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Rosemary is botanically termed as Rosmarinus officinalis. it is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae and genus Rosmarinus.

Listing Details

Indian Names
Chemical Constituents
The leaves of Rosmarinus officinalis contain about 1 to 2.5% essential oil. Wherein, 1, 8-cineol (30%), camphor (15 to 25%), borneol (16 to 20%), bornyl acetate (max. 7%), α-pinene (max. 25%) and others contribute to the complex taste. Twenty compounds representing 99.93% of the rosemary oils were identified. The main constituents of the oils were p-cymene, linalool, gamma-terpinene, thymol, beta-pinene, alpha-pinene and eucalyptol. The oil consisted of monoterpenic hydrocarbons, oxygenated monoterpenes and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. Rosemary is a good source of the minerals such as iron and calcium, as well as dietary fiber. Fresh rosemary contains 25% more manganese. Rosemary has the main constituents as a-pinene, borneol, beta-pinene, camphor, bornyl acetate, camphene, 1, 8-cineole and limonene (1).
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
In folk medicine rosemary is used as an antispasmodic in renal colic and dysmenorrhoea, in relieving respiratory disorders. Extract of rosemary relaxes smooth muscles of trachea and intestine, and has choleretic, hepato protective and anti tumerogenic activity. It is analgesic, astringent, diuretic, rubefacient, stimulant and tonic in action (2). Rosemary may have some anti carcinogenic properties (2). In a preclinical scientific study where a powdered form of rosemary was given to rats in a measured amount for two weeks showed a reduction in the binding of a certain carcinogen by 76%, and greatly reduced the formation of mammary tumors (3). Rosemary contains a number of potentially biologically active compounds. The most important constituents of rosemary are caffeic acid and its derivatives such as rosmarinic acid. These compounds have antioxidant effect. The results of a scientific study suggest carnosic acid, found in rosemary, may shield the brain from free radicals, lowering the risk of strokes and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and is anti-inflammatory. Carnosol found in rosemary is also acts as a promising cancer chemoprevention and anti-cancer agent (4).
Health Benefits
Rosemary contains potentially biologically active substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks. Rosemary also possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity (5). Rosmarinic acid found in rosemary is well absorbed from gastrointestinal tract and from the skin. It is concluded that rosemary and its constituents especially caffeic acid derivatives such as rosmarinic acid have a therapeutic potential in treatment or prevention of bronchial asthma, spasmogenic disorders, peptic ulcer, inflammatory diseases, hepatotoxicity, atherosclerosis, ischaemic heart disease, cataract, and cancer (6). Traditionally, rosemary has been used medicinally to improve memory, relieve muscle pain and spasm, and support the circulatory and nervous systems. In scientific studies, rosemary has been shown to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can neutralize harmful particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, and even cause cell death. Also rosemary oil appears to have antimicrobial properties .
Application in Cosmetics
Rosemary possesses antioxidant activity thus it is very beneficial for skin care. Antioxidants remove free radicals from the body which are very harmful for human health (8). Cosmetic use of rosemary focused on important aspects such as anti-aging property, as it has excellent toning and binding effects on loose, sagging skin. It also increases blood flow with its rubefacient action, which in turn promotes proper skin function. It helps to relieve skin congestion and the diuretic attributes help to reduce puffiness and swelling, resulting in firmer skin and better skin tone. It promotes a healthy-looking complexion. Rosemary can also be used in hair care. Since blood circulation is improved with this ingredient, nutrients are carried more effectively to the cells and waste materials from the cells are effectively removed, resulting in a cleared complexion.
Research References
1. Ozcan M. M., and Chalchat J. C. Chemical composition and antifungal activity of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) oil from Turkey. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2008 59 (7-8): 691-698. 2. al-Sereiti M. R., Abu-Amer K. M., and Sen P. Pharmacology of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.) and its therapeutic potentials. Indian J Exp Biol. 1999 37(2):124-130. 3. Nabekura T., Yamaki T., Hiroi T., Ueno K., and Kitagawa S. Inhibition of anticancer drug efflux transporter P-glycoprotein by rosemary phytochemicals. Pharmacol Res. 2010 61(3):259-263. 4. Yesil-Celiktas O., Sevimli C., Bedir E., and Vardar-Sukan F. Inhibitory effects of rosemary extracts, carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid on the growth of various human cancer cell lines. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2010. 65(2):158-163 5. Moreno S., Scheyer T., Romano C. S., and Vojnov A. A. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of rosemary extracts linked to their polyphenol composition. Free Radic Res. 2006. 40(2):223-231. 6. Klancnik A., Guzej B., Kolar M. H., Abramovic H., and Mozina S. S. In vitro antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of commercial rosemary extract formulations. J Food Prot. 2009. 72(8):1744-52 7. Klancnik A., Piskernik S., Jersek B., and Mozina S. S. Evaluation of diffusion and dilution methods to determine the antibacterial activity of plant extracts. J Microbiol Methods 2010. 81(2):121-6. 8. Rasooli I., Fakoor M. H., Yadegarinia D., Gachkar L., Allameh A., Rezaei M. B. Antimycotoxigenic characteristics of Rosmarinus officinalis and Trachyspermum copticum L. essential oils. Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 122(1-2):135-139.