by Stephanie Chambers
1. Rosemary is a common evergreen bush found in many gardens. Like patchouli, it is a member of the mint family. Whenever I pass it, I always take a leaf to crush between my fingers to smell. I love it more than lavender. Maybe there are lavender people and rosemary people. I am definitely with the rosemary crowd. Some varieties can grow up to 6 feet high. It has silvery-green, needle-shaped leaves and pale blue flowers.
2. The name “rosemary” means “dew of the sea,” with “ros” being Latin for “dew” and “marinus” meaning “sea”. This also refers to its native habitat – the sandy Mediterranean coastline.
3. Rosemary loves dry heat – the hotter and drier the climate – the stronger its penetrating aroma.
4. Rosemary is said to be one the earliest plants used for cooking and medicine. Greek scholars placed wreaths of it on their heads to increase their power of concentration before exams. In ancient Greece, sprigs of rosemary were burned at shrines. In the Middle Ages, it was burned to drive away evil spirits and protect against plagues. Traditionally, rosemary is also considered a symbol of love and remembrance, and sprigs of it are often used in wedding ceremonies.
5. There are various legends about rosemary. According to one, it was worn by the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. In olden times it was common to spread handkerchiefs and other pieces of clothing over rosemary bushes to dry so they would smell nicer. The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her blue cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush, causing the flowers to turn blue. After that, it was called the "Rose of Mary."
6. Rosemary is said to refresh the senses and to provide a host of therapeutic benefits. It is commonly found in hair care products, as it is reputed to renew hair growth and prevent premature baldness. It is also used for dandruff and oily skin and scalp. It is said to have a positive effect on the mental functioning, clearing the mind as well as improving memory and overall brain function.
Rosemary contains camphor, which can help improve circulation and respiratory function. Therapeutically, rosemary oil can be used to promote blood flow to the pelvic region and uterus and support the digestive system. It is a diuretic and an expectorant/decongestant. Rosemary is also a known analgesic. For more details on how to use it, see the “How to use” tab on any of the rosemary essential oil pages.
7. At Amrita, we sell Organic Rosemary Borneol Essential Oil and Organic Rosemary 1.8 Cineol Essential Oil (a variety which is particularly good for the respiratory organs and the nervous system). But according to Dr. Christoph Streicher, the founder of Amrita Aromatherapy, and our resident master aromatherapist, Organic Rosemary Verbenone, which we also sell, is the most therapeutic variety. It grows wild on the French island of Corsica. It is cultivated in a few other countries, including South Africa. Rosemary verbenone is traditionally known for its cell-regenerative powers. Besides the common benefits of all rosemary varieties, it is also said to regenerate the liver and to help regenerate other tissues.
How to use rosemary oil
When using rosemary oil on the skin, you need to dilute it to a maximum of 2% in any carrier oil (10 drops per tablespoon). Dilute to a maximum of 1% (5 drops per tablespoon) if it using for an all body massage. It can also be diluted and used as a compress or in a bath. Undiluted, it can be diffused. It can also used in a steam inhalation. Although when diluted it is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing, you should still not use it if you have epilepsy, high blood pressure or are pregnant. It should not be used on children who are 3 years of age or younger.
So now that you know all about rosemary oil's uses, you might like to try it for yourself. If you have already been using rosemary oil, please share your experiences below so that we can all learn even more about it.
Disclaimer: The statements made in this blog have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician or healthcare provider. The information provided is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider, and should not be construed as medical advice.