Rosemary Essential Oil Uses for Digestive Health
Rosemary is an herb that looks a lot like a tiny evergreen tree, boasting needles and color that rival some of the tallest woodland dwellers. It is well known as a flavorful culinary additive; however both medicinal use of the herb itself as well as many rosemary essential oil uses have long persisted in ancient medicine for many ails. In fact, rosemary used in a concoction known as “Hungary Water” was prepared for nobility for the purpose of alleviating gout. Likely its oldest known use however is its purported ability to improve memory, thus it is even used as a symbol for remembrance at weddings and commemorative events.
Essential oil uses have been plentiful throughout history for a wide variety of medicinal applications. An essential oil is simply the oil from plants, and is normally a liquid that primarily contains the aromatic compounds of the plant. Usually, distillation via steam is the method in which these essential compounds are derived. While essential oil uses are particularly abundant in the fields of aromatherapy, their applications for medicinal uses have persisted throughout history for skin problems, respiratory illness and gastrointestinal troubles, amongst others when used externally on the skin or inhaled as with aromatherapy.
Rosemary essential oil uses (as well as those from the herb itself) in medicinal applications likely comes from the wide array of interesting compounds contained in the herb. A duo of antioxidants, rosmarinic acid and camosic acid, are biologically active compounds found in the herb. In addition to these, rosemary essential oil uses may also be attributed to caffeic acid, ursolic acid, betulinic acid and camphor that are also contained in the herb.
Digestive health, however, is one of the most well known uses of rosemary. It is thought of as a great remedy for gas and relieving associated stomach gas pain that can come along with it. Rosemary essential oil uses may also include relieving an upset stomach, as it seems to provide a calmative effect when its essence is inhaled. This is thought to be because it reduces the frequency and severity of muscle spasms that can contribute to digestive discomfort. This also makes it a potentially useful remedy for stomach bloating, and accompanying discomfort. In Europe, rosemary is used alongside other gastrointestinal calmative herbs like sage, ginger and oregano in tea for constant indigestion or other stomach symptoms, most often administered in the form of a tea. It is enjoyed for relieving generalized upset stomach and is considered one of the best bloating remedies in folklore medicine.
Rosemary essential oil uses may also include external use for constipation relief. For people who do not prefer to take laxatives or medicines in order to have a bowel movement, essential oils for constipation may be able to provide some relief. When rosemary oil is combined with a carrier oil and massaged into the external stomach area and allowed to rest, it is thought that constipation relief can follow. The success of this can be furthered if the application is followed by a warm bath where up to ten drops of the rosemary oil are added in. This can be a gentler way to provide relief for constipation without using medications.
Rosemary has long been used in medicine and it is still popular in alternative healing today. However, the use of essential oils from any herb can be dangerous and it is important to use them safely in order to avoid serious side effects. Rosemary is typically safe when consumed as an herb in food and when the oil is used externally. However, ingesting the undiluted oil is generally considered to pose health safety risks, especially in larger quantities. Vomiting and kidney irritation are just some of the side effects that can come from taking rosemary oil that is undiluted by mouth. Uterine bleeding and an increased risk of miscarriage are also purported risks to the ingestion of pure rosemary oil. Abundant external use may lead to skin irritation and increased sun sensitivity as well. Therefore, while there are many rosemary essential oil uses that can provide great health benefits, it is important to use the herb safely in order to obtain the maximum benefit with the least amount of health risks. Consulting a health care provider before using rosemary essential oil is also recommended to ensure that non culinary uses of the herb are safe.