Rosemary Oil - Featured Essential Oil


Rosemary oil is one of the most popular essential oils due to its wide array of health benefits. It has become increasingly important and popular over the years as more of its various health benefits have become understood. This crisp and clean smelling essential oil is great for stimulating the brain, improving memory and mental clarity and boosting mental activity. It helps with a variety of congested respiratory tract problems, stiff muscles, coldness as well as boosting the liver and gall bladder. It is also used for skin care, improving hair and scalp health and stimulating hair growth.

Rosemary, also known as Rosmarinus Officinalis, is very popular in the Mediterranean region as a culinary herb. Many dishes are cooked with Rosemary oil and freshly plucked Rosemary leaves. The name is derived from the Latin 'Rosmarinus' or 'sea dew', as it is rather fond of water. The Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks and Romans considered the herb as sacred and even in the Middle Ages it was used to ward off evils spirits and used as a protection against the plague. It was burnt in French hospitals during epidemics.

Rosemary is a shrubby evergreen bush that grows up to 1.5 meters (4 feet) high with green-gray needle-shaped leaves and pale blue/lilac flowers that bees just love and is originally from Asia, but is now cultivated all over the world. The Rosemary bush belongs to the mint family which includes basil, lavender, myrtle, and sage.

Rosemary oil has a clear, powerful refreshing herbal smell, is clear in color and watery in viscosity. Rosemary essential oil is mostly extracted from the leaves by steam distillation.

Health Benefits of Rosemary Oil

The health benefits of Rosemary essential oil made it a favorite of Paracelsus, a renowned German-Swiss physician and botanist, who made significant contributions to the understanding of herbal medicine during the 16th century. Paracelsus valued Rosemary oil because of its ability to strengthen the entire body. He correctly believed that Rosemary oil had the ability to heal delicate organs such as the liver, brain, and heart. Today, many medicinal preparations contain Rosemary oil.

Rosemary oil helps with headaches, migraines, neuralgia, mental fatigue and nervous disorders. The antiseptic action of Rosemary oil is especially suitable for intestinal infections and diarrhea or constipation, easing colitis, dyspepsia, flatulence, hepatic disorders and cleaning cuts. It helps with jaundice and relieving pain associated with rheumatism, arthritis, muscular aches and pains and gout. It also helps for arteriosclerosis, palpitations, poor circulation and varicose veins. Rosemary oil is effective for decongesting the respiratory tract, sinus problems and is a skin and hair booster. It is also an insect repellant.

Diffusing the oil into the air will disinfect the room. Using the oil in a massage oil may help with sore muscles. Used externally, Rosemary oil can help soothe the stomach and relieve pain from indigestion, menstrual cramps or other difficulties. The diuretic properties of Rosemary oil are useful with reducing water retention during menstruation, and also with obesity and cellulite.

Special Blends

Add these essential oils to 20ml (4 tsp) carrier oil.
  1. Blend 1: To bring back zest to a tired mind
    4 drops Rosemary
    2 drops Peppermint
    4 drops Grapefruit
  2. Blend 2: To revitalize aching muscles
    4 drops Rosemary
    2 drops Vetiver
    4 drops Black Pepper
  3. Blend 3: To warm and loosen muscles
    4 drops Rosemary
    2 drops Ginger
    4 drops Lavandin
  4. Blend 4: To warm and soothe painful muscles
    4 drops Rosemary
    2 drops Ginger
    4 drops Eucalyptus

