Rosemary!

Rosemary originates from the Mediterranean. It is a silvery evergreen shrub that is now grown worldwide. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an important culinary and healing herb.

Greek and Chinese traditional healers used the rosemary to sooth digestive aid and relieve intestinal gas or flatulence. Rosemary leaf tea is currently being used as a standard treatment for these conditions. Germany has approved officially the use of rosemary to treat indigestion, gas, bloating and other digestive symptoms. Tea can be prepared by drying rosemary leaves. Or, you can use small amounts of either tincture or liquid extract mixed with warm water.

In the past, the Greeks believed that the plant can enhance memory and the students even wore the rosemary garlands as they take the exams. Even Shakespeare believed that rosemary is good for memory as Ophelia added rosemary in her mad scene lists. The herb’s well-earned reputation as a memory enhancer is partly due to its high concentrations of health-promoting antioxidants. These compounds protect the brains and other parts of the body against unstable oxygen molecules that are called free radicals which is the primary cause for cell damage in the body. It also sharpens the memory by breaking down the brain chemical called acetylcholine.

There are different uses for rosemary:

Inhalation use. Inhaling the rosemary oil can sharpen the mind, counter mental fatigue and treat nervous exhaustion. It’s essential oil can be added to bath water, inhaled directly or diluted with neutral carrier oil and used for massage.

Topical use. It can be applied to the skin topically to soothe muscle sprains, strains and arthritic joints. The oil contains camphor, skin irritant that can increase blood circulation to the skin when applied topically. This oil is frequently added to hair preparations. Rosemary oil when added with thyme, cedarwood, lavender oils in a neutral carrier oil such as jojoba could lessen type of patchy hair loss called alopecia areata.

Internal use. Rosemary oil is recently made available in capsule form for internal use. Capsules that contain memory oil together with oregano and thyme oils are used for the treatment of yeast overgrowth in the intestines. This blend is due to rosemary’s antibacterial and antifungal characteristics.

There are no known drugs or nutrient interactions that are connected with rosemary. To prevent possible problems linked to rosemary doses, you should remember the following:

Rosemary oil could not be taken internally unless in enteric-coated capsule. If taken in other form, it can irritate the stomach and cause heartburn.

Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn / freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn / freedigitalphotos.net

If applied topically, rosemary oil may cause dermatitis and skin redness to people who are sensitive to the herbal medicine. Stop using it when you noticed such symptoms.

Don’t use the herbal medicine in high dosage when pregnant since it could possibly cause complications.

If you have epilepsy, do not take medicinal amounts of rosemary. The camphor found in the herb could worsen seizures.

If you have insomnia, do not take insomnia bath in the evening since it has stimulant effect which could keep you awake.

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