Researchers led by Dr. Stuart Lipton of Burnham Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and Dr. Takumi Satoh of Iwate University in Japan say the herb rosemary contains an ingredient that fights off free radical damage in the brain.
The researchers say the active ingredient in rosemary, known as carnosic acid, can protect the brain from stroke and neurodegeneration due to injurious free radicals. These free radicals are believed to contribute not only to stroke and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s, but also to the ill effects of normal aging on the brain, the researchers say.
"This works through a mechanism known as redox chemistry in which electrons are transferred from one molecule to another in order to activate the body’s own defense system," Lipton says in a statement.
The findings are published in The Journal of Neurochemistry and Nature Reviews Neuroscience.