Rosemary Leaf & Oil

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

The rosemary plant, Rosmarinus officinalis L (family Lamiaceae), is an aromatic evergreen shrub originating in the Mediterranean region and now growing widely in Europe, Asia, and Africa. This plant has been used extensively as a culinary spice in a variety of contexts. Rosemary and its extracts also are used as food preservatives and enhancers of sensory and functional properties. Today, research attention is focusing more closely on whether this herb may have potential to alleviate complications of obesity and diabetes, inflammation-associated conditions, and neurological deficits.

Recent research has shown that whether consumed as an essential oil, tea or seasoning, rosemary benefits can include promoting digestive health, mental clarity, hair and skin health, relaxation and more.

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Rosemary Nutrition

According to USDA, fresh rosemary has a high reserve of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamin, and folate. It contains minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron. Moreover, it has abundant antioxidants in the form of phenolic compounds like diterpene, carnosol, and rosmarinic acid. The essential oils in it contain powerful ingredients such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, α-terpineol, and α-pinene.

Benefits of Consuming Rosemary Leaf

Antimicrobial. Within rosemary there are compounds that can help defend against proliferation of certain types of harmful bacteria, including those that contribute to infections. Rosemary extracts are even used as food preservatives in some cases because they can help stop bacteria from growing. The smell of rosemary also acts as a natural bug repellent and may help prevent certain insect bites, including from ticks and other bugs that can spread illnesses and viruses.

Antioxidants. Because of its rich supply of antioxidants and bioactive chemicals (including phenolic diterpenes, such as carnosol and caffeoyl derivatives), consuming rosemary can help fight oxidative stress and support the immune system. It is also known to promote healthy circulation and to defend against inflammation, which can lead to pain. Another way that rosemary’s antioxidants can be beneficial is due to the ability to promote skin health by fighting free radical damage that leads to signs of aging.

Cancer. Rosemary contains carnosic acid, a compound known for its powerful antioxidant properties. Studies have found that carnosic acid can slow the growth of cancer cells in the body and even lower the risk of developing tumors.

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Gut Health. Rosemary has traditionally been used as a natural remedy for upset stomach, constipation, gas, bloating as it helps in relaxing the muscles of the intestine. Adding it to your diet can help you regulate your bowel movements and your gastrointestinal system. One study showed that in test subjects with colitis, treatment with rosemary extract was effective to reduce colon tissue lesions and colitis. This, in turn, helps maintain gut health and fight gut diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and colitis.

Immune Support. Studies have shown that the carnosic and rosmarinic acids in rosemary have powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Consuming rosemary regularly can potentially help lower the risk of infection and help the immune system fight any infections that do occur.

Indigestion. This herb, whether cooked with or steeped in herbal tea, has long been a natural remedy for digestive issues, including loss of appetite, heart burn/acid reflux, gas, bloating and abdominal pains. It seems capable of stimulating the release of digestive fluids including bile, which assists in digestion and can support normal nutrient absorption.

Low blood pressure. Early research shows that taking rosemary oil three times per day increases the top number in a blood pressure reading (systolic blood pressure) and the bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) in people with low blood pressure. Blood pressure seems to return to pretreatment values once rosemary use is stopped.

Memory. Taking rosemary by mouth may mildly improve memory in young adults. Using rosemary aromatherapy seems to improve some measures of memory. Rosemary aromatherapy also seems to increase alertness.

Decline in memory and thinking skills that occurs normally with age. Early research shows that taking powdered rosemary leaves might improve memory speed in healthy, older adults. But higher doses seem worsen memory. Other early research shows that taking a product containing rosemary, lemon balm, and sage improves memory in healthy adults 62 years or younger. But it does not seem to improve memory in adults 63 years or older.

Metabolic Health. Rosemary has been associated with metabolic benefits including helping to treat high blood sugar and poor insulin sensitivity. While it likely will not be enough to prevent diabetes on its own, it is recommended for people who wish to improve their high blood sugar levels.

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Withdrawal from heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs. Early research suggests that taking rosemary leaves along with methadone, improves opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Benefits of Using Rosemary Oil

Hair Growth. Rosemary oil helps to promote hair growth, prevent baldness, slow graying, and treat dandruff. A comparative study published in 2015 shows that rosemary oil is effective in treating alopecia by boosting hair growth. At six months, a significant increase in hair count was noted for the group treated with rosemary oil. It also promotes healing by increasing microcirculation of the scalp and decreases hair loss after shampooing.

