Thursday, July 15, 2010


Rosemary consists of the leaves or the leaves with flowering tops of Rosmarinus officinalis L. (family Lamiaceae), an evergreen shrubby herb with aromatic linear leaves, which are dark green above and white below, and small pale blue flowers. Rosemary has been extensively cultivated in kitchen gardens.

This evergreen shrub originated in the Mediterranean area and is now widely cultivated for its aromatic leaves. The many branches have an ash-colored, scaly bark and bear opposite, leathery thick leaves which are lustrous and dark green above and downy white underneath. They have a prominent vein in the middle and margins which are rolled down.

Various preparations of rosemary, including an infusion or tea, a wine, a spirit (alcoholic solution), and a bath, are recommended for their tonic, astringent, and diaphoretic (increases perspiration) effects.

The leaves are also said to have stomachic (aids digestion) properties and to make a hair tonic that, when applied externally, will prevent baldness. Rosemary is recommended especially in cases of low blood pressure; a bath prepared from rosemary is so stimulating to the body that it should not be taken in the evening or it may prevent one from sleeping.

Finally, both the medication and its volatile oil have been used as emmenagogues (to stimulate menstrual flow) and abortifacients.

Whatever physiological activity rosemary possesses is attributed to its volatile oil, which occurs in the leaves in concentrations ranging from 1 to 2.5 percent. Containing such compounds as camphor, borneol, and cineole, the volatile oil, similar to many others, has antibacterial properties.

Rosemary also has some stimulating properties, particularly when applied locally. The leaves of rosemary contain a number of flavonoid pigments, one of which, diosmin, is reported to decrease capillary permeability and fragility.

German health authorities have approved its use internally for indigestion and as a supportive therapy for rheumatic disorders; externally, rosemary is recognized for the treatment of circulatory disturbances.

Rosemary is extensively used as a household spice and as a flavoring agent in various commercial products including prepared meats, baked goods, vegetables, and so on.

Rosemary oil is widely employed as a fragrance component in soaps, creams, lotions, perfumes, and toilet waters; small amounts are also added as a flavoring agent to alcoholic beverages, frozen desserts, candy, puddings, and similar products.

Extracts containing carnosic and labiatic acids have been shown to have antioxidant (food preservative) properties similar to those of butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).

Rosemary tea makes a wonderfully refreshing mouth wash for getting rid of bad breath. In 1 pint of boiling water removed from the heat, steep 3 tsp. of the dried flowering tops or leaves for half an hour, covered. Strain and refrigerate. Gargle and rinse mouth each morning or several times a day.

Certain of the aromatic spices like peppermint, rosemary, sage, savory and thyme, are believed to hold tremendous value in sterilizing water contaminated with unfriendly bacteria.

Rosemary contains volatile oils which are antiseptic, with antibacterial and antifungal properties and which enhance the function of the immune system. By increasing circulation to the skin rosemary causes sweating and makes a good remedy to bring down fevers.

Its warming and stimulating properties help to clear phlegm from the head and chest, useful for relieving colds, flu, catarrh, coughs, wheezing, bronchitis and whooping cough. Its additional relaxant effects help relieve spasm in the bronchial tubes as in asthma.

Rosemary is a wonderful tonic, particularly to the heart, brain and nervous system. By increasing the flow of blood to the head, rosemary stimulates the brain and heightens concentration. Rosemary has been used for anxiety, tension, exhaustion, lethargy, depression, insomnia and as a tonic during convalescence and for the elderly.

Rosemary makes an excellent remedy for preventing and treating migraines and headaches. Rosemary improves vitality and stimulates digestion, relieves flatulence and distension, enhances the appetite and increases the flow of digestive juices.

Rosemary helps move food and wastes efficiently through the system, removes stagnant food, improves sluggish digestion and helps absorption of nutrients. Its bitters stimulate liver and gallbladder function, increasing the flow of bile and aiding digestion of fats. Rosemary is famous as a rejuvenating tonic and is said to slow the aging process. Rosemary is a powerful antioxidant, preventing damage by free radicals.


Aerial parts, essential oil.


Circulatory stimulant - Rosemary has a central place in European herbal medicine. A warming herb, rosemary stimulates circulation of blood to the head, improving concentration and memory. Rosemary also eases headaches and migraine, and encourages hair growth by improving blood flow to the scalp.

Nervous problems - Rosemary has been used to treat epilepsy and vertigo.

Poor circulation - Thought to raise low blood pressure, rosemary is valuable for fainting and weakness associated with deficient circulation.

Restorative - Rosemary aids recovery from long-term stress and chronic illness. Rosemary is thought to stimulate the adrenal glands and is used specifically for debility, especially when accompanied by poor circulation and digestion.

Uplifting - Rosemary is often prescribed for people who, though not actually ill, are stressed and "failing to thrive." Rosemary is valued as an herb that raises the spirits, and is useful for mild to moderate depression.

Other medical uses - Applied as a lotion or diluted essential oil, rosemary eases aching, rheumatic muscles. Add the infusion or essential oil to bathwater for a reviving soak.Septicemia, Tension headache, Toxic shock syndrome.