Rosemary

Rosemary  Materia Medica           

Salvia rosmarinus (Formerly Rosmarinus officinale)
LAMIACEAE FAMILY

Rosemary is a warming, stimulating, and exhilarating plant.  Like the sun, Rosemary is a powerhouse medicinal, safeguarding against both chronic illness and acute infection.   It strengthens the heart, eases pain and inflammation, tonifies the mind, builds deep energy, and is a general all around tonic.

 The ancient Greeks dedicated sweet rosemary to Apollo, the god of medicine, music, poetry, and prophecy.  To the Romans, rosemary represented loyalty and learning.  It accompanied Pharaohs to the next life.  Rosemary has been worn to weddings and offered at funerals.  It inspires a commitment to love, and it reminds us of those we loved and lost. Rosemary is for remembrance.  And for strength.  It helps us to remember our truth, to find our path, and to shine.

As a member of the Mint Family, Rosemary is featured in our “Mint-tastic” Materia Medicia Class that we taught at the Free School in 2023In that class, we explored the botanical family patterns of the Mint Family andlearn about many of Rosemary’s relatives, including Lavender ,Lemon Balm, Peppermint and Oregano. This class, and all Free School Classes are available in the Free School Archive, located in the Herbalista Toolkit.  

DESCRIPTION

Native to the regions surrounding the Mediterranean and the Caucuses, this evergreen shrub with needle-like leaves blooms sweet whitish bluish to lilac throughout the winter.  Leaves: simple, entire margin, green above and white below, aromatic.  Flowers: typical mint, two-lipped, with only 2 stamen.  The flowers grow in clusters from the axil. 

It likes dry, sunny climates, and well drained soil. 

PART USED

leaves (with or without flowers)

HARVEST

Anytime you need it!  Like most mint family plants, if you clip them back they will fill in twice as strong.  Since this plant is already quite dry, it is not difficult to dry.  Simply hang branches until dry.  Then strip the leaves from the twigs with your hands.   On the herbal farm I volunteered on in Italy, we simply laid the boughs out on tables in an upper attic room of the farm house.   

ENERGETICS + TASTES 

warm, dry, moving

ACTIONS

anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, circulatory tonic, antidepressant, diffusive stimulant, cardiac tonic, digestive tonic, nervine

SYSTEMS

circulatory, nervous, digestive, skin

INDICATIONS

infection, cold/ depressed state, Raynaud’s, cold fingers and toes, depression, forgetfulness

PREPARATION + DOSAGE (INTERNAL)

  • Tincture: Dry Herb [1:5, 60%] Alcohol; consider using hydrosol as water portion of tincture. Take up to 2.5 mL (½ tsp), up to 3 xs per day. 
  • Glycerite: Dry Herb [1:5, 60%] Glycerine; consider using hydrosol as water portion of glycerite; Take up to 2.5 mL (½ tsp), up to 3 xs per day.
  • Hydrosol: Fresh Herb Distillation.  Take 1 tsp hydrosol per cup of water. See Hydrosol Therapy Guide
  • Tea: 1 tsp per cup of water.  Steep covered to preserve the aromatics. Take up to 3xs per day.
  • Powder/ Herbal Spice: Add freely to foods.  Rosemary tastes especially good with beef, pork and lamb.  Used commonly in blends such as Italian Seasonings or Herbs de Provence. See our  Garlic + Herb Spice Blend
  • Capsule: Dry Powdered Herb. 500 mg, up to 3xs per day. See our Inflam Re-Leaf Capsules

PAIRINGS (INTERNAL)

  • Circulatory Support: Ginger or Cayenne
  • Energy: Eleuthero, Ginger, etc.
  • Memory: Sage
  • Heart Health: other cardiovascular anti-inflammatories, such as Hawthorne.
  • Headaches: with Lavender or Oregano
  • Depression: with Lavender or Cardamom
  • Bad Breath: with Cinnamon, Cardamom or Clove

PREPARATION + DOSAGE (EXTERNAL)

  • Tea (Soak or Hair Rinse): 1 oz herb per quart.  
  • Infused Oil: Dry Herb [1:5] Olive Oil. Use alone or in blends to support the skin and circulation, particularly in the winter months. See our Cozy Toes Salve
  • Essential Oil: Use diluted at a 2% dilution.
  • Aromatic Cleanser: See Thieves Oil Blend 
  • Hydrosol: See our Foot Spritz
  • Queen of Hungary Water: Distilled rosemary with other mint family herbs.  Many recipes abound, dating all the way from the 14th century.

PAIRINGS (EXTERNAL)

For Wound Care

  • Pair with other antimicrobial herbs such as berberine containing ones like Goldenseal and Oregon Grape, Yarrow, Calendula, etc.
  • Pair with astringent herbs such as Witch Hazel or Rose.

For Circulation to Finger and Toes

  • Pair with other movers, such as Ginger. 

SAFETY/ CAUTIONS

  • Food-like and generally considered safe.
  • Avoid concentrated supplements and large doses during pregnancy.