Rosemary: The Little Herb with Lots of Oomph!
Who would have thought that a fragrant little evergreen, with pine like needles, from the Mediterranean could pack such a healthy punch as our featured herb Rosemarius Officinalis, or more commonly known as rosemary. Not only has Rosemary earned the famed reputation of enhancing memory, aiding in concentration, and improving overall brain health, but it has also been credited with improving eye sight, elevating mood levels, alleviating pain, stimulating hair growth, aiding in digestion, strengthening the immune and circulatory systems. Not bad for an herb that many may have thought was just good looking alongside lemon slices garnishing a Sunday chicken roast.
Though we live in a very fast paced technological world today, it may serve us well to slow down and learn what the ancients believed about this potent little leaf. It is said that Rosemary was considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, Romans, and Greeks. Some Greek scholars wore rosemary wreaths upon their heads before taking exams. Before smirking at our superstitious predecessors, it has been noted in studies today, that students who sniffed rosemary before taking exams did better with memory and concentration than those who were not exposed to the rosemary. The ancients also used rosemary to dispel negative energies from homes where illness was present. Here again, some may be tempted to snicker at such archaic practices. Rosemary however, is known to possess potent antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. With all that anti-bad stuff infused within the tiny leaves of rosemary, it really is little wonder that when burned, or emitted in the air, through aromatherapy the powerful compounds of rosemary which make their way into the bloodstream through inhalation share their therapeutic properties with those who are able to receive them.
Besides its therapeutic, brain enhancing, and beauty improving abilities, rosemary may also assist in the home and garden helping to repel insects such as: spider mites, ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas. Rosemary may just about be the one plant that every home could benefit from in one way or another. Having said that, before embarking on a rosemary fest, if you use certain diuretic medications, or anticoagulant drugs, research for yourself and seek competent guidance on possible safety interactions with rosemary. Also, as always, if pregnant or nursing, seek the guidance of a qualified health care practitioner before using herbs and essential oils.
For those who seek integration of the mind, body, spirit experience, rosemary may be a welcome addition to your spiritual practice as it also has a good reputation for its cleansing and purifying properties. It may be used as incense alongside some other choice herbs to clean the air in certain spaces. Diffusing it in the air may also be helpful during meditation.
Finally, you can explore a myriad of ways to enjoy rosemary. From cultivating culinary delights like rosemary lemon chicken, rosemary infused butter and salts, to brewing teas and tonics with fresh rosemary sprigs. If you’re the arts and crafty type, rosemary wreaths, sachets, dryer sheets, and bath salts may be up your alley of creativity. Any way you choose to enjoy rosemary, receive it as another beautiful gift that Mother Nature has to offer to we her children.