Rosemary (generic name)

treats Alopecia areata and Anxiety/stress
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Adults (over 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for rosemary. Rosemary has been used in aromatherapy. Rosemary essential oil should not be used internally.

Children (under 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for rosemary, and use in children is not recommended.


DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.


Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to rosemary. Contact dermatitis has been reported in a small number of people exposed to rosemary. A 56 year-old man reacted to carnool, the main constituent of Rosmanox®, which is made from the leaves of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). A 23 year-old woman using a cleansing gel containing rosemary leaf extract developed an itchy erythema on her face. Occupational asthma has also been reported.

Side Effects and Warnings

In general, rosemary appears well tolerated with few documented cases of adverse events. Rosemary is likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in foods. It is possibly safe when rosemary and rosemary extracts are taken by mouth and used appropriately in medicinal amounts, or when used topically in medicinal amounts for up to seven months.

Allergic contact dermatitis, occupational asthma and chelitis have occurred in some individuals. Ingestion of rosemary oil can be toxic.

In large doses, rosemary may be irritating to the mucosa of the intestinal tract and may cause nausea and cramping. Also, rosemary has been shown to decrease iron absorption. Although not well-studied, the volatile oil of rosemary leaves may have musculoskeletal effects. Rosemary may also increase the rate at which the liver deactivates estrogen, which may lead to estrogen-deficient conditions. Rosemary may also cause hypotension (low blood pressure). In theory, it may also stimulate hair growth, and hirsutism may occur.

Although not well-studied in humans, rosemary leaf volatile oil may increase blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Serum glucose levels may need to be monitored by a healthcare provider, and medication adjustments may be necessary.

Rosemary may increase the effects of furosemide (Lasix®). Diuretic properties of rosemary have not been established, but it is possible that electrolyte changes may occur. Aqueous extracts of rosemary may increase urinary excretion of sodium, potassium, and chloride, and decrease creatinine clearance.

Use cautiously in patients with peptic ulcer disease, low blood pressure, coagulation disorders, or iron deficiency anemia.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Based on its traditional use for abortion, the risk of abnormalities caused by altered hormone levels, and preliminary evidence showing embryotoxic effects, rosemary should not be used by pregnant women or women who wish to become pregnant. Rosemary is not recommended in breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

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