Rosemary: a complementary and alternative therapy in cancer prevention

Rosemary: a complementary and alternative therapy in cancer prevention

Nature not only presents us the life-sustaining air and water but also numerous bioactive molecules with significant roles in many diseases, including cancer. Today, cancer is one of the major causes of mortality around the world.

"Presently, around 10 million new cases are diagnosed every year throughout the world, and can rise to 20 million in 17 years in absence of efficacious prevention campaign, says the report".

Numerous cancer managing modalities are present until the date to treat different types of cancer, but still, there is room for improvement.

Components originated from plants, comprising food compounds, have enticed the attention of scientists to be used as agents for cancer prevention and management. The analysis of various natural products has open the large room of new anticancer agents and also for understanding their potential cancer-preventive mechanism of action. One such product, rosemary extract has been brought the attention to cancer researchers due to its potential antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties.


What is rosemary?

Composition of rosemary

Antitumor effects of rosemary

Rosemary in combination with other antitumor agents

How much rosemary can consume per day?

How to include rosemary to your diet

What is rosemary?

Rooted in the Mediterranean region, rosemary is an aromatic plant from the Lamiaceae family. It is perennial, the woody, evergreen plant having needle-like leaves and flowers of different colours (blue, purple, pink, or white).

It has been extensively used in place of synthetic antioxidants in food. Other than this, rosemary also used as food preservatives, seasoning, and traditional medicine.

Composition of rosemary

The majority, rosemary known to contain phenolic compounds extracted from its extracts and essential oils.

>Among polyphenolic profiles, carnosol, carnosic acid, hesperidin, and rosmarinic acid are the major components.

>The major components that you can find in rosemary essential oil are α-pinene, camphor, 1,8-cineole, p-cymene-7-ol, and borneol.

>Other than these, rosemary also embedded with diterpenoids and flavonoids.

Antitumor effects of rosemary

Out of its major therapeutic roles, cancer prevention is one of the major found roles due to its unique composition.

>Initially, rosemary anti-cancer properties are mostly due to its antioxidant action. The carnosol, carnosic acid, phenolic diterpenes, caffeic acid, and methyl carnosine are present behind this activity of rosemary.

>Most of the anticancer actions of this plant extract is attributed to two majorly found components, carnosic acid and carnosol.

>Along with its free radical scavenging property, rosemary also induce an intracellular antioxidant system by stimulating some associated genes and improving glutathione content.

>Rosemary also reported to induces ER stress, alters hormonal signalling and modulates components associated with apoptotic action.

>It has been found that rosemary enhances the impression of a gene, which is correlated with tumour-suppressing properties, this function of rosemary has become the base of its anti-proliferative action against tumour cells.

Rosemary in combination with other antitumor agents

The rosemary also found to use as a concomitant agent along with various currently present chemotherapeutic drugs.

>Rosemary found to promotes the intracellular accumulation and restriction of the efflux of vinblastine and doxorubicin during breast cancer treatment.

>Its extract also known to proliferates the activity of various cancer drugs like tamoxifen, and paclitaxel used to treat breast cancer.

>Potentiates the impact of differentiating agents used in the treatment of leukaemia.

>Exhibits a synergistic effect along with chemotherapeutic drug 5-fluorouracil while treating colon tumour cells.

Overall, rosemary and its extract can potentially be used as a chemoprotective agent.

How much rosemary can consume per day?

According to the European Food Safety Authority, "High intake can be 0.09 to 0.81 mg/kg per day. In foods and beverages, rosemary can be added up to 400 mg/kg."

How to include rosemary to your diet?

You can consume rosemary in many ways: in cooked dishes as toppings, teas, and drinks, as grilled leaves and infused with olive or other edible oils.

Like some of the other effective anti-cancer foods, rosemary is also a potential chemoprotective agent and therefore try to add it to your daily diet.

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