What is Rosemary Essential Oil? Rosemary has been a widely used natural ingredient since ancient times. It has so many benefits and it can be used in a multitude of ways. Romans favored using the rosemary plant in the past, using it often for religious ceremonies, weddings, medicinal applications, food preparations, and cosmetic products. The plant and its extracts have since been used all over the world for its many beneficial medical and culinary properties.
What is Rosemary Essential Oil?
Rosemary essential oil is extracted from the rosemary plant (Rosmarinus officinalis), which belongs to the mint family – together with lavender, peppermint, basil, and sage. In the beginning, it was very famous as a culinary herb in the Mediterranean region. A lot of recipes used rosemary oil and rosemary leaves. The essential oil is extracted from the leaves.
Rosemary essential oil carries many health benefits. In fact, the world-renowned botanist and physician Paracelsus used it frequently. He used rosemary oil because it had nourishing and boosting properties for the human body. He believed – and we now can prove through scientific evidence – that the oil was able to heal the liver, heart, and brain, among other delicate organs.
What is the Typical Aroma of Rosemary Essential Oil?
Rosemary essential oil in itself has a very refreshing herbal scent. The fragrance is quite stimulating, and many find it effective in clearing the mind. It is used in various applications, one of which is aromatherapy.
In aromatherapy, rosemary essential oil is used to increase mental awareness, clear the mind, and improve memory. Physically, it also causes effects that reduce headaches, muscular pain, and mental fatigue. It is effective in lowering stress levels and anxiety, nervous tension, and other similar problems. At the same time, it helps promote insight and clarity.
Those who regularly do aromatherapy with rosemary essential oil find that they eliminate negative feelings and increase concentration and information retention.
Rosemary essential oil also benefits other systems of the body. For instance, it can stimulate the appetite and boost the immune system by promoting healthy antioxidant activity. Inhaling oil has proven to reduce illnesses caused by free radicals. Throat and nasal congestion are also relieved, and the respiratory tract is cleared of obstructions.
How to Make Rosemary Oil
Many professional companies sell rosemary essential oil that’s ready to use, which is great if you don’t have the time to make it yourself. But you can also try this DIY recipe which is quite easy to make. You can use it for personal consumption, or give it as a personalized gift to friends and family.
For this recipe, you’ll need 1 cup of rosemary and 2 cups of oil. Prepare these materials: a slow cooker, bowl, strainer, and a small sealable glass container.
Once you have everything you need, follow these five easy steps:
- Remove the leaves from the stem. Save one cup of rosemary leaves for later use.
- Any oil can be used, but it is recommended to use sunflower or safflower oil (or other oils that are high-temperature, or low-scent). The oil will be the carrier that will help give fragrant results. Measure 2 cups of oil and put it into the slow cooker. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can also just place the rosemary in a glass jar, followed by the oil, and seal the top.
- Let the slow cooker warm for 6 hours, on low heat. As it simmers, you’ll get a nice whiff of the fragrance of the oil.
- Let the oil cool in the cooker for an hour. Strain the leaves over the bowl.
- Pour the filtered rosemary oil into the glass container. It’s now ready for use!
Note that you can also keep the rosemary oil in a glass, place it on a windowsill or countertop, and let it steep for a week or two.
Benefits of Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil has many health benefits, that’s why it’s often used in medical applications. Here are some of these lifesaving benefits:
Promoting Healthy Digestion
Rosemary oil is great for relieving stomach cramps, bloating, constipation, and flatulence. Others find that it also helps in stimulating appetite. According to research, rosemary essential oil is also helpful for detoxifying the liver so that it produces the right amount of bile – an important component of a normal digestive process.
On top of its aromatherapeutic benefits, the oil can also help reduce stress in other ways. It is found to reduce the level of stress hormones, such as cortisol, which are released when the body is faced with a fight-or-flight situation. A study showed that inhaling rosemary together with lavender oil for 5 minutes can lower stress hormone levels significantly, which is beneficial for battling chronic stress.
