Rosemary: Nutritional Properties and Health Benefits

Sarah Gaur

January 16, 2022

Rosemary is an evergreen plant with needle-shaped leaves. It has a unique fragrance of wood. It has been in use for ages because of its healing properties. The essential oil is extracted from rosemary leaves. Rosemary is famous worldwide for food seasoning. It’s versatile and easy to use. It is in high demand for its aroma and medicinal properties. It has also found its way to cosmetics as a popular ingredient.

Nutritional Value of Rosemary

Adding rosemary to your food won’t significantly change the overall nutrient content of the food. Unfortunately, one tablespoon of rosemary doesn’t contain a significant amount of micronutrients to fulfil the body’s daily requirements. However, the nutritional composition changes with different rosemary plants and leaves concentrations. 

100 grams of rosemary contains:

  • Proteins- 4.9 g
  • Water- 9.3 g
  • Calories- 331
  • Carbohydrates- 64 g  
  • Total fat- 15 g           

Health Benefits of Rosemary

1. Promotes Hair Growth

Androgenetic alopecia is quite common. It is often called male pattern baldness. However, this condition sometimes affects women also. As per studies, rosemary oil helps stop a byproduct of testosterone from destroying the hair follicles. This byproduct is responsible for androgenetic alopecia.

Few studies have found that rosemary oil can help with alopecia areata or patchy loss of hair. This condition affects up to half of those under 21 and roughly 20% of the population between 40 and above. 

When massaged into the scalp, rosemary essential oil improves hair growth by 22%. In addition, rubbing the oil on the head boosts circulation on the scalp leading to a better supply of blood cells to the hair follicles.

Rosemary oil improves hair health, reduces baldness, and ensures hair growth. It contains carnosic acid. This compound effectively prevents the oxidation of certain types of cells. 

Oxidants are highly reactive molecules that can damage cellular molecules like DNA, proteins and lipids. Therefore, it can cause the cells to malfunction. Rosemary oil is an excellent tonic for overall hair health and beauty. It stalls greying, increases shine, and fights and lowers dandruff.

Take 4 to 5 drops of rosemary oil and massage it gently over your scalp for a few minutes regularly to see results. 

2. Improves Brain Function

As per studies, sniffing in rosemary oil helps avoid the breakdown of acetylcholine. It is a brain chemical vital for reasoning, focus, and memory. Some alternative medicine practitioners suggest interesting uses of rosemary. For example, inhaling rosemary oil also helps patients with dementia and Alzheimer. The loss of neurons is a significant cause of Alzheimers. Rosemary contains the chemical compound of diterpenes. These chemicals limit the death of neurons and therefore help in Alzheimer.

As per research, rosemary also significantly aids in preventing brain ageing. Brain ageing happens due to free radicals that lead to oxidative stress and ageing. 

To gain the brain-related advantages of rosemary oil, mix a few drops of the oil into your lotion and rub it on your neck. You can also inhale the scent of the oil by bringing your nose close to the container with oil. 

3. Relieve Stress and Anxiety

According to a study, even breathing the scent of rosemary essential oil can reduce blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone of the body. Tension, anxiety, or any thoughts or experience that sets the body in a “fight-or-flight” state causes high cortisol levels. In a state of chronic anxiety or stress, cortisol can promote weight gain, high blood pressure, and heart disease. 

Mix six tablespoons of water, two tablespoons vodka, and ten drops of rosemary oil in a tiny spray bottle to make an anti-stress aromatherapy spray. Spray this mix over your pillow or near your study area to relieve tension.

4. Reduces Pain and Inflammation

Rosemary oil has significant usage for its anti-inflammatory nature. Inflammation leads to joint pains, swellings, redness etc. Rosemary helps relieve pain when gently massaged onto the affected body part with its anti-inflammatory nature. One can use it to treat headaches, sprains, muscle discomfort or pain, as well as rheumatism and arthritis. For example, it helps with arthritis pain by numbing the nerve endings that signal the brain to feel pain. 

According to an animal study, rosemary oil is comparatively more effective for pain relief than acetaminophen, a commonly used pain reliever.

Add one teaspoon of any carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil into five drops of rosemary oil. Apply it on the area with pain. 

5. Contains Antioxidants and Anti-inflammatory Compounds

Rosemary is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Inflammation is harmful to health.

Chronic inflammation can cause diseases like arthritis, cancer and depression. Chronic inflammation happens due to abnormal functioning of the immune system. These compounds are widely recognised to stimulate blood circulation and strengthen the immune system. A robust immune system helps the body fight infections and pathogens. 

