Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.) Dosing and Safety

safety

Allergies

Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to rosemary, its constituents, or any member of the Labiatae or Lamiaceae families. Rosemary may cause contact dermatitis or erythema (skin reactions), as well as occupational asthma.

Side Effects and Warnings

Rosemary may increase the metabolism of hormones, such as estrogen, reducing levels in the body.
Rosemary oil may have toxic effects if taken by mouth. Taking rosemary twigs by mouth may lead to gastrointestinal complications.
Rosemary may increase or decrease blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Serum glucose levels may need to be monitored by a healthcare provider. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Rosemary may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
Rosemary may inhibit an enzyme involved in blood pressure regulation. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that lower blood pressure.
Rosemary may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be increased or decreased in the blood and may cause increased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients using any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
Use cautiously in patients at risk for iron deficiency, as rosemary may decrease iron levels.
Use cautiously in patients who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, due to evidence of hormone-altering activity, toxic effects to embryos, and abortion inducing effects.
Use cautiously in patients taking ciprofloxacin, cyclosporine, or salicylates.
Use cautiously in patients predisposed to seizure or epilepsy, as seizures have been associated with use of rosemary.
Avoid in patients taking lithium.
Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to rosemary, its constituents, or any member of the Labiatae or Lamiaceae families.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Rosemary is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding, due to lack of sufficient human data. Potential effects of rosemary include hormone-altering activity, toxic effects to embryos, abortion-inducing effects, decreased sperm production, and decreased sperm motility.

dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose of rosemary for adults. Traditionally, 4-6 grams of rosemary has been taken by mouth daily. Rosemary has been used in aromatherapy. Rosemary essential oil should not taken by mouth.
For stress and anxiety, the following has been used in aromatherapy: four drops of pure rosemary essential oil applied to an aromatherapy diffuser pad, five minutes before use; three drops of rosemary essential oil applied to a piece of cotton and added to an inhaler, three minutes before use. For cognitive performance enhancement, four drops of pure rosemary essential oil has been applied to an aromatherapy diffuser pad, five minutes before use.

Children (under 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose of rosemary for children.

interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Rosemary may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
Rosemary may inhibit an enzyme involved in blood pressure regulation. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that lower blood pressure.
Rosemary may alter blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also affect blood sugar. Patients taking insulin or drugs for diabetes by mouth should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare provider. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Rosemary may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be altered in the blood and may cause increased or decreased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Individuals using any medications should check the package insert and speak with a healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
Rosemary may also interact with lithium, diuretics (which increase urine production), salicylates, aminophylline, analgesics (pain reducers), antianxiety agents, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, anticancer agents, antispasmodic agents, ciprofloxacin, cyclosporine, hormonal agents, iron, and weight loss agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Rosemary may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
Rosemary may inhibit an enzyme involved in blood pressure regulation. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that lower blood pressure.
Rosemary may alter blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
Rosemary may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may become too high in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system.
Rosemary may also interact with diuretics (herbs or supplements that increase urine production), analgesics (pain reducers), antianxiety herbs or supplements, antibacterials, anti-inflammatories, anticancer herbs or supplements, antispasmodic herbs or supplements, hormonal herbs or supplements, iron, lycopene, and weight loss herbs or supplements.