Rosemary Extract As Organic Antioxidant : Approved By European Union

I am very familiar with the rosemary herb. The small plant with many branches growing upward. Each branch are surrounded by plumb needle like structures pointing up. Anyone should not be afraid to hold it cause the leaves are not needles and will hurt, only needle like.

rosemary herb

This plant is included in herb collection of my former horticulture professor. The herb is under extensive research. I know it can be processed to tea and use in culinary purposes – nothing more! Thanks to my reader eye and busy fingers. I discovered that it is a powerful antioxidant. Am I the last one to know this information?

Antioxidant is a substance that scavenge free-radicals. Free radicals are responsible for cell damage, rapid aging process, heart attack and formation of cancers. Rosemary’s antioxidant activities are done by the following bioactive compounds:

carnosic acid
rosmarinic acid
caffeic acid
ursolic acid
betulinic acid
labiatic acid

WOW! Speaking of nine antioxidant compounds of those little plants. Small herb with big benefits. It is really perfect for making tea and culinary uses.

The antioxidant action of labiatic and carsonic acid is similar to artificial butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). The BHT and BHA chemicals I saw in chemistry laboratory have a TOXIC warning printed on label. I bet food grade and analytical grade have the same thing in common – they are both toxic.

Here is another good news: The European Union approved the use of rosemary extract as food additive – as antioxidant. However its use is limited only to certified organic products. Use in artificial foods such as softdrinks and candies are not allowed. The source of rosemary herb must also be certified organic and must be extracted organically or by means of ethanol.

To gather extract by ethanol: 1) Gather rosemary needles (leaves) 2) rinse it well with several changes of water 3) air dry quickly (use electric fan for the purpose) 4) half fill in clean glass jar 5) cover with 80-proof vodka (1 part leaves: 2 parts vodka) 6) Cover and let stand for four to six weeks (keep in dark, dry and cool place).

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