What are the active medicinal properties of rosemary?

Memory Booster: One of the earliest reported or documented uses of rosemary for health reasons was as a cognitive stimulant. It was said to improve memory and help to increase intelligence and focus. While many of those claims are still being researched and studied, its effects on the brain do indicate an increase in memory retention, which is never a bad thing; keeping your mind quick will help to keep it young. In that same vein, rosemary has been linked to stimulating cognitive activity in the elderly, as well as those suffering from more acute cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. This is an exciting alternative or supplement to more modern treatment for these as yet uncured conditions.

Mood and Stress: The aroma of rosemary alone has been linked to improving mood, clearing the mind, and relieving stress in those with chronic anxiety or stress hormone imbalances. When the plant is consumed or applied topically in some sort of salve of the leaves, it can have similar effects. Aromatherapy also uses rosemary essential oil for this purpose, but that concentration of active components isn’t necessary to have positive effects on stress and mood.

Immune System Strength: The active components in rosemary are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic in nature. This represents a three-pronged attack against many different diseases and pathogens that could threaten the immune system or damage the integrity of the body. Antioxidant compounds form a secondary line of defense behind the body’s own immune system, and rosemary contains a significant amount of those powerful compounds, including rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, betulic acid, and carnosol.