Herbalism is an ancient practice with a long history of healing and health. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is one of the oldest medicinal herbs known to humankind, with a recorded history of use spanning over 5000 years. Let’s explore the health and cosmetic benefits that rosemary can provide us. For centuries, rosemary has enchanted cultures worldwide with its delightful fragrance and versatile applications. This aromatic herb, native to the Mediterranean region, holds a storied history of medicinal and cosmetic use, as well as spiritual significance. Revered by ancient civilizations and embraced by modern science, rosemary continues to prove its worth as a multifunctional botanical treasure. In this blog post, we'll explore the fascinating history of rosemary, its medicinal and cosmetic uses, its spiritualism.
Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region, specifically areas around Greece and Italy. The herb's name is derived from the Latin words "ros" (dew) and "marinus" (sea), reflecting its preference for coastal climates and the belief that it was born from the seafoam of the goddess Aphrodite in Greek mythology. Rosemary was highly valued for its medicinal properties by ancient civilizations. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used rosemary in herbal remedies to treat various ailments. It was believed to have properties that could aid digestion, relieve headaches, and improve memory. During the Middle Ages, rosemary's popularity continued to grow. It was cultivated in monastery gardens, and monks used it for its medicinal properties. Rosemary was believed to offer protection against the plague, and people would burn rosemary branches to purify the air during outbreaks of infectious diseases. Hmmm, I wonder how burning rosemary would have faired 3years ago?
Rosemary for Health Benefits
Rosemary has been used for centuries as a remedy for many illnesses, from digestive issues to skin disorders. It is packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that make it a powerful medicinal agent. It is also rich in iron, calcium and Vitamin B6, making it an excellent addition to any healthy diet. Many people take rosemary in tea form to help reduce stress and anxiety levels, while others add it to cooking oil or meals to improve digestion and boost immunity.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of rosemary is largely attributed to its polyphenolic compounds like rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid. Rosemary extract is sometimes used to treat indigestion, but research on this use is lacking. Still, rosemary is thought to support digestion by promoting a healthy balance of gut bacteria and reducing inflammation.
Rosemary has been shown to improve memory, concentration, and mental alertness. The aroma of rosemary essential oil has been found to enhance cognitive performance and mood. Moss, M., et al. (2012). One study found that taking 500 mg of oral rosemary twice daily for 1 month significantly lowered anxiety levels and improved memory and sleep quality among college students, compared with a placebo. Let's not forget the benefits of aromatherapy; simply smelling rosemary appears to be beneficial. One study in 20 healthy young adults observed that inhaling rosemary aroma for 4–10 minutes before a mental test improved concentration, performance, and mood.
Rosemary for Cosmetic Benefits
In addition to its health benefits, rosemary can also be used as a natural beauty product! Its antiseptic properties make it perfect for helping treat acne breakouts or other skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Rosemary essential oil can be used in facial cleansers, toners, and moisturizers to help tighten the skin, reduce excess oil, and minimize the appearance of pores. Tognolini, M., et al. (2007). You can also mix rosemary essential oil with jojoba oil or coconut oil and use it as a facial cleanser or moisturizer – its cleansing effects will leave your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated!
You can even make your own DIY hair mask by mixing rosemary with honey and olive oil – this combination will nourish your scalp and give your locks some extra shine! Rosemary has also long been used in hair care products due to its ability to stimulate hair growth, strengthen the hair follicles, and improve scalp health. It may help combat dandruff and reduce hair loss. Source: Panahi, Y., et al. (2015). One of the most common types of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, better known as male pattern baldness, though it can also affect females. Rosemary has also long been used in hair care products due to its ability to stimulate hair growth, strengthen the hair follicles, and improve scalp health. It may help combat dandruff and reduce hair loss. Source: Panahi, Y., et al. (2015). One of the most common types of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, better known as male pattern baldness, though it can also affect females.
Rosemary oil treats androgenetic alopecia by preventing a byproduct of testosterone from attacking your hair follicles, which is the cause of this condition. When men with androgenetic alopecia massaged diluted rosemary oil into their scalp twice daily for six months, they experienced the same increase in hair thickness as those who used minoxidil (Rogaine), a common hair regrowth remedy. Additionally, those who used the rosemary oil reported less scalp itching compared to minoxidil, which suggests that rosemary may be more tolerable.
The invigorating scent of rosemary makes it a popular addition to soaps, bath salts, and body scrubs. It can help uplift the mood and relieve stress Haze, S., et al. (2002). Also, the warming properties of rosemary can aid in improving blood circulation when used in bath products. Better blood flow can contribute to healthier skin and may help reduce muscle soreness and discomfort.
