Health Benefits of Rosemary
For centuries, one of the most common medicinal uses for rosemary has involved improving memory, not just for the flavor it adds to food. This herb, especially the flower tops, contains antibacterial and antioxidant rosmarinic acid, plus several essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, and α-pinene that are known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties.
Most recipes call for a few teaspoons of rosemary rather than 100 grams, but the above chart indicates the balance of nutrients, which are many. The same amount provides 16% of the daily value of vitamin A for free radical-zapping antioxidant properties, vision protection, healthy skin and mucus membranes, and increased protection from lung and mouth cancers. Mostly renowned for fighting infection, the vitamin C content synthesizes collagen, the protein required for optimal blood vessels, organs, skin, and bones.
Manganese, another of the more prominent minerals in rosemary, plays such a critical antioxidant role in the body – specifically aided by its cofactor superoxide dismutase – that it’s associated with lowering the risk of cancer, specifically breast cancer.
Rosemary also contains iron (part of the hemoglobin inside red blood cells, determining how much oxygen the blood will carry) and potassium (a component in cell and body fluids which helps control heart rate and blood pressure). There’s also fiber, copper, calcium, and magnesium, and an abundance of B vitamins, such as pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, folates, useful for DNA synthesis and for women just prior to conception, which helps prevent neural tube defects in newborns.
Being concentrated, the dried version of rosemary provides a bit more of everything: 93 calories, 12 grams of fiber and 45% of the daily value in iron, 35% of the calcium, 29% of the vitamin C and 18% of the vitamin A needed each day.
Summary Rosemary Antioxidants
Ironic, isn’t it, that the taste and aroma of rosemary, often used for improving memory, is unforgettable? This ancient herb from the Mediterranean, whether fresh or dried, is one of the most popular for kitchen use, and can be added to soups, sandwiches, cheese, dips, and even for making infused oil. But with the wide array of nutritional benefits rosemary provides, what this herb does for human health is truly remarkable.
The litany of vitamins and minerals in rosemary is a long one, with corresponding uses in the body for each. Unique compounds and oils include rosmarinic acid and essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, and α-pinene, providing anti-inflammation, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. And research provides ample evidence that rosemary not only improves memory, but helps fight cancer.
Isn’t it great that all we have to do to improve our health is to eat “close to the earth” – or in this case, the herb garden?
*Excerpt from http://foodfacts.mercola.com/rosemary.html