Rosemary has three main therapeutic properties. 1, it is a powerful antioxidant with immune modulating properties [1, 2]. 2, it possesses extrahepatic estrogen breakdown effects . 3, it may enhance cognitive ability .
In addition to modulation of estrogen breakdown, Rosemary also can inhibit the binding of dihydrotestosterone to androgen receptors, which can cause an increase in hair regrowth .
Rosemary contains three antioxidant substances that have potentially beneficial properties for our health: rosmarinic acid, carnosic acid, and ursolic acid .
Rosmarinic acid impacts estrogen breakdown in a positive way. Estradiol and estrone are detoxified via pathways that can be protective or carcinogenic, especially to tissues such as the breast and prostate. Rosmarinic acid has been shown to direct the metabolism of these estrogens toward the protective 2-hydroxy estrone pathway and away from the carcinogenic 4-hydroxy estrone and 16-hydroxy estrone pathways .
Rosmarinic acid also has important antioxidant effects. In the arachidonic acid cascade it shifts the production of the highly inflammatory leukotriene B4 toward the production of prostaglandin E2 [7, 8]. It also inhibits the complement system, the inflammatory activity driven by the innate immune system . In mice, it has been shown to inhibit the allergic airway inflammation induced by house dust mites in vivo .
Carnosic acid, and its metabolite carnosol also have antioxidant properties including neuroprotective effects in the brain. These effects include increasing reduced glutathione and protecting against middle cerebral artery ischemia/reperfusion .
Carnosol has been shown to inhibit lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interferon-ã (IFNã) induced nitrite production by mouse peritoneal cells by more than 50%. Nitric oxide and the further production of peroxynitrate and nitrite have DNA damaging and carcinogenic effects .
Carnosol performs this antioxidant activity by decreasing nitric oxide production via inhibition of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-êB) promoter activity. These activities provide possible mechanisms for its anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive action .
Ursolic acid has been found to reduce muscle atrophy, stimulate muscle growth, increase brown fat, and decrease diet-infuced obesity in mice . Ursolic acid has potential use as a cardioprotective compound .
Rosemary has been shown to possess antimicrobial properties also. In one study it inhibited the adherence ability and biofilm development of the C. albicans and C. tropicalis . Another study showed its antibiofilm activity more effective than chlorhexidine against Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus pyogenes biofilms . It has also been shown to inhibit biofilm formation of MRSA .
Rosemary has shown to possess anti-cancer properties against prostate, breast, skin, leukemia, and colon cancer. It also uniquely has selective toxicity towards cancer cells versus non-tumorigenic cells [19, 20].
In one study of Rosemary and breast cancer cells they found that it not only exerts antitumor activity against breast cancer cells, but also possesses antitumor effects against estrogen-dependent breast cancer subtypes, and significantly enhanced the effect of breast cancer chemotherapy .
So to sum up - Rosemary should be thought of as a product to help estrogen degradation, as a powerful antioxidant, and as a cardioprotective and neuroprotective agent as well as in many autoimmune disorders.
Any female or male patient with personal or family history of estrogen driven cancers should be evaluated for supplementation with Rosemary.
Dose is 1-2 caps daily 2-3x/day.
Rosemary may affect the blood’s ability to clot, and could interfere with any blood-thinning drugs you are taking. Be sure to consult your doctor if you are taking Plavix, Coumadin, or Aspirin or any other type of blood thinner.
Rosemary may interfere with the action of ACE inhibitors in high blood pressure medications like: Monopril, Vasotec, Zestril, Capoten or any other such medications.
1. Chang, Stephen S., Biserka Ostric-Matijasevic, Oliver A. L. Hsieh, and Cheng-Li Huang. “Natural Antioxidants From Rosemary And Sage.” Journal of Food Science J Food Science 42.4 (1977): 1102-106. Web.
2. Laszczyk, Melanie. “Pentacyclic Triterpenes of the Lupane, Oleanane and Ursane Group as Tools in Cancer Therapy.” Planta Med Planta Medica 75.15 (2009): 1549-560. Web.
3. Zhu BT, Loder DP, Cai MX, et al. Dietary administration of an extract from rosemary leaves enhances the liver microsomal metabolism of endogenous estrogens and decreases their uterotropic action in CD-1 mice. Carcinogenesis. 1998;19:1821-1827.
4. Moss, Mark, Jenny Cook, Keith Wesnes, and Paul Duckett. “Aromas Of Rosemary And Lavender Essential Oils Differentially Affect Cognition And Mood In Healthy Adults.” Int J Neurosci International Journal of Neuroscience 113.1 (2003): 15-38. Web.
5. Murata, Kazuya, Kazuma Noguchi, Masato Kondo, Mariko Onishi, Naoko Watanabe, Katsumasa Okamura, and Hideaki Matsuda. “Promotion of Hair Growth by Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract.” Phytotherapy Research Phytother. Res. 27.2 (2012): 212-17. Web.
6. Bonoli, M., M. Pelillo, and G. Lercker. “Fast Separation and Determination of Carnosic Acid and Rosmarinic Acid in Different Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Extracts by Capillary Zone Electrophoresis with Ultra Violet-diode Array Detection.” Chromatographia 57.7-8 (2003): 505-12. Web.
