Latin: Rosmarinus officinalis
Part Used: leaves and twigs
Constituents: volatile oil including borneol, linalol, camphene, cineole, and camphor, tannins, bitter principle, resins
Medicinal Actions: carminative, aromatic, antispasmodic, antidepressive, antiseptic, rubefacient, parasiticide
Rosemary is an evergreen plant with long, soft needles climbing up woody stems. Given enough space, it will grow into a large shrub. When it blooms, it boasts lovely little purple flowers.
Rosemary grows abundantly along the coast of the Mediterranean, earning its Latin name Rosmarinus, which means ‘dew of the sea.’ In cooler climates, Rosemary makes for a hearty annual. It loves the sun and does well with minimal watering. It doesn’t like to be soaked, though it appreciates having its leaves spritzed, especially if you live in a dry climate. Rosemary will thrive in the humidity of a Southern Ontario summer, but will need to come inside at the end of the season, as it won’t survive the cold winter.
Uses & Combinations
Rosemary acts as a circulatory and nervine stimulant, which makes it a useful replacement for coffee if you’re trying to avoid caffeine. Sip on a cup of Rosemary tea in the afternoon to help you focus and to improve your memory during study sessions. It will give you an even, sustained energy without the spike and drop that so often comes with caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee.
Rosemary has a calming effect that eases psychological tension and makes for an effective antidepressant. It has a similar calming effect on the digestive system, and is useful for easing headaches.
Topically, Rosemary can be used to ease muscular pain and sciatica. It also acts as a stimulant to hair follicles and can be used as an oil in premature baldness or in a hair rinse to encourage growth.
Combine with Skullcap, Kola Nut, and Oats for depression, or with Lemon Thyme to make a mild stimulant.
Features & Cultivation
You can gather the leaves all summer, but they’re best before it flowers. Rosemary takes very well to drying. Cut the branches and hang to dry to enjoy your Rosemary all year long. It does well being cut back before being brought inside for the winter, so don’t be shy.