• Home
  • Blog
  • Can Rosemary protect your vision, reverse retina damage due to frequent smart phone browsing, enhance your memory and kill various types of tumors?

March 21, 2017

Protect your vision with eating rosemary
Rosemary Flowering

Are you reading this article on a smart device or on a computer screen? Do you know that all of these gadgets emit visible blue-light? This blue-light can penetrate the corneas of your eyes and damage the photoreceptor cells in the retina[1]. This damage resembles that from macular degenerative disease, which leads to blindness. So, now you’ve been warned that reading from electronic devices can damage your eyesight. Do you know you can prevent your eyes suffering from blue-light induced degeneration by taking Rosemary? Do you also know that as well as protecting your vision, Rosemary can also keep your brain young and prevent Alzheimer’s!

Have some Rosemary, get clear and sparkling eyes naturally!

Millions of people use smart phones, read from an iPad or look at their computer screens for much of the day. In fact, an average user picks up their smart device 85 times a day[2]. Rapid mobile phone interactions are becoming a habit for these users. As a result, many people experience more eyestrain. This causes changes that resemble those from macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S and Canada!

Unless you have a job that requires you to operate with both eyes shut, the chances are you are required to work using an electronic device or to expose your eyes to the blue light which is naturally emitted from fluorescent tubes, LED lighting and the sun. You may often experience eyestrain or “asthenopia”. These symptoms can include sore, burning or itching eyes; dry or watery sensations; hypersensitivity to light; blurred or double vision. When the symptoms are severe, you cannot keep your eyes open. This is a sign that your eyes have been overused and will benefit from some rest and additional nourishment.

Can Rosemary prevent and reverse retinopathies?

Macular degeneration disease takes years to develop but the symptoms come on quickly over months. Ignoring the signs and symptoms related to eyestrain by continuing with the use of smart devices, TV’s, computers and other electronic devices can accelerate the disease progression and lead to blindness. Being blind is not just an inconvenience in life; it also means losing autonomy, independence, freedom and choices.

Fortunately, with advances in medical technology, researchers have been able to identify many unique natural food substances that can slow down the advance of this eye disease and which may even reverse its development. What’s more, these substances are anti-cancerous and are also able to promote cognitive performance (the brain’s function in acquiring knowledge and perform reasoning)[3]!

One of the natural herbs that has a very prominent effect in protecting retina photoreceptor cells is Rosemary.

Rosemary inhibits AGEs formation which causes retinopathy and Alzheimer’s!

AGEs is a glycotoxin. It is naturally formed and accumulated in our body as we age. It is also formed during cooking and absorbed thru ingestion. AGEs is a leading cause of many types of degenerative disease development including Alzheimer’s and retinopathy, which leads to macular degeneration.

Rosemary, a Mediterranean herb, contains very high level of the natural compounds rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid. These two compounds can inhibit up to 90% of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs)[4] formation.

One of the very typical AGEs compound is called Acrylamide. It is a neurotoxin which is responsible for many chronic disease developments. While both Rosmarinic[5] acid and Carnosic acid[6] demonstrate a protective effect from retina damage, carnosic acid demonstrated a superb ability in suppressing acrylamide-induced toxicity[7] in retinal pigment epithelium cells, which assists in maintaining our vision.

In a study conducted in December 2014, scientists pre-treated healthy brain cells with carnosic acid extracted from rosemary and then exposed the brain cells to neurotoxic Amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptides which lead to the death of brain cells. The research concluded that the ingestion of an adequate amount of carnosic acid may have potential in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease[8].

Rosmarinic acid and Carnosic acid from Rosemary can inhibit various types of tumor formation and treat chemo-drug resistance bladder cancer!

Besides being helpful in inhibiting AGEs formation which leads to retinopathies and Alzheimer’s, both Rosmarinic acid and Carnosic acid from Rosemary have a strong effect on preventing new blood vessel formation (also known as anti-angiogenesis)[9] in tumors. Also, both of these substances are able to induce cell death in various types of colon cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, Cisplatin (chemotherapeutic drug) resistant bladder cancer, liver cancer, skin cancer and brain tumors. When using Vitamin D analog to treat leukemia, the addition of Carnosic acid significantly reduced cell viability and proliferation. With the use of curcumin to treat various types of prostate cancer, the addition of Carnosic acid to curcumin exhibited a potent synergistic anticancer effect.

Carnosol from Rosemary induces synergistic effects with chemo drug temozolomide (TMZ) to fight brain tumors (Human Glioblastoma cell U87MG)

Glioblastoma multiformed (GBM) is an aggressive brain tumor with high resistance to radio- and chemo- treatments. However, an extraction from Rosemary, Carnosol[10], was able to sensitize Glioblastoma cell to Temozolomide (TMZ), a chemotherapeutic drug. This resulted in cancer cell death. More importantly, after the removal of the drugs, Carnosol continues to reduce restoration of the tumour cell’s proliferation which demonstrates its ability to continue to prevent cancer formation. This experiment demonstrated that by combining both a synthetic drug (chemo-drug) and natural cancer killing substances such as Carnosol, patients who did not respond to chemo-drugs may have new cures available.

