Once March comes rolling around I start to get excited for the coming of Spring. In my mind, I’m thinking about all of the herbs I want to plant in my container garden, and what vibrant colors I want to paint all of my pots this season. There is nothing like having fresh herbs right outside your door! Among all of my favorite culinary herbs, rosemary is definitely at the top. But as is the case with most of nature’s medicine, there are other ways you can incorporate rosemary into your daily life.
1. Boost Memory and Concentration – This is my absolute favorite use for rosemary! As a student, it’s tough to juggle everything and sometimes stay focused on the task or subject at hand. Rosemary is a great herb to use for anyone who requires focus or concentration, especially during test taking or writing. Its aromatic properties open up the orifices so that your mind is clear, and you are calm yet alert. For this reason, rosemary is also a great herb for improving your memory so that you are better able to recall information you have absorbed. You can diffuse rosemary essential oil while studying or doing the task at hand, or you can keep a fresh sprig on your desk and smell it often to reap the benefits. To enhance your concentration and memory, carry or use Clear Quartz along with rosemary. This dynamic duo will have you passing your tests or getting your projects done with little to no difficulty or doubt. For more tips on studying and stress relief see my blog Studying, Stress, and Sleep: Tips to Overcome and Manage the 3 S’s.
2. Breathe Better – You know the feeling… you’re plagued with a horrible cold or sinus infection and everything is stuffy and your blowing your nose every 10 seconds. It’s pretty awful when you lay your head down at night to try and rest only to discover that you can’t even breathe! The combination of rosemary and eucalyptus (or rosemary alone) in a salve and rubbed on the chest, or diffused in an essential oil diffuser/humidifier next to your bed will help you rest easy and open your nasal passages. Even though rosemary is good to keep you mentally alert and focused, it is also very calming and soothing to help sleep because it helps to clear the mind. If you’re struggling with cold symptoms or trouble breathing, give this a try and see if it helps. At the very least, you will be helping to boost your immunity while taking in the scent as it also has antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties.
3. Release Toxins – Rosemary helps to detoxify the Liver and improve Kidney function. This makes it a good herb to release toxins in the body through the urine, reduce Kidney stones and improve urinary retention due to its natural diuretic properties. Use a few fresh sprigs in your water or tea, adding as much as you can tolerate taste-wise, or incorporate more rosemary into your dishes with things like chicken or potatoes which often pair well with it.
4. Stimulate Menstrual Flow – Those women suffering from painful periods, delayed periods or irregular cycles could benefit from using rosemary to stimulate and increase blood flow. If you are currently trying to get pregnant and have a history of irregular periods, rosemary can help to boost your fertility as it can help to regulate your cycle. When your menstrual cycle is regular, your chances of conception are higher. You can use any of the above methods mentioned: water, tea, diffusing oil or you can take a relaxing bath with rosemary oil or fresh sprigs of rosemary. If you are pregnant, suspect you may be pregnant or currently have heavy periods, rosemary should not be used aside from in food, as it can stimulate too much movement.
5. Pain Relief – Since rosemary aids in helping blood flow, it is also a great herb to alleviate pain from headaches and migraines. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, rosemary is considered to be yang in nature (warming) and so therefore should be used for those who present with signs and symptoms of a cold nature (yin). If you suffer from dull headaches, aching head, piercing pain and have a relatively dull complexion and feel lethargic, you are more likely to benefit from using rosemary for your headaches. Put two or three drops of rosemary essential oil into the palms of your hands, rub them together and gently apply it to your temples or jaw bone – two areas where we hold a lot of tension. Give yourself a soothing facial massage to help ease the symptoms. If you are typically more flushed in the face or your headaches are accompanied by rage or irritability then rosemary may not be as helpful to you for the headache part. See a local acupuncturist to determine what pattern you present with so that your practitioner can help you discover if will benefit you. Regardless, as mentioned above, rosemary is still good for helping to ease the mind and clear thoughts so if your headache is stress related it may still have a positive effect for you in order to calm you down. The best way to do this is by utilizing rosemary oil in an essential oil diffuser.
6. Breath Freshener – With its antibacterial properties, rosemary is a great herb to freshen up your breath. It helps to break up bacteria and germs leaving your mouth feeling fresh. Check out this article – Rosemary Mouthwash – for an idea on how you can make your own mouthwash to combat halitosis.
7. Uplifting – With its woody scent it’s hard to be in a bad mood whenever rosemary is in the picture. Whether diffusing it, using it as garnish for your beverage, adding it to food, or using it in tea and water its an herb that will improve your outlook or current mood. Its scent is reminiscent of a walk in nature on a sunny day, having complete clarity and being of sound mind, with nothing to worry about!
8. Insect Repellent – Rosemary naturally repels mosquitoes and other pesky insects harmful to plant life. Aside from the fact that I love this herb for all of the reasons above and then some, this is also one of the reasons it makes its way into my garden every year. Since I live in an apartment, the only space I have to garden is using containers outside on my steps. I like to keep rosemary closest to my door to keep the mosquitoes from trying to make their way inside. You can also use rosemary for companion planting, planting them near other plants known to attract insects that destroy them to aid in keeping them away, or make your own plant insect repellent using rosemary to spray on your other garden goods.