Family • Lamiaceae - Rosmarinus officinalis - ROSEMARY - Mi die xiang

Scientific names

Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.

Common names

Dumero (Tag.)
Romero (C. Bis., Tag., Span.)
Rosmarino (Ital.)
Rosemary (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

ARABIC: Iklil al jabal. GREEK: Dendrolivano, Dentrolivano, Rozmari. PORTUGUESE: Alecrim.
BULGARIAN: Rozmarin. HEBREW: Rozmarin. RUSSIAN: Rozmarin.
CHINESE: Mi die xiang. HUNGARIAN: Rozmaring. SERBIAN: Ružmarin.
CROATIAN: Ružmarin . ICELANDIC: Rósmarín, Sædögg . SLOVAKIAN: Rozmarín, Rozmarín lekársky.
CZECH: Rozmarýna, Rozmarýna lékařská, Rozmarýn lékařský. ITALIAN: Rosmarino. SLOVENIAN: Rožmarin.
DANISH: Rosmarin. JAPANESE: Mannenrou, Roozumari, Roozumarii, Rozumarii, Rosumarin, Mannenrou. SPANISH: Romero, Romero comun, Rosmario.
DUTCH: Rozemarijn. KOREAN: Ro ju ma ri. SWEDISH: Rosmarin.
ESTONIAN: Harilik rosmariin, Rosmariin. NORWEGIAN: Rosmarin. TURKISH: Biberiye, Hasalban, Kuşdili otu.
FINNISH: Rosmariini. PERSIAN: Eklil kuhi, Rozmari. UKRAINIAN: Rozmaryn, Rozmaryn spravzhnii.
FRENCH: Romarin, Romarin commun. POLISH: Rozmaryn. VIETNAMESE: Lá hương thảo.
GERMAN: Rosmarin.

Romero is a small, erect. flowering woody undershrub, about 1 meter high, with densely arranged branches and leaves. Leaves are linear, about 1 to 3 centimeters long, with strong revolute edges, the lower portion covered with gray hairs. Flowers are bluish, less than 1 centimeter long, borne on racemes1 to 3 centimeters long.


– Introduced from Europe.
– Commonly sold in markets.
– Cultivated in gardens for medicinal purposes.


– Antispasmodic, abortifacient, emmenagogue, stimulant, bitter tonic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, aromatic, nervine, stomachic, febrifuge.
– Bitter and astringent leaves considered diuretic, dissolvent, and aperient.
– Oil is carminative and stimulant.


– Volatile oil, 1.2 – 2% – alpha-pinene, cineol, borneol, camphene, rosemarin.
– The most important constituents are caffeic acid and its derivatives such as rosmarinic acid.
– Rosmarin oil contains d-pinene, cineol, borneol, camphene and camphor.

Parts used

As condiment in flavoring and preserving meat.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antioxidant effect of various rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) clones / Volume 47(1-4):111-113, 2003 / Acta Biologica Szegediensis

(2) Anti-Inflammatory and Antinociceptive Effects of Rosmarinus officinalis L. Essential Oil in Experimental Animal Models  / Journal of Medicinal Food. December 2008, 11(4): 741-746. doi:10.1089/jmf.2007.0524.

(3) Hyperglycemic and insulin release inhibitory effects of Rosmarinus officinalis / J Ethnopharmacol/22Jul1994;43(3):217-21

(4) Pharmacology of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.) and its therapeutic potentials / M R Al-Sereitia et al / Indian Journal of Experimental Biology • Vol. 37, February 1999, pp.124-131

(5) Evaluation of the antinociceptive effect of Rosmarinus officinalis L. using three different experimental models in rodents / M E Gonzalez-Trujano et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Volume 111, Issue 3, 22 May 2007, Pages 476-482 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2006.12.011

(6) PREVENTION OF RADIATION INDUCED HEMATOLOGICAL ALTERATIONS BY MEDICINAL PLANT ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS, IN MICE / Garima Sancheti and P K Goyal / African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative medicines (AJTCAM), Vol 4, No 2 (2007)

(7) A Vascular Smooth Muscle Relaxant Effect of Rosmarinus officinalis / Mahmoud B. Aqel / Summary
Pharmaceutical Biology • 1992, Vol. 30, No. 4, Pages 281-288 / DOI 10.3109/13880209209054014/

(8) Antibacterial Activity of the Extracts Obtained from Rosmarinus officinalis, Origanum majorana, and Trigonella foenum-graecum on Highly Drug-Resistant Gram Negative Bacilli / Roula Abdel-Massih, Elias Abdou et al / Journal of Botany, Vol 2010 (2010), Article ID 464087, 8 pages / doi:10.1155/2010/464087

(9) Effect of Rosmarinus officinalis L. aerial parts extract on morphine withdrawal syndrome in mice / Hossein Hosseinzadeh and Mahnaz Nourbakhsh / Phytotherapy Research, Vol 17, Issue 8, pages 938–941, September 2003

(10) Plasma 1,8-cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to rosemary essential oil aroma / Mark Moss / Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, February 24, 2012/ 2045125312436573

(11) Sorting Rosmarinus names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 – 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia.

