Folk Rusmari

Action ► Essential oil from flowers and leaves—anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, stomachic, carminative; used externally in circulatory disorders. Flowering tops and leaves—carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue; vapor baths afford relief in incipient catarrh, rheumatism and muscular affections.

Key application ► Leaf—internally in dyspeptic complaints; externally in

Rotula aquatica Lour.

supportive therapy for rheumatic diseases and circulatory problems. (German Commission E.) Shows improvement of hepatic and biliary function.(ESCOP.) Carminative, spasmolytic of hepatic and biliary function. (ESCOP.) Carminative, spasmolytic. (The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

In research using rats, the essential oil and ethanolic extract of rosemary decreased drug-induced hepatotoxici-ty and the suppression of bone marrow cells. Phenolic compounds in the herb exhibit antioxidant activity. (Sharon M. Herr.)

The herb contains volatile oil (1.02.5%), composed mainly of 1, 8-cineole (20-25%), alpha-pinene (15-25%), camphor (10-25%), others include bor-neol, isobutyl acetate, camphene, li-monene, linalool, 3-octanone, terpine-ol, verbenol; flavonoids including api-genin, diosmetin, diosmin; rosmarinic acid and other phenolic acids; diter-penes; rosmaricine; ursolic acid, olea-nolic acid and their derivatives.

The anti-inflammatory effect of Rosemary has been attributed to ros-marinic acid, ursolic acid and apigenin. Among flavonoids, diosmin is reported to be more effective in decreasing capillary fragility than rutin. A ros-maricine derivative exhibits stimulant and mild analgesic activity.

The phenolic fraction, isolated from the leaves, also from the oil, exhibits antioxidant activity.

Pressed juice of leaves possesses a strong antibacterial action on Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli and Bacillis sub-tilis.

An infusion of the plant with borax is used as a hair wash for preventing hair loss.

Rosemary oil, in combination with the essential oil from thyme, lavender and cedarwood, showed improvement in hair growth by 44% after 7 months of treatment for alopecia areata. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

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