Rosemary Officinalis is the herb for this week. This herb is often used as a spice in cooking Italian dishes or in turkey rubs, and even in our shampoo or conditioners. We often tend to overlook its numerous medicinal values. This is a list of the amazing benefits of this herb: it is an antipyretic (a fancy way of saying it reduces fevers) anti-inflammatory, a wound healer, an astringent, an antiseptic, a pain reliever, can help improve memory, has antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds,and is great for growing hair!
Let’s begin with the amazing antioxidant compounds of Rosemary that help to prevent free radical damage to you and to the foods you eat. When we grill meats carcinogenic compounds can form. The antioxidants in rosemary help to reduce those carcinogenic compounds from forming. Once you’ve eaten rosemary, the rosmarinic acid of the plant helps to block histamine responses in the body easing aches and pains and allergies (1). The antimicrobial properties (2) are of some use here as well in food preparation and in plant based products. The ability to reduce fevers is due to rosemary’s anti-inflammatory abilities in the body (3) and helps to reduce symptoms of arthritis as well (4).
Rosemary when used topically is also a great astringent, helping to reduce inflammation in the skin and thereby reducing acne (5). Rosemary also helps with wound healing (6)and is great for anti-aging as it prevents oxidation of the skin (7). This herb has also shown some promise in hair growth (8). Last but not least, Rosemary essential oil is good for memory (9).Placing on a tissue and smelling this aromatic essential oil while you study could help you ace your next exam!
There are many easy ways to add this herb to your routine and daily diet and it tastes great. Put it in your bath or infuse it in avocado oil for strengthening and lengthening hair. When infused in olive oil Rosemary is a great topical pain reliever. You can use the tea as a toner for acne and or just drink the tea for health benefits. For its anti-aging effects add a few drops of the essential oil to your moisturizer. If you aren’t a DIY kind of person you can also buy good quality skin and hair care products containing this herb.
Now for the precautions: Rosemary’s biochemical constituents contain camphene and camphor as well as limonene linalools, which have been known to cause skin irritation in some people. If using the essential oil of Rosemary always dilute it in carrier oil like grape seed. Rosemary is generally safe for consumption but large amounts can cause stomach upset partly due to the chemical makeup listed above. Always consult with your doctor before taking any herb to ensure the safety of consuming the herb with any medications you may be taking.
I hope this information was helpful and made you consider Rosemary in a new light. I am happy to say that I am going to the Free Herbalism Project in Eugene Oregon this weekend! Please return next week so I can share with you what I have learned!
Anti-oxidant and antimicrobial
Oil and memory