Rosemary essential oil: properties and how to use it

Rosemary essential oil has interesting properties for the respiratory system, skin and hair but also for mental well-being

What’s this

Rosemary essential oil is the essence that is extracted by distillation from the leaves and twigs of Rosmarinus officinalis or Salvia rosmarinus. The rosemary plant is an aromatic that belongs to the Lamiaceae or Labiateae family, typical of the Mediterranean regions, where it is also found in nature.

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Rosemary is widely cultivated for sale as an aromatic plant to be used in the kitchen but also as a medicinal plant to be used for its therapeutic properties and for the extraction of essential oil. The rosemary essence is then sold as it is or used as a food flavoring or to make food supplements, cosmetics and perfumes.


Rosemary essential oil has a fresh, balsamic scent and vain antiseptic and expectorant properties, making it an excellent remedy for coughs, colds and other flu symptoms. In fact, the essence extracted from rosemary helps fight bacterial and viral infections and has a fluidifying action on mucus, so it is perfect for eliminating phlegm faster.

Although rosemary is mainly a remedy for airway diseases, rosemary essence also has other interesting properties. For example, rosemary essential oil is an excellent stimulant and is indicated for improving cognitive functions, concentration and mood and for promoting sexual desire.

Not only that: rosemary essential oil, used externally, is a good anti-inflammatory remedy against muscle pain, arthritis, contractures, sciatica, low back pain. Always externally, the essence of rosemary is useful in treating problems affecting the skin and scalp such as dermatitis, bacterial, viral or fungal infections, acne and dandruff.

Rosemary essence is also indicated to increase blood pressure in case of hypotension or low blood pressure and to improve digestive processes that cause an excess of gas in the intestine, responsible for phenomena such as flatulence and meteorism.

How to use it

Rosemary essential oil can be used internally, for massages or other skin applications and for inhalations. As for oral administration, it is necessary to contact an aromatherapist or ask your doctor, pharmacist or herbalist for advice to find out the directions for use and dosages. This is because rosemary essential oil can present acute and chronic toxicity, therefore caution should be taken in oral intake.

The external use of rosemary essential oil is instead considered safe, provided that the essence is always diluted in vegetable oil or in another carrier. For skin massages useful for treating skin problems or disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system, for example, two or three drops of rosemary essential oil and olive, sunflower or sweet almond oil can be diluted; the mixture can be applied to the face and body by massaging it until completely absorbed and is also useful for massages on the abdomen in case of a swollen stomach.

In case of dandruff, oily hair, to stimulate hair growth, or to treat problems affecting the scalp, the essence of rosemary can also be dispersed in aloe vera gel to make frictions or a spoonful of shampoo for washing. of the hair, so as to avoid that the hair is greasy and heavy due to vegetable oil. The essential oil of rosemary can then be added to the tub water, pouring two to eight drops into a spoonful of coarse salt or a spoonful of bubble bath to then add to the bath water. Likewise, the essence can be used for foot baths.

Finally, the inhalation of rosemary essential oil is indicated for treating respiratory disorders and for the action of this essence on the psyche. In the first case, two to five drops can be used in the hot water for fumigations, while in the second case five to ten drops of essence are added to the water of the electric diffuser or burner, so as to diffuse the essential oil in the ‘environment. In addition to scenting and cleaning the air of the house, the essence of rosemary helps to maintain concentration at work and study and generally improve cognitive processes and mood.


Rosemary essential oil, like all essential oils, has acute and chronic toxicity. For this reason, it should be used with caution, always diluted and for short periods. Furthermore, rosemary essential oil should not be used in children under two years of age, in pregnant and breastfeeding women and, of course, in case of allergy to the plant. Then be careful to use rosemary essential oil in case of high blood pressure or cardiovascular problems. In case of pathologies or if you are taking medications, it is good to ask your doctor for advice before using rosemary essential oil, especially for oral administration.

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