Rosemary is my favorite herb! Why? Because it is so versatile!
Rosemary is ruled by the Sun and by the element of fire. This is obvious if you take Rosemary leaves in your fingers and grind them to release the scent.
Most commonly it is used for cleasing, exorcism, love, healing, protection and purification. It is an excellent replacement for Frankincense, if you happen to run out - or if you want to create an herbal bath or infusion but can't use a Resin.
* Incense - burned Rosemary is used for cleansing and purifying. It is great to consecrate spaces and cleanse a new home before moving in - it is one of the oldest incenses. Also a great incense to cleanse bedrooms of people who are sick, or depressed. Excellent when used in the home after the death of a loved one, to help with the alleviate grieving.
* Infusion - an infusion of Rosemary was often used to wash healer's hands before doing healing work and they were used in sick rooms to promote healing. Rosemary infusion is also excellent for those with arthritis as it encourages circulation - add an infusion of rosemary to your bath water and feel better! Also a Rosemary bath will help with muscle cramps after a long workout!
* Scent - Rosemary has a strong scent has been used for centuries to help dispel depression and clear negative feelings. Fresh Rosemary is best for this, but high quality dried rosemary can be used for this as well. Rosemary essential oil is rather inexpensive and is an excellent mood lifter. Take some dried rosemary and grind it in your fingers! Or - add Rosemary to a sachet and pull it out whenever you need a little natural pick-me-up!
* Beauty - Rosemary improves circulation - it is excellent as a facial steam to cleanse the pores. It can also be used as an herbal rinse for dark hair.
* Household - Boil a handful of Rosemary in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes to yield an antiseptic solution for washing bathroom fixtures. Also, you can add about 30 drops of Rosemary essential oil to 4oz of water (I prefer destilled water) and use as a natural air freshner!
* Food - Rosemary is an excellent spice for cooking -extensively used in italian cooking in particular it adds a unique flavor to any dish! (Rosemary potatos.... yum!)
* Herbal Medicine - in herbal medicine, Rosemary has been used to treat arthritis, headaches, pains, upset stomach, sprains, cuts and bruises. There are studies being done with Alzheimer's disease - phytochemicals in Rosemary may prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical that allows neurons within the brain to communicate with each other. Several studies have indicated the Rosemary contains compounds that prevent carcinogenic chemicals from binding to and inducing mutations in DNA - thus helping to prevent cancer. Those with IBS have found that Rosemary relieves intestinal cramps and spasms by stimulating the release of bile that helps digest fat. It also relieves bloating and gas. And last but not least, the antioxidants in Rosemary help prevent uterine spasms associated with menstrual cramps!
One thing to remember: Rosemary stimulates bloodflow - so women with heavy periods should avoid excess rosemary. Also, Rosemary essential oil is very strong and should never be taken internally.
Rosemary is one the most inexpensive herbs and essential oils on the market today - so anyone can use it! So go ahead - add a little Rosemary to your life! You will be glad you did!