Rosemary is a woody evergreen native to the Mediterranean and a universal symbol of remembrance used to honor those who have passed on. Rosemary is a fragrant, perennial herb that belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae).
Rosemary is usually found growing by the ocean, Rosemary derives from the Latin rosmarinus officinalis and is divided into two parts, with the words “ros” meaning “dew” and “marinus” meaning “sea” – “dew of the sea”.
Rosemary, a very versatile herb, cultures have been incorporated in cultures throughout the world both in the kitchen and medicine cabinet for centuries. Many cultural traditions surround rosemary.
Here are some of its historical uses:
- Touted as the herb of fidelity in Elizabethan times and adorning the braids and necks of students looking to boost their memory during exams in ancient Greece, rosemary has always been more than just a culinary herb.
- Rosemary marked the beginning of a woman’s life as a married woman, it has also marked the end of life. Shakespeare once proclaimed, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance: pray, love, remember.” Shakespeare’s Juliet was honored at her burial with rosemary for remembrance. Rosemary is still today regarded as the funeral flower signifying respect and remembrance for the departed.
- Early Europeans commonly threw sprigs of rosemary into graves as a symbol that the dead would not be forgotten.
- In ancient Egypt, rosemary was placed in the tomb to remember the dead, used in the bouquets of funeral flowers and even utilized in the embalming practices of that time.
- Rosemary has long held a prominent role in the wedding ceremony. Used in weddings to grace the bride’s bouquet, headpiece, and dress. Rosemary was used to helping one remember the wedding vows and to ensure faithfulness. Wedding guests are also given sprigs of rosemary to wear to help them remember the occasion.
- Working its way into the kitchen, Rosemary became a preferred flavoring for meats. Before the advent of the refrigerator, rosemary was used as a preservative for meats and other foods. Because of rosemary’s high anti-oxidant activity, ancients would wrap their meats in crushed rosemary leaves. The freshness would be preserved and thus the smell and taste would remain pleasant. Rosemary was also used to control pests such as mosquitos, fleas (the carrier of the plague) and moths.
Rosemary was another herb that was used throughout Europe during the Black Plague to ward off sickness. It was burned in the house to keep the black plague from entering. Rosemary is still a common ingredient in incense used to cleanse sacred spaces. Ingesting rosemary and/or using its essential oil can offer profound health benefits.
Rosemary is no less important in our culture today, where it is useful in helping us to forget the discomfort of arthritis, muscle aches, and many skin conditions. One day, rosemary may even provide the key to restoring memory loss from Alzheimer’s disease.
Rosemary has potent antioxidant, antiseptic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and disinfectant properties.
ANTIOXIDANT: Rosemary is one of the spices that contain the highest antioxidant properties, all of which can prove effective against fungi, bacteria, and cancer. The flower tops include phenolic antioxidant rosmarinic acid. They bind to free radicals in the body and prevent cell damage, illness, and disease. Health benefiting volatile essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, α-pinene, etc. These compounds are known to have rubefacient (counterirritant), anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties.
Simple teas can be made by boiling two teaspoons of rosemary leaves and leaving them to steep for fifteen minutes. Enjoyed daily, this tea offers significant antioxidant benefits.
ANTISEPTIC: Rosemary can help disinfect wounds and soothe skin irritations while promoting healing and preventing infection as well.(C)ANTIFUNGAL: The tea can be ingested or it can be used as a wash or douche to treat yeast infections.
ANTIINFLAMMATORY: Fights inflammation in the body and this benefit can be helpful for many conditions including arthritis and certain autoimmune disorders where excessive inflammation is present. Regular use of this herb can minimize the colds and other illnesses and may help lessen the severity when they do occur.
Rosemary contains phytochemicals including rosmarinic acid, betulinic acid, carnosol, and caffeic acid with antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds play an important role in neutralizing free radicals, which can cause oxidative stress and cellular damage.
