Herbal Meds

Rosemary, a natural antioxidant


Rosemary is considered a "symbolic herb" and has been used at weddings and funerals to decorate churches and halls, in religious ceremonies it is used as incense and it is often found as a main ingredient in magical spells.   Ancient uses for rosemary included treating muscle pain, headaches, cuts and scrapes, bruises and baldness.  This aromatic evergreen mint grows to a height of about one meter and bears narrow, thick, needle-like leaves with light blue to violet flowers.  Culinary experts use rosemary to give extra flavour and aroma to all kinds of dishes.  Herbalists use rosemary soaked compresses to relieve the pain and swelling associated with sprains and bruises.

Most interesting however is the recent research conducted into the cancer fighting properties of rosemary.  One of these studies was done at the Department of Food Science at Rutgers University in New Jersey.  Oil from this herbal medicine was applied to the skin of laboratory animals and it was found that it reduced their risk of cancer by 50 percent.  In another study conducted by the same research team, it was found that animals whose diets contained rosemary had half the incidence of colon cancer compared with animals whose diets did not include rosemary.  At the University of Illinois studies showed that the incidence of breast cancer was reduced by half in animals at risk of developing this disease.  

Rosemary is not just useful as a muscle relaxant for sprains and bruises, but also relaxes the smooth muscles of the digestive tract and the uterus, soothing digestive upsets and relieving painful menstrual cramps.  Tea brewed from this herb is prescribed as a tonic to calm nerves and the cooled down brew can be used as an antiseptic wash.  Use one teaspoon of crushed dried leave in a cup of boiling water and let it steep for 10 minutes.  Rosemary is prescribed by herbalists as a hair rinse to combat alopecia (hair loss) as well as dandruff and other cosmetic uses include cellulite and wrinkle treatments.  Adding rosemary oil to a hot bath can help to increase blood circulation and help to remove toxins from your body.  Ointments and creams containing rosemary oil are used to treat eczema and help to heal burn wounds.  

When combined with other aromatherapy oils, rosemary can increase concentration and memory, and also relieve stress and reduce anxiety.

What are the side effects of Rosemary?

Please consult your medical practitioner prior to using any herbal medications should you be under their care.

Rosemary has very few side effects when taken as prescribed.  Large doses can however cause allergic skin rashes, lower the dosage or discontinue use should this occur.  Pregnant and lactating women should not take rosemary.

People who are on blood thinning medication such as Warfarin should only take rosemary under the care and recommendation of a medical practitioner.  Rosemary acts as a diuretic and people who are on prescription diuretics should take care when using this herbal remedy.

How do I take Rosemary?

Rosemary is available in many forms:  
Dried and powdered extract available in capsules, preparations made from fresh or dried leaves that are used in tincture and teas, and volatile oil.

Do not take rosemary oil internally.  The total daily intake should not exceed 5 grams of the dried herb.

To make rosemary tea:  use one teaspoon of the dried herb per cup of boiled water.  Let it steep and then strain.  Do not exceed 3 cups per day.
Rosemary tincture:  solution of 1:5 - 2-4 ml three times per day.
Rosemary fluid extract:  solution of 1:1 in 45% alcohol - 1-2 ml three times per day.
Rosemary oil:  add 2 drops of oil to your bathwater.  Avoid contact with eyes and do not use on open wounds.

 


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