Family: Lamiaceae

Genus & Species: Rosemarinus officinale
Common Names: Compass plant, Romero
Overview: Rosemary is a perennial evergreen shrub with needle-like leaves that give off a stimulating, camphoraceous scent. While the leaves are themselves packed with aromatic volatile oils, the purple or light blue flowers are where these oils are most concentrated. [1] Rosemary was held in high regard throughout the mediterranean, peticularly by the Greeks and Romans who used it to “strengthen” memory and relieve indigestion. [2] It was also widely used as incense in religious festivals, funerals, and magical ceremonies. In fact, one of the old French names for rosemary was “incensier”, as it was a common practice in hospitals to burn it along with juniper berries to purify the air and prevent the spread of disease. [1] Modern scientific studies have also revealed rosemary to be a powerful healing agent with numerous applications, including the ability to protect the liver from damage by heavy metals and limit the proliferation of cancerous cells. [3]
Therapeutic Properties:  Carminative, antidepressant, antioxidant, antispasmodic, circulatory stimulant, antimicrobial, emmenagogue, analgesic, neuroprotective, anti-ulcerative, hepatoprotective, astringent. [1,2,3]
Typical Uses: Rosemary’s uses extend far beyond the kitchen spice cabinet! Both the raw herb and the essential oil are wonderful carriers of rosemary’s therapeutic properties. As a raw herb, rosemary can be made into a tea by steeping it in hot but not boiling water. This makes an effective medicine for indigestion, dull cognition, and  provides the body with the herb’s phenolic antioxidants. [2] Rosemary can also be infused into a carrier oil or a few drops of the essential oil can be added to an oil for topical application. Applying rosemary oil is a great way to increase blood circulation to a specific area of the body, and because of its astringent and antioxidant properties, it makes a fantastic facial oil. [1,2]

1. Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinale) | Herb Rally

2. Rosemary leaf | American Botanical Council

3. Rosmarinus officinalis L. (rosemary) as therapeutic and prophylactic agent | PubMed Central® 

Photo by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay