One of the most common types of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, better known as male pattern baldness, though it can also affect females.
Rosemary oil treats androgenetic alopecia by preventing a byproduct of testosterone from attacking your hair follicles, which is the cause of this condition.
In a recent study, men with androgenetic alopecia massaged diluted rosemary oil into their scalp twice daily for six months and experienced the same increase in hair thickness as those who used minoxidil (Rogaine), a common hair regrowth remedy.
Additionally, those who used the rosemary oil reported less scalp itching compared to minoxidil, which suggests that rosemary may be more tolerable.
Other research indicates that rosemary oil may fight patchy hair loss, or alopecia areata, which affects up to half the population below age 21 and about 20% of people above 40.
When people with alopecia areata rubbed a rosemary essential oil blend into their scalp each day for seven months, 44% showed improvement in their hair loss compared to only 15% in the control group, who used the neutral oils jojoba and grapeseed.
Rosemary oil may combat certain types of hair loss, including male pattern baldness and patchy hair loss.MAY IMPROVE BRAIN FUNCTION
In ancient Greece and Rome, rosemary was thought to strengthen memory.
Research indicates that inhaling rosemary oil helps prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a brain chemical important for thinking, concentration and memory.
When 20 young adults were asked math questions in a small room diffused with rosemary oil, their speed and accuracy increased in direct proportion to the duration the oil was diffused.
Additionally, their blood levels of certain rosemary compounds likewise increased — illustrating that rosemary can enter your body through breathing alone.
Similarly, nursing students who breathed rosemary oil while taking a test reported increased concentration and information recall compared to breathing lavender oil or no essential oil at all.
Other research suggests that breathing rosemary and other essential oils may improve brain function in older adults with dementia, including those with Alzheimer’s disease .
Keep in mind that more research is needed.
MAY INCREASE CIRCULATION
Poor circulation is a common complaint. You may notice it most in your hands and feet.
If you experience cold fingers and toes — even in relatively warm temperatures — rosemary oil is worth considering.
In one study, a woman with Raynaud’s disease — which impairs circulation — massaged her hands with a rosemary oil blend, finding that it helped warm her fingers more than a neutral oil. These effects were confirmed by thermal imaging.
If you have Raynaud’s disease, blood vessels in your fingers and toes constrict when you’re cold or stressed, causing them to lose their color and turn cold.
Rosemary oil may help by expanding your blood vessels, thereby warming your blood so that it reaches your fingers and toes more easily.
More research is needed to confirm these effects — but rosemary may prove a worthwhile, low-cost experiment.
MAY REDUCE JOINT INFLAMMATION
Preliminary evidence suggests that rosemary oil may help reduce tissue inflammation that can lead to swelling, pain and stiffness.
It may do so by stemming the migration of white blood cells to injured tissues to release inflammatory chemicals.
When people with rheumatoid arthritis were given 15-minute knee massages using a rosemary oil blend three times weekly, they had a 50% decrease in inflammatory knee pain in two weeks, compared to a 12% decrease in those not given the oil.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which your body’s own immune system attacks tissues, such as knees and other joints, injuring the joint lining and causing inflammation.
More research is needed on rosemary’s impact on inflammation.