ROSEMARY – Rosmarinus officinalis
By Melanie Dean
Unleash your Rosemary and consider its importance as the ‘wonder herb’!!
Not just used in food!!
Perhaps you think of Rosemary as a perfect accompaniment to food – or you may have the dried needle like leaves stored deep inside your spice drawer.
Its strong flavour and slight bitter taste compliments fatty foods like lamb and oily fish but it is also used to enhance cakes and desserts.
The aromatic leaves and flowers can be used to make a tea, which can be helpful for the relief of headaches, colds, colic and depression. It is blessed with cleansing, calming and balancing properties.
But did you know that it also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which is used as a traditional herbal remedy for wounds, eczema, asthma and poor appetite.
Origin and growth
This small, evergreen tree is native to the Mediterranean where it flourishes as the ground dries in the long, hot summers. The longer the period of drought, the stronger and more developed its aromatic flavour becomes.
Between early and mid-summer is the time to propagate cuttings. Cut off lengths of about 10cm of new growth, strip off the bottom leaves and pop them into compost. Keep watered and by the Autumn your cuttings should have rooted and ready for potting on. Nurture them and they should be ready for planting in Spring!
Its Hellenic symbolism is associated with love, honour and immortality. Used in ancient Greece it was used to make wreaths for warrior victors. Going back further, Rosemary was sacred to the goddesses Aphrodite and Venus so they must have know a thing or two…!
Rosemary is used to signify remembrance so will certainly have featured in wreaths on Remembrance Sunday to honour those who fought and died in the line of duty to keep us free.
Such an important herb, it was selected by King Charles III to honour his mother in his personal tribute of the white wreath circlet for adornment of his mothers’ coffin.
If this arouses your curiosity, why not join us at one of our exciting Aromatherapy Workshops where we explore more about plants and their abilities to heal.
For those of you who want to train specifically in Aromatherapy then please take a look at our full ITEC Aromatherapy diploma course programme.
It has been meticulously put together as a flexible programme of study, for experienced massage therapists who wish to expand and develop their skills and knowledge – or indeed complete beginners who wish to train in complementary health.