• Daurice Cummings-Bealer

Essential Oils & Cancer Part 5

Rosemary has been popular for flavoring dishes, controlling garden pest and for helping with memory. This herb has two major ingredients, caffeic and rosemarinic acid. These compounds have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help to protect against free radicals. Free radicals damage our cell membranes, tamper with DNA and destroy our healthy cells.

Rosemary is also rich in carnosol and alpha tocopherol (vitamin E). Carnosol can detoxify substances that can initiate breast cancer. Vitamin E also fights free radicals, prevents disease, repairs damaged skin and slows down the aging process. It also balances hormones and we know that an imbalance of estrogen hormones can contribute to breast cancer. Rosemary stimulates liver enzymes which also inactivate estrogen hormones. This is important because it naturally does the same thing Tamoxifen (estrogen blocker) does without the side effects.

In 2007 the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in TimiSoara, Romania did a study with women with Stage III and IV breast cancer. It showed that when given a special salad dressing high in rosemary (also with basil, sage, sea buckthorn berry, balsamic and grapeseed oil), the oxidative stress was reduced by ninety-five percent.

In 2011 the publication Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, reported that studies have shown that rosemary extract has powerful anti-tumor properties and suppressed the development of tumors in several organs such as the colon, breast, liver, stomach, skin, and blood. It was also able to suppress melanoma and leukemia cells as well. Another study found that using only a one percent concentration of rosemary essential oil was able to deactivate more than ninety percent of ovarian and liver cancer cells.

In 2012 a study showed that rosemary essential oil with a one percent concentration reduced cancer activity on ovarian and liver cancer cell lines. In 2014 the International Journal of Oncology reported that Carnosol reduced colon cancer (HCT116) cells.

Rosemary is a great option for many reasons but it is not suitable for everyone. It is recommended that children under certain ages, nursing and pregnant women, and those with certain conditions should not use rosemary. It is also noted that rosemary essential oil should never be ingested. The best way to use rosemary orally is by adding the spice to your food.

As we have seen over the past few weeks, essential oils are amazing at helping us in various ways of our life, including fighting and destroying cancer. There are so many others that are good for cancer and periodically I will touch on those.

However, we must remember that even when working with natural medicine we must take the utmost precaution just like we do with prescription drugs. Not all oils and extracts are suited for everyone. Please visit your own physician or holistic health practitioner before using to make sure it is best suited for you and your situation.

To learn more about rosemary you can visit these links:




Satoh, Kosaka, Itoh, Kobayashi, Yamamoto, Shimojo, Kitajima, Cui, Kamins, okamoto, Izumi, Shirsawa, Lipton, Carnosic acid, A catechol-type electrophilic compound, protects neurons both in vitro and in vivo through activation of the Keap1/Nrf2 pathway via S-alkylation of targeted cysteines on Keap1, Journal of Neurochemistry Volume 104, Issue 4, pages 1116–1131, February

2008. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-4159.2007.05039.x/abstract

Cheng, Tai, Anti-proliferative and antioxidant properties of rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis, Oncology Reports, Jun;17(6):1525-31. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17487414

Lipton, Stuart, M.D., Ph.D., Satoh, Takomi, M.D., Ph.D., Neurological Protection From Rosemary, Medical News Today, October, 2007.


Nordqvist, Joseph, Rosemary: health beneftis, precautions, drug interactions, Medical News Today, September 2015. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266370.php


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