Rosemary has a long history of medicinal use, the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks all loved this herb. These days it's cultivated in most parts of the world and many of you can grow it yourself. (The image is from my garden)
Rosemary is often thought of as a culinary food and a symbol of respect. But it can also be used as a functional food with many different health benefits that are appealing for this stage of life.
Let’s start with the hormonal benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary may enhance your ability to detoxify estrogen. Estrogen has 3 phases of detoxification and phase 1 has 3 different pathways. The 2OH route - is the preferred pathway, the 4OH is the least preferred and potentially most carcinogen pathway and the 16 OH is the most proliferative pathway, think reproductive growths such as fibroids, polyps, cysts, but also tender breasts, heavier periods, etc. Rosemary may act as a traffic controller directing estrogen away from the 16 OH pathway and toward the 2OH route. It certainly may be something for peri-menopausal women struggling with estrogenic-type symptoms to consider. The literature also points to rosemary having inhibitory effects on breast cancer development due to enhanced estrogen clearance.
Rosemary is a dihydrotestosterone (DHT) blocker. Elevated levels of DHT can cause hair loss. Rosemary can inhibit the enzyme required to convert testosterone into dihydrotestosterone and may stop DHT from being able to bind to receptors. Resulting in less hair loss.
Its Brain health benefits include
Better focus, concentration, memory, and cognitive performance
Rosemary may help reduce neurodegeneration of the brain and age-related decline
Has stress-reducing qualities
May help promote healthy, happy moods and help reduce anxiety and depression
Its Muscular skeletal benefits include
Reduced pain and inflammation
May reduce bone loss
It may reduce headaches and migraines
Its Blood sugar-balancing benefits include
Improved glycemic balance
It may increase insulin sensitivity
May reduce diabetic neuropathy and its associated pain and discomfort
Other general benefits include :
It may help promote quality sleep
It can provide anti-microbial support and boost immunity
May promote eye health and reduce age-related eye disease
May promote digestive health by reducing gas, bloating, and reflux.
It may improve circulation
Luckily for you, rosemary is easy to come by, you may already have some in your garden. One of my favourite ways to use Rosemary is to season meat especially lamb with it. YUM But here are a few other ideas
Drink it as a tea
Use as an essential oil that you can inhale
Create a cream from either the oil or a herbal extract
Make a rosemary hair rinse
Add the leaves to soups, stews, casseroles, or gravies for extra flavour
Add fresh leaves to green salads
If you are considering taking it as a concentrated supplement please speak to your healthcare team first, as all supplements come with cautions, contra-indications, and interactions. Please consider these warnings, Cautions - high doses may cause digestive upsets. Contra-indication includes pregnancy and possible medical interactions include blood thinning drugs, ACE inhibitors, diuretics, and lithium.
Rosmarinus officinalis as therapeutic and prophylactic agent
Dietary administration of an extract from rosemary leaves enhances the liver microsomal metabolism of endogenous oestrogens and decreases their uterotropic action
Promotion of hair growth by Rosemarinus officials leaf extract
Modulation of oestrogen and epidermal growth factor receptors by rosemary extract in breast cancer cells
Therapeutic effects of Rosemary and its active constituents on nervous system disorders