From Dr. Mercola:
One of the most popular essential oils around is extracted from Rosmarinus officinalis, which is widely known in the Mediterranean region for its culinary and herbal benefits and has been extensively used for a wealth of health and wellness purposes.
Find out more about rosemary oil and what sets it apart from other widely celebrated herbal oils.
What Is Rosemary Oil?
Related to mint and looking like lavender, rosemary has leaves like flat pine needles touched with silver. It boasts of a woodsy, citrus-like fragrance that has become a feature of many kitchens, gardens, and apothecaries worldwide. It derives its name from Latin words ros (“dew”) and marinus (“sea”), or “dew of the sea.”1
The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her blue cloak over a rosemary bush as she rested, and the white flowers turned blue. The shrub came to be known as the “Rose of Mary.”2
Rosemary was considered sacred by the Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, and was used in the Middle Ages to ward off evil spirits and protect against the plague.3
Rosemary oil has a clear, refreshing herbal smell, is clear in color, and is watery in viscosity. It is extracted from the fresh flowering tops through steam distillation, yielding 1.0 to 2.0 percent.
Its health benefits made it a favorite of Paracelsus,4 a German-Swiss physician and botanist who contributed greatly to the understanding of herbal medicine in the 16th century. He valued rosemary oil because of its entire body-strengthening ability, such as the healing of sensitive organs like the liver, heart, and brain.
Uses of Rosemary Oil
You can use fresh rosemary-infused oil on your salads as a delicious dressing. The herb itself has a thousand uses, and it extremely hardy and therefore easy to grow and maintain whether inside or out. You can add an entire sprig to your soups for a unique flavor.
According to Modern Essentials,5 a guide to the therapeutic uses of essential oils, high-quality rosemary oil has analgesic, antibacterial, anticancer, anticatarrhal, antifungal, anti-infection, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and expectorant properties.
The book’s A-Z list of rosemary oil uses covers many health concerns, including for the following:6
Clarity – Add a drop to your hands, rub together, and cup over your mouth and nose for up to a minute Cough – Massage one to two drops over your chest and throat every few hours Headaches – Add a drop to your hands, and cup over your mouth and nose for up to a minute. You may also apply a drop topically to the aching parts of your head. Learning and memory – Diffuse the oil throughout the room, inhale directly from the bottle, rub over your temples, or apply to your toes regularly. Vaginal infection – Massage one to two drops in or around the vagina, making sure to test for sensitivity before attempting internal use.
Both rosemary oil and teas are added to shampoos and lotions. Regularly using the oil