In last month’s newsletter, I mentioned the five plant extracts that went into making the first batch of our Skin Tonic balm namely rosemary, olive, ginkgo, Rumex and Plantago; we have called this combination Elemental Phytoextracts.
Simply put, it is ‘skin food’ packed with nutrients and with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant components that not only restore compromised skin but also maintain skin at optimal health levels. And that is why we not only use it as our hero ingredient in Five Elements Skin Tonic but also add up to 50% of it to all of our other products.
Until I started to research the benefits of Rosemary for skin care, my only knowledge of it was that it gave added flavour to roast lamb! But here is more healthful information on this versatile herb, besides culinary pleasure!
Improved Memory - Rosemary has long been believed to have memory-enhancing properties. In 1529, a herbal book recommended taking rosemary for "weakness of the brain." Today, research has found that rosemary contains a diterpene called carnosic acid that has neuroprotective properties that researchers believe may protect against Alzheimer's disease as well as the normal memory loss that happens with aging.
Anti-inflammatory - Rosemary contains two potent anti-inflammatories, carnosic acid, and carnosol. One study found that these two compounds inhibited COX-2, an enzyme that causes pain and inflammation in the body. They also inhibited the production of excess nitric oxide, which also plays a role in the inflammatory process.
Anti-bacterial - Rosemary oil has properties that kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses on the skin, which makes it ideal for use on minor wounds and burns, or on problem skin that's affected by dermatitis, acne, eczema or psoriasis. Studies have found that rosemary has particularly powerful antibacterial properties against H. pylori (the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers) and Staph infections.
Digestive Health - Rosemary is often used to help treat digestive problems such as upset stomach, constipation, and indigestion. It also helps to prevent foodborne illnesses when ingested with foods such as meat or eggs.
Diuretic Properties - Rosemary is a mild diuretic, which means that it can help get rid of bloating and water retention in the body. When rosemary is used regularly, it may help in the increase of urine flow and help the kidneys function at optimal levels to help get rid of excess water in the body.
Fresh Breath - Rosemary can be used as a natural mouthwash and is said to work very well. To make the mouthwash, steep fresh rosemary in a pint of heated water. Strain it and use it as a mouth rinse as often as you like. It will keep in the fridge if covered.
Liver Detoxification - Rosemary has been used to treat liver problems for hundreds of years. Hippocrates prescribed it for this purpose. One study found that rosemary extract reduces cirrhosis in rats given thioacetamide, a compound that is toxic to the liver.
Anti Aging - Rosemary is a popular ingredient in anti-aging skin creams because it helps reduce puffiness, stimulates cell regeneration, increases firmness, and improves overall skin tone. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and increases blood flow to the skin.
Cancer Prevention - The carnosol in Rosemary, has been found in studies to be a potent anti-cancer compound. Researchers have had promising results in studies of its efficacy against breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, and skin cancer. In one study, researchers gave powdered rosemary to rats for two weeks and found that it reduced the binding of the carcinogen given to the rats by 76% and significantly inhibited the formation of breast tumors.
Rosemary has a bevy of benefits. Whether you add it to your food, steep it as a tea or take it as a supplement, the antioxidants in rosemary help prevent skin damage and maximize skin tone by neutralizing free radicals. Free-radical damage compromises the support structure in your skin, leading to wrinkles, sagging and uneven skin tone. This flavorful herb is a good source of iron, calcium and vitamin B6, which supports healthy collagen levels. Rosemary is also a rich source of manganese, a mineral that helps minimize wrinkles and protects the skin from damage.
Precaution: For the most part, Rosemary is considered safe with no side effects. However, pregnant women should avoid consuming large amounts of rosemary because it may lead to uterine contractions and miscarriage. People with high blood pressure should not take rosemary essential oil internally because it may raise blood pressure. It is best to consult a health care professional if you are unsure.