Hi and welcome to the letter R post in my #AtoZChallenge series on aromatherapy. Today, I will talk about one of the first essential oils I purchased: rosemary.
The name “rosemary” is derived from the latin term for “dew of the sea”, because it is native to the sea cliffs of the Mediterranean. The highest quality essential oil is derived through steam distillation from the flowering tops of the plant Salvia rosmarinus. This plant used to be known as Rosmarinus officinalis and you may still see this used by essential oil companies.
The scent of rosemary is fresh, herbaceous and sweet. AromaWeb reports that it smells “slightly medicinal” and I agree.
Rosemary was considered sacred by people in many ancient cultures. It was used in incense, for protection and as a reminder of the life-and-death cycle. It may also have been used to improve memory, which isn’t so far off. After all, at a 2017 conference on aromatherapy, rosemary was actually reported to help with cognitive function.
In the Middle Ages, rosemary was thought to ward off evil spirits and keep the bubonic plague from spreading. For this reason, rosemary branches were commonly spread across floors and doorways to keep the disease from spreading. In addition, rosemary was often tossed in graves to symbolize the fact that loved ones who had died, wouldn’t be forgotten.
Sixteenth-century German-Swiss physician and botanist Paracelsus recommended rosemary as a herbal treatment for all kinds of conditions.
Currently, rosemary essential oil is used in aromatherapy to relieve stress and nervous tension, to boost mental activity and to support clarity and insight. It is used to improve alertness, reduce negative moods and improve the retention of information by increasing concentration. It can also be used to combat fatigue and to promote a healthy respiratory system.
When applied topically to the skin, rosemary essential oil can reduce pain, soothe inflammation and boost the immune system. It can also be used to promote hair growth and help your hair look and feel healthy. You can also use rosemary essential oil in a massage to promote healthy digestion and relieve bloating, flatulence and constipation.
Rosemary essential oil blends well with other herbal essential oils such as lavender, clary sage, peppermint and spearmint. It can also be used in blends with citrus essential oils.
Have you ever used rosemary? If so, do you like it?