Rosemary oil is extracted from one of the oldest known herbs, the rosemary herb. Many recipes call for rosemary oil or rosemary leaves. The rosemary plant belongs to the mint family, which also includes lavender, sage, and basil. It has a calming aroma, can be used externally for pain relief and improving skin conditions, and when ingested, the oil can help with a variety of health and wellness issues ranging from indigestion to sexually transmitted diseases. Rosemary Oil Aromatherapy You can benefit from the use of rosemary oil without ingesting it due to its aroma. You can find rosemary listed in the ingredients of room fresheners, bath oils, cosmetics, perfume, and candles. In a 2003 study of rosemary oil, researchers studied the cognitive effects for students inhaling rosemary oil prior to a university exam. It was shown the students who inhaled rosemary oil during the exam had higher cognitive function than those who did not. Rosemary oil is now being studied for its potential treatment in Alzheimer's disease patients. Inhaling rosemary oil has been shown to improve: Respiratory Issues – rosemary oil provides relief from allergies, sore throats, throat congestion, colds, and the flu. Some treatment programs use rosemary oil for treating bronchial asthma because it is antispasmodic. It can also help with a respiratory infection because the oil has antiseptic qualities. Mental Health and Mood – rosemary oil can increase concentration, stimulate mental activity, and relieve depression and fatigue. The aroma gives you a mental boost almost immediately, so if you get tired, try inhaling a little rosemary oil to get yourself through a rough afternoon patch! Immune System – the antioxidants in rosemary oil help our bodies fight off infections and diseases. Using rosemary oil regularly in aromatherapy sessions can improve the immune system by reducing the amount of free radical activity taking place in the body which can lead to heart disease and cancer. Stress – inhaling rosemary oil decreases the amount of cortisol in the saliva which in terms reduces the amount of stress an individual experiences. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is released when the body is under stress, such as during a "flight or fight" situation. When the body has excess cortisol in the blood stream it can affect the hormonal balance and the metabolism functioning. Rosemary Oil Health Benefits When rosemary oil is consumed or used externally on the body it offers additional health benefits, including: Indigestion – rosemary oil can relieve stomach cramps, bloating, flatulence, and constipation. Research shows the oil can assist with detoxifying the liver and regulating the creation and release of bile. Skin – rosemary oil can help eliminate acne, eczema, oily skin, and dermatitis. Rubbing the oil into the skin, such as during a massage, can remove dryness and tone the skin. In cosmetics, rosemary oil is added for moisturizing and can leave your skin with a healthy glow. Hair and Scalp – regular use of rosemary oil in hair can stimulate hair growth and make each strand stronger. Use a mixture of olive oil and rosemary oil for a hot oil treatment. Some studies have suggested rosemary oil may slow down the loss of hair as well as graying hair. Massaging rosemary oil into the scalp will remove dandruff and moisturize to help eliminate dry and flaky scalps. Mouth – using rosemary oil as a mouth wash can remove oral bacteria that causes bad breath, and help prevent cavities, gingivitis, and plaque build-up. Pain – massaging the affected area with rosemary oil can relieve pain from arthritis, muscle aches, and headaches. Sexually Transmitted Diseases – the antimicrobial qualities of rosemary oil can reduce inflammation and symptoms from the herpes virus.