Common: Rosemary, Polar Plant, Compass Plant
Parts Used: Aerial parts, oil
Toning and clarifying for the mind, digestion and joints. Breathing new life and energy into the body through its pungent aromatic essential oils.
Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean, growing naturally in dry scrub land. It is an evergreen perennial shrub, with characteristic needle-like dark green leaves that produce a pungent, aromatic scent when rubbed. The flowers are a pale purple or white with two long protruding stamens. The fruits appear as four dry nut-like shells. Rosemary is now widely cultivated for its culinary use and as an essential oil.
How it Works
Rosemary contains pungent and aromatic volatile oils. The best documented is rosmarinic acid. Rosmarinic acid is a potent antioxidant, providing protection against free radical damage. It is also a strong carminative and a particularly good anti-spasmodic, able to reduce excess wind and bloating within the digestive tract. The rosmarinic acid, in addition to the collection of other volatile oils present in this herb, are excellent circulatory stimulants within the musculoskeletal system and the brain. Rosmarinic acid shares some properties with thymol, the volatile oil component of thyme, and also displays anti-microbial activity.
Into the Heart of Rosemary
Rosemary is pungent, aromatic and stimulating. It will improve blood supply to the brain, digestive, nervous and musculoskeletal systems, removing stuck inflammation and congestion whilst also strengthening their integrity. The volatile oil, rosmarinic acid, calms digestive irritation whilst stimulating digestive metabolism. Interestingly, one of the reasons why this herb is often added to roasting meats is because it helps the digestive system to digest the fat content of the meat. The rosmarinic acid is a strong antioxidant making rosemary a strong protective agent throughout the body systems within which it is affiliated. Within the cerebral and nervous systems, it improves circulation whilst also toning the nerves, making rosemary a good choice where there may be psychological tension or where cognitive processes such as memory and concentration need support.
Cerebral: Rosemary improves cerebral circulation, enhancing cognitive processes such as learning, memory and concentration. The antioxidant properties of the rosmarinic acid also indicate this herb in chronic degenerative conditions of the mind such as dementia, alzheimers but also in head trauma.
Digestive: Rosemary stimulates the digestive metabolism, improving digestive efficiency and acts as an intestinal anti-spasmodic, relieving indigestion, dyspepsia, bloating and cramping.
Immune: The rosamarinic component of rosemary’s volatile oil is an effective anti-infective agent and can be used to fight pathogenic infection within the lungs and the digestive tract specifically.
Respiratory & Lungs: The pungent nature of rosemary’s essential oils makes them effective expectorants at shifting stubborn mucous and catarrh present in infection but also chronic inflammatory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.
Musculoskeletal: Rosemary is often used externally where there is musculoskeletal pain or inflammation as it improves circulation to the affected area, thereby reducing any inflammation or fluid retention. When taken internally, it will work in a similar way and help to reduce inflammation associated with chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis but also where there is acute injury.
External Uses: Oil massage for respiratory problems, catarrhal congestion, muscle & joint pain, sciatica, neuralgia & arthritis; diluted oil for cuts, wounds, sores, chilblains, scalds & burns, wrinkles, scabies, headlice, hair loss, eczema, bruises, wounds; applied to temples for tension, headaches, drowsiness, poor memory/concentration; infusion or chewing the leaves for bad breath, gum disease; infusion as douche for vaginal infections & discharge.