Rosemary has a long history of culinary, medicinal and non-medicinal use. Doctors in the Middle Ages, like their Greek and Roman predecessors, believed in the health benefits of rosemary oil and rosemary leaves.
This belief that rosemary is good for one’s health has travelled through the centuries, and age-old herbal remedies still survive and are regaining their popularity among people interested in natural healthcare.
So much so, in fact, that modern scientific study has put rosemary under the microscope to answer once and for all, is rosemary good for you?
Recent research on rosemary has suggested that it can:
1. Improve memory
2. Slow the onset of arthritis, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and other debilitating illnesses
3. Reduce inflammation
4. Encourage hair growth
Rosemary: a history of health benefitsRosemary is best known for the sumptuous flavour it adds to certain meals. Many of us who enjoy Mediterranean cooking (and eating) are familiar with the taste of dried rosemary. But there is much more to this plant than meets the eye – or taste buds.
The herb has long been thought to help improve memory. In Shakespeare’s famed tragedy, Hamlet, written around the year 1600, Ophelia says: "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance." Ancient Greek scholars were known to twine rosemary in their hair when studying for exams in the hope of retaining more knowledge. And still to this day, a sprig of rosemary is used as a symbol for Remembrance Day in various parts of the world – often entwined with the poppy flower.
In medieval times, people placed rosemary under their heads when sleeping to ward off nightmares. It was also a key ingredient in Hungary Water, Europe’s first alcohol-based perfume. The oldest surviving recipe from the 14th century calls for distilling fresh rosemary with strong brandy! In fact, the Queen of Hungary herself used the concoction to rub on her hands and feet to relieve the symptoms of gout.
Fast-forward to the 21st century, and rosemary is back in the health spotlight – and this time with scientific and medical evidence to back it up.
Why rosemary is good for your healthSo, why exactly is rosemary good for you?
Recent scientific studies have investigated the health benefits of glucosamine, carsonic acid, rosmarinic acid and sesamol – all powerful compounds found in rosemary. These compounds are known for their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Glucosamine is specifically good for strengthening joints and cartilage, and can prevent the development and progression of osteoarthritis.
When ingested in regular quantities, rosemary can give the immune system a boost, ease chronic inflammation and reinforce joints. Studies have also revealed that rosemary contains fatty acids which could help prevent the spread of cancerous cells.
Mainstream medicine has yet to fully accept the healing properties of plants, but the alternative medicine community encourages the use of rosemary. Rosemary oil is used in aromatherapy treatments to strengthen hair and encourage new hair growth, improve memory and lower stress levels.
Rosemary extract is available in tablets and now, in drink form. No1 Rosemary Water is the world’s first and only pure rosemary extract drink. It provides people with a delicious and easy way to get their daily dose of rosemary.
The study of rosemary
Ongoing scientific study reveals increasing evidence that rosemary is good for your memory. A recent small-scale test carried out by Dr Mark Moss of Northumbria University, found that pupils working in a room infused with rosemary, in the form of an essential oil, achieved 5% to 7% better results in memory tests.
In another experiment, Dr Moss tested the effects of rosemary on older adults and the results were equally impressive. Sixty volunteers were spread out among three rooms: one infused with the aroma of rosemary, one with lavender and one with no aroma. They were then given a series of memory tasks to perform, and the volunteers in the room infused with rosemary performed significantly better than the others.
Acciaroli, a small village in Italy that inspired the creation of No1 Rosemary Water, is home to many happy and healthy centenarians. Professor Alan Maisel’s studies of the village have revealed nothing unusual in the lifestyles of its inhabitants – expect that the villagers eat a lot of rosemary. They eat the herb every day and quite possibly do not suffer as commonly from age-related chronic diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s, as a result.
So, is rosemary good for you? All signs point to yes.
Get your daily health kick of rosemary and hydrate your system at the same time. Our delicious No1 Rosemary Water is available online or at selected outlets in the UK.