It wasn't just Shakespeare who wrote about Rosemary for remembrance. Rosemary has been used for many of it's therapeutic and aromatic constituents, including memory.
Photo credit: Photo by J Williams on Unsplash
Did you know that Rosemary is known as ‘dew of the sea’ because is native to the sea cliffs of the Mediterranean region?
Rosemary belongs to an aromatic family of herbs which include basil, lavender, myrtle and sage. It was considered sacred by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Hebrews and Romans. They used it to improve memory, for incense and protection.
As a symbol of remembrance rosemary was strewn into graves as a promise to loved ones that they would never be forgotten.
Rosemary essential oil is best known for its stimulating, soothing and pain-relieving properties. It is used for its antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
For thousands of years, folk medicine has also used Rosemary for its ability to improve memory, soothe digestive issues, and relieve aching muscles.
If you want to get technical, here are some of the main chemical constituents of Rosemary.
α -Pinene: Anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, expectorant, bronchodilator
Camphor: Cough suppressant, decongestant, febrifuge (for fever), anesthetic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory
1,8-Cineol: Analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-viral, cough suppressant
Camphene: Anti-oxidant, soothing, anti-inflammatory
Limonene: Nervous system stimulant, psychostimulant, mood-balancing, appetite suppressant, detoxifying
Linalool: Sedative, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, analgesic
Used in aromatherapy, Rosemary Oil helps reduce stress levels and nervous tension, boost mental activity, encourage clarity and insight, relieve fatigue, and support respiratory function.
It is used to improve alertness, eliminate negative moods, and increase the retention of information by enhancing concentration.
The scent of Rosemary Essential Oil stimulates the appetite and is also known to reduce the level of harmful stress hormones that are released when involved in tense experiences.
Inhaling Rosemary Oil boosts the immune system by stimulating internal anti-oxidant activity, which in turn fights ailments caused by free radicals, and it relieves throat and nasal congestion by clearing the respiratory tract.
Diluted and used topically, Rosemary Essential Oil is known to stimulate hair growth, reduce pain, soothe inflammation, eliminate headaches, strengthen the immune system, and condition hair to make it look and feel healthy.
Used in a massage, Rosemary Oil’s detoxifying properties can facilitate healthy digestion, relieve flatulence, bloating and cramps, and relieve constipation. Through massage, this oil stimulates circulation, which allows the body to better absorb nutrients from food.
In cosmetics for hair care, Rosemary Essential Oil’s tonic properties stimulate hair follicles to lengthen and strengthen hair while slowing the graying of hair, preventing hair loss, and moisturizing dry scalp to relieve dandruff.
Traditionally, Rosemary Oil combined with Olive Oil in a hot oil hair treatment has been known to darken and strengthen hair. The anti-microbial, antiseptic, astringent, antioxidant, and tonic properties of this oil make it a beneficial additive in skin care products that are meant to soothe or even treat dry or oily skin, eczema, inflammation, and acne.
Effective for all skin types, this rejuvenating oil can be added to soaps, face washes, face masks, toners, and creams to achieve firm yet hydrated skin that appears to have a healthy glow that is free of unwanted marks.
Rosemary Essential Oil’s refreshing and energizing aroma can be be diluted with water and used in natural homemade room fresheners to eliminate unpleasant odors from the environment as well as from objects.
Rosemary Essential Oil’s anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-septic properties make it a natural homemade multi-purpose cleaning spray to cleanse indoor environments and eliminate harmful bacteria therein. A dilution of Rosemary Oil in distilled white vinegar and water make a spray cleanser that is suitable to wipe down surfaces like counter tops.
Rosemary Essential Oil is most commonly extracted through the steam distillation of the plant’s flowering tops and leaves. After distillation, the oil has a watery viscosity and can be colorless or pale yellow. It's powerful and refreshing smell is herbaceous and similar to mint with an undertone that is characterized as woody and balsamic.
Photo credit: doTerra
You can find my Dry Shampoo Recipe here which includes Rosemary Essential Oil.
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Contraindications for Rosemary.
As per NAHA guidelines, Louise Pitot does not recommend the ingestion of essential oils. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using Rosemary Essential Oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women and those taking prescription drugs are especially advised not to use Rosemary Essential Oil without the medical advice of a physician. The oil may have a negative effect on the fetus and potentially lead to miscarriage. Rosemary Essential Oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7. Those with high blood pressure should avoid using this oil, as it may further elevate blood pressure.
When applied topically, Rosemary Essential Oil should be used in dilution – a carrier oil such as Almond, Coconut, Jojoba, Olive, or Hemp is recommended – and in small amounts, as using the oil directly or in high concentrations can potentially cause skin irritation. A skin test is recommended prior to use. This can be done by diluting the essential oil in a carrier oil and applying a small amount to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Rosemary Oil must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin.
This article has been summarized from New Directions Aromatic. You can find the original article here.