Topical Products - Rosemary Oil


  1. Karpinski TM (2020). Essential Oils of Lamiaceae Family Plants as Antifungals, 10: 103-138. Biomolecules.

    Summary: More than half of the essential oils from Lamiaceae family plants have good antifungal activity (MICs < 1000 g/mL; including Rosmarinus officinalis and Melissa officinalis). The microbiological data indicate that they could be used alone or in combination with antifungal drugs in the treatment of fungal infections, especially of the skin and mucous membranes. Some essential oils and their components extracted from Lamiaceae plants are used in cosmetics and medicines. Essential oils may be of future relevance in the treatment of multi-drug resistant fungi.

    Abstract: The incidence of fungal infections has been steadily increasing in recent years. Systemic mycoses are characterized by the highest mortality. At the same time, the frequency of infections caused by drug-resistant strains and new pathogens e.g., Candida auris increases. An alternative to medicines may be essential oils, which can have a broad antimicrobial spectrum. Rich in the essential oils are plants from the Lamiaceae family. In this review are presented antifungal activities of essential oils from 72 Lamiaceae plants. More than half of these have good activity (minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) < 1000 µg/mL) against fungi. The best activity (MICs < 100) have essential oils from some species of the genera Clinopodium, Lavandula, Mentha, Thymbra, and Thymus. In some cases were observed significant discrepancies between different studies. In the review are also shown the most important compounds of described essential oils. To the chemical components most commonly found as the main ingredients include β-caryophyllene (41 plants), linalool (27 plants), limonene (26), β-pinene (25), 1,8-cineole (22), carvacrol (21), α-pinene (21), p-cymene (20), γ-terpinene (20), and thymol (20).

  1. Borges RS et al (2019). Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil: A review of its phytochemistry, anti-inflammatory activity, and mechanisms of action involved, 229: 29-45. J Ethnopharmacol.

    Summary: This review of the literature noted it is important to remember that plants’ extracts and oils contain a considerable mixture of secondary metabolites that can mask the activity of the major compounds. Moreover, the lipophilic nature of oil contributes to this decreased activity, but recent studies suggest this can be bypassed using it in the form of nanoemulsions to improve its bioavailability and efficacy. Finally, the available data provide substantial evidence to consider the oil in the treatment of acute inflammatory conditions, considering its efficacy and high safety of use. However, more chronic inflammation models and clinical studies are needed. Overall, the studies reviewed support the uses of essential oil against inflammation-related diseases.

    Abstract: Ethnopharmacological relevance: Plant species Rosmarinus officinalis L. (Lamiaceae; Synonyms: Salvia rosmarinus Schleid. and Rosmarinus angustifolius Mill.) is a herb widely used worldwide. In local and traditional medicine, its used for inflammation-related diseases. Currently, studies report anti-inflammatory activity in its essential oil (EORO). However, to better understand EORO's anti-inflammatory activity its necessary to understand its phytochemistry and the signaling pathways affected by it. Hence, this review aimed to describe EORO phytochemical profile, ethnopharmacological uses, some biological activities of EORO will be described but emphasizing its anti-inflammatory potential and possible mechanisms of action involved.

    Materials and methods: The research was performed using the databases Medline, Embase, BVS Regional Portal, Science Direct, CAPES Journals, and Scopus; using the keywords "Rosmarinus officinalis", "anti-inflammatory" and "essential oil". Additional information was gathered from related textbooks, reviews, and documents.

    Results and discussion: Until now about 150 chemical compounds were identified in EORO samples, more frequently reported molecules were 1,8-cineole, α-pinene, and camphor. Studies suggest that the anti-inflammatory activity of EORO occur mainly through inhibition of NF-κB transcription and suppression of arachidonic acid cascade. Its antioxidant activity also aids by preventing injury caused by the reactive species of inflammation; its smooth muscle relaxant activity contributes to ameliorating airway inflammatory diseases. Lastly, toxicity assessments indicate low toxicity to EORO.

