Rosemary Essential Oil

I love rosemary! And rosemary essential oil smells just like it. Plus it has some incredible health benefits. Find out more about rosemary essential oil here.

Rosemary essential oil

Rosemary Essential Oil Properties


The plant’s botanical name is Rosmarinus officinalis. Pretty obvious, right? Verify this name on the bottle before buying rosemary oil.

Color & Scent

This oil is usually colorless but may have a pale yellow tinge. And what does rosemary oil smell like? Well, it is pretty unique with woody, camphor-like tones.

What is in rosemary essential oil?

There are about 29 compounds in rosemary oil. The main compounds include: 1,8-cineole (45%), camphor (13%), alpha-pinene (12%), beta-pinene (8%), camphene (5%), beta-caryophyllene (4%), limonene (3%), and borneol (3%).

Benefits of Rosemary Essential Oil

These compounds make rosemary essential oil great for hair, skin, and more. Here are just some of the benefits of rosemary essential oil:

  • reduces hair loss
  • boosts mood
  • increases alertness
  • helps with depression
  • neutralizes free radicals
  • kills cancer cells in vitro
  • reduces inflammation
  • kills bacteria and fungi
  • repels and kills bugs


Rosemary oil for hair growth

The oil can help with male-pattern baldness, hair thinning and more. So you can definitely use rosemary oil for hair growth. And studies prove it!

A 2015 study compared the topical use of rosemary oil to 2% minoxidil on 100 men with androgenic alopecia (the medical term for male-pattern hair loss).

Side note: minoxidil (sold as Rogaine) is an FDA approved drug that stimulates hair growth and it’s actually believed to be one of the more effective hair loss drugs.

Back to the study: the researchers asked the men to either use rosemary oil or minoxidil on their scalp for 6 months. They also checked the men’s hair growth progress using microphotographic assessment before, 3 months into and 6 months after the study.

The results were remarkable. At the 3-month mark, neither group showed any major change with respect to their mean hair count but both groups experienced significant increases at the end of the 6 months. In fact, both groups had similar results, meaning rosemary oil was just as powerful as the effective, FDA approved minoxidil for improving hair growth. And minoxidil actually caused more irritation to the scalp than rosemary oil!

So you can use rosemary oil for hair growth, reducing hair loss and male-pattern baldness without the terrible irritation associated with current topical drugs.

Rosemary oil increases alertness

Several clinical trials have proven these effects. For instance, a 2003 study asked 144 healthy volunteers to do a series of tests while inhaling rosemary essential oil. The results revealed rosemary oil significantly improved memory, alertness and mood.

A similar study was also done in 2013. This study measured the heart rate, blood pressure, and mood states of 20 volunteers before, during and after smelling rosemary oil. At the end, the volunteers said they felt more active, alert, and fresh. Their measurements showed increases in blood pressure and heart rate; which is also indicative of greater alertness.

So use rosemary essential oil to boost your mood, re-energize yourself and help you concentrate!

Rosemary helps with depression

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Animal studies, including this 2013 one, have proven rosemary essential oil has antidepressant benefits.

Rosemary essential oil is antioxidant

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Multiple studies suggest rosemary oil has very good free radical scavenging properties. Free radicals can damage cells which may lead to many health problems including cancer. And antioxidant compounds or free radical scavengers can neutralize these radicals and so protect cells from potential damage.

A 2010 study demonstrated rosemary essential oil’s high antioxidant effects. And it was found to be far more potent than the compound 1,8-cineole by itself. This means there are many free radical scavenging, antioxidant compounds in the oil.

Rosemary oil may have anticancer properties

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There are several cell culture studies that suggest rosemary oil has antiprolific, cytotoxic and anticancer properties. However, remember that results from cell cultures may not always translate to the human body since the body is far more complex than a petri dish.

That being said, a 2012 study used rosemary oil on three human cancer cell types. The results showed very little concentrations (below 0.1%) were needed to kill the cancer cells.

Isn’t rosemary oil truly amazing?

Rosemary essential oil is anti-inflammatory

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A 2008 study tested rosemary oil on mice edema. Researchers found the oil significantly inhibited the edema between one to four hours after use. This makes rosemary essential oil a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. And the study also went on to show the oil has pain-killing properties too.

Of course, this means you can use rosemary oil to reduce redness, acne, inflammed spots and painful areas on your body.

Rosemary is antibacterial

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There are a lot (and I mean a lot) of studies that prove rosemary oil has antibacterial properties.

And a 2012 study showed these properties are due to the compounds: 1,8-cineole, alpha-pinene, and beta-pinene. In fact, the compounds have a synergistic effect, meaning they are stronger together than separately.

It is antifungal too

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Typically, essential oils with strong antibacterial properties also have good anti-fungal effects. And rosemary essential oil is no different.

Rosemary oil is an insecticide

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The final benefit of rosemary essential oil is that it has insecticidal, insect repellent, larvicidal and ovicidal properties. And there are several studies that show these effects on mosquitoes, moths, and other insects.

A 2008 article went further to show 1,8-cineole, camphor, beta-pinene and borneol were the compounds responsible for rosemary’s insecticidal benefits.
Summary of Rosemary Essential Oil Benefits
Rosemary essential oil benefits

Rosemary Essential Oil Uses

Here are a few rosemary essential oil uses for you to try.

Add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to your vaporizer to boost your mood, improve your concentration and keep away depression. That woody, camphor-like smell is sure to help you focus and study.

Rosemary oil can also be blended with lavender, sandalwood and other earthy oils.

Before using rosemary essential oil on your skin, be sure to do a skin patch test. This test will verify if you are allergic to the oil or not. If you aren’t allergic, be sure to dilute the oil. Add about 3-5 drops of rosemary oil to 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil (like coconut or avocado oil) and apply to your skin and hair.

You can also blend rosemary, sandalwood, and lavender oils (in a 1:1:1 ratio) with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil and use this mix on your hair.

More Precautions
This is really important! Do not ingest rosemary essential oil! A 2010 animal study showed high levels of ingested rosemary oil caused cell DNA damage in the animals. That means the oil does have genotoxic and mutagenic capabilities.

So keep the oil out of the reach of children, pets and anyone that can accidentally swallow the oil.

Also do not use rosemary oil if you are pregnant, epileptic or suffer from high blood pressure. And be sure to check with your doctor before trying this oil.

Where to buy rosemary essential oil

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