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Discover Rosemary’s Healthy Benefits

Rosemary Benefits

In this article we will discover some basic facts about rosemary as an herb, some of the health properties of rosemary and some of its most common uses.

“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance” – Ophelia (Hamlet, by William Shakespeare)

Rosmarinus Officinalis – or, since 2017, also known as Salvia Rosmarinus[1] – is a variety of the rosemary herb that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is widely used all around the world and is one of the most popular forms of the rosemary herb. Although it’s native to the Mediterranean region, the herb has been naturalised in other parts of the world, including North America and China.

Rosemary grows as a shrub and has a strong aroma that is somewhat similar to eucalyptus but woodier. The herb can withstand long periods of time without water, and in regular conditions can live for as long as thirty years!

Because rosemary is an evergreen shrub, it’s often used as an ornamental plant. Indeed, you’ll find it in many homes and gardens in Greece!

Rosemary has also been used symbolically for remembrance throughout Europe, particularly around graves or during war commemorations. The quotation at the beginning of this article is from one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Hamlet, in which the character Ophelia makes clear the tradition of using rosemary for remembrance.

Rosemary properties

Picture from GPimages

Dry Rosemary

Dried rosemary is an easy-to-use form of the herb and can be used for tea and cooking. When rosemary leaves are dried, they turn a lighter shade of green and become harder and more brittle, so they will need to be cooked adequately if used as seasoning, to make the leaves softer.

You will usually find dried rosemary leaves in three different ‘cuts’ – either whole, cracked or ground. Whole dried rosemary leaves are straightforward: they are rosemary leaves that have been dried and left whole, usually about 1 inch in length. Ground rosemary leaves are also straightforward: the dried rosemary leaves are ground into powder.

Finally, cracked rosemary leaves are somewhere in between: the dried leaves are put through a grinder until they’re about one-quarter of an inch in length. This makes them easier to use than whole rosemary in some situations.

Always remember that the dried form of any herb is stronger than the fresh! So when substituting with dried rosemary, you only need to use about one third of the amount of fresh rosemary.

Rosemary Leaf

Fresh rosemary has dark green, needle-shaped leaves and white or purple flowers. Although dried rosemary has a higher concentration of oils and aroma, fresh rosemary leaf also has a very noticeable aroma. Indeed, while fresh rosemary leaf will be less strong than dried rosemary, it will often have a brighter and more complex taste and aroma compared to dried rosemary.

But it’s not just the rosemary leaf that is useful. Did you know that rosemary’s flowers are also edible? They can make a nice little garnish for a salad or other dish!

Find out Rosemary’s health porperties

and taste our Dried Greek Rosemary 

Now that you know more about this great plant, let’s take a look at some of rosemary’s health benefits…

Rosemary’s Health Benefits

Rosemary Healthy Benefits

      1. Antioxidant Health Benefits

Because of rosemary’s high levels of flavonoids and phenolic acids, the herb is high in antioxidants. These antioxidants provide all sorts of benefits – from protecting our organs and body functions against damage caused by free radicals, to helping fight premature aging in the skin.

By including the herb in your diet, you could benefit from rosemary’s health benefits for your physical health. At tofillo we like to take advantage of this by including a few teaspoons of our Dried Greek Rosemary in our favourite winter soups!

    1. Antibacterial Benefits

Rosemary contains high levels of phenolic acid and diterpenoid compounds. One of the various benefits of these compounds is their strong antibacterial benefits. This means that rosemary has noticeable antibacterial benefits and can help with – among other things – the healing of minor wounds!

  1. Cognitive Performance

For millenia, people have believed improvement of brain function to be one of rosemary’s health benefits – and now various scientific studies support this. A 2020 review of scientific literature explored a number of these studies. It found studies that showed that using rosemary essential oil for aromatherapy can help improve exam performance in students.[2] And it also found studies that showed that rosemary could help improve cognitive performance in people with Alzheimer’s.[3]

Further evidence of rosemary’s benefits for brain function were found in a 2018 study. In this study, participants drank water containing rosemary extract and the researchers found that this had a beneficial effect on their cognitive performance.[4]

Similarly, studies in 2012 and 2013 also showed that rosemary extract could help treat and even prevent dementia, and generally improve cognitive function in older people.[5] What’s more, studies have suggested that rosemary may have the ability to prevent brain aging, though further research on this is needed.[6]

All in all, there’s compelling evidence to suggest that including rosemary in your diet and lifestyle can do a lot to help your brain function and protect it from future decline.

  1. Mood and Sleep

Interestingly, initial research suggests that rosemary can do a lot to help with mood and sleep quality. In a 2017 study, university students took a 500mg rosemary supplement twice a day for one month. The researchers found that compared to a placebo, the rosemary supplement helped alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improved sleep quality.[7]

While more research needs to be done on this, this study gives a reason to consider using rosemary for mild mood and sleep concerns. Certainly, our team at tofillo find that when drinking rosemary tea made with our Dried Greek Rosemary, we sleep very soundly at night…

  1. Aid for Digestion

One of rosemary’s health benefits that has been applied traditionally in both ancient and modern times, is its ability to aid digestion. Indeed, Germany’s Commission E (part of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices) has approved the use of rosemary for the treatment of dyspepsia i.e. indigestion.[8]

At tofillo, we like to use our Dried Greek Rosemary for a cup of tea after a heavy meal. We sit back, relax and let it settle our stomachs!