    Conclusions: Current evidence indicates anti-inflammatory activity in EORO, supporting its ethnopharmacological uses in inflammatory-related diseases, and potential future applications. However, although considerable acute inflammatory models were tested, more chronic inflammatory models are needed; clinical studies are still absent, this may be due to the high doses needed for essential oils to exert pharmacological effects, but recent studies show this issue can be bypassed using the oil formulated as nanoemulsions to improve its bioavailability.

  1. Role of Essential Oils of Medicinal Plants (Eucalyptus Globulus, Thuja Occidentalis, Rosmarinus Officinalis, Lavandula Officinalis) to Treat Broad Spectrum Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens and as Antioxidants in Food and Health, December 11, 2018 International Conference on New Horizons in Green Chemistry & Technology (ICGCT), SSRN Electronic Journal.

    Summary: The experiments performed in this study and based on literature, the essential oils of these four medicinal plants (including Rosmarinus officinalis) could be explored to develop broad spectrum antimicrobials against bacterial and fungal pathogens. Furthermore, the four oils also showed very potent antioxidant potential. Further in vivo studies are required to develop such essential oil-based formulations to treat broad spectrum bacterial and fungal pathogens and to develop functional food preservatives.

    Abstract: Essential oils (EOs) have attracted attention due to considerable interest in health, food and pharmaceutical industries. The aim of the present study was to screen EOs from leaves of Eucalyptus globulus, Thuja occidentalis, Rosmarinus officinalis, Lavandula officinalis for antimicrobial (antifungal and antibacterial) and antioxidant properties and develop EO as broad spectrum antimicrobials and functional food ingredient. The fresh leaves of Eucalyptus globulus, Thuja occidentalis, Rosmarinus officinalis, Lavandula officinalis were subjected to hydro distillation. The percent yield (v/w) of essential oil varied from 0.3 – 1.6%, with highest yield from Eucalyptus globulus and lowest from Thuja occidentalis. The EOs were used to study antioxidant activity by DPPH (2, 2-diphenyl-1- picrylhydrzyl) and ABTS (2, 2-azino-bis3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) assays. All the EOs exhibited strong antioxidant activity with IC50 values of 0.13 – 0.35 using DPPH assay and 0.6-0.98 using ABTS assay for different EOs. EO of Eucalyptus globulus showed highest antioxidant potential as measured using DPPH and ABTS assays. Further, EOs were tested for antimicrobial activity against bacterial strains (B. subtilis, S.aureus, E. coli and K. pneumonia) and fungal strains (Candida albicans ATCC90028 and MTCC277 and Saccharomyces cerevisiae H1086). EO from Eucalyptus globulus and Thuja occidentalis showed strong antibacterial activity against Gram positive bacteria, whereas Rosmarinus officinalis and Lavandula officinalis were highly effective against Gram negative bacteria. Further, EO from Eucalyptus globulus showed strongest anifungal activity against three fungal strains. On the other hand, EO from Rosmarinus officinalis and Lavandula officinalis showed antifungal activity only against Candida albicans (MTCC277). The MICs value for all the four essential oils ranged between 0.31- 1.25 % against bacterial strains and 0.15- 0.62% against fungal strains. These data clearly suggest that these EOs under study are broad spectrum antimicrobials, but more effective therapeutics against unicellular fungi. Based on our current study, the EOs of these plants could be developed as functional food ingredient cum food preservatives and broad spectrum antimicrobials against bacterial and fungal pathogens.

  1. Emami F et al (2013). Hydroalcoholic extract of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) and its constituent carnosol inhibit formalin-induced pain and inflammation in mice, 16: 309-316. Pak J Biol Sci.

    Summary: The major finding of this study is that rosemary extract controls pain and inflammation through inhibition of COX1 and COX2 enzymatic activity. In addition, the extract did not induce corticosterone release from the adrenal glands to achieve its inhibitory effect on formalin-induced pain and inflammation.

