The other day I was stripping Rosemary leaves off the bigger branches.

I tincture it to use in Weed Woman Herbals Insect Repellent, keep some as a tincture, and dry the rest for cooking and teas.

Sometimes I forget about Rosemary which is ironic since it’s called the herb of remembrance. 😆

It’s a member of the Mint family.

I tried to grow it where I live, in the mountains, last year. I figured it had a slim to no chance of surviving. 😂

But, you never know.

It died.

Too cold. Too much snow. Not exactly the Mediterranean environment it likes.

Can’t blame a girl for trying.

Luckily I have a backup source. 

Anyhow, while I was working on the leaves my mind wandered to a memory I have about Rosemary. Yep, Rosemary is all about memories.

It was when I was in herb school. I was enrolled in the evening course at The Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies. 

I was living in Denver at the time and would drive to Boulder, where the school was, after work. There was a bagel shop across the street from the school so I would run in there and grab some kind of bagel for dinner before class. This obviously, was before everybody stopped eating carbs. 😂

One evening I noticed they had a Rosemary bagel on the menu. I don’t know if it was because I was in herb school or it just sounded interesting but I tried it. And, I fell in love. After that, I wanted Rosemary everything. 

My Rosemary phase lasted quite a long time, but as things do, it faded into the sunset. There were so many more exotic herbs to play with. 

Rosemary is an herb to stick with.

For one thing, it’s easily accessible even if you don’t or can’t grow it. For many of us, the kitchen is where we first met Rosemary. 

Legend has it, that the Virgin Mary, as she fled from Egypt, sheltered next to a Rosemary bush. She threw her cape onto the bush and the white flowers turned blue. Since then, it’s been called the ‘Rose of Mary’. 

Photo by Corina Rainer on Unsplash

Rosemary says ‘Remember me’. She has a reputation for strengthening the mind and memory. The magic is in her scent and the volatile oil in her leaves. 

Here’s how it works. When you inhale Rosemary, the oils cross through the mucus membrane in your nose and enter your bloodstream. With Rosemary flowing through your veins, your recall is significantly improved. 

Crush the leaves between your fingers or rub a drop of the essential between your palms. Then, hold your hands up to your nose and inhale for a minute or so. Notice how you feel. 

Rosemary is one of the most diverse and practical herbs you can have in your home apothecary.

It has a bunch of medicinal uses: antibacterial, neuroprotective, liver protective, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, muscle and joint pain relief, cancer cell suppression, cognitive and memory enhancement, blood sugar management, mental health (increased alertness, reduces anxiety, and can enhance mood), gut health, cardio-vascular improvement, hair loss reversal and dermatitis.

Oh, and apparently it helps with mathematical problem-solving!

So much is demanded of our brains like multi-tasking (which really is impossible), long hours on computers and having too many tabs open in our minds. By late afternoon brain fog sets in, and concentration and alertness are in the crapper. Instead of reaching for sugar or caffeine try drinking rosemary water or tea or smelling the essential oil as a great pick-me-up. 

Rosemary is a well-researched herb with lots of human clinical trials.

Not that it matters, but sometimes it’s nice to know that tradition and science are on the same page.

There is evidence that rosemary has promising effects on enhancing cognition. Not only does rosemary help with short-term memory, but it may also have a role in preventing and addressing Alzheimer’s.

It has long been used for inflammatory pain such as arthritis. Taking it internally and using it externally over the affected areas seems to be the most effective. Try a Rosemary balm or salve for aching muscles and pain and stiffness. 

Photo by Corina Rainer on Unsplash

As a member of the mint family, Rosemary can be made into a tea to help slow digestion or issues like gas, nausea, cramping and bloating. It’s warming as opposed to being hot like GInger so it’s more easily tolerated. But, it’s still a strong taste and a  little goes a long way. 

Rosemary contains carnosic acid, a type of chemical compound associated with healthy microflora and improved gut health.

Rosemary is also beneficial for hair growth. It can be used to prevent and treat dandruff, slow down premature graying, and to remedy itchy or dry scalp. Drop a couple of drops of Rosemary essential oil on your hair and rub into your scalp or drop a couple of drops on your hairbrush and brush into your hair. 

Photo by Jacob Johnson on Unsplash

To encourage hair growth, herbalist Lesley Tierra recommends a blend of 2 teaspoons of rosemary essential oil, 2 teaspoons of lavender essential oil, 1/2 ounce of cayenne tincture, and a pint of sesame oil. She suggests regularly massaging a bit into the scalp and letting it sit for a while. If you don’t have the cayenne tincture just try the Rosemary and Lavender. 

A couple of cautions for using Rosemary: Used as a culinary seasoning, rosemary is safe for everyone. Medicinal doses of rosemary should not be used during pregnancy and may interact with certain pharmaceutical drugs. Do not ingest rosemary essential oil as it can cause seizures and be toxic to the liver and heart.

Want to know something else?

Using Rosemary, you may find yourself remembering and accessing ancient memories that live in your DNA. Rosemary whispers of memories of this lifetime but also reminds you of the twisting threads of your lineage. 

If you want to connect to your ancestral past, honor those who have gone before you, and be rooted in your own history, call on Rosemary. 

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