Rosemary is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, along with many other herbs, such as oregano, thyme, basil, and lavender.
The herb not only tastes good in culinary dishes, such as rosemary chicken and lamb, but it is also a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6.
It is typically prepared as a whole dried herb or a dried powdered extract, while teas and liquid extracts are made from fresh or dried leaves.
The herb has been hailed since ancient times for its medicinal properties.
Traditionally, rosemary has been used medicinally to:
Relieve muscle pain and spasm
Stimulate hair growth
Support the circulatory and nervous systems
In the lab, rosemary has been shown to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can neutralize harmful particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Also in the lab, rosemary oil appears to have antimicrobial properties (killing some bacteria and fungi in test tubes). It isn't known whether rosemary would have the same effect in humans.
Rosemary leaf is used in Europe for indigestion (dyspepsia) and is approved by the German Commission E, which examines the safety and efficacy of herbs.
Muscle and joint pain
Applied topically (to the skin), rosemary oil is sometimes used to treat muscle pain and arthritis and improve circulation. It is approved by the German Commission E for these purposes. However, there is no scientific evidence that it works.
Historically, rosemary has been used to stimulate hair growth. In one study of 84 people with alopecia areata (a disease in which hair falls out, generally in patches), those who massaged their scalps with rosemary and other essential oils (including lavender, thyme, and cedarwood) every day for 7 months experienced significant hair regrowth compared to those who massaged their scalps without the essential oils. But the study was not well designed, and it is impossible to say whether rosemary caused the hair growth.
Neutralize food-borne pathogens
Several studies show that rosemary inhibits food-borne pathogens like Listeria monocytogenes, B. cereus, and S. aureus.
Improve memory or concentration
Rosemary is often used in aromatherapy to increase concentration and memory, and to relieve stress. One study suggests that rosemary, combined with other pleasant-smelling oils, may lower cortisol levels and help reduce anxiety. Another study found that the use of lavender and rosemary essential oil sachets reduced test taking stress in graduate nursing students.
Several studies suggest that rosemary extract may inhibit tumor growth by preventing cancerous cells from replicating. One study found that rosemary, on its own and in combination with curcumin, helped prevent breast cancer. A second study found similar effects of rosemary on colon cancer cells.
My Favorite "Non Conventional" Uses Of Rosemary
Sage With Rosemary
One of my favorite ways to use rosemary is in smudging.
As a smudge, the smoke from Rosemary emits powerful cleansing and purifying vibrations. Use this smudge stick to cleanse a space for rituals or ceremony. Clears negativity, promotes confidence and invigorates the mind. Because it can banish negative energies, this is an excellent herb to prepare the space and the mind
Read more about how to properly smudge. Click HERE
Make A Tincture
Make a Rosemary tincture!
Utilizing rosemary in tincture form is beneficial for the following:
As a tonic for the nervous system; increasing circulation to the brain, heightening concentration and improving memory.
To treat depression.
To relieve anxiety and strengthen nerves (making it ideal for pre-exam students, or interviewees.)
To relieve migraines and headaches (feverfew too!)
For it’s antimicrobial properties, and taken to boost immune system function to help relieve cold, flu, sore throats and chest infections.
To stimulate digestion.
To stimulate liver and gallbladder function, this aiding in detoxification.
Here's an easy "how to":
Harvest both the leaves and flowers of the rosemary plant.
Place them in a jar, and cover with 80-proof alcohol, like vodka, gun or rum.
Let the jar sit for 6 weeks, out of sunlight. Give it a shake every couple of days.
Strain the mixture and transfer to a tincture bottle, or proceed to make a double-strength infusion.
Take one adult dose, two droppers full, for any of the ailments listed above, 1-3 times per day.