“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance;
pray, love, remember. And there is
pansies, that’s for thoughts.”
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet
Everyone should have a rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) plant for culinary, medicinal and aromatherapeutic purposes. Native to the Mediterranean and cultivated worldwide, this shrubby evergreen, with pale-blue flowers, known as the “herb of remembrance,” has a strong, sharp, camphorous, herbaceous aroma with a warming energy. Rosemary essential oil is distilled from the fresh flowering tops – I prefer the chemotype verbenon to camphor and cineol for its gentleness on the skin, more citrusy aroma and slightly relaxing effects. From the resinous leaves, I make an infused oil that I use in cooking and medicine-making.
This divine herb has a multitude of properties – it’s a potent skin-cell regenerative, mucolytic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, cir
culatory stimulant, vulnerary, antioxidant, antifungal, analgesic and deodorizing agent. I use both the essential oil and the infused oil in formulas to relieve sinus and respiratory congestion, muscle tension and soreness, and headaches; to soften and fade scar tissue; to stimulate memory, creativity, confidence and mental energy; and to stimulate circulation to encourage hair growth.
Below is one of my favorite recipes using rosemary essential oil – I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
This formula is dedicated to a lovely friend of mine named Rain, who adores rosemary – just like I do! This refreshing, stimulating, uplifting, rejuvenating, resinous, clarifying herb is just the thing to awaken your brain and help you recall and retain what you seem to have forgotten! If you love rosemary, then you’ll appreciate this fragrant balm. Remembrance Balm
As a bonus, this balm aids in healing dry, cracked feet, hands, nails, shins, elbows and knees. I use it occasionally to condition the ends of my very dry, curly hair and as a blister balm when I’m hiking. It even helps heal oozing poison plant rashes and dermatitis. Good stuff!
7 tablespoons almond or organic soybean base oil
1 - 2 tablespoons beeswax (use the larger amount for a firmer balm)
60 drops rosemary (chemotype verbenon or non-chemotype specific) essential oil
Equipment Needed: Small saucepan or double boiler, stirring utensil, glass or plastic jar or tin
Prep Time: 20 minutes to make the balm, plus 30 minutes to thicken
Yield: Approximately ½ cup
Storage: Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year
Application: 2 or 3 times per day
Directions: Combine the base oil and beeswax in a small saucepan or double boiler, and warm over low heat until the beeswax is just melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Add the rosemary essential oil and stir again to thoroughly blend. Slowly pour the liquid balm into a storage container. Cap, label and date. Set aside for 30 minutes to thicken.
Application Instructions: For memory enhancement, up to three times per day, apply a little dab of this balm to each temple, the nape of your neck, the base of your throat, and behind each ear. Breathe deeply.
“Portions of this article were excerpted from Hands-On Healing Remedies, (c2012), by Stephanie Tourles, Lic. Holistic Aesthetician & Herbalist. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.”
Biography: Stephanie Tourles is a licensed holistic aesthetician, certified aromatherapist, and gardener with training in Western and Ayurvedic herbalism. She is the author of eight books, including Hands-On Healing Remedies, Organic Body Care Recipes, Raw Energy, Naturally Healthy Skin, 365 Ways to Energize Mind, Body & Soul, and Natural Foot Care. She lives in Orland, Maine.