It’s a time of year where Gratitude and Thanks are an integral part of the season. It’s the beginning of the holidays that one of the bountiful herbs, Rosemary, connects us to gratitude, love, culinary ecstasy, and self-care wishlists.
As we begin to plan our holiday menus and write our gratitude lists, associating this herb with the time of year will, in fact, help spark the remembrance of gratitude and joy year-round while boosting our healthcare wish lists.
Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) is a perennial herb native to the Mediterranean and has a woody fragrance of evergreen. It is one of the most powerful herbs to grow nearby for its fairly low maintenance and fragrance. It has needle-like leaves and flowers that vary in colors of white, pink, purple and blue. Rosemary is a part of the mint (lamiaceae) family.
Some of its relatives are lavender, thyme, oregano, and basil, and all make great culinary allies with potent health benefits.
Rosemary is associated with the Greek Goddess Aphrodite, associated with love, beauty, pleasure, passion, and procreation, which correlates with some of Rosemary’s energetic properties. Rosemary has also been used as a symbol of remembrance for those past and is often times used as a spiritual cleansing, clearing, and protective herb.
It’s an excellent herb to use year-round for the aromatic spark it gives to food. It has one of the most potent aromas, which studies show, have immediate effects and health benefits from inhalation alone.
Although dried and fresh rosemary sprigs are often used in the kitchen, the essential oil is the most potent part of the plant as it carries its full essence and constituents in it. Unlike the everyday oils we use to cook with, an essential oil doesn’t contain fat..
Rosemary essential oil is commonly used to uplift and “perk up” your spirit and mood. As mentioned in September’s Herbal Safety Kit, it’s good to keep on hand whether it’s in the car or in a bag you carry with you to stimulate extra alertness or if you have been exposed to environmental toxins.
It may also improve brain function and increase circulation, a great choice when studying or completing a project that requires your attention and energy to complete.
Other benefits of the essential oil include stimulating hair growth, stimulating the thyroid gland for hypothyroidism (applied topically). It may reduce inflammation, relieve pain, ease stress, and is popular as a bug repellent (although only effective with certain bugs). These therapeutic effects aren’t limited to the essential oil. Dried herbs in capsule and tea form also have health benefits.
This versatile herb contains B6, copper, magnesium and potassium. It has a higher percentage of vitamin A and C than other herbs, as well as folate, manganese, calcium and iron.
An ingredient called carnosic acid can fight off damage from free radicals in the brain, with the added benefit of enhancing memory, preventing brain aging, brain fog, while aiding in neurological protection. Rosemary is often recommended for those who have experienced a stroke.
Tummy troubles? It is known to improve digestion by relaxing muscles in the digestive tract, stimulate appetite, improve gastric tone, which enables food to digest more easily. Again, because of carnosic acid, rosemary acts as an antioxidant, a potent player in fighting free radicals in the body with anti-inflammatory and tonifying abilities. In fact, it is being used in treatment for cancer. Rosemary is also more effective than Vitamin E compounds at protecting natural products from deteriorating.
ROSEMARY FUN FACT
I felt rosemary wants to be shared this time of year. When I sat down to write this, I started, as usual, with the headline. The first thing I typed was “Rosemary, Queen of Versatility,” but my mind kept wanting to change the name to “Queen of Potency.”
I love a good synchronicity. Once the article was finished, I “randomly” discovered an article about Queen Elizabeth of Hungary who reigned in the fourteenth century. She used a tincture of rosemary and alcohol (brandy) daily to treat gout and discomfort in her legs. It became known as “Hungary Water” and the herb earned the moniker, “the Vitality Herb,” so I decided to go with “Queen of Vitality.” In honor of this, I now feel called to create a brandy and rosemary cocktail named “The Queen of Vitality.” Stay tuned for the recipe.
I hope this serves you well. I hope your own intuition is heightened with clarity, gratitude, and remembrance. I hope you are happy, healthy, and have a blessed holiday season remembering to walk to the beat of your own drum and embrace your vitality. It’s a good reminder for this time of year (and always) that we are being guided to the truth, to the right path, to the answer.
Editor’s note: Rosemary is considered safe and devoid of toxic side-effects, but there is evidence that ingesting large amounts can potentially cause stomach upset and even kidney damage.