March 29, 2023

Does rosemary tea protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease?

From parsley to bay leaves, herbs are often the stars of supposedly miraculous homemade recipes shared online. In various posts on social networks, it is claimed, for example, that rosemary tea protects the brain from Alzheimer’s disease.

The authors of these publications claim that rosemary has the power to “enhance memory” and that therefore tea made from this herb will have the ability to protect the brain from certain types of dementia. But is there enough scientific evidence to support this theory? Speaking to Viral, its neurologist and vice president Portuguese Neurological Society (SPN), Rui Araújo, clears up all doubts.

Is it true that rosemary tea protects the brain from Alzheimer’s disease?

rosemary tea

In fact, there is some preliminary evidence (here, here is here) to suggest that certain constituents of rosemary – such as rosmatinic acid – may have benefits for the brain. However, the available studies are not enough to say that rosemary tea protects the brain from Alzheimer’s disease.

First, most of these studies were performed in cells or animals. Therefore, it is not correct to extrapolate and claim that the results in humans would be the same.

In one of the works, published in 2022the researchers admit that their study has some limitations, stressing that “animal models of cognitive impairment do not fully represent aspects of human cognitive function, thus limiting the transferability of the results to humans“.

On the other hand, existing studies on the effect of compounds from this herb on Alzheimer’s disease did not examine the effects of drinking rosemary tea, but rather from plant extracts. Therefore, it is not possible to confirm that drinking rosemary tea has the same benefits that the studies point to.

Additionally, although the researchers responsible for these studies reviewed their own “promising” resultsadmit the need for further studies.

“Further research in this area will therefore provide further evidence of the therapeutic potential of rosemary compounds. All the data available to date suggest, however, that its effect on Alzheimer’s disease is promising and that further research, including clinical trials, is needed. 2016 study.

Rui Araújo is proceeding with the same plan, there is no “official proofwell documented” that “rosemary or any other type of dietary supplement has some kind of real and lasting intervention in degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, for example.

The neurologist admits that there is “a great search for alternatives through food and nutritional supplements’ for various diseases. In fact, “there are always publications with this concept of therapeutic potential” that often appear “as if it were a solution for various diseases,” he says.

What happens in these cases, in the opinion of the expert, is that conclusions are drawn hastily based on preliminary studies. “Considering the issue that it is,” when the conclusions are positive, the information is “spread through the internet and the community,” even when there is no consensus on a particular issue.

However, there is no evidence for the effectiveness of rosemary tea (or any other plant) in “improving memory” or protecting the brain “against Alzheimer’s”.

What is Alzheimer’s disease and what is the proven treatment?

rosemary tea

According World Health Organisation (WHO), Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. You last details show that “more than 55 million people (8.1% of women and 5.4% of men over 65) are living with dementia” and that 60% to 70% of them have Alzheimer’s disease.

It is a disease “that leads to deterioration of cognitive functionthat is, the ability to process thought,” explains in the same article.

“It affects the memorythinking, orientation, understanding, calculation, learning ability, language and judgement,” it states.

In addition to impaired cognition, this is generally accompanied by “changes in mood, emotional control, behavior, or motivation.”

The WHO warns that there is currently no treatment to treat any type of dementia. “Existing treatments are for relieve the symptoms of the disease and not to stop or slow down development,” adds Rui Araújo.

In that sense, it exists Medication which can help to deal with the typical symptoms of the pathology, such as “forgetfulness, disorientation and changes in behavior”, explains the vice president of SPN.

“More recently,” he continues, “there have been approved, in the United States, drugs that are considered innovative.” However, still there is no approval of these medicines in Europedue to “some disagreements and some misunderstanding among the scientific community itself”.

Since there is still no cure, the WHO highlights some ways to support and improve people’s lives with dementia and their relatives and carers, such as: “early diagnosis”; “optimizing physical health, cognition, activity and well-being”; “identifying and treating co-morbid physical conditions”; “understanding and managing behavior change’; and providing ‘information and long-term support to carers’.

In brief, there is no reliable scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of rosemary tea in protecting the brain from Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia has no cure, but there is medication approved by the medical community, resulting in the alleviation of the symptoms of the pathology.


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