Rejuvenating Rosemary

Ellen Lord By Ellen Lord, 22nd Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Herbs

Rosemary is used internally for problems of the digestive tract, particularly bloating and cramps; it also stimulates the appetite and promotes digestion.

Rejuvenating Rosemary

Rosemary has been valued for its ritual significance and its medicinal applications since classical times. In songs, the herb has been extolled as a symbol of fertility and of remembrance. Ancient healers would often turn to rosemary for its memory-enhancing qualities and ancient Greek students would wear necklaces of rosemary to aid in their studies. Rosemary is also highly prized for use in aromatherapy and is in high demand.

Rosemary has long been thought to be a rejuvenating tonic for both the body and mind. Its oil aids mental clarity and stimulates the central nervous system. Its spicy essential oil is also often used in bath and body products such as: soaps, shampoos and bath salts. To produce the oil, the needlelike leaves must be harvested before the plant blossoms and then dried. More than 200 pounds of leaves are used to produce about a quart of oil by steam distillation!

I garden in Zone 5 and have had no success in wintering-over my rosemary. Each year, I would dutifully uproot and pot it up for indoor wintering to no avail. This year, I have decided to treat it as I would a rose and see if it survives the winter in the garden. I use the dried leaves in teas, potpourri, and also as an incense. You can gather leaves from the rosemary shrub all season long. Dry them in an airy, shady place at a temperature less than 95°F in order to sustain the medicinal power of the essential oil.

Plant Facts:
A member of the Labiatiae family, the evergreen shrub can grow 10-15 feet tall in the U.S. When touched, the needles give off a distinct aroma - faintly camphor-like and spicy. When eaten, the needle-shaped leaves have a pungent, somewhat bitter taste.

Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region, where it grows on dry slopes near the coast. It is now cultivated in herb gardens and as potted plants throughout the world.

Plant Parts:
For medicinal purposes, the dried leaves and flowers are used, as well as the essential oil, which is obtained by steam distillation.

Rosemary contains large amounts of an essential oil, whose primary constituents are cineole, borneol, thymol, camphor and pinene. The oil is an effective disinfectant and antispasmodic. It also stimulates circulation by increasing blood flow to invigorate the whole body. The needlelike leaves contain bitters, tannins, flavanoids and nicotinic acid as well.

Rosemary is used internally for problems of the digestive tract, particularly bloating and cramps; the herb's antispasmodic properties come into play here. In addition, by increasing production of stomach juices, it stimulates the appetite and promotes digestion. Wine made with rosemary is considered to be a fortifying remedy for nervous agitation, low blood pressure and heart and circulatory weakness; it is especially helpful during convalescence. Rosemary oil applied topically increases blood flow and relieves sore, aching muscles. Rosemary oil used in an aromatherapy lamp or ring has a strong stimulating and anti-inflammatory effect. The substances contained in rosemary oil activate the circulation and the nervous systems.

Methods of Administration:

Tea Infusion: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. of rosemary leaves and strain after 15 minutes. You can drink 1 cup 2-3 times a day.

Rosemary Wine: Add about 1-3/4 oz. of rosemary leaves to 1 qt. of white wine or liqueur. Let the wine and leaves stand for 5 days; then filter. Take 1 tbsp. after meals 2-3 times a day. This is an especially effective, centuries-old treatment for poor circulation, low blood pressure and the headaches brought on by these conditions.

A bath: Bring to a boil 1 3/4 oz. of dried leaves or 2 1/2 oz. of fresh leaves in 1 qt. of water. Cover and let it stand for 15-30 minutes; add to warm bathwater.

Dandruff Rinse: A hair rinse with rosemary adds life to dull hair and combats dry, flaking scalp. Pour 4 cups of boiling water over 1/2 up of rosemary leaves and 1 tsp. of borax. Steep for 2 hours; then strain. Apply 1/2 to 1 cup after shampooing and conditioning; don't rinse out. Use the rinse within 10 days.

Other Uses and applications:

  • For grooming and general well-being: Because rosemary oil has a strong warming effect, a body oil containing the extract retains heat after a bath and energizes the circulatory system. The skin absorbs essential oils particularly well after baths or showers.
  • For cold feet: Pamper and warm cold feet with a footbath containing rosemary oil for quick and long-lasting results. Mix 9 drops of oil with the warm water of the footbath. Be sure to mix well so that the oil disperses throughout.
  • For cellulite: Adding rosemary oil to bathwater is helpful for removing water from tissue and improving circulation, which in turn diminishes the appearance of cellulite. Mix 10 drops of rosemary oil with 2-3 tbsps. whipping cream or base oil as an emulsifier, and add to bathwater. While bathing, massage the skin with a loofah to stimulate circulation.
  • For prevention of hair loss: Add 2 drops of rosemary oil to your shampoo. The oil will stimulate circulation to the scalp, giving it a bit of a "wake-up call" and, at the same time, improve the nutrient supply to the hair roots. The result will be healthy and shiny hair.
  • To help control minor pain: Add 9 drops of rosemary oil to 4 tsp. of sweet-almond oil and gently rub the area. You can also drink the tea for relief of headaches.
  • A natural alternative to coffee and other stimulants: Rosemary can provide a lift during the day by drinking a cup of tea or by simply adding it to a simmer pot or diffuser.


