Rosemary oil is one of the most used essential oils in aromatherapy. Its fame comes mostly for its properties that can enhance hair growth without any side effects, but it is also very appreciated by any students about to have an important test as it increases cognitive performance. Find out more about this oil benefits below.
Benefits of rosemary oil
Rosemary oil is generally accepted by the scientific community as a beneficial oil thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Nevertheless, many of the claimed benefits of this oil remain uncertain today due to the great variations in its content. Even the analysis of its antioxidant content is hindered by the fact that geographical location and type of processing play a big influencing role.
The following benefits are the ones with a more solid scientific base, where this oil or the plant was studied alone and not in combination with other oils or extracts.
It may enhance memory
Inhaling the aroma of rosemary oil activates the brain and may improve memory and cognitive performance. In a small 2017 study, high school students exposed to this oil presented a better image memory and number memorization than the control group.
These results are in line with those of a 2013 study, in which rats with Alzheimer showed an improvement in their long-term memory, albeit after consuming the leaves and not the oil of rosemary.
Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial
Rosemary oil may present anti-inflammatory and psycho-stimulant effects.
In a 2013 study, powdered leaves of this plant were tested as possible part of a treatment to help with the symptoms of opium withdrawal. The individuals ingesting these leaves reported less bone pain, perspiration and insomnia, leading the scientists to conclude that rosemary has soothing properties that might help in the short-term with the main symptoms of withdrawal.
May help with hair growth
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, rosemary essential oil may help soothe irritation on the scalp and create a suitable environment for the growth of new hair.
In a 2015 study, the effects of this oil were compared to those of minoxidil 2%, the most effective OTC hair loss medication. The researchers concluded that rosemary oil worked in a very similar way as the latter, and even the time required for results to become significant were the same.
However, the individuals under study reported feeling much less scalp itching when using the oil.
It may work as a stimulant
The fact that the aroma of rosemary affects the cognitive performance already proves that it affects the brain and its working.
Scientists have also found out that this effect might be partially due to the stimulant effect of this oil. In a 2013 study, the individuals exposed to the scent of rosemary oil reported increased heart rates, blood pressure and respiratory rate after the inhalation of the oil and their alertness levels were raised too.
How to use
You can use this oil topically or inhale its aroma to collect its benefits.
In the first case, you must remember to mix it with a carrier oil or it might irritate and burn your skin. You can add a few drops to your moisturizer, for instance, or use the general rule of aromatherapy of 10 drops of oil for 1 oz. of a carrier oil, such as olive, almond or coconut oil.
To inhale the aroma of rosemary oil, there is no need to mix it with a carrier. You can simply put a few drops in a handkerchief and take a sniff whenever you need to or add a few drops to your essential oil diffuser and let the aroma perfume your home.
For hair growth, the principle is the same. You can either mix the oil with a carrier and massage it into your scalp or simply add a few drops to your regular shampoo and use it as per usual.
How to make
Put the fresh rosemary stalks in a dry, dark and warm place and let them dry out for several hours. The drier they get, the better, as moist can contaminate the oil with mold or spoil it.
Separate the leaves from the stalks and add them to the upper part of a double-boiler together with 2 to 3 ounces of grapeseed oil or other preferred oil. Let it simmer on low heat for 3 hours. If you’re using a crockpot, mix the leaves and the same amount of grapeseed oil, set it on the lowest heat and leave it cooking for 3h.
Use a strainer to pour the oil into a clean, airtight glass jar and keep it in a cool and dark place.
Rosemary oil ready to use
Check out below a different method of preparing homemade rosemary oil to make it immediately available to use on your hair without needing to mix it with a carrier oil.