The worldwide interest in the use of medicinal plants has been growing, and its beneficial effects being rediscovered for the development of new drugs. Based on their vast ethnopharmacological applications, which inspired current research in drug discovery, natural products can provide new and important leads against various pharmacological targets. This work pioneers an extensive and an updated literature review on the current state of research on Rosmarinus officinalis L., elucidating which compounds and biological activities are the most relevant. Therefore, a search was made in the databases PubMed, ScienceDirect and Web of Science with the terms 'rosemary', 'Rosmarinus officinalis', 'rosmarinic acid' 'carnosol' and 'carnosic acid', which included 286 articles published since 1990 about rosemary's pharmacological activities and their isolated compounds. According to these references, there has been an increasing interest in the therapeutic properties of this plant, regarding carnosic acid, carnosol, rosmarinic acid and the essential oil. The present manuscript provides an updated review upon the most reported activities on R. officinalis and its active constituents.
Keywords: Rosmarinus officinalis; biologic activity; carnosic acid; carnosol; essential oil; rosemary; rosmarinic acid.