Rosemary is strengthening and refreshing. This plant has an herbal, invigorating scent with the power to calm and heal. Native to the Mediterranean coast, the leaves contain a high degree of essential oils. In ancient Greece, students placing garlands around their head used it to enhance memory. Brides, in Germany, have been known to carry rosemary as a symbol of love, good luck and fertility. Some of the most common uses for rosemary aromatherapy are massage oils and in baths and can be consumed as a tea or spice. Through Pinch of Comfort’s use in herbal heating and cooling neck, lumbar, and booboo pads, the herb helps as an anti-inflammatory and clarifies the mind. Other healing qualities and attributes include treating depression, headaches, gastric upset, circulation, and sore throats.
There is one species of this plant.
Rosemary – Officinalis
This hardy evergreen shrub of upright habitat is grown for it’s pinkish-purple-sky blue and white flowers. The linear leaves vary from dark green to silver-green with velvety white undersides. First blooming mid-spring to early summer, it may bloom again in autumn. It can grow up to 5 x 5 feet maturing in 3-5 years. The plant detests heavy clay soil so plant in well-drained, porous or sandy soil in full sun. The best times to plant are from April to June; be sure to work bone meal into the plant hole. Pest and disease seldom attack rosemary, but the roots are liable to rot in soggy clay. To keep compact and full of young growth, trim when the flowers fade in late spring. Be sure to position rosemary where you can brush up against it to smell it’s amazing aroma. Other varieties of rosemary include Fastigiatus and Miss Jessup’s Upright which are not as frost hardy.
External uses include massaging into the scalp to help dandruff, premature baldness and to stimulate hair follicles. Included in massage oils, rosemary relieves muscle aches and pains especially on cold limbs. Add a few drops of rosemary oil to water and use as a gargle to treat bad breath. Do not use or swallow if you are pregnant or suffer from epilepsy. For children who feel cold, steep a pint of rosemary tea and add it to bath water. Use rosemary for cold clammy headaches as lavender works best for hot headaches.
Apart from its healing benefits, rosemary is also used as a culinary herb. Meat can be wrapped in crushed rosemary leaves to hinder spoiling and add flavor. Rosemary infused vinegar mixed with olive oil can be used as a marinade or dressing. Adding rosemary to stews, meats, vegetables, poultry, and roasts not only accelerates flavor but makes these dishes easily digestible.
Rosemary has been used for many centuries and is valued for its high content of essential oil. It gets its name from the Latin word “marinus” meaning near the sea. It is an easy plant to grown as long as you understand it’s growing techniques, planting times, and care. The herb is warming and stimulating and can be used in a bath or as a massage for muscle aches and pains.