Background: Despite the newly treatment procedures, cancer is
considered as the main health threat nowadays and, therefore, new
therapeutic options such as traditional medicine should be investigated.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) has been found to possess antitumor
effects due to its major ingredients, including carnosic acid, carnosol,
ursolic acid, and rosmarinic acid.
Objective: This study was designed to gather the recent literature findings
from 2010 to 2016 on the cancer anti-tumor activities of carnosol and
probably involved mechanisms.
Method: The online English papers were gathered through the various search
websites, including PubMed, Iran Medex, Medline, Google Scholar, and Scopus
from 2010 to 2016.
Results: Carnosol, the specific composition of rosemary, has been shown to
have beneficial effects in keeping humans healthy and may be acted as an
Conclusion: This review revealed that carnosol may be effective as an
anti-tumor agent in the different types of cancer by inducing apoptosis and
inhibiting the cell cycle division. However, more studies are needed to
confirm carnosol therapeutic effects in human.