Rosemary-Based Spiritual Bath for Purification, Peace, Love, and Warmth
- 1 cup fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 cup dried rosemary
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- 1 lemon cut into rounds (optional)
- 2-3 drops of rosemary essential oil (optional, for enhanced aroma)
- 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil (for peace and relaxation)
- 2-3 drops of rose essential oil (for love and harmony)
- 2-3 drops of cinnamon essential oil (for warmth and comfort)
- A small muslin bag or cheesecloth (optional, for containing the herbs)
1. Start by boiling around 4 cups of water in a large pot or kettle. While the water is heating, take this time to set your intention for the spiritual bath. Focus on the qualities you want to bring in, such as purification, peace, love, and warmth.
2. Once the water reaches a boil, add the fresh rosemary leaves or dried rosemary to the pot. Let the rosemary simmer for 5-10 minutes, allowing its essence to infuse into the water. This process releases the beneficial properties of the herb.
3. Turn off the heat and let the rosemary water cool down slightly. Then, strain the liquid to remove the rosemary leaves, leaving you with the rosemary-infused water.
4. If using a muslin bag or cheesecloth, place the Epsom salt or sea salt in it, and tie it securely to create a salt sachet. This step is optional, but it helps prevent any herb particles or salt residue from sticking to your skin during the bath.
5. Combine the rosemary-infused water with the salt sachet in a bathtub filled with warm water. Add the optional rosemary essential oil, lavender essential oil, rose essential oil, and cinnamon essential oil to the bathwater. Stir the water gently with your hand to mix the oils and salt evenly.
6. Before entering the bath, take a few deep breaths and visualize the water surrounding you with the qualities of purification, peace, love, and warmth.
7. Step into the bath and immerse yourself fully, allowing the water to cleanse your body and spirit. Take your time to soak in the bath, focusing on your intention and embracing the sensations and aromas.
8. As you bathe, you can recite affirmations or prayers that resonate with your intention, asking for blessings of purification, peace, love, and warmth in your life.
9. Stay in the bath for at least 15-20 minutes, or longer if desired. During this time, you can meditate, reflect, or simply relax and enjoy the soothing experience.
10. After the bath, allow yourself to air dry or pat dry gently with a towel. It's beneficial to wear comfortable, clean clothing after the bath to maintain the positive energy you've cultivated.
Remember, spiritual baths are personal and sacred experiences. Allow yourself to fully embrace the process and connect with the energies you wish to manifest.
Spiritually Connected ROSEMARY is widely thought to be a powerful Guardian and to give Power to Women; THEREFORE, it is used by many people to Ward Off Evil in the home and bring Good Luck in Family Matters. For this purpose, people either plant the sky-blue flowered shrub by their front door or tie a conjure bag filled with dried ROSEMARY LEAVES over their lintel so that all must pass under it when entering.
Rosemary is associated with the Third Eye chakra, also known as the Brow chakra or Ajna.Rosemary is often used in aromatherapy, meditation, and energy healing practices to support the activation and balancing of the Third Eye chakra. The herb's invigorating scent and stimulating properties are believed to help clear the mind, increase mental clarity, and promote spiritual awareness.
Rosemary has long been revered for its multitude of health benefits; from treating digestive issues to calming anxiety levels. In addition, this wonderful herb also has powerful cosmetic properties which can help soothe skin conditions such as acne or eczema as well as providing nourishment for hair growth and luster! With its versatile range of uses, there are countless ways you can take advantage of the healing power of Rosemary today! So why not get creative in the kitchen (or bathroom!) with this powerful herbal friend? Your body will thank you!
Moss, M., et al. (2012). Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. International Journal of Neuroscience, 123(1), 34-52.
González-Trujano, M. E., et al. (2017). Rosmarinus officinalis L.: an update review of its phytochemistry and biological activity. Future Science OA, 3(4), FSO234.
Sayyah, M., et al. (2003). Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity of the leaf essential oil of Laurus nobilis Linn. Phytotherapy Research, 17(7), 733-736.
Panahi, Y., et al. (2015). Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial. Skinmed, 13(1), 15-21.
Tognolini, M., et al. (2007). Comparative screening of plant essential oils: phenylpropanoid moiety as basic core for antiplatelet activity. Life Sciences, 80(5), 440-453.
Hay, I. C., et al. (1998). Randomized trial of aromatherapy: successful treatment for alopecia areata. Archives of Dermatology, 134(11), 1349-1352.
Haze, S., et al. (2002). Influence of fragrance inhalation on sympathetic activity in normal adults. Japanese Journal of Pharmacology, 90(3), 247-253.