Rosemary Nutritional Profile:
TEAS – Rosemary tea is rich in diterpenes, flavonoids, phenolic derivatives, glycosides, and other phytochemicals that give it medicinal properties. The tea aids weight loss, boosts memory, prevents cancer, and aids digestion.
- You can avoid having to filter the tea by leaving the rosemary needles on the stem.
- If you choose to use dried rosemary, the rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water.
- Let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes, if you prefer your tea mild and aromatic.
- It’s best you steep the leaves for up to 10 minutes as it will help draw out more of the healthy oils and nutrients that will maximize the tea’s benefits.
Rosemary tea is a simple preparation that smells of the fresh forest and the sea.
Physiological Health Benefits:
Memory/Brain(B’s, Ca, C, K,)
As a medicinal herb, it has long been recommended for strengthening the brain and memory and and secondary memory factors. An antioxidant compound, like carnosic acid, has been known to stimulate and protect neural pathways from beta-amyloid plaque. This acid helps safeguard the nervous system by fighting off the brain damage caused by free radicals in the form of oxidative stress and overstimulation of nerve cells.
Rosemary Is For Remembrance – Its long thought ability to increase circulation and strengthen blood vessels has also associated it with memory, remembrance and the heart (love).
Ancient history and mythology, providing clues and hints to its particular value in cognition, memory and enhanced sensorial awareness, and ultimately its sacredness, which literally means “holy,” a word that also shares etymological roots with “whole,” “healthy” and “heal.”
Ancient Greeks revered it for stimulating the brain and assisting memory; Pedanius Dioscorides, a Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist in the time of Nero, wrote about rosemary’s “warming faculty”. He also wrote of rosemary: “the eating of its flower in a preserve comforts the brain, the heart and the stomach; sharpens understanding, restores lost memory, awakens the mind, and in sum is a healthy remedy for various cold ailments of the head and the stomach.”
Study better: Are you or your child trying to memorize information for an upcoming test? Diffuse rosemary oil while studying to boost cognitive function and memory.
To fight stress and anxiety, add a few drops of rosemary essential oil in an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer.
Place it in your bedroom at a safe distance, so that the calming vapors can help induce a deep and peaceful slumber.
Researchers have discovered that certain phytochemicals in the herb prevent the degradation of acetylcholine, an important brain chemical needed for normal neurotransmission. rosemary has demonstrated a potential for protecting certain parts of the brain from tissue damage such as ischemic injury, healing nervous tissues, and averting blood clots.
Tea stimulates the circulatory system because it has anti-coagulant properties, similar to aspirin which improves the flow of blood. This produces energy and improves the body’s ability to repair and oxygenate the extremities.
Enhance Your Memory
- Breathe in the aroma of rosemary oil by adding 2 or 3 drops of this oil to your handkerchief or room diffuser.
- You can also start drinking rosemary tea made from fresh or dried leaves. To make the tea, add 1 or 1½ teaspoons of the herb to 1 cup of hot water, cover it, and let it steep for 5 minutes.
Facilitates Blood Flow
- Drink rosemary tea on a regular basis to promote circulation.
- If you frequently suffer from cold limbs due to poor circulation, massage the affected limbs with rosemary-infused oil.
- Simply massage your forehead and temples with a few drops of rosemary oil mixed in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.
- A cup of rosemary tea has been equated to taking an aspirin for minor aches and pains. Simply place a few fresh-picked sprigs in the bottom of a cup, add hot water, cover and steep for 10-15 minutes, strain and enjoy.
An increase in hemoglobin is one of the rosemary herb benefits because this plant is an excellent source of iron. This nutrient is essential for hemoglobin.
Insulation – Carnosic acid fights inflammation in the body and this benefit can be helpful for many conditions including arthritis and certain autoimmune disorders where excessive inflammation is shown to reduce nitric acid that is a big trigger for inflammation. With other antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, ease suffering from arthritis, headaches, muscle pain, joint disorders, hemorrhoids, and hypersensitivity to allergens.