Male-pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia). Early research suggests that applying rosemary oil to the scalp is as effective as minoxidil for increasing hair count in people with male-pattern baldness.

Mental Activity. Rosemary essential oil is an excellent brain and nerve tonic. It is often used by students during exam times because it increases concentration and helps in studying efficiently. It stimulates mental activity and is a good remedy for depression, mental fatigue and forgetfulness. Inhaling rosemary oil seems lift your spirits immediately. Whenever your brain is tired, try inhaling a little rosemary oil to remove boredom and renew your mental energy.

Pain Relief. The ability of rosemary essential oil to relieve pain has resulted in its extensive use in treating headaches, muscle pains, rheumatism and even arthritis. Massaging the affected area that is in pain with rosemary essential oil can give quickly relieve the pain. Vapor baths with rosemary oil are also found to be effective in the treatment of rheumatism. It has certain anti-inflammatory qualities as well, which makes it perfect for relieving the pain from sprains and joint aches. Furthermore, it is known to stimulate blood circulation, which can relieve pain and aid in coagulation of wounds for faster healing.

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Respiratory Problems. The benefits of rosemary essential oil in treating respiratory problems are well-researched and supported. The scent of the oil has been shown to give relief from throat congestion, and it is also used in the treatment of respiratory allergies, colds, sore throats and the flu. Since rosemary oil also has antiseptic qualities, it is also effective for respiratory infections. The oil is antispasmodic and is therefore used in some treatment programs for bronchial asthma.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Recent research suggests that the use of rosemary essential oil’s antimicrobial qualities can help reduce the effects and recurring inflammation of the herpes virus. The herpes virus can quickly develop immunity to normal antiviral medication, so alternative methods are always being explored. Several studies have now shown the essential oil of rosemary to be an effective option for reducing the symptoms of the Herpes virus in test subjects, and even affects the level of contagiousness of the virus.

Skin care. Rosemary essential oil is not used in skin care as extensively as it is used in hair care, but it does have antimicrobial and antiseptic qualities that make it beneficial in efforts to eliminate eczema, dermatitis, oily skin, and acne. Topical application of the essential oil, or regular massage with the oil helps in toning your skin and removing dryness. It can also give your skin a healthy, even glow when applied regularly, or when it is a main component of your moisturizers and other creams.

Stress. Some early research suggests that rosemary and lavender oil aromatherapy may reduce pulse rates, but not blood pressure, in people taking tests. Rosemary may have a calming effect on those who suffer from anxiety and depression. An animal study conducted on the antidepressant effects of rosemary concluded that the herb is effective in improving the symptoms of depression. These beneficial effects were observed even with repeated administration two weeks later. Furthermore, it may also reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, which helps ease tension in the body.

Dosing of Rosemary

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH: For memory: 500 milligrams of rosemary extract twice daily for one month has been used.

INHALED AS AROMATHERAPY: For memory: Four drops of pure rosemary essential oil (Tisserand Aromatherapy) has been applied to an aromatherapy diffuser pad 5 minutes before testing.

Ways to Eat Rosemary

  • It is made into herbal tea to promote digestive health and relaxation.
  • It helps season meats in the cuisines of Europe and the Middle East.
  • It is often found in marinades for lamb, pork, turkey and chicken dishes.
  • Rosemary leaves are added to soups and beverages in India for their flavor and nutrient content.
  • Whether dried or fresh, it is added to stews, casseroles, fish, potatoes, salads, pastas, and breads in many European countries.
  • The Spruce Eats recommends also pairing it with grains, mushrooms, onions, peas and spinach.

Rosemary Tea

  1. To make rosemary herbal tea, combine 1 teaspoon of chopped herbs (preferably fresh) with 8 ounces of water.
  2. Steep the herbs for 5 minutes or longer, depending on the strength you’re looking for.
  3. You can also add other herbs and flavor enhancers, including lavender, thyme, parsley, lemon juice or raw honey.
  4. Consuming about 1–2 cups daily is safe for most, although use caution if you take any medications

Side Effects of Consuming Rosemary

Consuming large amounts of Rosemary leaf or essential oil can cause vomiting, uterine bleeding, kidney irritation, increased sun sensitivity, skin redness, and allergic reactions.