    Abstract: The anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive properties of Rosmarinus officinalis L. (ROL) extract and its major constituent, carnosol in male NMRI mice (W:25-30 g) have been evaluated in the present study. Formalin (2%, 20 microL) was injected into the plantar portion of the hind paw and resulting pain and inflammation was studied for 60 min. The plant extract, carnosol and other drugs were administered intraperitoneally or subcutaneously 30 min before formalin injection. In a separate experiment, the effects of the extract and carnosol on plasma corticosterone levels and activity of the enzymes cyclooxygenase type 1 and 2 (COX1 and COX2) were investigated. Injection of different doses of ROL and carnosol reduced pain in the phase 2 of the formalin test, which was not inhibited by naloxone and/or memantine. In addition, pretreatment of the animals with ROL and/or carnosol reduces the formalin-induced inflammation. Furthermore, the extract and carnosol did not affect plasma corticosterone levels compared with the control group. Interestingly, both the extract and carnosol inhibited COX1 and COX2 activity. It could be concluded that ROL extract and carnosol suppressed pain and inflammation induced by formalin injection, which may be due to inhibition of COX1 and COX2 enzymes activity.

  1. Sayorwan W et al (2013). Effects of Inhaled Rosemary Oil on Subjective Feelings and Activities of the Nervous System, 81: 531-542. Sci Pharm.

    Summary: In brief, the results suggest the occurrence of the positive stimulatory effects of rosemary oil inhalation. These findings provide evidence that brain wave activities, autonomic nervous system responses, and mood states can all be modified with rosemary oil inhalation. The results support that there are medicinal benefits of rosemary when used as a stimulant in essential oil treatments.

    Abstract: Rosemary oil is one of the more famous essential oils widely used in aroma-therapy. However, the effects of rosemary oil on the human body, in particular the nervous system, have not been sufficiently studied. This study investigates the effects of the inhalation of rosemary oil on test subjects’ feelings, as well as its effects on various physiological parameters of the nervous system. Twenty healthy volunteers participated in the experiment. All subjects underwent autonomic nervous system (ANS) recording. This consisted of measurements of skin temperature; heart rate; respiratory rate; blood pressure; evaluations of the subjects’ mood states; and electroencephalography (EEG) recordings in the pre-, during treatment, and post-rosemary inhalation periods as compared with control conditions. Our results showed significant increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate after rosemary oil inhalation. After the inhalation treatments, subjects were found to have become more active and stated that they felt “fresher”. The analysis of EEGs showed a reduction in the power of alpha1 (8–10.99 Hz) and alpha2 (11–12.99 Hz) waves. Moreover, an increment in the beta wave (13–30 Hz) power was observed in the anterior region of the brain. These results confirm the stimulatory effects of rosemary oil and provide supporting evidence that brain wave activity, autonomic nervous system activity, as well as mood states are all affected by the inhalation of the rosemary oil.

  1. Wang W et al (2012). Antibacterial Activity and Anticancer Activity of Rosmarinus officinalis L. Essential Oil Compared to That of Its Main Components, 17: 2704-2713. Molecules.

    Summary: This study assessed the comparative antibacterial and anticancer activities of Rosmarinus officinalis L. and three of its main components 1,8-cineole, α-pinene and β-pinene. The oil exhibited the strongest antibacterial and cytotoxic activities towards SK-OV-3, HO-8910 and Bel-7402 human tumor cell lines. It is very difficult to attribute the biological activities of a total oil to one or a few active components because an oil always contains a mixture of different chemical compounds including minor ones which may make a significant contribution to the oil’s activity. From this study’s results one could infer the antibacterial and anticancer activities of the oil is due to the cooperative results of their components.

