Skip to content

    Find a Vitamin or Supplement


    Other Names:

    Compass Plant, Compass Weed, Encensier, Herbe Aux Couronnes, Old Man, Polar Plant, Romarin, Romarin Des Troubadours, Romero, Rose de Marie, Rose Des Marins, Rosée De Mer, Rosemarine, Rosmarinus officinalis, Rusmari, Rusmary.

    ROSEMARY Overview
    ROSEMARY Side Effects
    ROSEMARY Interactions
    ROSEMARY Dosing
    ROSEMARY Overview Information

    Rosemary is an herb. Oil is extracted from the leaf and used to make medicine.

    Rosemary is used for digestion problems, including heartburn, intestinal gas (flatulence), liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite. It is also used for gout, cough, headache, high blood pressure, and reducing age-related memory loss.

    Some women use rosemary for increasing menstrual flow and causing abortions.

    Rosemary is used topically (applied to the skin) for preventing and treating baldness; and treating circulation problems, toothache, a skin condition called eczema, and joint or muscle pain such as myalgia, sciatica, and intercostal neuralgia. It is also used for wound healing, in bath therapy (balneotherapy), and as an insect repellent.

    In foods, rosemary is used as a spice. The leaf and oil are used in foods, and the oil is used in beverages.

    In manufacturing, rosemary oil is used as a fragrant component in soaps and perfumes.

    How does it work?

    Although it's not clear how rosemary works for hair loss, applying it to the scalp irritates the skin and increases blood circulation.

    ROSEMARY Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

    Possibly Ineffective for:

    • Causing abortions.Taking rosemary by mouth does not seem to cause an abortion.

    Insufficient Evidence for:

    • Age-related mental decline. Early evidence suggests that taking 750 mg of powdered rosemary leaves in tomato juice might improve memory speed in healthy, older adults. However, taking higher doses (150-6000 mg) seems to make memory worse. There is also early evidence that suggests rosemary aromatherapy can improve the quality but not the speed of memory.
    • Hair loss. Early evidence shows that applying rosemary oil with lavender, thyme, and cedarwood oils to the scalp improves hair growth.
    • Stress. Early evidence about the effects of rosemary aromatherapy for anxiety and stress is unclear. Some evidence suggests that rosemary and lavender oil may reduce pulse rates, but not blood pressure, in people taking tests. Other research found that applying rosemary oil to the wrist increased feelings of anxiety and tension during testing.
    • Arthritis. Early research shows that taking a product containing rosemary, hops, and oleanolic acid (NG440 or Meta050) can reduce pain associated with arthritis.
    • Gas (flatulence).
    • Indigestion.
    • Increasing menstrual flow.
    • Gout.
    • Cough.
    • Headache.
    • Liver and gallbladder problems.
    • High blood pressure.
    • Toothache.
    • Eczema.
    • Other conditions.
    More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of rosemary for these uses.

    ROSEMARY Side Effects & Safety

    Rosemary is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in amounts found in foods. Rosemary is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when used as a medicine when taken by mouth, applied to the skin, or inhaled as aromatherapy.

    However, the undiluted oil is LIKELY UNSAFE to take by mouth. Taking large amounts of rosemary can cause vomiting, uterine bleeding, kidney irritation, increased sun sensitivity, skin redness, and allergic reactions.

    Special Precautions & Warnings:

    Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Rosemary is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts. Rosemary might stimulate menstruation or affect the uterus, causing a miscarriage. Not enough is known about the safety of applying rosemary to the skin during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, it’s best to avoid rosemary in amounts larger than food amounts.

    If you are breast-feeding, also steer clear of rosemary in medicinal amounts. Not enough is known about what effects it might have on the nursing infant.

    Aspirin allergy. Rosemary contains a chemical that is very similar to aspirin. This chemical, known a as salicylate, may cause a reaction in people who are allergic to aspirin.

    Bleeding disorders: Rosemary might increase the risk of bleeding and bruising in people with bleeding disorders. Use cautiously.

    Seizure disorders: Rosemary might make seizure disorders worse. Don’t use it.

    ROSEMARY Interactions What is this?

    We currently have no information for ROSEMARY Interactions

    ROSEMARY Dosing

    The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


    • For the treatment of bald spots (alopecia areata): A combination of the essential oils including 3 drops or 114 mg of rosemary, 2 drops or 88 mg of thyme, 3 drops or 108 mg of lavender, and 2 drops or 94 mg of cedarwood, all mixed with 3 mL of jojoba oil and 20 mL of grapeseed oil has been used. Each night, the mixture is massaged into the scalp for 2 minutes with a warm towel placed around the head to increase absorption.

    See 10 Reviews for this Treatment - OR -

    Review this Treatment

    Learn about User Reviews and read IMPORTANT information about user generated content

    Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

    This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

    Search for a Vitamin or Supplement

    Ex. Ginseng, Vitamin C, Depression

    Today on WebMD

    vitamin rich groceries
    Do you know your vitamin ABCs?
    St Johns wart
    Ease hot flashes and other symptoms.
    Are you getting enough?
    Take your medication
    Wonder pill or overkill?
    fruits and vegetables
    Woman sleeping
    Woman staring into space with coffee
    IMPORTANT: About This Section and Other User-Generated Content on WebMD

    The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatment or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

    Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.