Herb Rosemary

Botanical Name: Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosemary herb picture

Rosemary Herb Picture

Rosemary is a sweet scented evergreen shrub which grows upto two metres high. Its leaves are narrow and resemble curved pine needles. They are green on top and grey underneath. The leaves of rosemary are used for commercial purposes. Dried herb is brownish green in color. The leaves have a tea-like fragrance. Crushed rosemary, however, has spicy camphoraceous aroma and a pungent, bitter taste.

Rosemary has long been regarded as the herb for rememberance. Mystically, it symbolises loyalty, love and immortality. It was once believed to stregthen the heart as well as memory.

Rosemary Oil

Dried rosemary leaves, on fractional distillation, yield 1% to 2% of a volatile oil (known as rosemary oil) which is used in perfumery and medicine. They also contain several acids and other chemical substances. A fraction of phenolic possessing anti-oxidant properties has been isolated from the leaves and its oil.

Rosemary and its Oil - Medicinal Values, Uses, Healing Power, Benefits and Curative Properties

Rosemary is an antidote to mental fatigue and forgetfulness. A tea made from the herb is a good natural remedy for bringing added mental agility. It is believed that if the crushed leaves of rosemary are inhaled with the eyes closed, the mind becomes clear as the vapour courses through the brain cells.


The plant has been found useful in atonic dyspepsia, that is, indigestion and stiffness in the stomach. It is specially valuable in the digestion of starchy foods and vegetables like egg-plant and lima beans besides rich meats like pork, beef, and lamb.


Rosemary oil is used as an ingredient in rubefacient liniments. Rosemary is formally recognised as a drug in some of the pharmacopoeias. It is mildly irritant and is used to relieve flatulence.

Common Cold

Rosemary oil induces copious perspiration. It can be beneficially mixed in hot water and taken as a drink in colds and chills. The oil is obtained by fractional distillation of the leaves, flowering tops and twigs of the plant. This emulsion is prepared by mixing oil in hot water. The emulsion is used as a gargle for sore throat. The rosemary oil exhibits antibacterial activity.


The flowering tops and leaves have a camphor-like odour, which induce copious perspiration. They are used for vapour baths in rheumatism.

Heart Stimulant

A few drops of rosemary oil are taken internally as a heart stimulant. A 5% tincture prepared by mixing oil of rosemary in alcohol, is used as a circulatory and cardiac stimulant.


Shampoos and hair lotions containing the pure extract of rosemary rejuvenate the scalp and hair while preventing dandruff and premature baldnes. A lotion from leafy rosemary branches can be prepared by simmering them in water for 30 minutes before straining and cooling. It can be used as the final hair rinse.

Fresh tender tops are used for garnishing and flavouring cold drinks, pickles, soups, and other foods. Its leaves are used as a condiment. Dried and powdered, they are added to cooked meats, fish, poultry, soups, stews, sauces, garnishings, preserves and jams.

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