Health Guide


What is it?

Rosemary is an herbal medicine taken by mouth to treat upset stomach with gas, headache, cancer, stress, nervous tension, promote menstrual (period) flow, and to raise low blood pressure. It is put on the skin to stop redness and pain and to treat myalgia and sciatica (pain in the muscles and nerves). Rosemary oil has been used to promote wound healing.

Other names for Rosemary include: Rosmarinus officinalis, Compass Plant, Compass Weed, Incensor, and Old Man.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Rosemary you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Rosemary. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


  • Before taking Rosemary , tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not take Rosemary if you are pregnant (9)
  • Rosemary should not be taken in amounts greater than those found in a normal meal if you have seizures (uncontrolled shaking) (3)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Call your doctor right away if you have a seizure (uncontrolled shaking) (6)
  • You may get a rash after sun exposure (7)
  • May cause skin irritation (8)


1. Chevallier, A: The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. DK Publishing Company, New York, NY; 1996.

2. Anon: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. British Herbal Medicine Association, Keighley, UK; 1983.

3. Anon: Biologicals, 11th edition. Merck, Rahway, NJ; 1989.

4. Newall CA, Anderson LA & Phillipson JD: Herbal Medicines. A Guide for Health-care Professionals. Pharmaceutical Press, London, UK; 1996.

5. Farnsworth NR: Potential value of plants as sources of new antifertility agents 1. J Pharm Sci 1975; 64:535-598.

6. Anon: The Merck Index. An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals,11th ed. Merck, Rahway, NJ; 1989.

7. Mitchell J & Rook A: Botanical Dermatology. Greengrass, Vancouver, BC; 1979.

8. Blumenthal M (ed): Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 2000: 326-329.

9. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, et al: American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 1997:99.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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