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Drugs and Health Products

Monograph: Rosemary - Topical

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Date: 2008-01-23


Rosmarinus officinalis (USDA 2008)

Proper Name(s)

Rosmarinus officinalis L. (Lamiaceae) ( USDA 2008 )

Common Name(s)

Rosemary ( McGuffin et al. 2000 )

Source Material

Leaf ( Blumenthal et al. 2000 )

Route Of Administration

Topical ( ESCOP 2003 )

Dosage Form(s)

Those suited to the allowable route(s) of administration.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of:



Preparation: Dry, Powder, Decoction & Infusion + All Non-Standardised Extracts

Dose(s): 50 Grams , dried leaf
Directions For Use: Add to one full bath (Wichtl 2004, ESCOP 2003, Blumenthal et al. 2000)

See Appendix 1 for examples of appropriate dosage preparations and frequencies of use, according to cited references. The purpose of Appendix 1 is to provide guidance to industry.

Duration of use

No statement is required

Risk Information

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Caution(s) and Warning(s):
  • Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms persist.
  • Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms worsen.
  • Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding  (Barnes et al. 2007, Brinker 2001, Blumenthal et al. 2000, McGuffin et al. 1997)
  • Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you have large open wounds or skin lesions, feverish conditions, acute inflammation, severe circulatory disorders or hypertension  (ESCOP 2003)

No statement is required

Known Adverse Reaction(s):
Hypersensitivity is known to occur, in which case, discontinue use  (Barnes et al. 2007, ESCOP 2003)

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.


  • The finished product specifications must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the NHPD Quality of Natural Health Products Guide.
  • The medicinal ingredient must comply with the requirements outlined in the Natural Health Products Ingredient Database (NHPID).

References cited

  • Barnes J, Anderson LA, Philipson JD. 2007. Herbal Medicines, 3rd edition. London (GB): Pharmaceutical Press.
  • BHP 1983: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Cowling (GB): British Herbal Medical Association; 1983.
  • Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, editors. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
  • Bradley PR, editor. British Herbal Compendium: A Handbook of Scientific Information on Widely Used Plant Drugs, Volume 2. Bournemouth (UK): British Herbal Medicine Association; 2006.
  • Brinker F. 2001. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 3rd edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications.
  • ESCOP 2003: ESCOP Monographs: The Scientific Foundation for Herbal Medicinal Products, 2nd edition. Exeter (UK): European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy and Thieme; 2003.
  • Grieve M. 1971. A Modern Herbal, Volume 1. New York (NY): Dover Publications [Reprint of 1931 Harcourt, Brace & Company publication].
  • Hoffmann D. 2003. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press.
  • McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, editors. 1997. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press.
  • McGuffin M, Kartesz JT, Leung AY, Tucker AO, editors. 2000. Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition. Austin(TX): American Herbal Products Association.
  • Mills S, Bone K. 2005. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. St. Louis (MO): Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
  • Tilgner S. Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth. Creswell (OR): Wise Acre Press; 1999.
  • USDA 2008: ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville (MD). [Accessed 2008-01-21]. Available at
  • Wichtl M, editor. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook for Practice on a Scientific Basis, 3rd edition. Stuttgart (D): Medpharm GmbH Scientific Publishers; 2004.
  • Williamson EM, Evans FJ, Wren RC. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. Saffron Walden (GB): C.W. Daniel Company Limited; 1988.

Appendix 1: Examples of appropriate dosage preparations, frequencies of use and directions for use



  • 50 g dried leaf, per use (Wichtl 2004)
  • 50 g dried leaf, two times per week (ESCOP 2003)
  • 50 g dried leaf, per day (Blumenthal et al. 2000)

Directions for use:

Place dried leaf in 1 litre of cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Let stand covered for 15 to 30 minutes. Strain and add to one full bath (Wichtl 2004; ESCOP 2003; Blumenthal et al. 2000).