Rosemary is a spice that has also demonstrated anti-cancer effects. Dr. Chiung-Huei Peng and colleagues in Taiwan analyzed supercritical fluid carbon dioxide extracts of rosemary.
The primary active components were found to be carnosic acid, carnosol, rosemarinic acid, and ursolic acid. The extract inhibited growth of liver cancer cells in lab cultures, without killing normal liver cells. The suggested mechanism was the anti-inflammatory effects of these compounds.
“In chronic inflammation, cytokines induce production of nitric oxide (NO), which is converted to DNA-damaging, carcinogenic peroxynitrite and nitrite,” Peng explained. The rosemary extract inhibited production of nitric acid without cellular toxicity.
As a bonus, Dr. T. Harach and colleagues at the Nestle Research Center in Switzerland reported that rosemary limited weight gain in mice fed a high-fat diet.
Mice who received rosemary leaf extract at a daily dose of 200 mg/kg of body weight decreased by 39 percent in liver triglyceride levels.