In ancient Greece, rosemary branches were burned as an offering to the gods. In Athens as in Rome, rosemary was a sacred plant. The famous poet Horace (65-8 BC) also dedicated several verses to him.
A little history
Rosemary was an integral part of the recipe for “Vinegar of the Four Thieves”; a germicidal maceration used in particular to prevent the Great Plague , and was preserved for a long time in the form of a monograph in the Pharmacopoeia. It also entered into the formulation of the “Oppodeldoch” of Paracelsus to fight against all types of rheumatic pains , as well as gout .
Since the 16th century, “ Queen of Hungary Water ” (rosemary alcoholisate mixed with other medicinal plants) has been used as an “elixir of youth”. In 1378, aged 72, suffering from gout and paralysis, she received from a monastery the formula for this elixir, which miraculously restored her vitality, freshness and beauty… and subsequently married the King of Poland , despite his great age.
What are the pharmacological properties of Rosemary essential oil and Cineole?
Antibacterial action has been demonstrated against Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus and Escherichia coli . An antifungal action has been demonstrated against Candida albicans and dermatophytes, as well as an antiviral action against the herpes virus.
Anticatarrhal and expectorant , rosemary is also mucolytic .
Rosemary and cineole essential oil stimulates the central nervous system and thus increases respiratory amplitude.
Anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects:
Specific to pulmonary and respiratory conditions of infectious or inflammatory types, the essential oil of rosemary and cineole is in fact cortison-like but also an excellent external analgesic .
This effect is in fact linked to vasodilation of the peripheral vessels.
- Muscle tonic and circulatory tonic (venous and arterial)
- brain tonic
- Thinner on bronchial secretions
Does Rosemary and Cineole essential oil require any precautions for use?
- Risk of high dose neurotoxicity (may induce convulsions, nausea and vomiting)
- Contraindicated in people with epilepsy or a history of seizures
- Mid-dose hypertension
- Do not diffuse, inhale or put in bath water
- Do not swallow !
- Prohibited for internal use
- Cutaneous use alone recommended
- Contraindicated in pregnant (abortive) or breastfeeding women
- Avoid in combination with cortisone , risk of drug interaction
- Do not use over a prolonged period, at the risk of resting the pituitary-adrenal axis and suffering acute adrenal insufficiency when stopping the essential oil
- Avoid applying the essential oil in the evening (or before any rest period)
- Not recommended for people with osteoporosis , due to inherent risk of decalcification
- Dermocaustic; revulsive action on the skin in its pure state and aggressive for the mucous membranes (redness, irritation, pruritus), dilution required
- Enzyme inhibitor, risk of drug interactions, ask your pharmacist for advice
- Contraindicated in asthmatics
- Reserved for adults
- Caution in people with autoimmune diseases, the elderly or with Parkinson’s, as well as neurosensitive people
- Drug interactions with essential oils containing more than 10% sesquiterpenes
Medical bibliographic sources and clinical trials :
Jirovetz L, Buchbauer G, Denkova Z et all. Antimicrobial testings and gas chromatographic analysis of pure oxygenated monoterpenes 1,8-cineol, alpha-terpineol, terpinene-4-ol and camphor as well as car target compounds in essential oils of pine (Pinus pinaster), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), and tea-tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). Sci Pharm.2005
Horvathova E, Navarova J, Galova E, Sevcovicova A, Chodakova L, Snahnicanova Z, Melusova M, Kozics K, Slamenova D. Assessment of antioxidative, chelating, and DNA-protective effects of selected essential oil components (eugenol, car vacrol, thymol, borneol, eucalyptol) of plants and intact Rosmarinus officinalis oil. J Agric Food Chem. 2014