    • The camphor, thymol and terpineol in rosemary are highly stimulating. Pregnant women should not use the herb as either an essential oil or a tea preparation, as either can cause premature labor.

    • Those prone to asthma may be bothered by rosemary's strong scent and the active ingredients can also cause seizures in epileptics.

    • Rosemary oil may cause skin irritation if not diluted properly.

    • Keep these precautions in mind when using rosemary oil around others!

    Magickal Uses:

    Folk Names: Compass Weed, Dew of the Sea, Elf Leaf, Guardrobe, Incensier, Polar Plant, Sea Dew
    Gender: Masculine
    Planet: Sun
    Element: Fire
    Powers: Protection, Love, Lust, Mental Powers, Exorcism, Purification, Healing, Sleep, Youth

    • Rosemary, when burned, emits powerful cleansing and purifying vibrations; and thus, smoldered to rid a place of negativity, especially prior to performing magick. It is one of the oldest incenses.
    • It has connections with the sea and is used in all sea-rituals, as well as in sachets designed to ensure a safe passage on the water. A good protective sachet for boat or ship passengers can be made up of rosemary, garlic (to stop storms) and mistletoe (to guard against lightning storms).
    • When placed beneath the pillow, rosemary ensures a good sleep and drives away nightmares. Laid under the bed, it protects the sleeper from all harm. Rosemary is also hung on the porch and door posts to keep thieves from the house and is carried to remain healthy. Placed in the bath, it purifies.
    • A sprig of rosemary, worn, aids the memory, while the wood, smelled often, preserves youthfulness. To ensure the latter, add a rosemary infusion to the bath water.
    • Rosemary has long been used in love and lust incenses and other mixtures. Healing poppets are stuffed with rosemary to take advantage of its curative vibrations. Rosemary infused is used to wash the hands before healing work. Leaves mixed with juniper berries are burned in sickrooms to promote healing.
    • If you wish to receive knowledge or the answer to a question, burn rosemary on charcoal and smell its smoke. Rosemary is also grown to attract elves. The powdered leaves wrapped in linen cloth and bound tight to the right arm dispel depression and make the emotions light and merry.
    • Rosemary is generally used as a substitute for frankincense.

    More articles in my Natural Health & Hygiene series:
    Bountiful Basil
    Basil Essential Oil
    Join the community here at Wikinut


    This information is in no way intended to be a substitute for modern medical care. Do not self-treat any medical complaint without the guidance of a licensed health care provider.


    This article has been previously published at and

    Confidentiality Statement: (for anyone who does not respect copyright and/or is confused regarding this issue) The information, data and schematics embodied in the document are confidential and proprietary, being exclusively owned by Ellen J. Lord (aka Purpleflame or Firefly). This document is being supplied on understanding that it and its contents shall not be used, reproduced, or disclosed to others except as specifically permitted with the prior written consent of Ellen J. Lord. The recipient of this document, by its retention and use, agrees to protect the same from loss, theft, or unauthorized use.
    All information provided in this article is the result of research using (but not limited to) the following books and guides: Herbs for Health and Healing, Rodale; Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham; Magical Herbalism, Scott Cunningham; The Complete Guide to Natural Healing, International Masters Publishers; Earthway, Mary Summer Rain; Teach Yourself Herbs, Susie White; Natural Beauty from the Garden, Janice Cox; Nature's Prescriptions, Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing, and The People's Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies, Joe Graedon and Theresa Graedon, Ph.D


    Bloating, Circulation, Cramps, Digestion, Farmacy, Flatulence, Herbal Medicine, Herbalist, Magickal Herb, Memory Aid, Rejuvinating, Rosemary

    Meet the author

    author avatar Ellen Lord
    Interested in herbs and their many uses. I believe that food is medicine. In my politics and religion, I am on the left of center.

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    author avatar Nancy Austin
    24th Apr 2015 (#)

    I had never thought of using rosemary in the bath, but this makes sense cause it smells so good.

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    author avatar Ellen Lord
    24th Apr 2015 (#)

    my favorite incense is a mix of lavender, rosemary and basil. I put equal amounts in a big bowl and mix, then scoop some onto a charcoal.

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    author avatar Nancy Austin
    24th Apr 2015 (#)

    I love lavender too.

    Reply to this comment

    author avatar Ellen Lord
    26th Apr 2015 (#)


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    author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
    26th Apr 2015 (#)

    I love rosemary. Thanks for sharing your article.

    Reply to this comment

    author avatar Ellen Lord
    26th Apr 2015 (#)

    Glad you liked it.

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    author avatar brendamarie
    26th Apr 2015 (#)

    wow, great in-depth article

    Reply to this comment

    author avatar Ellen Lord
    26th Apr 2015 (#)

    TY brendamarie. Glad you like it

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