(12) Anti-proliferative and antioxidant properties of rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis. / Cheung S1, Tai J. / Oncol Rep. 2007 Jun;17(6):1525-31.

(13) Antibacterial Activity and Anticancer Activity of Rosmarinus officinalis L. Essential Oil Compared to That of Its Main Components / Wei Wang, Nan Li, Meng Luo, Yuangang Zu,* and Thomas Efferth / Molecules 2012, 17, 2704-2713; doi:10.3390/molecules17032704

(14) Effects of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) on Lipid Profile of Diabetic Rats / Abdul-Rahim Al-Jamal,* and Taha Alqadi / Jordan Journal of Biological Sciences, Vol 4, No 4, December 2011, pp 199-204.

(15) The Study of the Effects of Post Treatment with Rosmarinus Officinalis Aqueous Extract the First 48 Hours after Renal Ischemia/Reperfusion in Rats / Saeed Changizi Ashtiyani , Marzieh Zohrabi, Akbar Hassanpoor, Saeed Hajihashemi , Nasser Hosseini /

(16) An Electron Microscopic Study of the Antifertility Potential of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) in Male Albino Rats / Rania A. Salah El-Din, Abd El-Rahman El-Shahat & Rasha Ahmed Elmansy / Int. J. Morphol., 30(2):666-672, 2012.

(17) Protective Effect of Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Leaves Extract on Carbon Tetrachloride – Induced Nephrotoxicity in Albino Rats / Saber A. Sakr and Hawazen A. Lamfon / Life Science Journal, 2012;9(1)

(18) Evaluation of an Aqueous-Ethanolic Extract from Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) for its Activity on the Hormonal and Cellular Function of Testes in Adult Male Rat / Hamed Heidari-Vala, Reza Ebrahimi Hariry, Mohammad Reza Sadeghi, Mohammad Mehdi Akhondia, Marefat Ghaffari Novin and Mahnaz Heidari* /
Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2013), 12 (2): 445-451


– Cough: Inhale steam of strong decoction of herb.
– Diuretic: Take decoction of herb as needed.
– Gas pains: Take decoction of herb as needed.
– Rheumatism: Make decoction of herb and soak affected area.
– Conjunctivitis: Infusion of leaves used as an eyewash, 4 to 5 times daily.
– Vapor baths, using 30 to 40 gms of leaves in boiling water for rheumatism, catarrh.
– Juice of leaves applied to areas of thinning hair and dandruff; also, as rosemary vinegar.
– Rosemary tea also used as conditioning hair rinse,
– Infusion of leaves as tea for dyspepsia, flatulence.
– Decoction of leaves as mouthwash for gums disease, halitosis, sore throat.
Aromatic bath: Use decoction of herb.
– Infusion with oil for massages.
– Daily use of rosemary tea believed to prevent cataracts.
– For Hair wash: Steep 25 g of rosemary in 2 pints of cider vinegar for two weeks, shaking occasionally; strain. In hair washing, put 1-2 tsp in the final rinse.
– For dandruff, massage rosemary vinegar thoroughly into scalp, 20 mins before washing.
– As hair restorer, romero is macerated in alcohol and rubbed on twice daily. The hair lotion is suppose to stimulate the hair bulbs to renewed activity and prevents baldness.
– Postpartum bath: Boil a head of petals in a quart of water). (Related article: Suob)
– Used as antispasmodic in renal colic and dysmenorrhea.
– Decoction of leaves used as carminative and as an abortive.
– Infusion of leaves used for gastralgia, dyspepsia, flatulence and palpitations.
– Leaves used as febrifuge.
– In Mexico, a 2% infusion of leaves or its essence (6 drops every 24 hours) is considered stomachic.
– Volatile oil used as stimulant in liniments.

– Used to ward off evil.
– Cosmetics.

Study Findings
• Antioxidant: A study of the extracts of 8 Rosemary clones indicated the antioxidant capacity of volatile oils and plant extracts were closely related to the total phenol content.
• Phytochemicals / Rosmarinic Acid: Studies yield rosmarinic acid, ursolic acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, carnosolic acid, rosmanol, carnosol, diterpenes, among others. Rosmarinic acid is well absorbed from the GI tract and skin. It increases the production of prostaglandin E2 and reduces the production of leukotrine B4 in human polymorphonuclear leucocytes and inhibits the complement system and presents therapeutic potential in the treatment of asthma, spasmogenic disorders, peptic ulcer, inflammatory diseases, cataract, cancer and poor sperm motility.
• Antiinflammatory / Antinociceptive: Study of rosemary essential oil suggests it possesses antiinflammatory and peripheral antinociceptive activities.

