October 03, 2013

Rosemary: Benefits and Uses

Rosemary is an evergreen shrub native to Asia Minor and southern Europe praised for its antioxidant, antiseptic and antispasmodic properties as well as its distinctive flavor and fragrance. This plant often grows wild in coastal areas, hence rosemary's latin roots: ros meaning "dew" + marinus meaning "maritime". 
Ancient Greek students wore garlands of rosemary for its stimulating effects on the mind and memory. Recent studies have in fact confirmed that rosemary aids with memory retention. 

This shrub arrived in England in the 1300s and has been widely cultivated there for culinary and medicinal purposes since the 1400s. 
Rosemary's aromatherapeutic properties help with depression, fatigue, coughs, colds and headaches. 
Rosemary oil can be used in baths to benefit the skin, muscles and general health. In addition to stimulating the circulation of antibodies and immune cells, rosemary baths prevent skin infections caused by eczema. Because it contains camphor, which draws blood to the skin, rosemary reduces pain from rheumatic muscles and joints. Rosemary baths and foot soaks also help with bruises, sprains, low blood pressure and varicose veins. 
You can also take advantage of rosemary's medicinal qualities by making tea brewed from the leaves. Never ingest the essential oil. Rosemary stimulates the release of bile which ultimately aids with digestion and cholesterol. This diuretic tea also helps relax the muscles associated with indigestion and menstrual cramps. 
rejuvenating tea for the lungs and mind: 1 tbsp. fresh and dried rosemary leaves + tsp. dried peppermint --> steep for 10 minutes
Rosemary is an excellent ingredient in haircare, particularly for brunettes. Add the essential oil to mild shampoo for a stimulating effect on the scalp which helps relieve dandruff. 
an antidandruff treatment: 1 tsp. vodka + 3 drops rosemary oil + 5 drops lavender --> massage into scalp, do not rinse
shiny hair rinse: 1 oz. water + 1 oz beer + 2 tsp vinegar + 7 drops lemon juice + 5 drops rosemary oil 
I hope you've enjoyed today's post, which is dedicated to my friend's adorable daughter, Rosemary.

Balch, Phyllis A.. Prescription for Herbal Healing. New York: Avery, 2002.

Guyton, Anita. The Book of Natural Beauty. London: Stanley Paul & Co. Ltd., 1981.

Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. San Rafael, CA: New World Library, 1991.

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