Rosemary is a well-known herb with delicate, sky-blue or purple flowers and fragrant, needle-like leaves with a unique, pleasantly astringent taste.
The history of its use goes back a long way, and it was first mentioned in old records dating back to 500 BC.
According to legend, Rosemary was created from the sea foam made when Aphrodite came out of the waves! The goddess of love then gifted people with this plant with angelic healing powers!
Since then, the divine gift has been used for centuries in traditional healing as a universal medicine that treats almost everything from bad breath or dementia to inflamed joints and disorders in the digestive tract.
Many years later, modern research confirms that Rosemary is a precious gift of nature! Today, we know that due to the vitamins, minerals, camphor, and antioxidants in its leaves and flowers, Rosemary tea or essential oils have a beneficial and stimulating effect on the human body.
So, if you have Rosemary in your garden or a pot, in addition to being an herb, you can use it to make tea or oil that has a beneficial effect on improving your physical and mental health.
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You can prepare this simple drink from one tablespoon of dry or fresh rosemary leaves, which you pour over a cup of boiling water and leave for half an hour. Rosemary leaves are stiff, so they need more time to release their aroma.
If you want to speed up the process, put them in boiling water and let them cook for two to three minutes.
In both variants, leave the drink to cool and strain before use.
A complex distillation process obtains aromatic rosemary oil, during which extracts of the leaves and flowers are separated as a thick light yellow oily liquid.
However, you can make macerate oil yourself in a few simple steps:
- First, pick fresh rosemary leaves (without sprigs) and leave them to dry for 24 hours.
- Fill the glass jar with leaves, leaving two fingers at the top of the pot.
- Pour a base oil such as olive or almond oil into the pot to the top and close it. Let the mixture stand for 40 days in a sunny place, and shake the jar daily.
- After 40 days, the macerate is ready for use and can be stored in a dark and cool place.
You can use essential oil and a homemade macerate for massage or aromatherapy. It is also possible to take the oil orally in small doses (one to two drops) with water or tea.
Benefits of Rosemary
The list of ailments and problems that Rosemary preparations can help you with is long indeed, but here we have singled out only a few of them:
Improves Digestive System
Drinking rosemary tea improves the digestive system, which keeps your gut healthy and happy. It also works very well to reduce flatulence and gas, enhances nutrient absorption, and preserves beneficial bacteria in the intestines.
Rosemary tea has carnosic acid– a compound that balances the microflora and good bacteria in the intestines. A healthy gut microbiome allows your body to fight off infections more effectively; therefore, the body processes fat better, which can help with weight loss.
Thanks to its rich concentration of antioxidants and vitamins, rosemary helps strengthen immunity. It contains large amounts of vitamin C, which has been shown to enhance immunity and prevent diseases caused by viruses and bacteria.
It also includes a high concentration of magnesium, vitamin A, potassium, and calcium, which enable the immune system to work at its highest level.
Regulates Heart Health and Blood Sugar
Rosemary tea contains carnosol, luteolin, and camphene, which improve heart function. These ingredients thin the blood, reducing the risk of blood clots and cardiac arrest. In addition, rosmarinic acid stimulates circulation and generally cleans and restores blood vessels so that it can prevent other deformations such as varicose veins.
The blood sugar level increases because of the accumulation of glucose in the blood. The rise in glucose triggers the pancreas to release insulin into the bloodstream.
Without insulin, glucose becomes concentrated and can damage blood vessels, nerves, and organs. Rosemary tea can increase glucose absorption in muscle cells and regulate blood sugar levels.
Improves Concentration and Memory
The intense smell of rosemary positively affects cognitive processes in the brain, stimulating memory, improving mood, and increasing attention.
Research conducted by scientists from the University of Northumbria in England assumes that 1,8-cineole ( a volatile chemical compound in rosemary oil that gives it its aroma) increases the activity of the primary neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which is most responsible for learning, memory, and awakening.
Moreover, the research proved that inhalation of rosemary oil reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which balances your mental health, helping you control mood swings and lessen the chances of chronic stress, depression, and other related problems.
Stimulates Hair Growth and Cleans the Skin
Recent scientific studies have confirmed the beneficial effect of rosemary oil on preventing premature hair loss, encouraging new growth, and reducing the appearance of dandruff and itchy scalp.
Rosemary oil stimulates blood circulation, and good blood circulation to the scalp is crucial for more oxygen to reach the hair follicles and “feed” your hair from the roots.
Nourished hair grows faster, is healthier, shinier, and is more resistant to aging or the appearance of gray hair!
You can massage the oil into the scalp once a week before washing it and leave it on for half an hour or an hour.
Alternatively, add ten drops of oil to a standard 250 ml shampoo package and shake well to mix the oil with the shampoo.
Due to its antioxidant properties, rosemary is also excellent for treating problematic skin prone to acne! Regularly applying the oil or rinsing the face with rosemary tea can cleanse the skin, reduce puffiness and swelling, reduce spots and freckles, and slow aging.
Relieves Joint and Muscle pain
Degenerative changes in joints such as arthritis, muscle inflammation, and sports injuries cause pain, swelling, and stiffness that restrict mobility and reduce the quality of life. However, rosemary oil can help you there too!
Among other things, rosemary essential oil contains camphor, which has a cooling effect when applied to the skin. That is why its application to inflamed joints or muscles brings a feeling of relief, alleviates heat, swelling, and discomfort, and reduces fluid retention.
Clears the Respiratory Tract
Rosemary has an excellent effect against bacteria (staphylococcus, streptococcus, and escherichia coli) and fungi (candida). This property has been known since ancient times; even the ancient Romans burned its twigs in times of great plagues to purify the air.
Likewise, inhalation of the essential oil helps expectoration and eases complaints caused by respiratory tract infections. If you don’t have a diffuser in which to pour a few drops of rosemary oil, you can add a few drops to 500 ml of boiling water and inhale the vapors.
Apart from inhalation, this oil is equally effective when applied externally!
You could mix ten drops of rosemary oil with 30 ml of almond or macadamia oil and add ten drops of eucalyptus oil to prepare for rubbing on your chest and upper back. It will ease your breathing and strengthen your immunity, and because of its intense smell will lift your mood!
Freshens the Breath
The pleasant smell of Rosemary instantly eliminates bad breath caused by bacteria in the oral cavity. But it’s not just about short-term help!
Regularly rinsing the mouth with rosemary tea or a tincture of a few drops of essential oil in lukewarm water eliminates microbes and bacteria and prevents the occurrence of caries and dental plaque!