Rosemary Essential Oil is derived from the aromatic herb belonging to the mint family, which also includes basil, lavender, myrtle, and sage. It is orginally native to the Mediterranean and receives its name from the latin words “ros” (which means dew) and “marinus” (which means sea), the full meaning coming to “dew of the Sea.” It also grows in England, Mexico, the USA, and northern Africa, namely in Morocco. Known for its distinctive fragrance that is characterized by an energizing, evergreen, citrus-like, herbaceous scent.

Rosemary was once considered to be a sacred plant by ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Hebrews, and Romans. The Greeks used to wear rosemary garlands around their heads while studying, as it was believed to improve their memory, and both the Greeks and the Romans used rosemary in almost all festivals and religious ceremonies as a symbol of purity.

In the Middle Ages, rosemary was believed to be able to ward off evil spirits and to prevent the onset of the bubonic plague. With this belief, rosemary branches were commonly strewn across floors and left in doorways to keep the disease at bay.

It has also been used throughout civilizations in cosmetics for its antiseptic, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties as well as in medical care for its health benefits.

Rosemary had even become a favorite alternative herbal medicine for the German-Swiss physician, philosopher, and botanist Paracelsus, who promoted its healing properties, including its ability to strengthen the body and to heal organs such as the brain, heart, and liver.

Rosemary Essential Oil’s chemical composition consists of the following main constituents: α -Pinene, Camphor, 1,8-Cineol, Camphene, Limonene, and Linalool are known to exhibit the following activity:

α -Pinene 

Anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, expectorant, bronchodilator, cough suppressant, decongestant, febrifuge, anesthetic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory

1,8-Cineol

Analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-viral, cough suppressant.

Camphene

Anti-oxidant, soothing, anti-inflammatory

Limonene

Nervous system stimulant, psychostimulant, mood-balancing, appetite suppressant, detoxifying

Linalool

Sedative, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, analgesic

We still use rosemary in aromatherapy today, as it helps reduce stress levels and relieve nervous tension, boost mental activity, encourages clarity and insight, relieves fatigue, and supports respiratory function. It can also be used to improve mental alertness, eliminate negative moods, and increase the retention of information by enhancing concentration.

Inhaling rosemary oil can help to boost the immune system by stimulating internal anti-oxidant activity, which in turn fights ailments caused by free radicals.

Used topically, rosemary oil is known to stimulate hair growth, reduce pain, soothe inflammation, eliminate headaches, strengthen the immune system, and condition hair to make it look and feel healthy. It is also used to soothe sore or tired muscles.

The anti-microbial, antiseptic, astringent, antioxidant, and tonic properties of this oil make it a beneficial additive in skin care products that are meant to soothe or even treat dry or oily skin, eczema, inflammation, and acne as well.

Rosemary oil is known in folk medicine as a pain reliever. Preliminary studies support its pain relief.