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Botanical Name: Rosmarinus officinalis  

Plant Family: Labiatae

Common Names: Compass Plant, Compass Weed, Polar Plant, Romero, Rosmarinus coronarium

History: The name Rosemary comes from the Latin Ros marinus which means 'sea-dew' or 'fond of the sea'

    It was customary to burn Rosemary with Juniper Berries to purify sick rooms in French hospitals
    It was mentioned in the old Anglo-Saxon Herbals of the 11th Century
    The Spaniards revere it as one of the bushes that gave shelter to the Virgin Mary in the flight into Egypt and call it Romero, 'the Pilgrim's Flower'.
    The ancients used the herb for strengthening the memory

Tradition: Rosemary

    if drunk is said to do away with all body evil
    is considered a safeguard from witches and evil influences in both Spain and Italy
    is the Herb of Remembrance and Friendship
    leaves were placed under your pillow dispel evil spirits and bad dreams
    was the emblem of fidelity for lovers
    was grown to attract elves
    was hung on porches and doors keeps thieves out
    was used at both weddings and funerals
    was used as incense in magical spells
    was used as incense in religious ceremonies
    was used for protection and banishmentrosemary.2

Plant Constituents of Rosemary


    bitter principle
    tannic acid

A volatile oil consisting of:

    Bornyl Acetate
    special camphor similar to that in the Myrtle plants


    anti-bacterial [an agent that destroys bacteria; bactericide]
    anti-fungal [an agent that destroys fungal conditions]
    antioxidant [contributing to the oxidation of free radicals which are believed to contribute to premature aging and dementia]
    antiseptic [an agent for inhibiting the growth of microorganism on living tissue or destroying pathogenic or putrefactive bacteria]
    antispasmodic [an agent which relieves or eases muscular spasms, cramps or convulsions]
    astringent [a binding agent that contracts organic tissue, reducing secretions or discharges of mucous and fluid from the body]
    cholagogue [an agent for increasing the flow of bile into the intestines]
    diaphoretic [an agent that promotes perspiration]
    emmenagogue [an agent that promotes menstrual flow]
    sedative [a soothing agent that reduces nervousness, distress or irritation]
    stimulant [an agent that excites or quickens the functional activity of the tissues giving more energy]
    stomachic [an agent that strengthens, stimulates or tones the stomach]
    tonic [an agent that tones, strengthens and invigorates organs or the entire organism giving a feeling of well-being]   

Usage of Rosemary

Medicinal Parts Used: Herb, root, oil (obtained from flowering tops)

Rosemary is used for:

Brain and Nervous System Conditions

    general debility after long-term nervous or physical illness
    improves the memory
    mental fatigue
    nervous anxiety and tension
    nervous depression (tea taken warm)
    nervous disorders
    restorative effect on the nervous system
    soothes the nerves
    stimulates the brain and nervous system
    tension headaches

Cardiovascular Conditions

    improves circulation
    raises blood pressure
    stimulates the circulatory system
    weak heart subject to palpitation (in small doses)

Gastrointestinal Conditions

    bad breath (mouthwash)
    upset stomachs
    promotes proper digestion
    toning and calming effect on the digestion

Genitourinary Conditions


Female Conditions

    regulates the menstrual cycle

Liver Conditions

    promotes liver function
    promotes the production of bile

Reproductive System Conditions

    stimulates the sexual organs

Respiratory System



    eases cramps
    expels morbid matter from the system
    failing eyesight
    headache (tea taken warm, with Peppermint and Chamomile tea)

Externally it is used to treat:


In aromatherapy the essential oil is used:

    as a decongestant
    as an inhalant
    for exhaustion (6 drops Rosemary Oil in bathwater)
    for headaches
    to enhance memory and clear concentrationrosemary2

The oil is used in oils/lotions for:

    muscular pain
    revitalizing paralyzed limbs
    rheumatoid arthritis
    scrofulous sores

and rubbed into hair

    for stimulating the hair bulbs to renewed activity
    to prevent premature baldness

Other Uses:

    Perfume in ointments, shampoos and soaps
    The flowers if laid in clothes cupboards destroys moths
    The leaves if crushed into meats, fish, potato salads, etc. can help prevent food poisoning


    carminative [an agent for easing griping pains, colic and expelling gas from the intestines]
    nervine [an agent that has a calming or soothing effect on the nerves, any agent that acts on the nervous system to restore the nerves to their natural state]
    rubifacient [a gentle local irritant that produces blisters, inflammation and reddening of the skin]
    stomachic [an agent that strengthens, stimulates or tones the stomach]



    Excessive amounts of Rosemary taken internally can cause fatal poisoning
    Rosemary Oil may raise blood pressure levels when used in massage

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