How to Make Rosemary Tea & Benefits

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated - Medically reviewed by Emily Borth(MS, RDN)

Rosemary might be one of the most revered herbs throughout our history. It was believed to contain powerful medicinal benefits with almost magical powers. Now science is telling us that the powerful bioactive compounds in the herb may indeed give it potent medicinal properties, from dealing with hair loss to managing chronic conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Rosemary tea is one of the most convenient ways of taking the herb.

What is Rosemary Tea?

Rosemary tea is made by brewing the leaves and stem of the rosemary herb, scientific name Rosmarinus officinalis. Native to the Mediterranean region, this herb may be one of the most popular in the world for culinary usage and may have been used in natural healing for thousands of years. Many of the impressive health benefits of rosemary tea come from caffeic acid and its derivative rosmarinic acid. It might also contain salicylic acid, potassium, and various antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant compounds. [1] [2]

Watch Video: 5 Surprising Benefits Of Rosemary Tea

5 Surprising Benefits Of Rosemary Tea | Organic Facts

How to Make Rosemary Tea?

Rosemary tea can be made very easily with a few sprigs of rosemary herb, hot water, and a dash of natural sweeteners, such as honey or sugar. Unlike many herbal teas that require only the leaves to be steeped for a tea blend, rosemary tea is made by steeping both the leaves and the stems of rosemary. This tea can be made with either fresh or dried leaves, and can even be made through powdered leaves, although this is less common.

A close-up view of rosemary tea

Rosemary Tea Recipe - A Popular Herbal Remedy

Enjoy the soothing effects of this aromatic herbal infusion!
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Course: Beverage
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: rosemary tea
Appliance: Stove
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Ishani Bose
[4] [5]

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp rosemary (dried, fresh or powdered)
  • 1 cup water (filtered)
  • 1 tsp honey or sugar (if desired)

Instructions

  • To make rosemary tea, bring the water to a boil in a small pot and then reduce the heat.
  • Add the rosemary herb to the water and allow it to steep for 5-6 minutes.
  • Once done, switch off the stove and allow it to cool for some time. Then, strain the mixture into a teacup. If you want to add a sweetener, you can add a tsp of honey or sugar as per your preference. 
    A close-up view of rosemary tea

Notes

If you allow the tea to steep for over 10 minutes, it will not only ooze out more of the healthy oils and nutrients but also make the tea stronger and give it a bitter taste. If you use a fresh sprig of rosemary tea, you won't need to filter it as you will automatically leave the rosemary needles on the stem before adding it to the boiling water to brew it. On the contrary, if you use dried rosemary, ensure that you don't use more than a teaspoon of the tea leaves for every cup of boiling water.

Benefits of Rosemary Tea

Drinking rosemary tea might potentially be helpful for people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, arthritis, chronic pain, hair loss, anxiety, stress, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, and a number of skin conditions. Rosemary tea may have a lot of benefits to offer, some of which are listed below;

May Aid In Skin Care

The compounds found in rosemary tea might be well known to improve the appearance of the skin, especially in preventing UV induced damage thanks to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A review on plants used to treat skin diseases, published in Pharmacognosy Reviews, explained these benefits of rosemary in detail. Apart from UV damage, rosemary might also have been effective in treating acne. [6]

May Improve Circulation

Rosemary tea may be known as a stimulating substance for the circulatory system because it has anticoagulant properties, similar to aspirin. This may improve the flow of blood through the body. This might help prevent excessive blood clotting that can lead to strokes and heart attacks. [7]

May Augment Cognitive Function

Rosemary might have always been associated with remembrance. Research now tells us that the herb itself may have benefits that go beyond its symbolic use. Multiple studies have shown that rosemary could improve cognitive function, particularly memory. It could be a particularly useful herbal remedy for people with Alzheimer’s. A 2018 study, published in the Journal of Pharmacology, may have found significant effects of rosemary water on cognition. It might have been particularly beneficial for brain activity associated with blood flow. The study showed that it could improve memory by up to 15 percent. [8] [9]

May Aid in Digestion

The antispasmodic and carminative properties of rosemary tea may make it ideal for people suffering from diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal cramping. This herbal tea might have been used to clear up digestive issues for generations and may also improve nutrient uptake by relieving inflammation in the gut. Research published in the Journal Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences might indicate that rosemary extract may be effective in treating inflammatory bowel diseases. [10] [11]

