" Blog da Horta Biológica: Rosemary: Medicinal Properties And Ways Of Use

Rosemary: Medicinal Properties And Ways Of Use

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a perennial shrub that belongs to Lamiaceae family, the same as mint, and is native to Mediterranean countries. In Portugal it is easily found a little bit all over the country.

A Little Bit Of History

Rosemary and its benefits have been known for millennia. For the Egyptians, rosemary symbolized immortality and was used for embalming. Students in ancient Greece put rosemary in their hair to help improve memory at the time of exams. The Romans designated it as "rosmarinus", which in Latin means "dew of the sea" and used it to perfume public spaces. In the 13th century, during Black Death, rosemary was used to disinfect and purify air in hospitals. Rosemary was also the main ingredient in the famous "Queen of Hungary's Water", which is estimated to be dated to end of the 14th century. Although it was a perfume, it was also considered a medicinal remedy. Rosemary has reached our days being used for culinary, religious, cosmetic, and medicinal purposes.

In its composition, rosemary contains rosmaniric acid, flavonoids, camphor, tannins, volatile oils, among others. See, in our infographic, the medicinal properties attributed to rosemary.

Rosemary Infographic de Blog da Horta Biológica

How To Use Rosemary

Rosemary can be used fresh, dry, powdered, tea, and oil. All of these with properties equally important for physical and emotional health. 

  • Culinary

In cooking, rosemary is used to decorate and, most of all, to flavour meat and fish, potatoes, bread, soup, sauces, and butters.

  • Infusion

10g of leaves for 1L of boiling water.

Ways To Use The Infusion:

  • Take rosemary tea throughout the day to calm digestive problems
  • Rinse/gargle to disinfect mouth and throat 
  • Massage the scalp to stimulate blood circulation and hair growth 

It can also been used by steam inhalation to disinfect airways. To do this, pour a handful of dry leaves into boiling water, use a towel to cover your head, and inhale the steam.

  • Essential Oil

The essential oil is for external use only and must always be diluted before application.

Air Diffusion - Use an air diffuser to purify the air and help in the recovery process. 5 drops in a diffuser are enough in a bedroom. For a living room 8-10 drops can be used.

Inhalation - For cough, bronchitis, and other breathing problems. For 1L of boiling water add 5 drops of essential oil. Use a towel to cover your head and inhale the steam. 

Massage - Energizing massage to recover from physical and mental tiredness. Scalp massage to stimulate blood circulation and prevent hair loss. 

The essential oil must be diluted in a carrier oil suitable for the skin type  (ex: jojoba oil for oily skin / coconut oil for dry skin). 3-5 drops of essential oil to 15ml of carrier oil. 

Massages can be done with carrier oil, but also with massage bars and candles. 

Bath - Add to the bath to recover energy and vitality, and increase concentration. Maximum 8-10 drops of essential oil.

Cosmetics and hygiene - Rosemary is excellent for skin and hair, especially the oily type. It can be used to formulate moisturizer, balm, soap, shampoo, deo, and perfume. 

It can also be added to clay masks. 6 drops of essential oil for 30ml of carrier oil, mixing the clay suitable for the skin type to create a thick paste.

Special Care

Rosemary must be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It must also not be used by people suffering from hypertension and other heart problems. People with very sensitive skin should avoid using essential oils.

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