    Abstract: In this study, Rosmarinus officinalis L. essential oil and three of its main components 1,8-cineole (27.23%), α-pinene (19.43%) and β-pinene (6.71%) were evaluated for their in vitro antibacterial activities and toxicology properties. R. officinalis L. essential oil possessed similar antibacterial activities to α-pinene, and a little bit better than β-pinene, while 1,8-cineole possessed the lowest antibacterial activities. R. officinalis L. essential oil exhibited the strongest cytotoxicity towards three human cancer cells. Its inhibition concentration 50% (IC50) values on SK-OV-3, HO-8910 and Bel-7402 were 0.025‰, 0.076‰ and 0.13‰ (v/v), respectively. The cytotoxicity of all the test samples on SK-OV-3 was significantly stronger than on HO-8910 and Bel-7402. In general, R. officinalis L. essential oil showed greater activity than its components in both antibacterial and anticancer test systems, and the activities were mostly related to their concentrations.

  1. Jiang Y et al (2011). Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of Rosemary, 32: 63-68. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol.

    Summary: The study concluded that the antimicrobial activities of rosemary oil were superior to alpha-Pinene and 1,8-Cineole independently. It is difficult to attribute the antimicrobial effect of an oil to only one or a few active principles, because extracts always contain a mixture of different chemical compounds. In addition to the major components, minor components may make a significant contribution to the antimicrobial activity. Based on the results, one could infer the antimicrobial activity of the oil is the synergistic effect of their compositions. It provided evidence that rosemary essential oil may become the potential natural antimicrobial in the field of food and pharmaceutical industries.

    Abstract: The composition of the essential oil of Rosemary was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). 22 components, which constitute 97.41% of the oil, were identified. The major constituents were 1,8-Cineole (26.54%) and α-Pinene (20.14%). Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs), minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) and time-kill dynamic processes against three Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis), three Gram-negative bacteria (Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli) and two fungi (Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger) were determined for the oil, 1,8-Cineole and α-Pinene. The oil showed a more pronounced antibacterial and antifungal activity than 1,8-Cineole and α-Pinene against all of the tested microbes. Furthermore, the survival rates and morphological changes of S. aureus after treatment with different concentrations of the oil were assessed by flow cytometry (FCM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM).

  1. Sagorchev P et al (2010). Investigations into the specific effects of rosemary oil at the receptor level, 17: 693-697. Phytomedicine.

    Summary: The effects of rosemary oil can bring about diverse effects in the tissue and explain two effects from the external clinical application of the oil. For example, activation of the neuronal 2 adrenergic receptors may cause the release of noradrenalin to be inhibited. As a consequence, vasodilatory effects arise, and pain transmission is suppressed. This mechanism may enable pain-relieving effects from the use of the oil. The pronounced spasmolytic effect of the oil on the smooth muscles certainly causes increased blood flow in the tissue. The next step is to examine specific effects of rosemary oil on the 1 and 2 adrenergic receptors for their clinical relevance.

    Abstract: Rosemary oil is used frequently in phytotherapy. The objective of the present study was to investigate the extent to which rosemary oil shows other effects on the smooth muscles than the familiar spasmolytic effects. The effects of rosemary oil on the spontaneous contractile activity were investigated in in vitro experiments with circular smooth-muscle strips of the guinea pig stomach. Rosemary oil was found to have agonistic effects on the α1 and α2 adrenergic receptors. These effects can be registered at concentrations up to 25 μl/l of rosemary oil. At higher concentrations the spasmolytic effect described in other reports could be detected. At concentrations above 100 μl/l rosemary oil, the effect of 10−5 M ACH is completely suppressed. The results permit the assumption that, besides the spasmolytic effects investigated to date, owing to its specific effects on the α2 adrenergic receptors of the nerve cells, rosemary oil brings about an additional improvement of local blood circulation and alleviates pain.

  1. Okoh OO et al (2010). Comparative evaluation of the antibacterial activities of the essential oils of Rosmarinus officinalis L. obtained by hydrodistillation and solvent free microwave extraction methods, 120: 308-312. Food Chem.

    Summary: This study revealed that the oil obtained by solvent free microwave extraction was more active against microorganisms than the oil obtained through hydrodistillation. This may be partly because the microwave extracted oil contained more oxygenated compounds and these class of compounds have been proved to possess strong antibacterial and antifungal activities. This supports the hypothesis the nature and composition of essential oils may vary depending on the methods of extraction used.

