. It is also used for the production of perfumes. Rosemary has a flavor that is often described as pine-like. Some describe it as pungent, lemony or bitter.

The plant has been praised for its medicinal properties since ancient times. Rosemary is traditionally used to relieve muscle pain, improve memory, strengthen the immune system and circulation, and stimulate hair growth.


Use for medicinal purposes

Fresh or dried leaves collected during flowering or after flowering (rosmarini folium) are used. The dried leaves contain 1-2% volatile oil. The distillation of the leaves produces rosemary essential oil, also known as rosmarini aetheroleum, which is used externally on the skin.



  • caffeic acid
  • carnosic acid chlorogenic acid
  • oleanolic acid
  • rosmarinic acid
  • ursolic acid
  • flavonoids
  • alpha- and beta-pinene, camphor, carnosol, eucalyptol, rosmanol, eugenol, luteolin5


Action and application

The most important ingredients of rosemary are caffeic acid and its derivatives such as rosmarinic acid. These compounds have an antioxidant effect.

Rosmarinic acid is well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and skin.

It has been concluded that rosemary and its constituents, especially derivatives of caffeic acid like rosmarinic acid, have therapeutic potential in the treatment or prevention of bronchial asthma, spasmogenic disorders, peptic ulcer, inflammatory diseases, hepatotoxicity, atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, cataracts, cancer and impaired sperm motility7 .

Nowadays, rosemary is officially used for circulatory disorders and gastrointestinal disorders5

The antifungal and pesticide effects of rosemary essential oil are widely researched.

Rosemary essential oil should not be taken orally. It is not recommended for pregnant women and children under 12 years old to take any preparations containing rosemary due to the lack of relevant data.

Rosemary is a plant that, despite its centuries-old use, has not yet reached its full potential for utilization.



KINGDOM: Plantae

ORDER: Lamiales

FAMILY: Lamiaceae

GENUS: Rosmarinus

SPECIES: Rosmarinus officinalis




Anthos, Polar Plant, Compass Plant, Dew of the Sea, Garden Rosemary, Incensier, Mary’s Mantle2



I – XII month




2 Flora Croatica database,

3 Izvor:

4 Moss M, Oliver L. Plasma 1,8-cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to rosemary essential oil aroma. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2012;2(3):103-113. doi:10.1177/2045125312436573

5 de Oliveira JR, Camargo SEA, de Oliveira LD. Rosmarinus officinalis L. (rosemary) as therapeutic and prophylactic agent. J Biomed Sci. 2019;26(1):5. Published 2019 Jan 9. doi:10.1186/ s12929-019-0499-8

6 draft-european-union-herbal-monograph-rosmarinus-officinalis-l-folium-revision-1_en.pdf

7 al-Sereiti MR, Abu-Amer KM, Sen P. Pharmacology of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.) and its therapeutic potentials. Indian J Exp Biol. 1999;37(2):124-13

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