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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rosemary, Help Me Remember



 "That's Rosemary, that's for remembrance; I pray you, love, remember."  William Shakespeare

Rosemary, an ancient folk remedy for improving memory, is the herb of love and remembrance, steeped in thousands of years of myth and tradition.  A member of the mint family, this herb is native to seaside regions of the Mediterranean and North Africa. The Latin name Rosemarinus means dew of the sea, probably in reference to its little beautiful blue flowers when in bloom.

Herbalist Jeanne Rose states, "Inhaled scents feed directly into the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls memory and learning." Being rosemary is a mental stimulant, it is a good choice for the aromatherapy diffuser or simmer pot.

Rosemary can become a very good friend for the student, someone giving a speech or presentation, or so many of us with a long to-do list trying to multitask. This herb can help one remain focused and retain the information.

 According to James A. Duke in "The Green Pharmacy", oxidative damage caused by free radical oxygen molecules in the body plays a role in Alzheimer's. Rosemary contains antioxidants which are compounds that help eliminate free radicals, particularly rosmarinic acid.
Also, people with Alzheimer's often have an acetylcholine deficiency. It isn't clear whether this deficiency is part of the cause of the disease or results from it. Rosemary is said to help prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, therefore there is good reason to make use of this safe and pleasant herb. It certainly couldn't hurt to try it.

Aside from memory issues, rosemary is said to offer a wide range of health benefits.
Being several of the plant's compounds are absorbed through the skin and blood-brain barrier, forms of its use include herbal massage oils, bath oils, balms, shampoos, body sprays and herbal vinegars and tinctures.

Just breathing in the scent of rosemary, be it the fresh plant or its essential oil, often helps to relieve stress and anxiety. Test taking can be a little less of an ordeal with the help of a rosemary body spray or even sniffing a tissue to which a drop or two of the essential oil had been added.

Rosemary infused in a carrier oil such as olive oil or almond oil results in a wonderful massage or bath oil to help relieve joint pain and relax tight, stiff muscles.

Rosemary stimulates circulation, therefore very useful for those cold days when you come in from the cold with numb fingers and toes.

Rosemary Liniment

Rosemary & Lavender Body Spray
 
If interested in historical stories associated with the herb Rosemary read this post.

Rosemary essential oil should not be taken internally.
Rosemary essential oil should be avoided during pregnancy.
Don't self treat a chronic condition such as depression or Dementia with essential oils. Such conditions should be monitored under the care of a physician.