Top view shot of rosemary tea with the plant

Rosemary is an evergreen herb used as a spice in ethnic cuisines. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

May Heal Inflammation

One of the key ingredients of this powerful tea may be carnosic acid. Research has shown it to possibly reduce the levels of nitric acid in the body that may be a trigger for inflammation. In combination with other antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, this might potentially help people suffering from many conditions associated with inflammation, including arthritis, headaches, muscle pain, joint disorders, hemorrhoids, and hypersensitivity to allergens. [12]

May Offer Pain Relief

The pain-relieving qualities of rosemary tea might be well known and are largely the result of salicylate, which is a compound similar to aspirin. Whether you are recovering from an illness, surgery or injury, or in chronic pain, this tea may help relieve some of your pain. Although we don’t have a study on rosemary tea’s efficacy in treating pain, it was traditionally used for this purpose. An animal study has shown that rosemary oil extract may help alleviate pain without any side-effects. [13] [14]

May Help In Hair Care

Many people may use rosemary tea improve the health of their hair, but not by drinking it! You can use this tea as well as rosemary oil to scrub the scalp and hair, thereby helping improve the nutrient content of the hair, and also potentially reducing dandruff. The antibacterial properties might also help keep skin conditions at bay and protect against hair loss. [15]

May Help Regulate Liver Function

Early research has shown that rosemary might help improve the health and function of the liver, due to its free radical scavenging and reducing properties. This may help keep the liver healthy so it can continue to effectively eliminate toxins from the body. [16]

May Ease Anxiety

Rosemary tea might have been traditionally used to soothe anxiety and stress, and helping people relax. An animal study has shown that caffeic acid, a major constituent of rosemary, has antidepressant properties. It can also help in relieving anxiety. [17]

May Aid In Diabetes Management

The polyphenols in rosemary might help in the management of type 2 diabetes. Although greenhouse varieties may have been found to contain a higher amount of polyphenols and flavonoids, commercially available rosemary was found to be equally effective as a concentrated source of potent bioactive compounds. A 2017 review collated different in-vitro and in-vivo studies to show how the bioactive compounds in rosemary extract can be a very effective tool in diabetes management. [18] [19]

However, keep in mind that rosemary may interfere with your blood sugar levels and can hence, interact with any diabetes medication you are on. It is best to talk to a doctor before you include rosemary tea as a means of diabetes management. [20]

May Protect the Eye

Drinking rosemary tea may help in protecting your vision from age-related damage. A study found that carsonic acid, a major constituent of rosemary, can protect the eye age-related conditions, like macular degeneration. [21]

Side Effects

Rosemary is considered safe to use at the recommended dose. However, it may trigger allergic reactions in some people. Given the powerful volatile compounds in the herb, you should seek the advice of a certified dietician or a herbalist when taking it on a regular basis. It is best to start with a cup of tea to check your reaction. If there are no side-effects, you can take an additional cup a day. The Penn State Hershey Medical Center lists the side-effects of rosemary tea: [22]

  • Contact dermatitis: Allergic reaction to rosemary may cause vomiting spasms and in some cases, even coma or edema.
  • Pregnancy: Some of the compounds found in rosemary tea may stimulate menstruation, which is dangerous during pregnancy, particularly in the first two trimesters. Breastfeeding mothers should also avoid this tea as it may decrease milk supply.
  • Seizures: Some of the active ingredients in rosemary tea may exacerbate factors causing seizures.
  • Gastric Issues: Some of the most common side effects of drinking rosemary tea may include nausea, vomiting, inflammation of the gut, and hemorrhoid bleeding. This might typically be visible only when large amounts of rosemary are consumed, not the relatively small amount used in the brewing of this tea.
  • Aspirin Allergy: One of the chemicals found in rosemary tea, salicylate, is very similar to aspirin, and if you are allergic to aspirin, your body may respond in a similar way.
  • Bleeding: The anticoagulant nature of this herbal tea may worsen your condition if you have a bleeding disorder.
  • Crohn’s disease: People with Crohn’s disease, ulcer, or high blood pressure should avoid rosemary.
  • Drug interaction: It may interact with certain medications. This includes anticoagulants, ACE inhibitors, Diuretics, and diabetes medications. If you are taking any of these medications, it is best to talk to your doctor before you include rosemary tea in your daily regime.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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