Antioxidants are the primary source of many of the health benefits of rosemary. These benefits include stimulating your immune system and brain function, improved circulation, digestion and protection from cancer-causing toxins.
Rosemary health benefits come from caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid, both of which are potent antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory agents. Rosemary is also a good source of vitamin E. Many herbal medicinal preparations contain rosemary oil.
It's a little-known fact that herbs (and spices) such as rosemary have far greater concentrations of antioxidants than any common fruit or vegetable. Herbs also contain a particularly wide variety of antioxidants as well, making them one of the top antioxidant foods around.
Antioxidants are nutrient compounds found in virtually all plant foods (and also manufactured in your body). The primary job of antioxidants is to protect your cells against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals, considered to be the primary cause of the aging process.
Protecting yourself against free radicals with antioxidants is the most effective way to reduce the risk of many health problems associated with aging. The benefits of antioxidants include powerful protection against all types of degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and many more.
Antioxidants work together, synergistically, and each one has its own specific characteristics and benefits. One antioxidant may work in places in the body where another one can't go, and neutralize free radicals that other antioxidants miss. Therefore, getting the widest variety of antioxidants is just as important as how much of any one antioxidant you get. See my page on How Do Antioxidants Work? to learn more about this.
Improved Mental Capacity. Rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration. It stimulates mental activity and is a good remedy for depression and mental fatigue, and can relieve some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Inhaling rosemary oil can lift your spirits immediately.
Respiratory Problems. The benefits of rosemary oil in treating respiratory problems are well known. Rosemary oil gives relief from respiratory allergies, cold, throat congestion, sore throat and flu. Since rosemary oil is antiseptic it is effective for respiratory infections as well. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory properties that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks.
Indigestion. The benefits of rosemary oil are often used for indigestion, flautulence and stomach cramps. Rosemary can be added to meat dishes as it helps in digesting these, especially lamb, beef and pork. It does this by causing the gallbladder to produce greater quantities of bile. Rosemary suppresses symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as flatulence and intestinal cramping.
Cancer Prevention. Another health benefit of rosemary extract is an ability to protect the body from certain carcinogens such as alfatoxin and help defuse carcinogens through the liver. Research is also being carried out to study its potential in treating various types of caners including colon, stomach, breast and lung cancer. Rosemary has also been shown to protect DNA from cancerous-causing chemicals.
Other Health Benefits of Rosemary. A daily dose of rosemary extract in liquid form can improve kidney function significantly. Other claimed health benefits of rosemary oil include its usage for disorders in menstrual cramps, peptic ulcer, urine flow, prostrate, gall bladder, intestine, cataract, heart and sperm mobility. Rosemary acts as a fungicide by killing candida yeast and destroying any yeast-infected cells.
The health benefits of rosemary are so numerous, ideally you'd want to have some every day. However, as with any herb or spice, you may find it impractical to include rosemary in your meal plans that often. There's an easy way to accomplish this — by making yourself a fresh smoothie every day and adding some rosemary and other spices to your recipe.
Fresh smoothies make for some of the most nutritious, delicious and easy-to-make meals you could imagine. They're a great way to get more of those "good for you" antioxidant-rich foods (that you may not get enough of) into your diet.
I personally use herbs such as basil, cilantro and parsley in my green smoothie recipes to give them more of the benefits of dark green leafy vegetables. Because they're so concentrated with antioxidants, you can use a much smaller amount than you would with other greens like kale or spinach, and they won't overwhelm the flavor of your smoothie recipe.
I don't stop there, either. I like to use other spices such as cinnamon, cloves, ginger, turmeric and others in my smoothie recipes, mostly for their added antioxidant benefits. Once they're blended in with all the other ingredients, you can't really distinguish any one particular taste. You just need to experiment a little to get the flavor just right for you.
To learn more about the art of making smoothies, skip on over to my page on How to Make a Smoothie the Healthy Way and learn all my tricks for making delicious and nutritious smoothies!
To learn more about rosemary and ways to use it,
check out The World's Healthiest Foods/Rosemary
If you want to get all of the health benefits of rosemary, you'll want to stay away from typical supermarket brands of bottled spices. Most of them are irradiated in order to destroy microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses that might be present. Irradiation, however, damages the integrity of the spice — destroying vitamins, minerals, proteins and other beneficial micronutrients. Irradiation also creates more free radicals, just the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish by eating spices.
Starwest Botanicals started as a small retail herb shop in 1975 in Sacramento, California. From the beginning, their focus has been on quality; they source their products directly from around the world and process them in-house with their own herb mill to have more control over the finished product.
The Starwest company actively supports sustainable organic farming; as much as possible, they select ingredients from natural renewable sources and use renewable sources of energy.
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