Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves, flowers with colors that range from white, pink, purple, or blue and derives its name from the Latin words for “dew” (ros) and “sea” (marinus), or “dew of the sea”. A member of the mint family Lamiaceae, the rosemary bush is native to the Mediterranean region.
Rosemary is used as a decorative plant in gardens and has many culinary and medical uses. It has been used as a symbol for remembrance during weddings, war commemorations and funerals in Europe and Australia with mourners throw it into graves as a symbol of remembrance for the dead. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.”
Rosemary contains numerous biologically active compounds including antioxidants-carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid, camphor, caffeic acid, ursolic acid, betulinic acid, rosmaridiphenol and rosmanol.
One of the biggest health benefits of rosemary is its ability to improve memory. The scent of rosemary essential oil has been reported to enhance brain memory, with the ability to both recall past events and remembering to do things.
Other Benefits of Rosemary
Migraine Treatment – Boiling the herb in a pot of water for 5-10 minutes, and inhaling the steam for 10 minutes helps improve blood circulation in the brain, relieve the pain and inflammation of a migraine, and enhance your mood.
Pain and Inflammation Relief – Arthritis sufferers can massage diluted rosemary oil directly onto sore joints for immediate relief.
Immune System Booster – Rosemary contains antioxidants and anti-bacterial compounds. Drink rosemary tea during cold and flu season and use rosemary oil in a diffuser in your home.
Digestion Improvement – Rosemary helps stimulate the appetite and helps your digestive system to better absorb nutrients from the foods consumed. The herb also has natural antibacterial properties, helping calm and relieve stomach infections.
Better Respiration –Rosemary, eaten regularly, improves blood circulation and soothes lung inflammation. For relief from chest congestion, rub diluted rosemary oil on the chest and neck.
Regulates Menstrual Cycle –Rosemary contains essential minerals such as calcium and iron to improve blood circulation and B-complex vitamins to help relieve irritability and anxiety during the menstrual cycle.
Anti-Aging –Rosemary has natural anti-aging effects, as it stimulates circulation, reduces inflammation and puffiness, and helps rid the body of free radicals. Use rosemary oil as an inexpensive, natural alternative to anti-aging creams. Just mix a few drops of rosemary oil into half a teaspoon of coconut oil and massage into the skin.
Improved Circulation – If used topically or taken internally, rosemary and other essential oils such as lemon balm, thyme, and peppermint can help to improve circulation, helping warm up those chronically cold hands and feet.
Deodorant Properties – This herb has strong anti-bacterial properties as well as a pleasant scent to relieve body odor. Mixing a few drops of rosemary essential oil with ¼ of a teaspoon of coconut oil and placing on the underarms is a natural alternative to deodorants with toxic by-products. For foot odour, boil sprigs of rosemary in water for 5-10 minutes, allowing the mixture to cool to a skin-comfortable temperature, pouring the water into a basin and soaking feet for 15 minutes.
Infection Prevention – When placing rosemary oil on minor cuts and wounds, helps to prevent infections. Clean the wound first with soap and water. Dry the wound area and apply a mixture of rosemary essential oil and coconut oil, then cover with a bandage.