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Rosemary Extract

Rosemary extract is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin E, that are highly beneficial for fighting the damage caused by free radicals. Read this article to learn about its health benefits and how you can prepare it at home.
Rosemary extract is obtained from rosemary herbs (scientific name is Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.). This herb belongs to the mint family and is native to the Mediterranean coastlines. Now, it is found in all parts of the world and is a common plant of our house gardens. It is an evergreen shrub with fragrant needle shaped leaves. Rosemary flowers are found in large variety of colors including pink, purple, blue red and white. For thousands of years, it has been in use as a spice for preparing various dishes and as a food preservative. Rosemary extract is well-known for its therapeutic values and is used as a herbal medicine.

Benefits

There are more than two dozens of antioxidants present in rosemary extract. Most antioxidants get deactivated after neutralizing a free radical. The antioxidants of rosemary are really unique and can neutralize multiple number of free radicals. Thus their lifespan is much longer. Some of the key health benefits have been listed below:
  • Rosemary extract protects the skin cells from the damage caused by aging and thus delay the occurrence of wrinkles and sagging skin.
  • It promotes the activities of some vital enzymes of our body that helps in flushing out of toxic substances from the body system.
  • It provides protection to the brain cells from the effects of aging process and enhances memory. Thus, it reduces the chances of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Research studies have found that the anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary extracts and the antioxidants can curb the growth of cancerous cells in the body and reduces the chances of leukemia and breast cancer.
  • The anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary extracts brings down the inflammation caused by various allergic reactions like asthma.
  • On regular intake of rosemary extract, it can bring about improvement in the functioning of the kidneys.
  • It keeps in check the oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol) and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Preparation of rosemary extract is a very simple process and can be done at home. For this, you will require fresh rosemary needles, 80-proof vodka and a clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Pluck the rosemary needles early in the morning from its plants and separate them from its stem. Wash them thoroughly in plain water and throw out any foreign element stuck to it. Put the needles inside the jar and pour 80-proof vodka on it. The ideal measurement is that the quantity of the vodka should be twice as much as the amount of the needles. It means, if you have taken one cup of rosemary then you should add two cups of vodka into it. Then close the lid of the jar tightly and keep it in a dark place. Keep the jar in untouched condition for the next 4-6 weeks. Then strain out the needles and store it in glass bottles.

The recommended dose is 1-4 ml of the extract per day. When taken in normal dose, it does not have any side effects. However, if it is taken in excess amount, then it can lead to some serious side effects like spasm, pulmonary edema (or fluid in lungs) and the patient may even slip into coma. Moreover, it is not suitable for pregnant women, lactating mothers and people with epilepsy.
By Bidisha Mukherjee
Published: 5/10/2010
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