Latin Name: Rosmarinus officinalis
English Name: Rosemary
Sanskrit / Indian Name: Rusmari
An exotic leafy evergreen shrub, cultivated in gardens in cool places for its pleasantly fragrant leaves.
The leaves of rosemary yield 1-2 per cent of a volatile oil (Oil of Rosemary) used in perfumery and medicine. In addition, the leaves contain a saponin, tannin, ursolic acid, carnosic acid, amyrins, betulin and rosmarinic acid. A phenolic fraction possessing antioxidant properties has been isolated from the leaves and also from the oil. A new triterpenoid, rofficerone, has been isolated from the aerial parts along with a-and ß-amyrenones, 3-O-acetyloleanolic, and 3-O-acetylursolic acids. The root contains diterpene quinones, taxodione, 7-a-hydroxyroyleanone and cryptotanshinone. The foliage contains (Z, E) and (E, E) isomers of the enol ester.
Rosemary is mildly irritant and has been used as a carminative. Internally, the oil may be taken as a stimulant in doses of a few drops: a 5 per cent tincture is used as a circulatory and cardiac stimulant. The oil is useful in headache and in tardy menstruation. It is a diaphoretic and is employed with hot water in chills and colds. An emulsion prepared from the oil is used as a gargle for sore-throat. The oil exhibits antibacterial and protistocidal activity. All parts of the plant are astringent and serve as a nervine tonic and an excellent stomachic. An infusion of the plant with borax is employed as a hair wash and is said to prevent premature baldness, treats dandruff and other scalp infections. The plant has been found useful in atonic dyspepsia. The flowering tops and leaves are considered carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, aperient, emmenagogue, stimulant and stomachic and possess a strong antibacterial action.