Rosemary Oil: How to Make, 8 Health Benefits & Side Effects

Rosemary oil is extracted from the plant Rosmarinus officinalis, which is popularly known as rosemary. It can be used to complement  the treatment of infections, improve skin appearance, relieve indigestion and improve memory.

The benefits of rosemary oil are derived from  its antioxidant properties and other bioactive substances. It contains naturally digestive, antiseptic, stimulating and antimicrobial properties.

Rosemary oil can be purchased in health food stores or made at home. It should be stored in a warm, dark room to preserve its properties. Rosemary, the herb, can also be consumed in tea form, which can be taken 3 to 4 times day. Learn more about the benefits of rosemary tea and how to prepare it.

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How to make

To make rosemary oil at home, you must dry the rosemary sprigs and then place them in a glass jar. Add a base oil, such as coconut, almond or olive oil, for example to cover the sprigs and shake vigorously. Then store in a dry, dark place for about 2 weeks. Then strain the infusion and store in a glass jar.

It is important to dilute this oil in some water, as the infusion can be irritating to the skin. Children, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and people with a history of high blood pressure and/or digestive problems should not use rosemary oil. Despite its various health benefits, rosemary oil should only be used if approved by your doctor, as it may interact with some medications.

Health benefits

Rosemary essential oil can offer several health benefits such as:

1. Stimulating hair growth

This oil can be used to stimulate hair growth. It can also combat dandruff, thanks to its antifungal properties.

Also recommended: Home Remedies for Hair Growth: 8 Natural Options

How to use: Add a few drops of rosemary oil to your shampoo, and shampoo your hair as normal. You can also apply mix it with coconut oil and apply it directly to the scalp every 15 days. Massage this mixture lightly and then wash your hair normally with shampoo and conditioner.

2. Boosting memory

Rosemary also stimulates the nervous system, which can boost memory, concentration and cognitive functions. It can be used in the prevention and treatment of depression, anxiety and Alzheimer's.

How to use: Inhale the rosemary by adding a few drops of the oil into a cup of boiling water or by adding it to a diffuser. Learn more about the benefits of aromatherapy and how to perform it at home.

3. Promoting facial rejuvenation

Rosemary contains antioxidant properties which can decrease the levels of free radicals in the body. This can reduce skin damage, preventing the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes.Rosemary can also stimulate collagen production, which can reduce sagging of the skin and promote a more youthful appearance.

How to use: Facial rejuvenation can be achieved by applying rosemary oil diluted in water or coconut oil to the face. Spread the mixture evenly over the face in circular movements. Be sure to wipe off excess oil with a cloth dampened with warm water. Despite having many benefits for the skin, use should first be approved by a dermatologist or qualified health professional.

4. Fighting infections

Rosemary oil is considered to be a natural antibiotic and can therefore be used to help treat bacterial infections in the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts. Although it can be effective in combating harmful bacteria, you should still see your doctor and discuss antibiotic treatment as appropriate.

In addition to being effective against bacteria, rosemary oil is also capable of reducing the activity of some viruses, like the herpes virus. It can even reduce the risk of herpes transmission from person to person. Therefore, rosemary oil can be used to boost immunity. Check-out other immune system boosters that you can utilize to keep your immune system strong.

How to use: Place the oil in a cup of boiling water and inhale. For topical infections or skin lesions, like acne, you can also dilute the oil in another plant-based oil (like coconut or olive oil) apply directly to the affected skin.

5. Preventing cavities

Because of its antiseptic and bactericidal properties, rosemary oil can be used to prevent cavities and promote optimal oral hygiene.

How to use: Mix 20 drops of rosemary oil in a cup of distilled water and swish it around your mouth daily. Despite having many oral benefits, you should speak to your dentist first before using rosemary oil for tooth health.

6. Relieving indigestion

Rosemary oil is a great option for relieving symptoms of indigestion, such as gas, stomach pain, diarrhea and constipation. It can also promote optimal liver functioning, especially after eating a lot of fatty foods or drinking alcohol in excess.

How to use: To relieve  symptoms of indigestion, you can draw a bath and add a few drops of this oil, or massage your stomach with one drop of rosemary oil.

7. Relieving headaches

Using rosemary oil for aromatherapy is a great option for relieving headaches and promoting well-being, especially if the cause of the headache is stress-related. Rosemary oil can reduce the release of cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone.

Also recommended: High Cortisol Levels: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes & Treatment

How to use: To use rosemary oil to relieve headaches, simply passage a drop of rosemary oil into the painful areas of the head or to the temple. Be sure to mix that the oil with another type of natural oil. You can also add a few drops of rosemary oil in a cup of boiling water and inhale it a few times a day.

8. Improving circulation

Rosemary oil can be used improve sluggish blood circulation. It also has analgesic properties, which can be beneficial for treating cramps, strained muscles, or joint pain. Because of its ability to stimulate circulation, it can help to eliminate toxins from the body, which can reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks.

How to use: To treat muscle pain and other aches, dilute the rosemary oil in water or another oil, and massage into the affected area.  To treat stretch marks and cellulite, you should mix 2 drops of rosemary oil, 2 drops of fennel oil and 3 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil and then massage into the desired area.

Read more about the benefits of coconut oil and how to use it.

Possible side effects

It is important to highlight that you should first speak to a doctor or medicinal plant specialist before using rosemary oil. He or she can indicate the optimal dose and frequency to use to achieve a given health goal. 

Rosemary oil can have undesired effects in some people, like triggering seizures in people with a history of epilepsy, for example.

It is also important for a health care professional to indicate proportions for mixing rosemary oil, as very concentrated rosemary oil can lead to adverse effects like nausea, vomiting, skin irritation, headaches and increased sensitivity in the area where it was applied.

When the oil is frequently consumed in large quantities or when it is very concentrated, it is also possible to observe long-term side effects, such as stomach irritation, changes in kidney function and intoxication.