Rosemary Essential Oil Benefits & Uses
Rosemary essential oil extracted from the fresh flowering tops of rosmarinus officinalis (also known as rosmarinus coronarium) of the Labiatae family has a penetrating, fresh, crisp and clean aroma that is known to stimulate the brain, improve memory and help with a variety of congested respiratory tract problems and stiff muscles.
What is Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil (also known as Rosemary verbenone or R. cineole) is a colorless or pale yellow liquid that is steam distilled from the flowering tops of this evergreen shrub. It has a middle-to-top note that is high in esters, ketones and monoterpenes and has a strong, herbaceous, medicinal, sweet and strong aroma.
As a culinary delight, rosemary (also known as rosmarinus officinalis or salvia rosmarinus) is famous for bringing flavor and fragrance to the kitchen table e.g. Roast chicken. This aromatic Mediterranean herb has been used in food and medicine for millenia.
The first mention of rosemary is found on cuneiform stone tablets as early as 5000 BC. After that not much is known, except that Egyptians used it in their burial rituals. There is no further mention of rosemary until the ancient Greeks and Romans. Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD) wrote about it in The Natural History, as did Pedanius Dioscorides (c. 40 to c. 90), a Greek botanist (amongst other things). He talked about rosemary in his most famous writing, De Materia Medica, one of the most influential herbal books in history. The herb then made its way east to China and was naturalized there as early as 220 AD, during the late Han Dynasty.
Rosemary came to England at an unknown date; the Romans probably brought it when they invaded in the first century, but there are no viable records about rosemary arriving in Britain until the 8th century. This was credited to Charlemagne, who promoted herbs in general, and ordered rosemary to be grown in monastic gardens and farms.
Furthermore, there are also no records of rosemary being properly naturalized in Britain until 1338, when cuttings were sent by The Countess of Hainault, Jeanne of Valois (1294–1342) to Queen Phillippa (1311–1369), wife of Edward III. It included a letter that described the virtues of rosemary and other herbs that accompanied the gift. The original manuscript can be found in the British Museum. The gift was then planted in the garden of the old palace of Westminster. After this, rosemary is found in most English herbal texts, and is widely used for medicinal and culinary purposes.
Rosemary finally arrived in the Americas with early European settlers in the beginning of the 17th century. It soon was spread to South America and global distribution.
Benefits of Rosemary Essential Oil
Not only is rosemary great for flavor-boosting, the essential oil may also help you relieve aches and pains. Rosemary’s warming and analgesic properties can help relieve muscle soreness, joint pain and even menstrual cramps. Rosemary also has powerful anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antiviral properties that are great for protecting your skin. It may help heal minor wounds, sores and bites. A rosemary oil massage or compress can also boost blood flow to cold hands or feet as well as sooth sore muscles. It’s tonic effect on the lungs may also help ease congestion, asthma, bronchitis, colds and cough.
Uses of Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary works as an astringent for skin, tightening and toning it. It is antibacterial and a good oil to use for acne, eczema and athlete’s foot. If you have seen it in hair products, that is because it will stimulate hair growth, be a dandruff treatment and balance the oil on the scalp. So it can be added to your personal shampoo and receive the same benefits. For the circulatory system, it is purported to balance both high and low blood pressure along with easing heart palpitation. Emotionally, rosemary will help with nervous exhaustion, clear the cobwebs out your mind and assist with concentration, especially when you need to make decisions.
How to Use Rosemary Essential Oil
- Massage oils and compresses – adding rosemary oil to a warm compress or massage oil to support circulation, relieve pain and soothe the stomach.
- Diffuser or inhalers – breathing in rosemary oil may fend off respiratory infections while also improving focus and memory.
- Balms and salves – with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic benefits, rosemary may be a great support to wound treatments.
- Soaps and lotions – adding rosemary oil to hair products may help stimulate hair growth and even reduce dandruff.
Blends Well With
Where to Buy Rosemary Essential Oil Locally
Rosemary oil is used in aromatherapy to help reduce stress levels and nervous tension, boost mental activity, encourage clarity and insight, relieve fatigue, and support respiratory function. It is said to improve alertness, eliminate negative moods, and increase the retention of information by enhancing concentration. The aroma stimulates the appetite and is also known to reduce the level of harmful stress hormones that are released when involved in tense experiences.
Essential Oils You May Also Like
Margalob / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)