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Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
A favorite herb to grow, rosemary is known as an all around stimulant that uplifts and revitalizes. It has been valued for its ritual significance and its medical applications since classical times. In songs, the herb has been extolled as a symbol of fertility and of remembrance.

Plant Facts: A member of the Labiatiae family, the evergreen shrub can grow 10-15 feet tall in the United states. When touched, the needles give off a distinct aroma-faintly comphorlike and spicy. When eaten, the needle shaped leaves have a pungent, somewhat bitter taste.

Origin : The herb is native to the Mediterranean region, where it grows wild on dry slopes near the coast. In other regions, it is cultivated in herb gardens and is grown as a potted plant.

Plant parts : For medical purposes, the dried leaves and flowers are used, as well as the essential oil, which is obtained by steam distillation.

Components : Rosemary contains large amounts of an essential oil, whose primary constituents are cineole, borneol, thymol, camphor and pinene. The oil is an effective disinfectant and antispasmodic. It also stimulates circulation; by increasing blood flow it invigorates the whole body. The needle like leaves contain bitters, tannins, flavonoids and nicotinic acid as well.

Indications : Rosemary is used internally for problems of the digestive tract, particularly bloating and cramps, the herb's antispasmodic properties come into play her. In addition, by increasing production of stomach juices, it stimulates the appetite and promotes digestion. Wine made with rosemary is considered to be a fortifying remedy for nervous agitation, low blood pressure and heart and circulatory weakness; it is especially helpful during convalescence. Rosemary oil applied topically increases blood flow and relieves sore, aching muscles.

Extra Tip : You can gather leaves from the rosemary shrub all year long. Dry them in an airy, shady place at a temperature less than 95 deg F, in order to sustain the medicinal power of the essential oil.

For circulatory weakness, fatigue and bloating

Methods of Administration

Tea Infusion : Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. of rosemary leaves and strain after 15 min, you can drink 1 cup 2-3 times a day.

Rosemary wine : Add about 1 ¾ oz. of rosemary leaves to 1 qt. of white wine or liqueur. Let the wine and leaves stand for 5 days; then filter. Take 1 tbsp. after meals 2-3 times a day.

A bath : Bring to a boil 1 ¾ oz. of dried leaves or 2 /12 oz. of fresh leaves in 1 qt. of water. Cover and let it stand for 15-30 min.; add to warm bathwater.

Dandruff rinse : A hair rinse with rosemary adds life to dull hair and combats a dry, flaking scalp. Pour 4 cups of boiling water over ½ cup of rosemary leaves and 1 tsp. of borax. Steep for 2 hr.; then strain. Apply ½ - 1 cup after shampooing and conditioning; don't rinse out. Use the rinse within 10 days.