This essential oil has the ability to relieve pain. Many use it for treating muscle pain, headache, and arthritis. Simply massage the area with the oil, or just add the oil to a vapor bath. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil help manage pain from different causes.
Boosting the Immune System
Rosemary, as mentioned earlier, reduces cortisol levels when they get up to a dangerous level. This can be used through inhalation or massages. Aside from relieving stress levels, it can also increase the free radical scavenging activity in the body. This gives way to antioxidants, which fight off diseases and infections. Using it regularly can boost the immune system significantly.
The oil’s scent has been shown to give relief from respiratory congestion. It also helps treat symptoms of allergies, sore throat, colds, and flu. It has antiseptic properties that is good in treating respiratory infections. It also has antispasmodic effects that some treatment programs take advantage of, particularly with therapies to treat bronchial asthma.
Uses of Rosemary Oil
We’ve talked about the many advantages of rosemary oil. Now let’s check out the different ways we can apply it for various uses.
Right off the bat, you can use the oil as a direct dressing for your salads. The herb can be added to different recipes, adding flavor and fragrance. Add sprigs to your soups. Your food won’t just taste and smell better. You can also take advantage of its many health benefits.
Check out how you can address common health concerns using rosemary oil, using the following applications.
- Increase mental clarity – Simply rub a drop of oil in your hands. Cup your hands over your nose and mouth and breathe normally for a minute.
- Relive cough – Rub up to 2 drops of oil over your chest, and massage some of it over your throat. Repeat the process every few hours.
- Manage headache – Rub a drop of oil in your hands. Cup your hands over your nose and mouth and inhale normally for a minute. Additionally, you can apply a drop of oil (topically) to the parts of your head that are particularly painful.
- Improve memory and learning – You can do this in one of many ways. You can use a diffuser or humidifier with the oil and let the fragrance fill your room. You can directly inhale from your bottle of oil. You can rub the oil over your temples. Finally, you can rub the oil on your toes daily.
- Treat vaginal infections – You can massage a drop or two of the oil around the vagina. You can test for sensitivity beforehand to be sure you aren’t prone to adverse reactions.
- Stimulate hair health – A lot of shampoos, creams, and lotions use rosemary extracts. Use the oil regularly to keep your hair follicles strong and long. Massage the oil on your scalp to keep it healthy and get rid of dandruff. This is also applicable to your pets’ hair, for healthier and shinier coats.
- Promote oral health – Use the oil as a mouthwash to get rid of bad breath, oral bacteria, cavities, plaque, and other dental problems. It doesn’t hurt that the scent is a great effect, too.
- Boost positive energy – Use rosemary oil in perfumes, bath oils, candles, fresheners, and cosmetics. This will boost mental energy after inhaling the fragrance. Dilute the oil in a 50:50 mixture. You can also apply i2-4 drops on your wrists or ankles, vita flex, or chakra points. Inhale it directly, diffuse it, or even take it orally as a supplement.
Cautions to Take with Rosemary Oil
In general, rosemary oil is safe and effective because it is 100% natural and organic. However, some people with hypersensitive skin may need to take some precautions. If using it topically, be sure to diffuse it in a carrier oil to prevent contact sensitivity. Test it on a small area of the skin first. If no adverse reactions take place within half an hour, you can use it safely.
Tip: DO NOT use it if you are pregnant or lactating. Before using this on children, consult a doctor first. Treating serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or depression may require previous professional advice before pushing through the rosemary oil therapies.
Side Effects of Rosemary Oil
It’s not common for rosemary to bring about side effects, but it is possible to occur. Again, we recommend that pregnant and lactating women avoid using this oil, as it can affect the fetus and may even cause a miscarriage.
What is Rosemary Essential Oil? There you go – I hope you learned a lot from this article. Rosemary is a potent ingredient that has the ability to cause many health benefits if used properly. As always, do seek your doctor’s approval if you have a chronic condition or are thinking of giving it to your kids.
Jen Lin-Liu is the founder of Black Sesame Kitchen. A Chinese-American writer and a nationally certified Chinese chef in Beijing. Jen is the author of two memoirs, Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China and On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome with Love and Pasta.