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Rosemary, the dew from the seas

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody and fragrant herb, with needle-like leaves and beautiful white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. This herb is original to the Mediterranean region. The etymology of the name "rosemary" comes from the Latin word for "dew" Ros and the word for "from the sea" Marinus, therefore it would be "dew from the sea". Lovely, isn't it?

The Ancients were well acquainted with the plant, which had a reputation for strengthening the memory. On this account it became the emblem of fidelity for lovers. It holds a special position among herbs from the symbolism attached to it. Not only was it used at weddings, but also at funerals, for decking churches and banqueting halls at festivals, as incense in religious ceremonies, and in magical spells.

The oil is also used externally as a redden and is added to liniments as a fragrant stimulant. Hungary water, for outward application to renovate the vitality of paralysed limbs, was first invented for a Queen of Hungary, who was said to have been completely cured by its continued use. It was prepared by putting 1 1/2 lb. of fresh Rosemary tops in full flower into 1 gallon of spirits of wine, this was allowed to stand for four days and then distilled. Hungary water was also considered very efficacious against gout in the hands and feet, being rubbed into them vigorously. But that was a very old recipe, and today we've got better ways to prepare this revitalising tonic.

As an ingredient in a massage oil, compress, or bath, rosemary essential oil is excellent for increasing poor circulation and easing muscle and rheumatism pain. It is especially penetrating when used in a liniment. It is very antiseptic, so inhaling the essential oil or adding it to a vapour balm that is rubbed on the chest and throat relieves lung congestion and sore throat. It is a stimulant to the nervous system and increases energy. It also helps get rid of canker sores. Add it to shampoos -- it is an age-old remedy for dandruff and hair loss (1.5% of the total content).

The wonderful smell of rosemary is often associated with good food and great times. But it could just as easily be associated with good health.

Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks. In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration. So, the next time you enhance the flavour of some special dish with rosemary, congratulate yourself for a wise as well as delicious choice.

DIY: If you'd like to have a revitalising bath to get rid off tiredness you just need to add 1/4 cup of rosemary leaves to treat mental fatigue, 1/4 cup of sage leaves to treat lack of focus and 2 tbsp of oats, and enjoy a warm bath packed with herbal goodness!

Sonia x

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