Rosemary might stimulate menstruation or affect the uterus, causing a miscarriage. There is not enough reliable information to know if rosemary is safe when applied to the skin when pregnant. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Aspirin allergy. Rosemary contains a chemical that is like aspirin. This chemical may cause a reaction in people who are allergic to aspirin.

Bleeding disorders. Rosemary might increase the risk of bleeding and bruising in people with bleeding disorders. Use cautiously.

Seizure disorders. Rosemary might make seizure disorders worse. Do not use it.

Medication Interactions

Rosemary has the potential to alter urination, blood clotting and blood pressure levels, which means it can potentially interact with certain medications and should be avoided in these cases. Speak with your doctor before adding large amounts or rosemary or this essential oil to your diet if you take these drugs:

  • Anticoagulants/blood thinners
  • ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure
  • Diuretics
  • Lithium for mental health disorders

References

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-154/rosemary

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-rosemary

https://draxe.com/nutrition/rosemary-benefits/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/rosemary.html

https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/fulltext/2016/03000/rosemary__an_overview_of_potential_health_benefits.9.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4749867/

https://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/natural-health-guide/benefits/rosemary

https://organic.org/health-benefits-of-rosemary-oil/

Peppermint

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and watermint. It has a spicy refreshing flavor that makes it a popular ingredient in many different foods, candies, and desserts, among others. The leaves of this plant are the primary parts that are used, due to the presence of the essential oil, which contains high levels of menthone, menthol, limonene, and various other acids, compounds, and antioxidants.

The plant is native to Europe and the Middle East and is now considered invasive species in many other parts of the world, including United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the Galapagos Islands, among others. These aromatic plants prefer to grow in moist and damp areas and grows by putting out runners, rather than reproducing via seed dispersal.

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You will find Peppermint Essential Oil in Mother Jai’s All Natural Mouthwash

Benefits of Peppermint

Peppermint tea and the natural compounds found in peppermint leaves may benefit your health in several ways. Peppermint oil is used for a long-term disorder of the large intestines that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS). It is also used for indigestion (dyspepsia), spasms in the bowel, hard, painful breasts in breast-feeding women, bed sores (pressure ulcers), and tension headache.

Alleviate Chemotherapy Symptoms: capsules containing peppermint oil reduced incidence and severity of nausea and vomiting in a study in 200 people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

Clear Sinuses: Peppermint has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, peppermint tea may fight clogged sinuses due to infections, the common cold and allergies. Additionally, research demonstrates that menthol, an active compound in peppermint, improves the perception of airflow in your nasal cavity. Therefore, steam from peppermint tea may help you feel as though your breathing is easier.

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Freshen Breath: the antibacterial effects of peppermint oil kill bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath.

Focus & Concentration: In one study, 24 young, healthy people performed significantly better on cognitive tests when they were given peppermint oil capsules. In another study, smelling peppermint oil was found to improve memory and alertness.

Improve Allergy Symptoms: Peppermint contains rosmarinic acid, which has been shown to reduce allergy symptoms, such as sneezing and runny nose.

Improves Digestion: Peppermint may relieve digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating and indigestion. Animal studies indicate that peppermint relaxes your digestive system and may ease pain. It also prevents smooth muscles from contracting, which could relieve spasms in your gut.

Prevent Infection: as an antibacterial peppermint can kill and prevent the growth of common food borne bacteria including E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella. Peppermint has also been shown to effectively kill staphylococcus and pneumococcus bacteria.

Reduces Fatigue: peppermint is stimulating to the mind and body. Without the side effects of caffeine, it can increase energy levels and reduce daytime fatigue.

Relieve Migraines & Tension Headaches: In one randomized clinical study in 35 people with migraines, peppermint oil applied to the forehead and temples significantly reduced pain after two hours, compared to a placebo oil. In another study in 41 people, peppermint oil applied to the forehead was found to be as effective for headaches as 1,000 mg of acetaminophen.

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Soothe Cramps: as a muscle relaxant peppermint can relieve muscle cramps as well as menstrual cramps. In one study in 127 women with painful periods, peppermint extract capsules were found to be as effective as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug in reducing the intensity and duration of pain.

