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  • What You Need to Know About Rosemary Essential Oil

    rosemary plant with flowers

    A Little About Rosemary

    You’ve probably at least heard of Rosemary. You obviously find it in the kitchen spice rack and herb drawer, but you’ll also find mentions of it in popular music like Scarborough Fair by Simon and Garfunkle (OK, maybe not so popular now, but whatevs, it was popular when I was a kid), as a garnish on some cocktails, in various arts and crafts projects, and you find the essential oil in health food, new age, and online stores. It really gets around.

    So where does it come from? Given its heavy use in Mediterranean cooking it’ll come as no surprise that it hails from the… wait for it… Mediterranean area. It’s an evergreen shrub that flowers during spring and summer in white, pink, purple, or blue. In very warm climates it can bloom all year long. It’s also drought and pest resistant which makes it popular in xeriscape landscaping. Like other evergreen bushes, it can be pruned into low hedges or ornamental topiary. Apparently it’s not only versatile after it’s harvested, but while it’s growing as well.

    When to Use Rosemary Essential Oil

    Rosemary essential oil is sometimes mistaken for eucalyptus and both are amazing for respiratory ailments like congestion and bronchitis. But it’s good for much more than that. Check it out these ways to use it:

    • Decongestant
    • Anti-bacterial (esp diffused for respiratory ailments)
    • Anti-fungal
    • Anti-viral
    • Pain relieving
    • Muscle spasms
    • Rheumatism
    • Mental stimulant
    • Repels wasps and yellow jackets
    • Insecticidal


    When using Rosemary, please keep in mind that it is a potential neurotoxin, so:

    • Don’t use it during pregnancy
    • Maximum concentration for use on the skin is 16.5%
    • It’s a mental stimulant so don’t use it too close to bedtime

    Great Oils to Blend With Rosemary

    Any of the oils that contain cineole or camphor (that recognizable rosemary, camphor, or eucalyptus-y smell) will blend fabulously with rosemary. Other oils you may want to try are:

    • Basil
    • Bergamot
    • Camphor (for you skimmers who didn’t read the above sentence)
    • Eucalyptus (for you skimmers who didn’t read the above sentence)
    • Lemon
    • Petitgrain
    • Cedarwood
    • Citronella
    • Cypress
    • Ginger
    • Juniper
    • Lavender
    • Marjoram
    • Pine
    • Sage
    • Tea tree
    • Vetiver

    Rosemary Trivia

    Here are a few interesting tidbits:

    • The name Rosemary comes from, and its Genus name is the same as, it’s name in ancient Latin: ros marinus. Ros marinus means “dew of the sea” or “sea dew” and is entirely fitting because rosemary grows best by the sea.
    • Rosemary was considered sacred in ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt.
    • In Europe and Australia, rosemary is a symbol of remembrance and is often used or worn at funerals and war commemorations.