Uses

  1. Indigestion: Rosemary oil is often used for indigestion, relieving flatulence, stomach cramps, constipation, and bloating. Rosemary essential oil is also thought to relieve symptoms of dyspepsia and it is an appetite stimulant. It also helps to regulate the creation and release of bile, which is a key part of the digestive process. Furthermore, it stimulates the liver and gall bladder and helps to lower high blood sugar. It promotes the supply of blood to the organs of digestion. Furthermore, research has shown the essential oil to be detoxifying for the liver and it ensures that the liver is sufficiently well supplied with fresh blood, that is rich in oxygen. It also stimulates blood flow and improves circulation, which can benefit the absorption of nutrients from food. It also has very regenerative and purifying actions on the cells of the glands.
  2. Hair care: Rosemary oil and Rosemary teas are widely used for hair care in shampoos and lotions. Its stimulating action increases circulation to the scalp and so benefits scalp disorders (dry and flaky scalps) and encourages hair growth. Regular use of Rosemary oil helps to stimulate follicles, making hair grow longer and stronger. It is also believed that Rosemary oil slows down premature hair loss and graying of the hair. Therefore, it is an excellent tonic for bald people or those who are beginning to show signs on male pattern baldness.
  3. Mouth care: Rosemary essential oil is a disinfectant and is often used as a mouth wash. It also helps in removing bad breath. By removing oral bacteria, Rosemary essential oil can prevent gingivitis, cavities, plaque build up, and other damaging dental conditions.
  4. Skin care: Rosemary essential oil does have antimicrobial and antiseptic qualities that make it beneficial in efforts to eliminate eczema, dermatitis, oily skin, and acne. It helps to ease congestion, puffiness and swelling. Because of its astringent action it has a tightening effect and is effective for countering sagging skin. Wrinkles and unclean skin will quickly become something of the past after using Rosemary on a regular basis. Topical application or regular massage with the essential oil mixed in a carrier oil helps in toning your skin, removing dryness and giving your skin a healthy, even glow because it improves blood circulation and decongests the skin. As an addition to a bath, or when used in a fragrance lamp, it opens the pores and thereby makes it possible to achieve a more thorough purification and purging of the tissue. It also disinfects and embalms the skin and the inner nerve tracts.
  5. Easing the Mind: Rosemary essential oil is an excellent brain and nerve tonic. This essential oil helps to clear the mind, sharpen the memory and boost the central nervous system. It offers protection against mental strain and, at the same time, it bestows a high measure of ability to concentrate, to think logically and aid mental vitality. It stimulates mental activity and is a good remedy for depression, mental fatigue and forgetfulness (it helps improve memory). It is often used by students during exam times because it increases concentration and helps in studying efficiently. In a 2003 study, researchers found that 144 test participants who inhaled Rosemary oil during an exam displayed significantly higher cognitive function. Some researchers are beginning to explore the options for using Rosemary oil as an alternative treatment for slowing down the onset of Alzheimer's disease in certain patients because of this apparent connection between boosted neural activity and the essential oil.
  6. Stress Relief: Aside from the relaxing nature of aromatherapy and general inhalation of Rosemary essential oil, it has been proven to actually decrease the level of cortisol in the saliva. Cortisol is one of the main stress hormones that are released during the "flight or fight" response of the body to stress. Excess cortisol in the blood that may occur due to chronic stress can wreak havoc on the body, including its hormonal balance and the efficiency of the metabolism. A study released in 2007 said that inhaling Rosemary oil and Lavender oil for five minutes significantly reduced the levels of cortisol in the test subject's saliva, which could seriously decrease the dangers inherent from chronic stress.
  7. Immune System Boost: Antioxidants are some of the most valuable defensive weapons we have in our body for fighting off infection and disease, so any food or essential oil that either adds to or stimulates the activity of antioxidants is a huge benefit to overall health. The same study which found that cortisol levels decreased after inhalation of Rosemary essential oil also found that the scavenging free radical activity in the test subjects' bodies also increased significantly. This means that regular use or inhalation of Rosemary essential oil in aromatherapy sessions or in other ways can increase the strength of the immune system and help combat all of the diseases associated with free radicals, including cancer and heart disease.
  8. Pain relief: The ability of Rosemary essential oil to relieve pain (its analgesic properties) has resulted in its extensive use in treating headaches, muscle pains, rheumatism and even arthritis. Massaging the affected area that is in pain with Rosemary essential oil can quickly relieve the pain. Rosemary oil can be used externally in times of illness to speed recovery by rubbing on the feet or any areas that are sore. Vapor baths with Rosemary oil are also found to be effective in the treatment of rheumatism. It has certain anti-inflammatory qualities as well, which makes it very good for relieving the pain from sprains and joint aches. Furthermore, it is known to stimulate blood circulation, which can relieve pain and also aid in coagulation of wounds for faster healing.
  9. Aroma: Rosemary has a mesmerizing aroma, which makes Rosemary essential oil an excellent inhalant. The oil is used in room fresheners, cosmetics, beauty aids, food, bath oil, candles and perfumes because of its unique and intoxicating aroma. When the oil is inhaled, it can boost mental energy and is also known to clear the respiratory tract (congestion). In vapor therapy, Rosemary oil can be helpful for alcohol over-indulgence, overwork, sinusitis and physical tiredness. It furthermore stimulates the brain, improves memory and promotes clear thinking. Many people spray a mixture of Rosemary essential oil and water to remove bad odors from rooms and objects.
  10. Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Recent research suggests that the use of Rosemary essential oil's antimicrobial qualities can help reduce the effects and recurring inflammation of the herpes virus. The herpes virus can quickly develop immunity to normal antiviral medication, so alternative methods are always being explored. A number of studies have now shown Rosemary essential oil to be an effective option for reducing the symptoms of the herpes virus in test subjects, and even affects the level of contagiousness of the virus.
  11. Respiratory problems: The benefits of Rosemary essential oil in treating respiratory problems are well-researched and supported. Rosemary oil has antiseptic qualities so it is effective for respiratory infections and gives relief from throat and sinus congestion. It is also used in the treatment of respiratory allergies, colds, sore throats and the flu. The oil is also antispasmodic and is therefore used in some treatment programs for bronchial asthma, bronchitis and catarrh.
  12. Rheumatism treatment for your pet: Put 6 drops of Rosemary oil in 1/2 c of water. Use this to massage the area that needs pain relief.
  13. Blended massage oil or in the bath: As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, Rosemary oil can assist with liver and gall problems, mucus congestion, muscular aches, cramps, pains and spasms, stiff neck, overwork, rheumatism, arthritis, colds, constipation, diarrhea, coughs, bronchitis, back pain, scalp disorders, sinusitis, mental fatigue and physical tiredness.

Safety

Pregnant women should avoid Rosemary essential oil. Avoid in epilepsy and hypertension (high blood pressure). Avoid with homeopathics. Because its oil is extremely potent, it should never be ingested directly.

Blends Well With

Rosemary oil blends particularly well with Cedarwood, Citronella, Geranium, Lavender, Lemongrass and Peppermint.

Rosemary also blends well with Basil, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Elemi, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Lemon, Litsea Cubeba, Mandarin, Marjoram, Niaouli, Oregano, Petitgrain, Pine, Ravensara, Tea Tree and Thyme.

References

  1. Herbal Home Remedies, Llewellyn Publications, 1992 and 2004.
  2. The Essential Oils Handbook, Jennie Harding, Watkins Publishing, London, 2008.
  3. http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/natural-essential-oils/health-benefits-of-rosemary-oil.html
  4. http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/eo/rosemary.html
  5. http://www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/rosemary.htm
  6. http://www.ageless.co.za/herb-rosemary.htm