Uses of Rosemary

1. Can be used as an Insect Repellant:

Rosemary oil is an excellent alternative to the chemical substances that keep harmful insects away. Due to its intense and woody scent, rosemary can also aid in deterring blood-sucking insects that can carry viruses and germs, resulting in infections. Compared to 11 other essential oils, rosemary oil had the most effective repellent effect on Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which spread the Zika virus. As per a study on the dilution of 12.5% rosemary oil, 100% of the mosquitoes were successfully repelled for around 90 minutes. 

2. Can be used as a Herbal Mouthwash:

Rosemary essential oil contains antibacterial properties, making it a great option to fight bad breath. In addition, one can use it as a regular mouthwash and breath freshener. Add a few drops of the essential oil to water and put the mix in your mouth. Swirl it inside your mouth but do not swallow it. Not only does it fight bad breath, but it also reduces plaque accumulation, cavities, and gingivitis by destroying germs.

3. Can be used as Dryer Sheets:

Fill a small zipper pouch with dried rosemary sprigs. Toss it in the dryer with your recently cleaned garments for an easy yet fantastic way to fragrance your laundry organically. You may even make a sachet out of dried lavender.

Recipes using Rosemary

1. Lemon Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Rosemary: Nutritional Properties and Health Benefits- HealthifyMe
  • Serving: 6
  • Preparation time: 1 hour 


  • Halved potatoes: 3 pounds
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Minced garlic: 3 cloves
  • Dried Rosemary: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Unsalted butter: 1 tablespoon
  • Chopped parsley leaves: 2 tablespoons
  • Rosemary; 2 sprigs


  1. Let the oven preheat at 400 degrees F. Take a baking sheet and lightly oil it, or use a nonstick spray to coat the sheet.
  2. Put the potatoes on the oiled baking sheet in a single layer. 
  3. Season with salt and pepper after adding the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and rosemary to the potatoes. Toss the mixture gently.
  4. Bake it in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until it turns golden brown. Add butter once baked. 
  5. Serve and garnish with rosemary.

2. Creamy Dijon Rosemary Chicken

Rosemary: Nutritional Properties and Health Benefits- HealthifyMe
  • Serving: 4
  • Preparation time: 1 hour


  • Chicken breasts cut in half: 2
  • Flour: 0.5 cup
  • Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Butter: ½ tablespon
  • Rosemary: 3 sprigs
  • White wine: 1/2cup
  • Minced garlic: 3 cloves
  • Dijon mustard: 3 tablespoons
  • Greek Yoghurt: 1 cup
  • Whipped cream: 1 tablespoon
  • Salt & pepper as per taste


  1. Take a pan and heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Take the chicken breasts and cut them in half for four cutlets. Cover each piece with flour. 
  3. Put the chicken pieces covered in flour into the airfryer. . 
  4. Remove the stems from the rosemary needles and place them in the pan. Allow the rosemary to soften for a minute.
  5. Mix the wine, garlic, and Dijon mustard in a large bowl. Stir until the sauce is smooth, then put the greek yoghurt and whipped mixture and chicken into the pan. 
  6. Cook it over medium-low heat for the next 8 to 10 minutes. Wait till you cook the chicken properly from within and the sauce has thickened. 
  7. Use salt and pepper for seasoning. 

3. Pasta in Lemon Rosemary and Goat Cheese Sauce

Rosemary: Nutritional Properties and Health Benefits- HealthifyMe
  • Servings: 4
  • Preparation time: 1 hour


  • Uncooked pasta: 3 cups
  • Unsalted butter: 1 tablespoons
  • All-purpose flour: 2 tablespoon
  • Whole milk: 2 ½ cups
  • Medium size lemons zested: 4
  • Plain goat cheese: 6 ounces
  • Chopped Rosemary: 2 teaspoon
  • Spinach leaves: 1 ½ cups


  1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pasta pack. Please put it in a vessel after draining the water.
  2. Put butter and flour in a pan over medium heat. Heat the pan until the butter melts, and then mix it with the flour.
  3. Add milk slowly to the flour and keep whisking gently to avoid the formation of lumps.
  4. Mix the zest, goat cheese, and rosemary after pouring the milk and mixing entirely in the pan. Continue to stir till the cheese has melted and the sauce has no lumps.
  5. Use a spatula to fold the spinach and pasta together carefully. The heat will make the spinach loose  and saggy. 
  6. Serve with some rosemary sprinkled on it. 

