Objective: Collect published research articles on the desired topic and summarize their findings in an evaluation of the preservative and therapeutic potential of Rosmarinus officinalis.
Design: The research articles used in this review were obtained by searching public databases with keywords such as “Rosmarinus officinalis,” “R. officinalis,” and “rosemary.” The articles were then reviewed, summarized, and organized based on topic.
Results: Eighty research articles revealed a wide range of therapeutic applications for Rosmarinus officinalis. Among others, rosemary was found to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, antidiabetic, antidepressant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-obesity activities. Rosemary essential oil and extract were found to contain several biologically active compounds. Compared to synthetic agents, Rosmarinus officinalis displayed low toxicity levels and few side effects.
Conclusions: Rosmarinus officinalis shows great promise as a natural food preservative and therapeutic agent in the treatment of many diseases. The chemical composition of rosemary essential oil and extract includes several compounds that are known to be strong antioxidants. Many of the biological properties of rosemary depend on this antioxidant activity. This is especially true in rosemary’s antidiabetic and anticancer mechanisms, for oxidative stress is a severe complication in both diseases. The antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant activities of rosemary, along with its low toxicity levels, make Rosmarinus officinalis a promising food preservative with fewer side effects than artificial additives. Despite these encouraging findings, more research on the exact mechanisms of rosemary’s biological activities is needed before it is consistently used to treat human diseases.