rosemary - Rosmarinus officinalis
rosemary in bloom at OurHerbFarm

Botanical: Rosmarinus officinalis
Family: Lamiaceae
energetics: warming – slightly drying
parts used: leaf
actions: antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, astringent, carminative, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, hepatoprotective, nervine, antioxidant, bitter, and circulatory stimulant
uses: can stimulate circulation, especially to head area for relief of headaches and hair growth. Can be added to formulas for depression and weak spirits. Calms digestion.

“See the much Rosemary, and bathe therein to make thee lusty, lively, joyfull, likeing and youngly.”
– William Langham, Garden of Health (1579)

Rosemary is a member of the Lamiaceae family (the same family that mints belong to) and it grows as an evergreen perennial shrub in mild-wintered regions of the world. Its Latin name, Rosmarinus officinalis, means “dew of the sea,” a reference to its Mediterranean roots.

Culinary Uses for Rosemary

“My spirit plant is Rosemary. I love its scent, its healing properties, its own unique self visually… you can easily see its different than other herbs. I love that it stays strong in the most diverse situations, it has strong roots, tough core but is soft and giving…. Yep Rosemary for me! If you eat at my house, Rosemary is in everything I make.” – Elizbeth Mitchell

Rosemary has long been used as an antimicrobial agent in the kitchen to keep food from spoiling. Recent research indicates that it also suppresses the activity of common acne-causing bacteria. [1] Another study found antimicrobial effects that suggests its usefulness in certain types of eczema.[2] Rosemary has also been found to have a photoprotective effect against UV-radiation!{3}


Traditionally, an infusion of rosemary has been used as a shampoo to stimulate hair growth and as a rinse to lighten blond hair.

Rosemary leaves and oil are a wonderful for repelling mosquitoes. Plant a small rosemary bush in a small pot indoors, and enjoy all the benefits: a flower, an herb, an indoor plant, but most of all – an all natural mosquito repellent!

Use a strong infusion of rosemary as a face-wash for infective acne or try some rosemary essential oil in your moisturizer. For eczema, rosemary essential oil or tea can be used to make a soothing cream.

Using Rosemary for Wellness

Herbalists use its uplifting, warming, antimicrobial, and dispersive actions for flus, colds, respiratory infections, and sore throats.

Potential Benefits

  • Acts as an antiseptic agent for cuts and wounds
  • Has an anti-depressant activity
  • Helps reduce headache and migraine symptoms
  • Stimulates circulation and digestion
  • Relieves flatulence

For chronic conditions, consider rosemary for depression, nerve pain, arthritis, digestion.

Rosemary has long been associated with improvements in memory as well as remembrance, with sprigs worn by mourners or tossed onto caskets of the deceased. Indeed, several studies on it’s ability to enhance memory have confirmed what herbalists have always known, and in 2013, research at Northumbria University showed that just sniffing its scent improved memory as well as performance in mental arithmetic.

Dose: 1 teaspoon dried herb in 8 ounces hot water, steep covered for 15-20 minutes, drink 2 cups/day; 1-4 mL 3x/day of a 1:5 tincture


  • Use only culinary amounts during pregnancy.
  • No known safety issues reported, but the essential oil should not be used internally

“As for rosemary, I let it run all over my garden walls, not only because my bees love it but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance and to friendship, whence a sprig of it hath a dumb language.”
– Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) British writer, statesman and philosopher


  • Planta Med. 2007 Oct;73(12):1275-80. Epub 2007 Sep 24. PMID: 17893831
  • Food Nutr Res. 2016 ;60:31871. Epub 2016 Jul 1. PMID: 27374032
  • PéRez-SáNchez A , Et Al. Protective effects of citrus and rosemary extracts on UV-induced damage in skin cell model and human volunteers. – PubMed – NCBI. Accessed September 14, 2014.

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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease" ~ Thomas Jefferson