Rosemary tea is also touted in Blanckes’ Herbal “for much worth against all evils of the body”. Among medicinal benefits claimed to include a topical application for gout; “if thy legs be blown with the gout, boil the leaves (rosemary) in water and then take the leaves and bind them in a linen cloth about thy legs, and it shall do much good.”
Treat muscle soreness
- Make 1 to 2 cups of rosemary tea, soak a washcloth in it, and place the washcloth on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this a few times daily to treat muscle soreness.
- For arthritic pain, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a microwave for a few seconds. Mix 2 to 3 drops of rosemary oil in it. Massage the affected area with this oil for 5 minutes. Repeat 2 to 3 times daily until you get relief.
Chronic Pain(Mg, Cu, B1, B12, C,)
Pain-relieving properties are largely the result of salicylate and compound similar to aspirin. Whether you are recovering from an illness, surgery or injury or chronic pain, Rosemary tea can help relieve these symptoms.
Massaging the oil of rosemary into joints effectively eases arthritic or rheumatic pain. Queen Elizabeth of Hungary was reputedly cured of semi-paralysis when she sipped a concoction of rosemary to ease her painful joints.
Stimulates Hair Growth(A, B9, B12, B5, C, Mg, Fe)
Stimulate hair growth by potentially improving blood circulation to the scalp, which allows more nutrients to reach the hair follicles. Carnosic acid, which helps reverse tissue and nerve damage. On account of this healing activity, rosemary may prove effective in rejuvenating nerves in the scalp too, in turn restoring hair growth and is well-known for its abilities to thicken as well.
Use Rosemary tea to scrub the scalp and hair to improve the nutrient content of the hair and also getting rid of dandruff. Its antibacterial properties can keep skin problems away and protect against hair loss.
Restoring hair growth
- Alternatively, add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to warm olive or coconut oil and massage your scalp with it 2 or 3 times a week. You can even add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to your shampoo before washing your hair.
- Add a handful of fresh rosemary to 2 to 3 cups of hot water and let it steep for 15 minutes. Remove the herb and let the liquid cool down. Use it as a hair rinse few times a week.
Promotes Skin Health(A, C)
Rosemary contains antibacterial and antimicrobial agents to treat a variety of skin disorders, including dandruff. Where the blood flows and anti-inflammatory properties are combined, affect the skin’s ability to eliminate eczema and improve the skin’s appearance. Studies of Rosemary’s potential anti-cancer effects indicate that its compounds inhibit carcinogenic chemicals from binding to cellular DNA. Rosemary helps promote skin cell regeneration and wards off the harmful free radicals that are at the base of premature skin aging.
Blanckes’ Herbal states, “washe thy face therwith . . . thou shalt have a fayre face.” “Smell it and it shall preserve thy youthe. “And, remember Markham; “Rosemary “cleanseth away the spots of the face, . . . it maketh a man look young.”
Gervase Markham (1568-1637) an English writer and poet wrote about Rosemary. Rosemary water (the face washed therein both morning and night) causeth a fair and clear contenance.” And, “when one maketh a bath of this decoction, it is called the bath of life, the same drink comforteth the heart, the brain, and the whole body, and cleanseth away the spots of the face; it maketh a man look young . . .”
Include Rosemary in your life and stimulate and awaken the Sleeping Beauty in you.
- Take equal parts of geranium, sandalwood, lavender, frankincense, rosemary, and lemon essential oils, and mix them well.
- Dilute the concoction as needed and use it topically to banish wrinkles.
- Combine almond oil with 12 drops each of rosemary and lavender essential oils, and mix them well.
- Empty the healing tonic into a roller bottle to apply it on puffy or red skin under the eyes.
Simultaneously, rosemary essential oil will put its strong anti-inflammatory agents, namely caffeic and rosmarinic acid, to good use and reduce the swollen puffiness.
Caution: Do not apply this blend on top of your eyelids as it can trickle or seep into your eyes and can cause irritation or more serious retinal damage.
