Therapeutic Potential of Rosemary

Tempo de Leitura: 3 minutos

Phytotherapy is the branch of medicine that uses plants in their entirety or their components for medicinal purposes to treat or prevent a multitude of diseases. Given this, among the variety of student plants in this area, Rosemary or Rosmarinus officinalis L. is one of the most promising due to its increasingly established clinical utility associated with its antioxidant activity and possible therapeutic role in skin diseases.

Among theextracts present in rosemary are rosmarinic acid, phenolic diterpenes, flavonoids, and rosemary essential oil. The literature shows that rosmarinic acid is widely studied for having anti-infectious, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, as well as for its anticancer activity. In addition, the essential oil has in a certain prestige due to its anti-inflammatory potential and antioxidant action.

Regarding phenolic diterpenes, carnosic acid and carnosol are the most relevant from a medical point of view, as they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential, in addition to being relevant due to their regulatory activity of lipid and glucose metabolism.

Antioxidant Action

Oxidative stress is the main pathogenic reason for most skin disorders, this is due to the fact that the skin is the organ most widely and severely exposed to oxidative stress, despite the extensive endogenous and exogenous antioxidant system at your disposal. That is, one of the main exogenous pro-oxidant agents include ultraviolet (UV) light, and when this exogenous agent is combined with other factors such as environmental pollution and chronic psychological stress it can accelerate the processes of pigmentation and aging of the skin.

Given this, in recent decades studies have been presenting evidence about the antioxidant potential of rosemary. That is, its bioactive constituents have been investigated in in vitro and in vivo studies, especially for its promising therapeutic effects on UV-induced photoaging, atopic dermatitis and pollution-induced skin aging. For example, the aqueous extract of rosemary showed a high antioxidant activity, anti-elastase, anti-tyrosinase and anti-collagenase,

In addition, in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, it was found that long-term supplementation of Rosmarinus officinalis l . improved clinical-biochemical parameters which included increased skin elasticity, enhanced skin barrier function, and reduced depth of wrinkles and black spots in enrolled patients.

Antimicrobial Action

Among the various knowledge related to antimicrobial activities, rosemary extract has shown a positive performance in several cases. Given this, studies indicate that the Rosemary extract has considerable amounts of phenolic compounds, flavonoids and tannins, which can trigger antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, especially against Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus oralis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

In addition, rosemary is also evaluated for its antibacterial functions. Bacterial pathogens are known to have numerous virulent mechanisms that allow them to enter, replicate, and persist at host sites, but with only a few common mechanisms. In this sense, diterpene, carnosic acid and carnosol, found in rosemary, showed a specific inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus and its expression of a quorum-sensitive accessor gene, which is associated with the virulence mechanisms of this bacterium. In other words, diterpene, carnosic acid and carnosol suppressed the cell-to-cell communication system and, consequently, the pathogenicity of Staphylococcus aureus.

Action in Wound Healing

A lot of scientific evidence talks about the therapeutic potential of rosemary in chronic wounds, especially diabetic wounds. One of the in vivo evidences on the wound-healing potential of rosemary highlights the Antifungal role that the bioactive compounds in your essential oil can play, thus accelerating the healing process. Regarding skin flaps, the use of rosemary showed to increase the resulting blood flow to the flap avoided the dreaded necrotic complication, and the two related bioactive compounds involve the survival of the flap involving alpha-pinene and cineole.

Action on Skin Diseases

In addition to the properties listed earlier, rosemary has been positively related in the treatment of various skin diseases. Among them we can highlight the treatment of accelerated alopecia, an autoimmune disease that affects the follicles with consequent hair loss, in which the use of rosemary essential oil managed to improve the microcirculation around the hair follicle.

On the other hand, overexposure to UVB rays causes oxidative stress and DNA damage, resulting in a higher likelihood of developing different types of skin cancer, including non-melanoma skin cancer and malignant melanoma. Thereby carnosol has shown a potential effect on chemoprevention of non-melanoma skin cancer induced by UVB light. Briefly, carnosol, the compound of rosemary, was associated with a partial reduction in UVB-induced reactive oxygen species and subsequently a reduction in DNA damage.

Clinical practice

Finally, it is evident that considerable attention has been paid to plants with potential for therapeutic activities. Among them rosemary, which in addition to being well known is widely investigated for presenting more and more promising results for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. In addition, goals should still be achieved as more studies aimed at expanding clinical trials, as well as seeking to establish therapeutic dosages of this plant or its bioactive elements, which have not yet been established.

Bibliographic references

Suggested Reading:
What Effects Do Essential Oils Have on Human Health?

Article Article Rosemary

: Li Pomi F, Papa V, Borgia F, Vaccaro M, Allegra A, Cicero N, Gangemi S. Rosmarinus officinalis and Skin: antioxidant activity and possible therapeutical role in cutaneous diseases. Antioxidants. 2023; 12(3):680.

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