Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary is a fragrant shrub well known for its distinctive aroma. There are several varieties that can be identified by its evergreen needle-like leaves with spikes of pale blue or lilac flowers which bloom from spring to summer. The plant is a symbol of love and fidelity and in medieval times was used at weddings. According to legend, if a man does not like the smell of the herb, he will be a lousy lover! Traditionally, it was used medicinally to strengthen memory.
Key Medicinal Uses
Internally Rosemary aids digestion and has been utilized for stomach problems such as dyspepsia, appetite stimulant, stomach cramps, bloating and constipation. It has also thought to have a detoxifying effect on the liver and increase the flow of bile which aids digestion. It stimulates circulation, improving blood flow. Traditional medicine application used the herb to treat headaches, nervous exhaustion, memory and concentration.
Externally Rosemary oil or infusion in bath water can be rubbed onto sore and aching muscles and is good for sciatica pain and inflammation. If using in the bath, bathe at least a couple of hours before you go to bed as the herb is a stimulant and may keep you awake.
Other Uses The herb is thought to stimulate hair follicles and circulation to the scalp and when an infusion of Hair Tonic made from the leaves is applied to the head, it will condition the hair, tone the scalp and strengthen the hair.
Herbs to Combine/Supplement
Flowers gathered in full bloom and dried.
Leaves - evergreen leaves collected at any time of year and dried.
To dry, hang in small bunches in an airy dark spot best to dry in a warm airy place to dry Rosemary quickly so that the fragrance is retained.
Do not take other than in a normal diet when pregnant or breastfeeding. Large amounts can irritate the stomach and care should be taken when taking internally.
Preparation and Dosage
Best taken as Infusion or Essential Oil essential oil should only be used topically, never ingested.
For digestion, headaches and memory stimulation:
Infusion - 2-4 grams dried rosemary into 1 liter boiling water. Allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain and drink throughout the day (again best not before bed time). Do not take more than 4 grams per day.
Essential Oil dilute 3 drops of essential oil in 10 mls of carrier oil and rub onto temples to treat headaches. Never use oil direct onto skin without first diluting.
For Muscle aches and Rheumatism - To add Rosemary to your bath, add 4 tablespoons of dried herbs to 1 liter of hot water, allow infusing for 30 minutes and adding to bathwater.
Rub dilute 3 drops to 10 ml of carrier oil and rub onto painful muscles or joints.