Possible Side-effects and Precautions

For centuries, herbs have been a popular source of bolstering the body and healing disease. However, they can cause adverse reactions and react in contact with other herbs, vitamins, or pharmaceuticals. As a result, you should use herbs with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

It is safe to consume rosemary if one sticks to recommended doses. However, there have been cases where it has led to allergic reactions. In addition, due to the volatile nature of its oil concentration, large amounts of rosemary leaves can induce dangerous side effects, such as vomiting, spasms, coma, and, in some circumstances, pulmonary oedema (a case where fluid collects in lungs). 

Pregnant and lactating women should avoid rosemary supplements because of the oil’s uterine and menstrual flow stimulant effects. Larger dosages can result in miscarriage. It is, nevertheless, safe to use as a spice in meals. People who have high blood pressure should avoid rosemary. It contains a substance called thujone that can increase blood pressure. If consumed orally, rosemary oil can be harmful. Therefore, stick to external usage. 


Rosemary essential oil is a popular choice in aromatherapy, not only because of its sweet smell but also because it can relax the body while revitalising the brain. Rosemary oil is excellent for oral, hair, and skin health. In addition, rosemary oil has medical and therapeutic properties. Use them judiciously to reap maximum properties. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does rosemary do to the body?

A: Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, improving immunity and blood circulation. Antioxidants have several benefits, so consume rosemary in limited quantities to enjoy improved health. 

Q: What are the health benefits of rosemary leaves?

A: Rosemary leaves have a bunch of health benefits. For example, they are a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which help boost the immune system. It also improves blood circulation and neutralises harmful particles called free radicals.

Q: Who should not take rosemary?

A: People with high blood pressure, ulcers, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis should avoid consuming rosemary. In addition, pregnant women and lactating mothers should avoid it. 

Q: How do you use rosemary for healing?

A: The herb can be applied directly to the affected area or diluted with a carrier oil. You have to mix one teaspoon of carrier oil with five drops of rosemary oil for the healing process.

Q: Is rosemary good for the skin?

A: Yes, rosemary is good for the skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce swelling and puffiness of the skin. It also heals burns and soothes the skin.

Q: What are the nutrients in rosemary?

A: The nutritional value of rosemary is fantastic. A single sprig of rosemary has 3.9 calories, 0.1 grams of protein, 0.2 grams of fat, 0.6 grams of carbohydrates, 0.4 grams of fibre and 0 grams of sugar.

Q: How do you make rosemary water?

A: Put the rosemary leaves in a saucepan with enough water to drown them. Heat it on low heat for a few hours and then filter the hot water using a sieve. 

Q: Is rosemary good for kidneys?

A: Yes, it mitigates the seriousness of diethylnitrosamine-induced renal dysfunction, a type of disorder linked with kidneys. Thus, it can be used as a nutraceutical or dietary supplement.

Q: Does rosemary raise blood pressure?

A: Yes, rosemary raises blood pressure in people with low blood pressure. They should take rosemary oil three times per day.

Q: What are the most common uses for rosemary?

A: There are a lot of uses for rosemary. It can be used as a seasoning while cooking soups, casseroles, and salads. You can also use it with chicken and other poultry.

Q: How do you use rosemary for hair growth?

A: There are various uses of rosemary for hair growth. You can use the oil to massage the scalp directly or dilute it in a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil. You can also mix it in your shampoo, conditioners, and lotions.

Q: What are the side effects of rosemary?

A: There are numerous possible side effects of rosemary. Consuming large amounts of rosemary leaves can lead to vomiting, spasms, coma, and, in some circumstances, pulmonary oedema. 

Q: Does rosemary help you sleep?

A: Yes, because of its aromatic properties, it relaxes the mind and helps people sleep. 

Q: Is rosemary a natural antibiotic?

A: Yes, rosemary is a known antibiotic agent. The leaves can be powdered and used as a natural flea and tick repellant.

Q: Can people with diabetes use Rosemary oil?

A: Yes, Rosemary has polyphenolic constituents that help in diabetes so that diabetic people can use it. It is a healthful compound and works the same way as anti-diabetic medication.

About the Author

A nutritionist by profession and a writer by passion, Sarah holds an MSc. in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics from Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences, Pune. She believes in changing lives, one meal at a time with a holistic approach towards overall healing. Her mission is to modify the nutritional habits and behaviors of our next generation to optimize their long-term health and reduce the likelihood of metabolic diseases. Apart from working, she loves to sing, swirl scribble and spread smiles.

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