Popularly known for being a culinary herb, rosemary is from the mint family and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Rosemary essential oil has a woodsy fragrance and is considered a mainstay in aromatherapy. However, rosemary oil has a wide range of uses, from treating ailments and pains to promoting hair growth, making it beneficial to have on hand in your home.
Rosemary oil can be used to relieve a variety of gastrointestinal complaints, including indigestion, gas, stomach cramping, bloating and constipation. It also stimulates appetite and helps regulate the creation of bile, which plays a crucial role in digestion. To treat stomach ailments, combine 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil with 5 drops of rosemary oil and gently massage the mixture over your abdomen. Applying rosemary oil in this way on a regular basis detoxifies the liver and promotes gallbladder health.
Research shows that simply inhaling the aroma of rosemary essential oil can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your blood. High cortisol levels are caused by stress, anxiety or any thought or event that puts your body in "fight-or-flight" mode. When stress is chronic, cortisol can cause weight gain, oxidative stress, high blood pressure and heart disease. You can combat stress instantly using an essential oil diffuser or even by inhaling over an open bottle. To create an anti-stress aromatherapy spray, simply combine in a small spray bottle 6 tablespoons of water with 2 tablespoons of vodka, and add 10 drops of rosemary oil. Use this spray at night on your pillow to relax, or spray it into the air indoors any time to relieve stress.
Rosemary oil has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties you can benefit from by massaging the oil on the affected area. Mix 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil with 5 drops of rosemary oil to create an effective salve. Use it for headaches, sprains, muscle soreness or pain, rheumatism or arthritis. You can also soak in a hot bath and add a few drops of rosemary oil to the tub.
Rosemary oil works as an expectorant when inhaled, relieving throat congestion from allergies, colds or flus. Inhaling the aroma can fight respiratory infections because of its antiseptic properties. It also has an antispasmodic effect, which helps in the treatment of bronchial asthma. Use rosemary oil in a diffuser, or add a few drops to a mug or small pot of boiling-hot water and inhale the vapor up to 3 times daily.
Rosemary essential oil has been found to increase the growth of new hair by 22 percent when massaged onto the scalp. It works by stimulating scalp circulation and can be used to grow longer hair, prevent baldness or stimulate new hair growth in balding areas. Rosemary oil also slows the graying of hair, promotes shininess and prevents and reduces dandruff, making it a great tonic for overall hair health and beauty.
Greek scholars are known to have used rosemary essential oil to improve their memory before exams. A recent study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience evaluated the cognitive performance of 144 participants when using rosemary oil for aromatherapy. It found that rosemary significantly enhanced the quality of memory and increased mental alertness. Another study, published in Psychogeriatrics, tested the effects of rosemary oil aromatherapy on 28 elderly dementia and Alzheimer's patients and found that its properties can prevent and slow Alzheimer's disease. Add a few drops of rosemary oil to lotion and apply it to your neck, or use a diffuser to reap the mental benefits of rosemary oil's aroma. Whenever you need a boost of mental energy, you can even inhale over the bottle of oil to get the same effects.
Rosemary essential oil has antimicrobial qualities that make it an effective counter for bad breath. You can use it as a mouthwash simply by adding a few drops of rosemary oil to water and swishing it around. By killing bacteria, it not only fights bad breath but also prevents plaque buildup, cavities and gingivitis.
Rosemary oil's antimicrobial properties make it likewise effective in treating skin problems such as acne, dermatitis and eczema. By hydrating and nourishing the skin while killing bacteria, it makes a great addition to any moisturizer. Simply add a few drops to facial moisturizer to use rosemary oil every day and get a healthy glow. To treat problem areas, dilute 5 drops of rosemary oil in 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil and apply it to the site. It won't make your skin more oily; in fact, it removes excess oil from the surface of your skin.
Rosemary essential oil is a mainstay in aromatherapy, not just for its pleasant smell but also because it's able to calm the body while energizing the mind. The medicinal and health benefits of rosemary oil come free of side effects, making it a great addition to your first-aid kit. However, it's recommended to avoid using rosemary oil on children under 4 years old. You can also keep rosemary oil in your bathroom for oral, hair and skin care.