    Abstract: Rosmarinus officinalis L. is a perennial herb that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It is used as a food flavouring agent, and well known medicinally for its powerful antimutagenic, antibacterial and chemopreventive properties. Essential oils were obtained from this plant by hydrodistillation (HD) and solvent free microwave extraction (SFME). GC–MS analyses of the oils revealed the presence of 24 and 21 compounds in the essential oils obtained through HD and SFME, respectively. The total yield of the volatile fractions obtained through HD and SFME was 0.31% and 0.39%, respectively. Higher amounts of oxygenated monoterpenes such as borneol, camphor, terpene-4-ol, linalool, α-terpeneol (28.6%) were present in the oil of SFME in comparison with HD (26.98%). However, HD oil contained more monoterpene hydrocarbons such as α-pinene, camphene, β-pinene, myrcene, α-phellanderene, 1,8-cineole, trans β-ocimene, γ-terpenene, and cis sabinene hydrate (32.95%) than SFME extracted oil (25.77%). The essential oils obtained using the two methods of extraction were active against all the bacteria tested at a concentration of 10 mg ml−1. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values for all the susceptible bacteria ranged between 0.23 mg ml−1 and 7.5 mg ml−1.

  1. Ozcan MM, Chalchat J-C (2008). Chemical composition and antifungal activity of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) oil from Turkey, 59: 691-698, Int J Food Sci Nutr.

    Summary: Rosemary oil was tested against three fungi and based upon the amount of oil used had various inhibitory effects on fungal growth.

    Abstract: The essential oil of the aerial parts of Rosmarinus officinalis collected from Konya, Turkey was analysed by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The oil yield of dried plant (volume/dry weight) obtained by hydrodistillation was 1.9%. Twenty compounds representing 99.93% of the oils were identified. The main constituents of the oils were p-cymene (44.02%), linalool (20.5%), gamma-terpinene (16.62%), thymol (1.81%), beta-pinene (3.61%), alpha-pinene (2.83%) and eucalyptol (2.64%). The oil consisted of monoterpenic hydrocarbons, oxygenated monoterpenes and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. Also, the inhibition effect of rosemary oil was investigated against Alternaria alternata, Botrytis cinerea and Fusarium oxysporum. The experiment was carried out in vitro using disc diffusion to investigate the antifungal action of the oil. Oil tested on potato dextrose agar plates exhibited an inhibitory effect. The extent of inhibition of fungal growth varied depending on the levels of essential oil used in experiment

  1. Takaki I et al (2008). Anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects of Rosmarinus officinalis L. essential oil in experimental animal models, 11: 741-746. J Med Food.

    Summary: Traditional anti-inflammatory agents (e.g., non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can inhibit the cyclooxygenase enzyme in peripheral tissues and interfere with the transduction mechanism of primary afferent nociceptors. This study’s data demonstrated the anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects of rosemary oil might be partially related to inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis or to the release of other endogenous mediators. The LD50 values of rosemary oil were 1,000 mg/kg (i.p.) and 3,000 mg/kg (p.o.), however, the dosages used in the present study were well below those LD50 values. Consequently, no apparent behavioral side effects were observed in the animals during the studies. The high LD50 values also suggest that the oil extracts were relatively safe and nontoxic as well. Overall, the data provide support for the use of rosemary as a treatment for some inflammatory and pain ailments.

