Saturday, November 17, 2007

Neuroprotection From Rosemary

A study published in the October 2007 issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience. and a study published online November 8 in the Journal of Neurochemistry, show that carnosic acid (CA), the active ingredient in the herb rosemary, activates a novel signaling pathway that protects brain cells from the free radical damage associated with stroke and other neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

CA from rosemary is proving to be neuroprotective, without producing the serious adverse effects characteristic of so many drugs used to treat neurodegenerative disease.

Rosemary has been used since the Middle Ages to treat disorders of the nervous system and to ward off sickness. However, the exact chemical pathways by which it works have, until now, been unknown.

Can you think of anything better than roasted potatoes with rosemary and garlic? If only someone would produce a low glycemic index potato!


Jim Waugh, MD said...

Isn't rosemary also a staple in the Mediterranean diet?

Ellen Troyer, MT MA said...

Rosemary is frequently used in Italy to flavor lamb and the Greeks put it in every thing, including some fish dishes.

If memory serves, some Greek student still braid rosemary in their hair before a test to improve memory.

The ancients used rosemary as a symbol of remembrance during weddings and funerals, as well as a tonic to improve memory.

Isn't it fun when medical and biochemistry journals publish studies explaining why the ancients were so often right when they used specific herbs for specific maladies?

Royce said...

Rosemary is also a great border plant for areas of your garden you want to protect from deers. They dislike the scent.

Ada said...

How often would you have to incorporate rosemary to achieve these effects?

Sue Ann said...

I love your blog! I have some new healthy recipes! Thank you! This is great right before Thanksgiving!

Ellen Troyer, MT MA said...

Hi Ada,

I don't have that answer, but if you incorporate more fresh or dried rosemary into your recipes, you should notice a difference in your memory.

tabatha said...

If only we had this blog DURRING college! A memory booster really could have done me some good!

I love how easy your health suggestions are. I don't have to eat tofu and cardboard tasting carbs to be healthy...THANK YOU!

alex c said...

Here are a few tips for cooking with Rosemary:

For the best lemon-pine flavor of rosemary, crush or mince a small amount of the fresh leaves in your hands prior to use in cooking.
Dip rosemary branches in olive oil and use as a meat baster.
Use rosemary stalks in place of stainless steel or wooden kebab skewers.
Just for grilling: Strip leaves from fresh rosemary stalks for use in cooking; place stalks on coals to scent food as it grills.