site only

email Dan

Rosemary Can Protect Your Brain from Aging!


Rosemary is a well-known culinary and medicinal herb with a distinctly woody taste and a tangy, aromatic smell. This evergreen shrub is native to the Mediterranean area but now grows in most of the world. You can trace the use of this herb as far back as 500 BC and for centuries it has been used to treat the nervous system. Recent research is transforming the fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves that deliciously transform our food into a powerful tool for brain health and function.

Brain Health and Free Radical Damage!
In addition to its food enhancing properties, rosemary is a potent brain protector. Ancient Greeks believed it profoundly improved memory. Because of this Greek students used to wear wreaths made with this herb while taking their examinations.

Recent collaborative studies from the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, California and the Iwate University in Japan have now confirmed what the Greeks knew long ago. This herb contains an ingredient that fights off free radical damage in the brain. This active ingredient is carnosic acid. Carnosic acid can protect the brain from stroke and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Research published in both The Journal of Neurochemistry and Nature Reviews Neuroscience, has revealed that carnosic acid activates a unique signaling pathway that protects brain cells from free radical damage. This unique signaling pathway is so promising that the lead researchers, Dr. Takumi Satoh of Iwate University in Japan and Dr. Stuart Lipton of Burnham’s Del E. Webb Neuroscience, Aging, and Stem Cell Research Center, have applied for several US patents for a series of novel compounds based on the benefits of rosemary.

According to Dr. Satoh, “…it means that we can do even better in protecting the brain from terrible disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease, perhaps even slowing down the effects of normal aging, by developing new and improved cousins to the active ingredient in rosemary.” This herb is believed to prevent normal brain aging to help keep the brain youthful and sharp. This tasty herb is also thought to improve memory.

Cancer Prevention!
Recent research is also pointing toward the rosemary herb to help prevent cancer. In this case, the two ingredients that have shown therapeutic benefits are caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid. Both of these ingredients are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Additionally, this herb also contains monoterpenes, phenolic diterpenes, flavonoids, and vitamin E to help fight free radical damage.

According to research out of the Cancer Research Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences in the Slovak Republic, rosemary extract can significantly protect cellular DNA from free radical damage. Here in the United States, research continues to look at the imbalance of estrogen hormones in women as a leading contributor to breast cancer. Where as many of the pharmaceutical drugs can cause unpleasant side effects, this herb seems to offer a safe, natural alternative! Dr. Zhu from the Department of Chemical Biology, State University of New Jersey found that a 2 percent concentration of rosemary extract given for three weeks was able to significantly reduce excess estrogen.

Protects Both Your Skin and Liver!
The cosmetic industry is using the essential oil from this herb to help rejuvenate skin and strengthen capillaries. Researchers in Italy at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Catania have shown that rosemary extract helps to protect skin cells from free radical damage. Additionally, rosmarinic acid is well absorbed thru the skin to make it a very powerful anti-inflammatory agent.

Internally, this herb aids the liver in eliminating toxins from your system. French scientists at the National Institute of Agronomic Research in Dijon showed that rosemary extract encouraged the liver to produce higher quantities of detoxifying enzymes such as cytochrome P450, glutathione transferase, and quinone reductase. This helps your liver work more efficiently, which aids you in your health and energy.

Pregnant women should not take any form of rosemary extract. If you suffer from high blood pressure or epilepsy, you should not take any supplements that use this herb unless you have thoroughly discussed this with your physician and pharmacist.

Vegetarian Shepherds Pie
This herb can be found in fresh whole sprigs, fresh or dried whole-leaf form, and in powdered form. If you’re planning to use rosemary for its culinary benefits, then one of my favorite hearty winter dishes is vegetarian shepherd’s pie loaded with this healthy herb.

I am not the sort of cook that knows exact amounts, I play with recipes and they often come out in different variations… but this one is always a warming treat.

Serve with a large spinach, sprout and tomato salad with lots of olive oil and cider vinegar. (The extra oil and vinegar from the salad goes lovely with the pie.) If you are vegan and fancy that creaminess, you can top with avocado.

As Dan likes to say, “Until next time, may we both age youthfully”!

Synergistically yours,

Sheryl Walters

P.S.  Below are links to other Herbal Health and Aging articles contained on this website:

Herbal Health Care Tips and Precautions!

Cayenne Pepper!

Can Garlic Benefit Your Health?

Ginkgo Biloba for Improved Memory!


Return from Rosemary to Herbal Health

Return from Rosemary to Aging No More (Home Page)



The information contained in this website and posted articles are for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this website and posted articles has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.