What do Egyptians and Romans have in common? Hint: it can be used in cooking, ceremonies, and cosmetics. Got it now? No? Ok, one more: it belongs in the mint family! Yes, you guessed it: rosemary oil.
The Romans used rosemary oil in religious ceremonies and the Egyptians used it to make incense. It’s even been found in Egyptian tombs. Whether using plucked leaves or oil, it is very popular in Mediterranean regions as a cooking herb. In the 16th century, botanist Paracelsus praised rosemary for its overall benefits to fortify and support the whole body. Because of his research, we know that rosemary is a herbal medicine that heals diseases of the heart, liver, and brain.
Extracted from rosemary plant leaves, some of the specific healing benefits include:
- Aids in digestion – Often added to meat dishes to promote digestion and aids in indigestion and flatulence. It improves circulation to help with the absorption of nutrients.
- Haircare – Both rosemary tea and oils are found in lotions and shampoos to stimulate hair follicles and strengthen hair, combat baldness, and heal skin conditions of the scalp.
- May improve oral health – Fights against bacteria, that can cause bad breath, gingivitis, cavities, and plaque build-up.
- Skincare – Because of its antiseptic and antimicrobial qualities, it can be used to treat and eliminate eczema, acne, oily skin, and dermatitis.
- May improve cognitive functioning – As a brain and nerve tonic can increase concentration, relieve depression, and in a lesser capacity is used to slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. It even boosts the retention of information.
- Addresses stress receptors – Inhaling rosemary decreases the cortisol (stress hormone) found in saliva. Thus, decreasing the effects of chronic stress.
- Helps boost the immunity system – With the help of antioxidants, the oil fights off infection and attacks free radicals known to cause cancer and heart disease.
- Can help relieve pain – Whether via vapor bath or massaging, as an anti-inflammatory; relieves headaches, muscle pain, arthritis, rheumatism, and helps wounds to heal.
- Can aid in Herpes treatment – Not only can rosemary work as an anti-inflammatory for herpes symptoms, but as an anti-viral, it is an option if an immunity to other medications has occurred. This includes reducing how contagious the disease can be.
- Helps relieve respiratory problems – It is well researched and documented that the scent of rosemary can relieve throat congestion. Because it is antiseptic and anti-spasmodic, it can be used to relieve allergies, sore throats, flu symptoms, and bronchial asthma.
As with many herbal remedies, it is best to consult with a health provider to avoid any allergic reactions. Reactions can include rash, nausea, and vomiting. Please note, that while rosemary oil can be used topically and through inhalation, never ingest it. Also, pregnant and breastfeeding women are warned against using the oil. It is said that when used in excess, rosemary oil may lead to miscarriage or harm the fetus.
Rosemary oil can be found at health food and supplement stores with prices that vary depending on the brand and purity of the oil. To determine if the oil is pure; put a drop of the oil on a piece of paper and wait for it to dry. If there is an oily stain, it probably has been mixed with vegetable oil. When looking to purchase the best oils, look for words like pure or organic, and ensure it comes from a reputable and reliable company.
Because rosemary oils have so many great benefits, here is a DIY recipe to help you and yours get started!
Rosemary and Aloe Blend to Diminish Acne
- 6 drops of rosemary essential oil
- 1 T. of Aloe Vera gel
- In a bowl, add the Aloe Vera gel.
- Using a spoon, mix in the rosemary essential oil.
- To use, gently apply this gel by spreading a thin layer of it over the face with clean fingers.
- Leave this gel blend on the face for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off.
- For best results, use this mix daily.