Rosemary essential oil is popular in aromatherapy for its herbaceous and energizing scent. The name is from the Latin for “dew” (ros) and “sea” (marinus), or “dew of the sea.” The essential oil comes from the steam distillation of the plant’s leaf. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region and is a popular flavoring agent for foods such as meats and stuffing. Along with its culinary applications, rosemary has many benefits; such as supporting healthy digestion and internal organ function.
Taken internally, it helps to reduce nervous tension and occasional fatigue. Also, rosemary has antioxidant effects so that it may reduce inflammation.
Contrary to popular belief, rosemary is not a spice, but an herb. Herbs tend to come from plant leaves, whether fresh or dry (like rosemary, cilantro, and parsley). Spices (like turmeric, cumin, and coriander) originate from the roots, barks, seeds and flowers of plants.
Rosemary Essential Oil History
Ancient Egyptians, Romans, Hebrews, and Greeks revered rosemary, considering it to be sacred and was often used by ancient healers. The Romans brought rosemary to England in the eighth century, and Charlemagne ordered rosemary to be grown on his farms in tenth-century Spain.
In the Middle Ages, rosemary was associated with wedding ceremonies and thought to be a love charm. Rosemary was also considered capable of dispelling negativity. As such, it was common to place rosemary under pillows at night during the Middle Ages to thwart nightmares and visits from evil spirits. It was also burned in the house to keep the black plague from entering.
On a more positive note, rosemary is a universal symbol of remembrance used to honor those who have passed on. The tradition of laying sprigs of rosemary across the coffin or upon a tombstone dates to ancient Egypt. It was also thought to promote prosperity. 16th-century merchants would often hire perfumers to infuse their shops with spirits of rosemary.
The herb is a popular addition to wreaths, and other floral displays to encourage happiness of home and hearth. In weddings, the bride would wear a rosemary headpiece, and the groom and wedding guests would all wear a sprig of rosemary. In the Middle Ages, newlyweds would plant a branch of rosemary on their wedding day. If it grew, it was a good omen for the union and a future family.
Australians celebrate Anzac Day in remembrance of one’s family ancestors. And, it is still customary to wear sprigs of rosemary today. Because of its fragrance, rosemary is a common ingredient in incense.
Rosemary also an insect repellent as we’re written about before and in history. Medicinally, rosemary has a wealth of uses, both old and new.
Rosemary Essential Oil Uses
Rosemary has many benefits. The essential oil supports healthy digestion and internal organ function. When ingested, rosemary helps to reduce nervous tension and occasional fatigue. There is some evidence that rosemary helps improve brain function and reduce anxiety when used as part of aromatherapy.
The primary benefits of rosemary are to support healthy digestion and respiratory functions. Rosemary also helps reduce nervous tension and fatigue. Some of the ways to use rosemary are:
- Diffuse while studying to maintain concentration.
- Take internally to support healthy internal organ function.
- Blend with Wintergreen and dōTERRA lotion for a soothing massage experience.
- Blends with Melaleuca and Basil for a stimulating scalp massage.
- Mix equal parts Rosemary and Lavender for stress reduction.
- Combine with Epsom salts and Frankincense for a rejuvenating bath experience.
- Adding 1–2 drops of rosemary essential oil to cooking for flavoring also helps support healthy digestion.
Directions for Use
You can diffuse rosemary essential oil, rub it on your skin and take it internally.
- Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
- Internal: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid. You can also place two drops in a Veggie Capsule and take with water.
- Topically: Apply one to two drops to the desired area. You may want to dilute with Fractionated Coconut Oil or other natural oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.
As with all essential oils, please be aware of possible skin sensitivity. Keep rosemary essential oil out of the reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician before using rosemary oil.