Rosemary Herb - Useful Herb for Digestion


Rosmarinus officina/is Lamiaceae

From medieval times rosemary a symbol if love and fidelity - was ofterl worn in bridal wreaths and given to wedding guests. Rosemary is a bushy, aromatic evergreen shrub Jound all over the Mediterranean. Spikes if pale blue or lilac flowers bloom in May and June. They yield an essential oil that is one oj the ingredients oj eau de cologne.

Parts used

  • Flowers and leaves
  • The flowers are gathered in full bloom and then dried.
  • The evergreen leaves can be collected at any time of year.
  • The leaves are scalded and dried.
  • Rosemary is used in infusions, tinctures and as an essential oil.


Rosemary contains many active constituents. Its flavonoids are stimulant and antioxidant; its phenols - in particular rosmarinic acid - are antiseptic and reduce inflammation; its astringent tannins fight infection; and rosmaricine has been shown to have stimulant and analgesic properties. The volatile oil has a sharp, stimulating fragrance and several active compounds including cineole and camphor.

Medicinal uses

The flavonoids in rosemary stimulate the circulation by strengthening the capillaries and improving venous blood flow - benefits that justify rosemary's traditional medicinal application for improving memory and concentration, easing headaches and stimulating hair growth.

The herb also calms the digestion, and is prescribed for gut problems such as dyspepsia, stomach cramps, bloating and constipation.Animal studies conducted in 1987 found that an extract of rosemary increased the flow of bile, important in the digestion of fats. And research published in 1995 found the plant to be diuretic and to have a detoxifying effect on the liver.

Rosemary is an effective antiinflammatory. It has expectorant and antibacterial properties and can be used to treat bronchial, ear, nose and throat infections. It is also a good tonic for people suffering from general fatigue.

Externally, rosemary oil is diluted in a neutral oil, such as sunflower oil,and used as a rub to ease muscular pain, sciatica and rheumatic pain andinflammation. An infusion added to bath water is said to help to ease rheumatism. Rosemary extract also stimulates hair follicles and scalp circulation, and is applied to the head as a preventive against premature baldness. Its antiseptic and astringent actions make it useful for treating dandruff.


  • Do not take the essential oil by mouth.
  • Do not give to children.
  • If pregnant or breastfeeding, do not consume more than would be found in the diet.


For internal use

TO TREAT dyspepsia, stomach cramps, bloating, constipation, and bronchial and ear, nose and throat infections
INFUSION Put 2-4g of dried plant into 1 cup of boiling water, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day after meals.

For external use

TO TREAT rheumatism INFUSION Put 50g of herb into a litre of boiling water. Cover and leave to infuse for 30 minutes and add to the bath water. ESSENTIAL OIL Dilute, allowing 3 drops to 10ml of carrier oil. Rub on painful joints.



Rosemary is easily grown from cuttings. Once rooted, plant in a warm sheltered spot, ideally in well-drained sandy soil.


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