    Abstract: Rosmarinus officinalis L. (Family Lamiaceae), popularly named rosemary, is a common household plant grown in many parts of the world, including Brazil. Rosemary leaves are used for food flavoring and have been used in folk medicine for many conditions; they have antispasmodic, analgesic, antirheumatic, carminative, cholagogue, diuretic, expectorant, and antiepileptic effects. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of rosemary essential oil (REO) on experimental models of nociception and inflammation in animals. The anti-inflammatory effect of REO was evaluated by inflammatory exudate volume and leukocyte migration in carrageenan-induced pleurisy and carrageenan-induced paw edema tests in rats. Antinociception was evaluated using the acetic acid-induced writhing and hot plate tests in mice. REO (500 mg/kg) significantly reduced the volume of pleural exudate and slightly decreased the number of cells that had migrated compared with the control animals. At doses of 250, 500, and 750 mg/kg, REO significantly inhibited carrageenan-induced edema 1-4 hours after injection of the phlogistic agent. In the hot plate test, REO administration (125, 250, and 500 mg/kg) showed unremarkable effects on response latency, whereas control injection of meperidine induced significant antinociceptive effects. REO at doses of 70, 125, and 250 mg/kg had a significant antinociceptive effect in the acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing test compared with control animals. These data suggest that REO possesses anti-inflammatory and peripheral antinociceptive activity.

  1. Bozin B et al (2007). Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Properties of Rosemary and Sage (Rosmarinus officinalis L. and Salvia officinalis L., Lamiaceae) Essential Oils, 55: 7879-7885. J Agric Food Chem.

    Summary: The study’s results of the antioxidant effects of the investigated the oils, obtained with different methods of assessment, point out very strong protective activities, both as free radical scavengers and lipid peroxidation inhibitors. However, it is obvious the assayed oils, together with the compounds present in them, have different modes of action. The oil of rosemary expressed a better effect against hydroxyl radical and in the processes of the peroxidation of lipids. Furthermore, the study confirmed the earlier studies about significant antibacterial and antifungal activity of the oils against a wide spectrum of bacteria and fungi. The use of the oils could be useful not only in food and cosmetics production but also in the prevention and treatment of various human diseases.

    Abstract: The essential oils of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) and sage (Salvia officinalis L.) were analyzed by means of gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and assayed for their antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. Antimicrobial activity was tested against 13 bacterial strains and 6 fungi, including Candida albicans and 5 dermatomycetes. The most important antibacterial activity of both essential oils was expressed on Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, S. enteritidis, and Shigella sonei. A significant rate of antifungal activity, especially of essential oil of rosemary, was also exhibited. Antioxidant activity was evaluated as a free radical scavenging capacity (RSC), together with the effect on lipid peroxidation (LP). RSC was assessed by measuring the scavenging activity of essential oils on 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazil (DPPH) and hydroxyl radicals. Effects on LP were evaluated following the activities of essential oils in Fe2+/ascorbate and Fe2+/H2O2 systems of induction. Investigated essential oils reduced the DPPH radical formation (IC50 = 3.82 µg/mL for rosemary and 1.78 µg/mL for sage) in a dose-dependent manner. Strong inhibition of LP in both systems of induction was especially observed for the essential oil of rosemary.

  1. Angioni A et al (2004). Chemical Composition, Plant Genetic Differences, Antimicrobial and Antifungal Activity Investigation of the Essential Oil of Rosmarinus officinalis L., 52: 3530-3535. J. Agric Food Chem.

    Summary: The study suggests the existence of different chemo/eco/genotypes of Rosmarinus officinalis L. The study also confirmed a minimal antimicrobic/fungitoxic activity of the Sardinian version of rosemary. Also, an inductive effect on fungal growth, especially toward Fusarium graminearum was observed.

    Abstract: The chemical composition of the essential oil of the Sardinian Rosmarinus officinalis L. obtained by hydro distillation and steam\hydro distillation was studied using GC-FID and MS. Samples were collected at different latitude and longitude of Sardinia (Italy). The yields ranged between 1.75 and 0.48% (v/w, volume/dry-weight). A total of 30 components were identified. The major compounds in the essential oil were α-pinene, borneol, (−) camphene, camphor, verbenone, and bornyl-acetate. Multivariate analysis carried out on chemical molecular markers, with the appraisal of chemical, pedological, and random amplified polymorphic DNA data, allows four different clusters to be distinguished. The antimicrobial and antifungal tests showed a weak activity of Sardinian rosemary. On the other hand, an inductive effect on fungal growth, especially toward Fusarium graminearum was observed.