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Le romarin, un anti-inflammatoire naturel.

The essential oil of rosemary, a natural anti-inflammatory

Rosemary is an aromatic plant originating from Mediterranean regions, highly valued for its therapeutic virtues. The essential oil of rosemary has numerous properties, particularly its anti-inflammatory activity. Let's explore together the origin of this anti-inflammatory activity.

Published July 31, 2023, updated on February 9, 2024, by Manon, Scientific Editor — 4 min read

In short, rosemary essential oil.

The rosemary, a herb from Provence, is an extremely popular aromatic plant used both in cooking and traditional medicine. Its name derives from the Latin "ros marinus", which means "dew of the sea", and it is part of the Lamiaceae family. Although rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region, it is now cultivated in many regions of the world. There are different varieties of rosemary, each with varied chemotypes, such as verbenoniferum, cineoliferum, and camphoriferum.

Rosemary essential oil is commonly used to alleviate rheumatic pain, stimulate blood circulation, and soothe digestive disorders. It is recommended for use during spring and fall seasons to detoxify and stimulate the liver. This essential oil is also renowned for restoring vitality and energy in cases of fatigue, both physically and mentally.

How can we explain the anti-inflammatory effect of rosemary essential oil?

Rosemary essential oil is composed ofa blend of terpenes, including eucalyptol, which is present in significant quantities. Eucalyptol is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. A study conducted on rats demonstrated that eucalyptol significantly inhibited the production of cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-4, and IL-5 in lymphocytes, as well as TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 in monocytes. These cytokines, particularly TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, are known for their role as pro-inflammatory mediators in the inflammatory process.

Rosemary essential oil also contains two other components, α-pinene and borneol, which have been identified as playing a role in its anti-inflammatory activity. Specifically, α-pinene has been observed to inhibit the nuclear translocation of NF-kappa B, a protein involved in the immune response. Additionally, it is capable of reducing inflammatory markers, decreasing the activity of cyclooxygenase-2 and nitric oxide synthase. Nitric oxide synthase is responsible for the production of nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that plays a role in the pathogenesis of inflammation. As for borneol, it has demonstrated a significant ability to suppress the expression of messenger RNA of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and IL-6. This suggests that borneol plays an important role in modulating the inflammatory response. Thus, α-pinene and borneol, present in rosemary essential oil, contribute to its anti-inflammatory activity. α-pinene acts by inhibiting the nuclear translocation of NF-kappa B and reducing inflammatory markers, while borneol suppresses the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Studies on rats have allowed us to observe the anti-inflammatory effects of rosemary essential oil when it was added to their diet. The results showed a notable decrease in the infiltration of neutrophils, which are the first agents of innate immunity, at the site of inflammation in rats treated with rosemary essential oil, compared to the control groups of rats. These observations reinforce the idea that rosemary essential oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the inflammatory response in the body.

All of these observations confirm the anti-inflammatory power of rosemary essential oil, making it an effective remedy for relieving symptoms of rheumatism, tendonitis, and stiff neck.


JUHÀS S. & al. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Rosmarinus officinalis Essential Oil in Mice. ACTA VETERINARIA BRNO (2009).

HAMIDPOUR S. & al. Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary): A Novel Therapeutic Agent for Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, Anticancer, Antidiabetic, Antidepressant, Neuroprotective, AntiInflammatory, and Anti-Obesity Treatment. Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research (2017).


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