Good Oral Hygiene(A, B2, C, Fe, Ca, Mg, P, K)
The tea can be used to disinfect mouth wounds for good oral hygiene and fresh breath.
Prevents High Blood Sugar
Drink a cup of rosemary tea daily.
Caution: Always consult your physician before drinking this tea, and make sure you keep monitoring your blood sugar levels thereafter. Also, starting this adjunctive remedy doesn’t mean you can take your doctor-prescribed meds less seriously. Strictly adhere to the drug routine stipulated by your doctor.
Anxiety/Stress/Depression(A, B2, B6, C, Mg
Rosemary’s nervine properties and analgesic properties of salicylate soothe anxiety and stress and help people to relax and promote calm.
Rosemary tea has diterpenes that inhibit neuronal cell death and exhibit anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antidepressant, and anxiolytic (anxiety) properties. Hence, having rosemary tea can help decelerate the loss of memory and disability.
Liver Function(A, B2, B6, C, Ca, Fe)
The liver is perhaps one of the most vital organs in the body, which is accorded the bulk of the responsibility when it comes to detoxifying our system. Improve the health and function of your liver and detoxify the body by stimulating urination and relieve strain on a number of organ systems.
The liver takes a very long time to recuperate as it is one of the slowest organs to heal. Rosemary, however, can help in this regard as it has been linked to lowering the risk of cirrhosis and expediting liver recovery. Another liver-protective property associated with this herb is that it reduces plasma liver enzymes, which may cause type 2 diabetes.
Carnosol content has been proven effective in staving off liver tissue distortion, and it’s also thought to prevent depletion of liver glycogen, the energy storage molecules.
Drink a cup of rosemary tea daily. However, always consult your physician before starting with this complementary intake.
Packed with antioxidants it seeks out to neutralize free radicals, natural by-products that can cause cellular mutations, cancer, and apoptosis (cell death). Rosmarinic acid, caffaic acid, carnosol, I’ll have been linked to reducing cancer growth rates, particularly breast cancer. In the journal Nutrients in 2016 notes that rosemary extract has been shown to exhibit anti-cancer properties in vitro for the following cancers:
- Colon cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
In other words, carnosol acts like a military sniper who only takes out his enemy target and doesn’t damage neighboring cells, unlike the chemotherapy nuclear-bomb approach that kills everything along its path.
Rosemary is composed of more than one-third fiber, so this herb can be beneficial to intestinal health. Rosemary is a supreme digestive aide. As a tonic and bitter, it supports our ability to digest large proteins, such as those found in meat, dairy, and grain.
A cup of rosemary tea just before you eat, or just after, will do a world of good for those who suffer from bloating, blood sugar issues, gas, and pain in their digestive tract.
The anti-spasmodic and carminative substances that are useful for improving indigestion, constipation, bloating, and cramping. A tea made with Rosemary has been used to clear up digestive issues for generations and can improve nutrient uptake by relieving inflammation in the gut.
Prevention of Birth Defects(B’s)
The nutrients in this herb are one of the top rosemary herb benefits and they can help prevent birth defects. Rosemary has high levels of folate, which is essential for developing babies. A deficiency of this nutrient can cause birth defects.
Caution: Medicinal intake of rosemary can prove dangerous for pregnant women because it might stimulate menstruation or adversely affect the uterus, inducing a miscarriage.
Good vision requires an adequate amount of this vitamin that rosemary supplies.
Published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, the study highlighted the ability of carnosic acid, a major component of rosemary, to significantly promote eye health.
Protects Against Macular Degeneration(A,C)
Add rosemary to your food as a spice or administer 30-40 drops of high-quality organic rosemary extract to your eyes 2-5 times a day.
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. It shows your interest in health or at least your curiosity. I am truly enjoying learning more about the powerful benefits of the Herbs and Spices we use in our kitchens. If you enjoyed this post and learning about Rosemary, please press the follow button, like it, and share how it helped you. If you know someone who could be helped by this information please pass it on. People are destroyed from a lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6) I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread the word so that more people can live their best life now free and to the fullest.