Rosemary acid

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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2-O-Caffeoyl-2-hydroxy-2,3-dihydrocoffee acid; CAS No: 20283-92-5; rosmarinic acid (engl.)

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Rosemary acid is the trivial name of a secondary plant substance widely used in the plant kingdom, which is chemically the ester of caffeic acid (compound with 3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-lactic acid). Plants apparently synthesize rosemary acid as a defense against fungi and bacteria. It also protects the plant against predators.

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Especially the families of Lamiaceae contain a lot of rosemary acid. Rosemary acid is also found in ferns and hornworts.

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Rosemary acid has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and potent antioxidant and cardioprotective properties. The positive results of a 0.3% rosemary acid ointment for atopic eczema described in a smaller study require further confirmation. It is one of the active ingredients of Rosmarini folium, rosemary leaves and Melissae folium (balm leaves).

Pure rosemary acid has antioxidant and antitumour properties. It can be easily absorbed through the skin (evidence from animal experiments).

Rosemary acid, like many other phenol carboxylic acid esters, has tanning properties (also known as lamiacea tanning agent).

Field of application/use
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In different. Melissa preparations with antiheptic indication (e.g. Lomaherpan® cream); also in ointments for sports injuries (e.g. Traumaplant®); furthermore in phytotherapeutics for acute urinary tract infections and dysuric complaints (combination preparations of lovage roots, rosemary leaves, centaury - e.g. Canephron®).

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