Rosemary Tea: 10 Incredible Benefits & How to Prepare It

Clinical review: Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
January 2022

Rosemary tea is recognized by its taste and smell, and by the health benefits it has, like improving digestive health, relieving headaches and fatigue, and promoting hair growth.

This plant, scientifically known as Rosmarinus officinalis, is rich in flavonoids, terpenes and phenolic acid, all which contain antioxidant properties. It also contains antiseptic, detoxifying, antispasmodic, antibiotic and diuretic effects, which can make it a great source for the treatment of various health problems. 

Learn about the 10 benefits that rosemary tea can have below:

1. Improvement of digestion

Rosemary tea can be taken right after lunch or dinner, as it help with digestion by reducing acid and excess gas. It can help to decrease abdominal bloating and loss of appetite.

2. Natural antibiotic

Because of its medicinal properties, rosemary contains antibiotic properties, and is particularly effective in treating bacteria like Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella enterica and Shigella sonnei (which are bacteria commonly associated with urinary infections, vomiting and diarrhea).

Although rosemary tea is a great way to quickly recover from infection, it should not replace medical treatment as prescribed by your doctor.

3. Excellent diuretic

Rosemary tea is an excellent natural diuretic that can be used in diets targeted at weight loss and reducing retained fluid. This tea increases the production of urine, which stimulates the body to eliminate fluid and built-up toxins, which will improve overall health.

4. Fighting mental fatigue

Many studies support the benefits rosemary has for mental function, and therefore it is an excellent option for times of high stress (e.g. before a test or before an important work meeting).

In addition, rosemary can have a positive effect with respect to Alzheimer’s by preventing memory loss (however, more studies on the use of rosemary in Alzheimer’s medications is still needed to confirm this).

5. Promote liver health

Rosemary can work to improve liver function and improve headaches associated with excessive eating or drinking (especially when food is high in fat content).

Nonetheless, rosemary tea should not be consumed without medical supervision if you have a history of liver disease. Although it can have a protective effect, its effectiveness in the presence of diseases is not very well known.

6. Management of diabetes

Rosemary tea can also help to manage diabetes, as it decreases glucose and increases insulin. Consuming this tea, however, should not substitute prescribed medication or a healthy, diabetic diet. It should be taken solely as a complement to medical treatment.

7. Treating inflammation

Rosemary tea can be an excellent way to treat inflammation and relieve pain, swelling and general malaise. It can help with various types of inflammation as seen in the joints, tendons and even the stomach.

8. Improvement of circulation

Rosemary contains an antiplatelet effect, and therefore it can be beneficial for those with a history of circulation problems, or for people who need to be on total bed rest for several days. Rosemary can improve circulation and prevent the formation of clots (which can cut-off circulation). This tea is frequently recommended following surgery, for example.

9. Fighting cancer

Some studies done in animals suggest that rosemary is able to reduce the development of tumor cells due to its antioxidant properties. Nonetheless, more studies are needed to identify exactly how this plant can be used in the production of anti-cancer medication.

10. Hair growth

In addition to all the above benefits, rosemary tea can also be used to wash hair. It helps to strengthen hair strands, reduce oily scalp and reduce dandruff. It also helps to promote hair growth, as it improves circulation to the scalp.

How to make rosemary tea

Ingredients

  • 5 g of fresh rosemary leaves
  • 250 ml (or 8 oz) of boiling water

How to prepare

Add the rosemary to a pot of hot water and allow it to soak for 5 to 10 minutes, with the pot covered. Strain with a mesh sieve and wait for it to cool. You can take this, unsweetened, 3 to 4 times per day. 

In addition to using it in tea, rosemary can also be used as an aromatic herb to season certain foods. It is available as dried leaves, or in oil form, or as fresh branches. The essential oil form can be particularly used as an addition to bath water, or as a massage oil for painful regions of the body.

How long can I take the tea for?

There is no defined limit for drinking rosemary tea. However herb and plant specialists recommend taking rosemary tea for 3 months at a time, with at least 1 month break intervals.

Are dried or fresh leaves best for use?

Fresh leaves are ideal, as rosemary's highest therapeutic potential is most found within its naturally-occurring oil (which will be found in higher concentrations in fresh leaves). 

Can I prepare rosemary tea with cinnamon?

Yes, there are no contraindications to using cinnamon together with the rosemary. All You need to do is add a cinnamon stick to the tea recipe.

Possible side effects

Rosemary tea is considered to be very safe, however drinking it in large quantities can result in nausea and vomiting.

Essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin, as it can cause dermal irritation. It should be avoided on open wounds. Rosemary oil can also trigger seizures in people with epilepsy.

People who take medication for high blood pressure should use rosemary with caution, as rosemary tea can cause a drop in blood pressure. Those who take diuretics should also be careful, as rosemary can also cause electrolyte imbalances.

Contraindications and considerations

Rosemary tea should not be consumed by pregnant or breastfeeding women or by children under the age of 5. People with liver disease should also avoid drinking this tea, as it can trigger the release of bilirubin, which can worsen the disease and any symptoms.

Rosemary can also interact with medications like anticoagulants, diuretics, lithium and antihypertensives. Therefore, if you are taking any of these medications, you should consult your doctor before drinking rosemary tea.

Some studies also show that rosemary essential oil can also trigger seizures in people with epilepsy. Therefore, if you have a history of epilepsy, rosemary should be used with caution and under medical guidance.

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Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em January de 2022. Clinical review por Tatiana Zanin - Registered Dietitian, em January de 2022.

References

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Clinical review:
Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
Graduated in Clinical Nutrition in 2001 and has a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition. Licensed to practice under the CRN-3 in Brazil and the ON in Portugal