The Benefits of Rosemary Oil
Rosemary Oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant Rosmarinus officinalis L. It has been used for centuries as a traditional remedy for gastrointestinal issues, psychiatric problems, respiratory disorders, for dysmenorrhea, among other things.
The active ingredients in this oil are caffeic acid, romarinic acid, camphor, carnosol, and carnosic acid. They are thought to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and smooth muscle relaxing effects.
Rosemary Oil has also been shown to enhance hair growth. The smooth muscle relaxing effect on blood vessels is thought to be one the mechanisms promoting hair growth by improving circulation to the scalp.
One study looked at the effects of a Rosemary, Thyme, and Lavender Oil mix on hair growth. 44% of those using the study oil showed improvement in hair growth when compared to a control group. However, the study was felt to be underpowered so the statistical significance has been challenged.
A recent study analyzed the effects of Rosemary Oil in comparison to Minoxidil 2% (a commonly used pharmaceutical agent to treat alopecia). The study showed that over a 3 and 6 month time frame there was comparable hair growth noted in Rosemary Oil group and the Minoxidil group based on hair count and photographic analysis. The Rosemary Oil also demonstrated a decrease in hair loss.
It is thought that Rosemary Oil’s effect on improved hair growth is a result of antispasmodic effects on vascular smooth muscle to improve scalp circulation, hyperemic effects of camphor, and the antioxidant effects on oxidative stress that has been associated with alopecia.