(NaturalNews) Rosemary is an herb with a distinctly woody taste and fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves that can deliciously transform our food. In addition to its food enhancing properties, rosemary is a potent brain protector. Ancient Greeks believed it profoundly improved memory. Greek students used to wear a wreath while sitting examinations for potent brain power.
Recent studies have now confirmed what the Greeks knew long ago. Rosemary contains an ingredient that fights off free radical damage in the brain. This active ingredient, known as carnosic acid (CA), can protect the brain from stroke and neurodegeneration that is due to toxins and free radicals which are thought to be one of the contributors to stroke and conditions such as Alzheimer's and dementia.
Research published in both The Journal of Neurochemistry and Nature Reviews Neuroscience, has revealed that CA activates a signaling pathway that protects brain cells from the free radical damage.
Rosemary is believed to prevent normal brain aging and keep the brain youthful and sharp. This tasty herb is also thought to improve memory.
Other benefits of Rosemary include:
* Prevents Breast Cancer
An imbalance of estrogen hormones in women can contribute to breast cancer. The drug Tamoxifen is given to women with breast cancer as an estrogen blocker to help reduce this risk of re-occurrence. However, Tamoxifen can cause a range of unpleasant side effects, including hot flashes, vaginal bleeding, headaches and nausea.
Rosemary is a safe natural alternative treatment. Dr. Zhu from the State University of New Jersey found that a 2 per cent concentration of rosemary extract given for three weeks was able to significantly inactivate excess estrogen.
* Anti-Aging properties for the Skin
According to researchers at the University of Catania in Italy, rosemary extract helps protect the individual components of skin cells, which may prevent age-related skin damage such as wrinkles. Italian researchers have discovered that rosemary has a protein which safeguards the skin against stress, free radicals and other toxins on the skin.
* Powerful Detoxifier
Rosemary extract has been shown to inactivate toxins and then eliminate them from the liver, before they can inflict any serious damage.
* Rosemary's liver stimulating abilities help us feel healthier and more energetic.
* Rosemary helps combat the effects of water retention.
Rosemary also has therapeutic properties as a mild diuretic -- making it effective in reducing swollen ankles and bloating. Dr. M. Halaoui from the department of Biology, University of Fez in Morocco, has studied the effects of rosemary extract's diuretic actions on the kidney.
He found that a daily dose of rosemary extract in liquid form can improve kidney function significantly, increase urine flow, and preserve the essential minerals sodium, potassium and chloride.
This is important because conventional diuretics (water tablets) may actually worsen kidney function by speeding up the elimination of these essential minerals from the body.
* Antioxidant and Cancer Preventative
Scientists from the Cancer Research Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences, in the Slovak Republic, have found that rosemary extract can significantly help to protect DNA against free radical damage.
About the author
Sheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner. Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.