Origin and Distribution
Rosmarinus Officinalis is an evergreen, shrubby herb that grows to a height of 2,0m with an unique aromatic odour and a camphoraceous undertone.
The name is derived from the Latin ‘Rosmarinus’ or ‘sea dew’, as it is rather fond of water. The Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks and Romans considered the herb as sacred and even in the Middle Ages it was used to ward off evils spirits and used as a protection against the plague. Native to the Mediterranean, rosemary grows freely in large parts of southern Europe and is cultivated throughout the world. In South Africa rosemary is cultivated in Gauteng, the Eastern Free State, Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga and the Eastern and Western Cape provinces.
Rosemary oil has a pronounced action on the brain and the central nervous system and is wonderful for clearing the mind and mental awareness, while having excellent brain stimulant properties, as well as improving memory.
It helps with headaches, migraines, neuralgia, mental fatigue and nervous exhaustion and the antiseptic action of rosemary oil is especially suitable for intestinal infections and diarrhea, easing colitis, dyspepsia, flatulence, hepatic disorders and jaundice and relieving pain associated with rheumatism, arthritis, muscular pain and gout. It also helps for arteriosclerosis, palpitations, poor circulation and varicose veins.
The diuretic properties of rosemary oil are useful with reducing water retention during menstruation, and also with obesity and cellulite.
On the respiratory system, it is effective for asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, sinus and whooping cough. Because of its astringent action, it is also effective for countering sagging skin. Its stimulating action benefits scalp disorders and encourages hair growth.
On the skin, it helps to ease congestion, puffiness and swelling and can also be used for acne, dermatitis and eczema, but a very popular use of this oil is the use in hair care products, as it has a pronounced positive effect on the health of the hair and scalp. It increases the circulation to the scalp and is therefore also effective for promoting hair growth.
How to use Rosemary Essential Oil
Burners and Diffusers
In vapour therapy, rosemary oil can be helpful for congestion, alcohol over-indulgence, overwork, sinusitis and mental and physical tiredness. It furthermore stimulates the brain, improves memory and promotes clear thinking.
Blended Massage or Bath Oil
As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, rosemary oil can assist with liver and gall problems, mucus congestion, muscular aches, cramps, pains and spasms, stiff neck, overwork, rheumatism, arthritis, colds, constipation, diarrhoea, coughs, bronchitis, back pain, scalp disorders, sinusitis, mental fatigue and physical tiredness.
Cream or Lotion
In a cream or lotion it is most beneficial for improving blood circulation and decongesting the skin.
When added to shampoo it not only increases the circulation to the scalp and thereby improving hair growth, but also acts as a general conditioner and tonic for the hair and scalp.