Rosmarinic Acid

Rosmarinic Acid is a polyphenol derived from many common herbal plants of the Lamiaceae group: rosemary, sage, spanish sage, oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, the mint group, lavender, perilla and lemon balm. It is currently being studied for its effects on Alzheimer's Disease and some other diseases.

Botanical Classification of the Plant Source:

  • Family: Lamiaceae (Mint Family).
  • Genus and Species known to contain significant amounts of Rosmarinic Acid:
    • Origanum Vulgare (Oregano)
    • Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary)
    • Salvia Officinalis (Sage)
    • Salvia Lavandulifolia (Spanish Sage)
    • Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm)

Distribution: centered on Europe.

Properties of Rosmarinic Acid:

  • anti-oxidant.
  • anti-inflammatory.
  • breaks-up amyloid-beta conglomerates of Alzheimer's Disease in laboratory studies. It is water soluble and thus may carry out its amyloid-beta clearing activity inside the cells as well as outside.
  • anti-viral: with effects against Herpes Simplex. (Forsch Komplementmed. 2008 Dec;15(6):313-20. Impact of ethanolic lamiaceae extracts on herpes virus infectivity in cell culture. Reichling J, Nolkemper S, Stintzing FC, Schnitzler P.)
  • the Spanish Sage variety of the herb also has acetylcholine esterase inhibiting properties. (Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Jun;75(3):651-9. Salvia for dementia therapy: review of pharmacological activity and pilot tolerability clinical trial. Perry NS, Bollen C, Perry EK, Ballard C.)

Scientific Data on Rosmarinic Acid:

  • Synonym: Ros A, [[3-(3,4-Dihydroxyphenyl)-1-oxo-2E-propenyl]oxy]-3,4-dihydroxy- benzenepropanoic acid.
  • Chemical formula: C18H16O8
  • Molecular Weight: 360.31 g/mol
  • Soluble in water and organic solvents.
Rosmarinic Acid
rosmarinic acid

Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary):

  • height: usually a shrub, 0.3 - 1 metre.
  • leaves: evergreen; opposite pairs, forming a cross; the leaves are the usual source of rosmarinic acid. The rosmarinic acid content of these plants is greatly enhanced by environmental stress, as the polyphenol is a defence against such stress. The Rosemary plant survives in a hot, dry and windy environment in its native Mediterranean seaside niche, surviving on dew from the sea.
  • flowers: blue; crowded clusters usually containing two separate clusters.
rosemary: a good source of rosmarinic acid

Historical Uses:

It has been used as a food flavoring, beverage, food preservative and as a cosmetic.

Rosmarinic Acid in its natural state as part of a herb has been used to strengthen the memory and to improve mood by dispersing melancholy.

As a memory strengthener Rosmarinic Acid is a natural complement to Turmeric Extract: the former works inside the brain cells, breaking up amyloid-beta conglomerates, while the latter does the same outside the cells.

Quotations from Research Articles on Rosmarinic Acid

Article 1: "Traditional use and clinical reports suggest that the culinary herb sage (Salvia officinalis) may be effective for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, we evaluated the effect of a standardized extract from the leaves of S. officinalis (SOE) and its active ingredient rosmarinic acid on Alzheimer amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta)-induced toxicity in cultured rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. Incubation of PC12 cells with Abeta (fragment 1-42) for 24 h caused cell death, and this effect was reduced by SOE and its active ingredient, rosmarinic acid... These data show the neuroprotective effect of sage against Abeta-induced toxicity, which could validate the traditional use of this spice in the treatment of AD. ..."

Source: J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2006 Jun;317(3):1143-9.
Title: The spice sage and its active ingredient rosmarinic acid protect PC12 cells from amyloid-beta peptide-induced neurotoxicity.
Author: Iuvone T, De Filippis D, Esposito G, D'Amico A, Izzo AA. Department of Experimental Pharmacology, University of Naples Federico II, via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Naples, Italy.

Article 2: "Inhibition of the accumulation of amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) and the formation of beta-amyloid fibrils (fAbeta) from Abeta, as well as the destabilization of preformed fAbeta in the central nervous system, would be attractive therapeutic targets for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD)... Cur (Curcumin) and RA (Rosmarinic Acid) dose-dependently inhibited fAbeta formation from Abeta(1-40) and Abeta(1-42), as well as their extension. In addition, they dose-dependently destabilized preformed fAbetas."

Source: J Neurosci Res. 2004 Mar 15;75(6):742-50.
Title: Curcumin has potent anti-amyloidogenic effects for Alzheimer's beta-amyloid fibrils in vitro.
Author: Ono K, Hasegawa K, Naiki H, Yamada M. Department of Neurology and Neurobiology of Aging, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa, Japan.

Article 3: "OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and safety of Melissa officinalis extract using a fixed dose (60 drops/day) in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease... RESULTS: At four months, Melissa officinalis extract produced a significantly better outcome on cognitive function than placebo ... There were no significant differences in the two groups in terms of observed side effects except agitation, which was more common in the placebo group ... CONCLUSIONS: Melissa officinalis extract is of value in the management of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease and has a positive effect on agitation in such patients."

Source: J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2003 Jul;74(7):863-6.
Title: Melissa officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial.
Author: Akhondzadeh S, Noroozian M, Mohammadi M, Ohadinia S, Jamshidi AH, Khani M. Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Old Herbs - New Science

Ananain and Comosain (from Pineapple stem)

Cinnamon Extract

Curcuma Longa


Ficain (from Fig Trees)

Licorice Root Extract

Petty Spurge and Euphorbia Peplus

Rosmarinic Acid (from Rosemary, Sage)

Spanish Sage

Turmeric Extract

Vineatrol (from Grapevine shoots)

Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha)

Withanolide (from Ashwagandha)

Zerumbone (from Ginger)
This website acknowledges Pubmed ( as source for medical research abstracts.

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