  1. Eye Health

One of rosemary’s health benefits, and a pretty amazing one, is its potential to protect and promote eye health.

A study in 2012 found that one of rosemary’s key components, carnosic acid, can have a great effect in promoting eye health. The researchers suggested that rosemary could therefore play a role in clinical treatments for eye health issues, such as age-related macular degeneration.[9]

So, it’s very possible that by including rosemary in your diet you could be helping to keep your eyes healthy!

Rosemary tea is a great drink both for its flavour and aroma. 

It makes a great tea that feels nourishing!

We’ve explored some of rosemary’s benefits above. Now let’s look at some uses of this great herb, to get the benefit of its health properties!

Rosemary for Tea

Rosemary tea is a great drink both for its flavour and aroma. It has a savoury, pine flavour that is a little bitter and minty at the same time. It makes a great tea that feels nourishing!

Additionally, by drinking rosemary tea you can take advantage of some of the health benefits we explored above, as well as some benefits specific to rosemary tea. A review of scientific studies in 2017 found that the use of rosemary extracts – for example, in tea – could help control and lower blood sugar levels.[10]

Rosemary Seasoning

Rosemary officinalisAs we’ve mentioned, rosemary’s taste is slightly piney and woody, at times even a little bitter. It pairs well with many ‘hearty’ foods and dishes, such as lamb, duck, sausage, stews, soups and turnips. It’s also often used to flavour drinks.

Rosemary is widely used in both home kitchens and in the culinary world. It’s a staple of French herb blends, such as traditional bouquets garnis and Herbes de Provence. You’ll also find it in Italian kitchens where it’s sprinkled on top of Foccacia or infused in olive oil.

Seasoning for Fish

Rosemary works particularly well as a seasoning for fish and seafood. You can use either dried or fresh rosemary for fish – fresh rosemary will give a slightly more citrussy flavour, whereas dried rosemary will be more piney and woodier.

At tofillo, one of our favourite ways to use our Dried Greek Rosemary, is to make a breaded crumb with rosemary and lemon for baked fish. It gives a great texture and flavour to the final dish!

Rosemary Essential Oil

Many of rosemary’s benefits that we explore above can be obtained through its essential oil, especially in the use of aromatherapy. The health properties of rosemary essential oil that are particularly evidenced by research include its ability to improve cognitive function, protect against Alzheimer’s, reverse hair loss and alleviate symptoms of stress.

To learn more about rosemary oil’s benefits on these conditions, and to read about the benefits of other types of essential oil, take a look at our previous article on this topic.

So there you go! Some interesting facts, benefits and uses of the rosemary herb. We hope you found this article useful.

If you’d like to start incorporating some more rosemary into your daily diet, take a look at our product page for our products where you can learn more about our product and place your order. We hope you enjoy it!



What are the health benefits of rosemary tea?

Rosemary tea promotes digestion, helps relieve stress, can improve blood circulation and enhance memory.

How can I make rosemary tea?

Add warm water (90oCtemperature to 1-2 teaspoons of dried rosemary. Let it steep in a closed container for 5 minutes before straining.

Are there any side effects to drinking rosemary tea?

In moderate amounts, rosemary tea is safe for the majority of people. However, excessive consumption can cause indigestion or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

Can I drink rosemary tea daily?

Yes, you can drink rosemary tea daily in moderate amounts. As for any herbal tea, it is recommended that its continuous and daily consumption be interrupted from time to time. For example, drinking for three weeks, stopping for one week, drinking for another three weeks, etc.

Does rosemary tea enhance memory?

There are studies suggesting that rosemary can improve brain function and memory.

Does rosemary tea help with digestion?

Yes, rosemary tea is known to help promote digestion and relieve symptoms of indigestion.

What is the best time of day to drink rosemary tea?

You can drink rosemary tea at any time of the day, but many people prefer to drink it in the morning for its refreshing effect or after meals to aid digestion.

Does rosemary tea have antioxidant properties?

Yes, rosemary is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body from oxidative stress and premature aging.


Cretan rosemary became a short film!

In Crete, rosemary can also be found wild, just like the other Cretan herbs. A short film that presents in an excellent way the properties of herbs and especially rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis).

Watch the trailer:

[1] https://www.mccormickscienceinstitute.com/resources/culinary-spices/herbs-spices/rosemary

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32963731/

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32963731/

[4] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0269881118798339?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%20%200pubmed

[5] https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/jmf.2011.0005 and https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24080468/

[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26092628/

[7] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1744388117304723

[8] Page 9 of https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/herbal-report/assessment-report-rosmarinus-officinalis-l-aetheroleum-rosmarinus-officinalis-l-folium_en.pdf

[9] https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/831584

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622728/

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