Antinociceptive: Study showed the aerial parts of Rosmarinus officinalis possess antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity and supports the use of the plant in folk medicine.
• Hyperglycemic / Volatile Oil: A study showed the volatile oil of RO has hyperglycemic and insulin release inhibitory effects in rabbit.
• Antidiabetogenic: Study concluded that RO extracts showed antidiabetogenic effect probably from its potent antioxidant properties.
• Radioprotective: Study of the modulatory influence of Rosemary leaves extract in Swiss albino mice dosed with 3 Gy gamma radiation showed increase in lipid peroxidation and regaining of hematologic parameters. Results suggest the possible radioprotective ability of the rosemary extract.
• Smooth Muscle Relaxant Effect: The effects of volatile oil of Rosmarinus officinalis leaves showed a direct smooth muscle relaxant effect in vitro testing of isolated aortic segments of rabbits. The inhibition of the contractions were dose-dependent and reversible.
• Antibacterial: Study on the antibacterial activity of three selected plants (Rosmarinus officinalis, Origanum majorana and Trigonella foenum-graecum) against beta lactamase-producing E coli and K pneumonia showed all three exhibited relatively low MICs and could be considered strong antibacterials.
• Effect on Morphine Withdrawal Syndrome / Aerial Parts: Study showed the aqueous and ethanol extracts of aerial parts of Rosmarinus officinalis could diminish morphine withdrawal syndrome in mice.
• Rosemary Scent / Cognitive Benefits: Study suggests the aroma of rosemary may boost cognitive performance. The study assessed cognitive performance and mood in 20 volunteers exposed to 1,8-cineole. Participants performed serial subtraction and visual information processing tasks in cubicles diffused with aroma of rosemary. Results suggested serum levels of 18-cineole correlated with performance outcomes (correct responses and reaction times). The relationship between cineole and mood was “less pronounced.” Results presented implications for Alzheimer’s disease. 1,8-cineole is a simple monoterpene-type compound found in many essential oils. The compound can inhibit acetylcholinesterase, a key enzyme in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. Study concludes the compounds absorbed from rosemary aroma affect cognition and subjective state independently through different neurochemical pathways.
• Anti-Proliferative / Antioxidant: Study evaluated the anti-proliferative property of R. officinalis on several human cancer cell lines and its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro in a mouse RAW 264.7 macrophage/monocyte cell line. Results showed the crude ethanolic extract to have differential anti-proliferative effects on human leukemia and breast carcinoma cells. RO also showed substantil antioxidant activity.
• Antibacterial / Anti-Cancer / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the essential oil of Rosmarinus officinalis and three of its main components 1,8-cineole, α-pinene, and β-pinene for in vitro antibacterial activities and toxicology properties. The essential oil possessed similar antibacterial activities to α-pinene, and a little bit better than β-pinene, while 1,8-cineole possessed the lowest antibacterial activities. The essential oil also exhibited strongest cytotoxicity towards three human cancer cells.
• Lipid Benefits and Hypoglycemic Effects: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic and lipid effects of RO in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats treated with rosemary for four weeks. Results showed a decrease in sugar, total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL with an increase in HDL cholesterol.
• Effects on Renal Ischemia and Reperfusion: Study evaluated the effect of intake of oral rosemary extract (gavage) on hemodynamic changes and tissue damages caused by I/R (ischemia / reperfusion. Results showed a significant reduction in plasma creatinine, BUN, absolute excretion of sodium, and an increase in absolute potassium excretion. Histopathological exam revealed a significant decrease in vascular congestion, Bowman’s capsule space and oxidative stress.
• Male Antifertility Potential: Study evaluated the antifertility potential of an ethanolic extract of R. officinalis in male albino rats. Results showed microscopic changes in the testis, compression of most of the seminiferous tubules, with irregular basement membrane and devoid of spermatogenic cells. Study revealed morphological evidence of dose dependent antifertility potential.
• Antihypotensive / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the effect of essential oil on primary hypotension. Results showed a clinically significant antihypotensive effect.
• Renoprotective / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the protective role of rosemary on CCl4-induced renal damage. Exposure to CCl4 is known to induce the formation of reactive oxygen species. Results showed a renoprotective effect which was attributed to its antioxidant activity.
• Androgenic Effect / Male Contraceptive Potential: Study evaluated the hormonal and cellular effects of Rosmarinus officinalis extract on testes of adult male Wistar rats. Results showed RO may have some hormonal and cellular effects on the testes which may contribute to the spermatogenesis process in rat. RO may have androgenic effect and a potential as an herbal male contraceptive.

Rosemary oil in the cybermarket.