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Home Page > Essential Oil Profiles > Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary Essential Oil Profile

Invigorating. Refreshing. Stimulating. These are the first three words that come to mind when I think of Rosemary Essential Oil. When I was first exploring aromatherapy back in the 1990s, Rosemary Oil took me by surprise. I was expecting it to smell closely to the freshly cut herb, but Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosmarinus officinalis var camphor) smells much more camphorous. As with other oils that contain camphor, Rosemary is helpful in massage and arthritis blends and can help improve circulation. It is useful for respiratory issues and makes a good expectorant/decongestant.

Rosemary has an excellent reputation for oily skin/acne, scalp and hair care, and I have repeatedly read that Rosemary Oil can be helpful with alopecia (hair loss).

Rosemary is quite stimulating and is heralded for help in memory retention and staying focused and alert. Rosemary is a good choice for blends for driving long distances and for long study sessions.

Rosemary Sprigs Rosemary Oil

Several important Rosemary chemotypes are worth paying close attention to:

Rosemary Verbenone (Rosmarinus officinalis var verbenoneaka Rosmarinus officinalis ct. verbenone) contains less camphor and is widely regarded as being safer to use within topical applications. The aroma is more herbaceous and is preferred by many.

Rosemary Cineole (Rosmarinus officinalis var cineoleaka Rosmarinus officinalis ct. cineole) is sometimes preferred for use in respiratory and circulatory issues.

Botanical Name

Rosmarinus officinalis

Common Method of Extraction

Steam Distilled

Plant Part Typically Used

Leaves and Flowers/Buds

Color

Clear

Consistency

Thin

Perfumery Note

Middle

Strength of Initial Aroma

Medium - Strong

Aromatic Description

Fresh, herbaceous, sweet, slightly medicinal.

Rosemary Oil Uses

Aching muscles, arthritis, dandruff, dull skin, exhaustion, gout, hair care, muscle cramping, neuralgia, poor circulation, rheumatism. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-67.]

Major Constituents of Camphor Chemotype

Camphor Chemotype:
Camphor
1,8-Cineole
a-Pinene
Gamma-Terpinene
Camphene
See Essential Oil Safety for additional Rosemary Oil chemotype oils and for more complete constituent reports for each.

[K. Formacek, K.H. Kubeczka. Essential Oils Analysis by Capillary Chromatography and Carbon C-13 NMR Spectroscopy. (New York: John Wiley, 1982). M.H. Boelens. The Essential Oils from Rosmarinus officinalis L. (Perfumer & Flavorist 10, 1985), 21-37. C. Bourrel, G. Vilarem, G. Michel, et al. Etude des priprietes Bacteriostatiques et Fongistatiques en Milieu Solide de 24 Huiles Essentielles Preamblement Analysees. (Rivista Italiana EPPOS 16, 1995), 3-12. J.C. Chalchat, R.P. Garry, A. Michet, et al. Essential Oils of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.). The Chemical Composition of Oils of Various Origins (Morocco, Spain, France). (Journal of Essential Oil Research 5, 1993), 613-618. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 407-408.]

Major Constituents of Rosemary 1,8-Cineole Chemotype

1,8-Cineole
Camphor
a-Pinene
B-Pinene
B-Caryophyllene
a-Caryphyllene
See Essential Oil Safety for additional Rosemary Oil chemotype oils and for more complete constituent reports for each.

[J.C. Chalchat, R.P. Garry, A. Michet, et al. Essential Oils of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.). The Chemical Composition of Oils of Various Origins (Morocco, Spain, France). (Journal of Essential Oil Research 5, 1993), 613-618. Private Communication: Badoux, 2003. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 407-408.]

Major Constituents of Rosemary Verbenone Chemotype

Camphor
Verbenone
a-Pinene
1,8-Cineole
Bornyl acetate
See Essential Oil Safety for additional Rosemary Oil chemotype oils and for more complete constituent reports for each.

[F.M. Soliman, E.A. E-Kashoury, M.M. Fathy, et al. Analysis and BIological Activity of the Essential Oil of Rosmarinus officinalis L. from Egypt. (Flavour & Fragrances Journal 9, 1994), 29-33. Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 407-408.]

Safety Information

Tisserand and Young warn that Rosemary Oil is potentially neurotoxic, depending on the level of camphor present in the oil. They also warn not to use on or near the face of infants and children. They recommend dermal maximum s of 16.5% for Rosemary Camphor and 6.5% for Rosemary Verbenone. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 407-409.]

Shelf Life

View Shelf Life Information

Important Information About the Profiles

The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for educational purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.

General Safety Information

Do not take any oils internallyand do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, haveliver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oilsonly under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Useextreme caution when using oils with children and give children onlythe gentlest oils at extremely low doses. It is safest to consult a qualifiedaromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. For in-depth information on oil safetyissues, read Essential Oil Safety by RobertTisserand and Rodney Young.

Essential Oil Book Suggestions

Click on a book's title to view details and read a full review for the book. Visit AromaWeb's Books area to find details about many other essential oil and aromatherapy books.


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The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Essential Oils
Level: Beginning • Intermediate • Advanced
Author: Julia Lawless

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