7. Rampart, Marc, Johan R. Beetens, Hldde Bult, Arnold G. Herman, Michael J. Parnham, and Johannes Winkelmann. “Complement-dependent Stimulation of Prostacyclin Biosynthesis: Inhibition by Rosmarinic Acid.” Biochemical Pharmacology 35.8 (1986): 1397-400. Web.
8. Huang, Nan, Cathy Hauck, Man-Yu Yum, Ludmila Rizshsky, Mark P. Widrlechner, Joe-Ann Mccoy, Patricia A. Murphy, Philip M. Dixon, Basil J. Nikolau, and Diane F. Birt. “Rosmarinic Acid in Prunella Vulgaris Ethanol Extract Inhibits Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Prostaglandin E2 and Nitric Oxide in RAW 264.7 Mouse Macrophages.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry J. Agric. Food Chem. 57.22 (2009): 10579-0589. Web.
9. Englberger, W., U. Hadding, E. Etschenberg, E. Graf, S. Leyck, J. Winkelmann, and M.j. Parnham. “Rosmarinic Acid: A New Inhibitor of Complement C3-convertase with Anti-inflammatory Activity.” International Journal of Immunopharmacology 10.6 (1988): 729-37. Web.
10. Inoue K et al, Effects of volatile constituents of a rosemary extract on allergic airway inflammation related to house dust mite allergen in mice. Int J Mol Med. 2005 Aug;16(2):315-9.
11. Ref: Satoh T, Kosaka K, Itoh K, Kobayashi A, Yamamoto M, Shimojo Y, Kitajima C, Cui J, Kamins J, Okamoto SI, Izumi M, Shirasawa T, Lipton SA. Carnosic acid, a catechol-type electrophilic compound, protects neurons both in vitro and in vivo through activation of the Keap1/Nrf2 pathway via S-alkylation of targeted cysteines on Keap1. J Neurochem. 2008 Feb;104(4):1116-31. Epub 2007 Nov 6.
12. Marion Man-Ying Chan, Chi-Tang Hoc and Hsing-I Huang, Effects of thre dietary phytochemicals frm tea, rosemary, and turmeric on inflammation-induced nitrite production. Cancer Letters, Vol 96, Issue 1, 4 September 1995, pages 23-29.
13. Ai-Hsiang Lo, Yu-Chih Liang, Shoei-Yn Lin-Shiau, Chi-Tang Ho and Jen-Kun Lin, Carnosol, an antioxidant in rosemary, suppresses inducible nitric oxide synthase through down-regulating nuclear factor-êB in mouse macrophages. Carcinogenesis Volume 23, Issue 6 Pp. 983-991.
14. Kunkel, Steven D., Christopher J. Elmore, Kale S. Bongers, Scott M. Ebert, Daniel K. Fox, Michael C. Dyle, Steven A. Bullard, and Christopher M. Adams. “Ursolic Acid Increases Skeletal Muscle and Brown Fat and Decreases Diet-Induced Obesity, Glucose Intolerance and Fatty Liver Disease.” PLoS ONE 7.6 (2012): n. pag. Web.
15. Liobikas, Julius, Daiva Majiene, Sonata Trumbeckaite, Lolita Kursvietiene, Ruta Masteikova, Dalia M. Kopustinskiene, Arunas Savickas, and Jurga Bernatoniene. “Uncoupling and Antioxidant Effects of Ursolic Acid in Isolated Rat Heart Mitochondria.” J. Nat. Prod. Journal of Natural Products 74.7 (2011): 1640-644. Web.
16. Chifiriuc, Carmen, Valentina Grumezescu, Alexandru Grumezescu, Crina Saviuc, Veronica Lazăr, and Ecaterina Andronescu. “Hybrid Magnetite Nanoparticles/Rosmarinus Officinalis Essential Oil Nanobiosystem with Antibiofilm Activity.” Nanoscale Res Lett Nanoscale Research Letters 7.1 (2012): 209. Web.
17. Rasooli, Iraj, Shojaedin Shayegh, Massoud Taghizadeh, and Shakiba Darvish Alipoor Astaneh. “Phytotherapeutic Prevention of Dental Biofilm Formation.” Phytotherapy Research Phytother. Res. 22.9 (2008): 1162-167. Web.
18. Quave, Cassandra L., Lisa R.w. Plano, Traci Pantuso, and Bradley C. Bennett. “Effects of Extracts from Italian Medicinal Plants on Planktonic Growth, Biofilm Formation and Adherence of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 118.3 (2008): 418-28. Web.
19. Johnson, Jeremy J. “Carnosol: A Promising Anti-cancer and Anti-inflammatory Agent.” Cancer Letters 305.1 (2011): 1-7. Web.
20. Petiwala, Sakina M., Saba Berhe, Gongbo Li, Angela G. Puthenveetil, Larisa Nonn, and Jeremy J. Johnson. “Abstract 1255: The Mediterranean Herb Rosemary Modulates ER Stress Proteins to Promote Androgen Receptor Degradation in Prostate Cancer Cells.” Cancer Res Cancer Research 74.19 Supplement (2014): 1255. Web.
21. González-Vallinas, Margarita, Susana Molina, Gonzalo Vicente, Ruth Sánchez-Martínez, Teodoro Vargas, Mónica R. García-Risco, Tiziana Fornari, Guillermo Reglero, and Ana Ramírez De Molina. “Modulation of Estrogen and Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors by Rosemary Extract in Breast Cancer Cells.” Electrophoresis 35.11 (2014): 1719-727. Web.