Using Peppermint

Peppermint has several uses both medicinal and culinary, including:

Oil: The oil is commonly applied to the skin to release information and respiratory problems.

Tea: Drinking peppermint tea is an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety and boost energy levels.

Tinctures and Extracts: These are typically used in a higher concentration for internal healing and more serious health conditions.

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Flavoring Agent: This plant is also a popular flavoring agent in many foods, candies, beverages, and baked goods.

Side Effects of Peppermint

There are no known side effects of consuming peppermint tea.

Peppermint essential oil is highly concentrated and can be irritating to the digestive tract when taken internally which may lead to diarrhea.

Many people are allergic to this plant and will experience contact dermatitis when touching any of these substances.

References:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/peppermint-tea#TOC_TITLE_HDR_14

https://www.organicfacts.net/peppermint.html

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-705/peppermint#

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mint-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

https://www.medicinenet.com/peppermint/supplements-vitamins.htm

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Peppermint-oil

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/mentha-piperita

Cold Showers

Why You Should Take a Cold Shower

Or, at the very least, rinse off with cold water.

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Taking a cold shower has many more benefits besides waking up a drunk person.

Besides saving you money on heating water, taking a cold shower also:

  1. Increases alertness better than coffee. The cold stimulates circulation by increasing the heart rate and relaxing blood vessels. Your respiration rate increase to warm the body, thus increasing oxygen intake and reducing oxidization within the cells. These two changes wake you up and get you going.
  2. Improves health of skin and hair. Hot water strips away the natural, water soluble oils, excreted by the skin and hair follicles, thus drying them out. Hot water relaxes tissues causing sagging and eventually wrinkling. It opens pores and allows for the buildup of dirt and bacteria. Cold water tightens cuticles, pores, and collagen in tissues. This seals up the skin keeping dirt and bacteria out, thus preventing acne and infection.
  3. Improves immunity and circulation. As in number 1 cold water stimulates circulation, this includes lymph circulation. The better lymph and its associated immune cells can travel through the body the better they can kill and remove invaders.
  4. Aids in weight loss. Due to our body’s habit of storing two kinds of fat, white (excess calories stored around belly/thighs) and brown (surrounds and protects organs, adds insulation from heat/cold). Our body uses or burns very little white fat, especially when we’re hot. The more we expose our bodies to cold the more we develop brown fat and burn white fat.
  5. Eases pain and speeds recovery. With increased circulation comes increased removal of exercise and injury related acid and toxin buildup in the muscles and joints, thus reducing inflammation and associated pain.
  6. Eases stress and it’s effects. Cold stimulus in the shower or outside has been proven to promote tolerance to stress and resulting disease. Again, with increased circulation comes increased removal of toxins. Even those toxins created by feeling stressed. The stress of cold water assists the body in adapting to oxidative stress.
  7. Relieves depression. The stimulation of the nerves in cold water causes the release of an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain. This boosts mood by releasing endorphins and causing a strong antidepressant effect.
  8. Builds will power. It takes a lot of mental strength and will to purposefully take a cold shower, especially after being so acclimated to warm and comfortable showers. The more you do it the more you can do it.
  9. Increase and balance hormones. Along with increased circulation comes nerve and gland stimulation with exposure to cold. As glands are stimulated so are their excretions, which are all hormones. This improves the balance and function of hormones throughout the body.
  10. Improves sleep. By increasing and balancing hormones, it improves sleep hormone production as well. A cold shower before bed can work like a tranquilizer.
  11. Improves breathing. The shock of entering the cold water makes you take a full, deep breath. Breathing in cold water becomes deep and erratic, allowing for more oxygen to enter the bloodstream.

References:

  1. https://www.medicaldaily.com/benefits-cold-showers-7-reasons-why-taking-cool-showers-good-your-health-289524
  2. https://www.menprovement.com/benefits-of-cold-showers/
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-shower-vs-hot-shower
  4. https://blog.paleohacks.com/6-unexpected-benefits-of-cold-showers/
  5. https://hbr.org/2018/03/cold-showers-lead-to-fewer-sick-days
  6. https://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/04/27/cold-water-immersion-benefits.aspx
  7. https://www.livestrong.com/article/154168-how-to-lose-weight-with-cold-showers/
  8. https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/hair-skin-nails/are-cold-showers-good-for-you/