Rosemary Tea with Gojiberry, keeps your eye bright and gives you amazing memory!!

You have very briefly learnt a little about the amazing benefits of rosemary to your eyes and how it directly protects your brain from AGEs damages, I would like to introduce you to a simple rosemary tea recipe. The ingredients of this tea have super nourishing nutrients and anti-oxidants (lutein and zeaxanthin) which have been proven scientifically to be effective in calming Macular Degenerative disease development in clinical experiments[11] while also inducing cancer cell death in various types of cancer cells.

Rosemary Tea with Gojiberry

Rosemary Tea with Gojiberry [12]


  • Dried Rosemary 1 tsp
  • Dried Gojiberry 20-30gram
  • Water 1 L


  1. 1
    In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add Rosemary tea leaves and Gojiberries
  2. 2
    Turn off heat. Transfer the tea mixture into a thermos flask. Let the tea infuse for a minimum of 2-3 hours.
  3. 3
    To serve tea, filter the leaves and gojiberries. Drink throughout the day and serve the gojiberries with your last cup of tea. These gojiberries would have many great emollients infused from the rosemary leaves.

How to complement an afternoon snack with this Rosemary tea?

Scientists found that people can lower their risk of developing advanced stages of Aged Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) by 25% and keep their vision when they supplement with high dose combination of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene and zinc.[13]

In one animal study[14], animals were pre-treated with zinc oxide and rosemary extract prior to exposure to intense visible light. This experiment concluded that the synergistic use of both rosemary extract and zinc oxide is more effect than using either substance alone to slow the progression of age-related ocular disease.

So, to complement this tea, you may wish to snack on foods that are high in zinc, such as pumpkin seeds, soy nuts, cashew butter and walnuts. To learn how to make a healthy candied walnut recipe without the use of sugar, please visit my website for an article on walnut.

What else can you use Rosemary for?

Other than using rosemary to make tea, rosemary is also great for flavoring meat dishes such as lamb and chicken. When making cookies, bread, scones, pizza and cranberry sauce, you can add some rosemary to create a unique flavour and aroma. Rosemary is also great with omelette, salsa and biscuits. Since rosemary can reduce AGEs formation during cooking, it is a great addition to any dish. I also like adding bruised rosemary sprigs to my freshly squeezed orange juice for a refreshing flavor.

Here is a summary list of health benefits that scientists have found with Rosemary:

  • Slows down or prevents Age-related Macular Degeneration from blue-light damage
  • Halts new blood vessel development during tumor development and mestasis and glaucoma formation.
  • Kills cancer
  • Stops AGEs (neurotoxins) formation during cooking
  • Slows down neuro-generative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Treats Helicobacter pylori related gastrointestinal disorders[15]

To find out more on how you can use food and herbs to promote health, you are welcome to join my facebook group “Dietary Therapy”. This group is open for anyone who is interested in exchanging healing food recipes and who wish to learn more on how to use diet with or without herbs to promote health, longevity and recover from degenerative diseases.


  1. 1
    Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology
  2. 2
    How often do YOU check your phone? Average user picks up their device 85 times a DAY – twice as often as they realise
  3. 3
    Plasma 1,8-cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to rosemary essential oil aroma
  4. 4
    Effect of rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid on AGEs formation in vitro
  5. 5
    Rosmarinic acid suppresses retinal neovascularization via cell cycle arrest with increase of p21(WAF1) expression
  6. 6
    Protective effect of carnosic acid, a pro-electrophilic compound, in models of oxidative stress and light-induced retinal degeneration
  7. 7
    Protective effect of carnosic acid against acrylamide-induced toxicity in RPE cells
  8. 8
    Carnosic acid attenuates apoptosis induced by amyloid-β 1-42 or 1-43 in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells
  9. 9
    Antiangiogenic effect of carnosic acid and carnosol, neuroprotective compounds in rosemary leaves
  10. 10
    New insights into the anticancer activity of carnosol: p53 reactivation in the U87MG human glioblastoma cell line
  11. 11
    Lutein and Zeaxanthin-Food Sources, Bioavailability and Dietary Variety in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Protection
  12. 12
    Ultrastructural deposition forms and bioaccessibility of carotenoids and carotenoid esters from goji berries (Lycium barbarum L.)
  13. 13
    Antioxidant Vitamins and Zinc Reduce Risk of Vision Loss from Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  14. 14
    Prevention of retinal light damage by zinc oxide combined with rosemary extract
  15. 15
    In vitro susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to botanical extracts used traditionally for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders

Bernadette Yu

Bernadette Yu is an Ontario Registered Acupuncturist & Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner. She provides Acupuncture Treatment, Chinese Herbal Medicine Consultation and prescriptions, Nutritional Counselling and Bioenergetic testing services in a medical clinic in Mississauga, Ontario.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}