Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) Extract as a Potential Complementary Agent in Anticancer Therapy.
Nutr Cancer. 2015 Oct 9:1-9. Epub 2015 Oct 9. PMID: 26452641
Cancer remains an important cause of mortality nowadays and, therefore, new therapeutic approaches are still needed. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) has been reported to possess antitumor activities both in vitro and in animal studies. Some of these activities were attributed to its major components, such as carnosic acid, carnosol, ursolic acid, and rosmarinic acid. Initially, the antitumor effects of rosemary were attributed to its antioxidant activity. However, in recent years, a lack of correlation between antioxidant and antitumor effects exerted by rosemary was reported, and different molecular mechanisms were related to its tumor inhibitory properties. Moreover, supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Food and Safety Authority, specific compositions of rosemary extract were demonstrated to be safe for human health and used as antioxidant additive in foods, suggesting the potential easy application of this agent as a complementary approach in cancer therapy. In this review, we aim to summarize the reported anticancer effects of rosemary, the demonstrated molecular mechanisms related to these effects and the interactions between rosemary and currently used anticancer agents. The possibility of using rosemary extract as a complementary agent in cancer therapy in comparison with its isolated components is discussed.