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How rosemary essential oil could help improve your brain and heart health


(NaturalNews) Rosemary is an evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean, and a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, alongside oregano, thyme, basil and lavender. Although some of us are most familiar with the culinary uses of rosemary, this beautifully scented herb is also commonly used in cosmetics, perfumes and traditional medicine.

As a rich source of iron, calcium and vitamin B6, rosemary displays numerous health benefits and has been hailed by medics since ancient times for alleviating muscle pain, improving memory and boosting the circulatory system. Rosemary oil shares some of these uses, and makes an absolutely delightful addition to any aromatherapy kit.

Rosemary from ancient times to the present

In Ancient Greece, rosemary was considered to be one of the most important plants. Its name was derived from the Latin "rosmarinus," which translates into "dew of the sea." Although our ancestors were also impressed with this herb's wonderful fragrance and its tasty condiment qualities, in ancient times it was primarily used to improve memory. Students in Ancient Greece would braid it into their hair because they believed it would help them pass their exams. As it later turned out, they were right to do so.

Shakespeare was also familiar with the beneficial link between rosemary and memory, which is why he mentioned the aromatic herb in Hamlet ("There's rosemary, that's for remembrance"). Famous herbalists throughout the ages recommended it for improving a patient's failing memory, while in Europe and Asia, it became a symbol for remembrance. As such, it would often be placed on graves by loved ones or offered by women to traveling men.

The potential health benefits of rosemary oil

As many of our ancestors rightly observed, rosemary was indeed linked to increased blood circulation and improved cognitive performance. A study from 2013 showed that even sniffing rosemary can improve memory by as much as 75 percent. In addition, the herb is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, including carnosic acid, which is able to prevent free radical damage in the brain and significantly slow down brain aging.

Rosemary essential oil also shows promising health benefits. It is known to help detoxify the liver and regulate the bile as a part of the digestive process, while relieving flatulence, stomach cramps and constipation. Rosemary oil can also be used for stress relief and reducing the levels of cortisol, as well as for pain relief, especially with rheumatism, sprains or joint aches. Last but not least, inhaling the scent of the oil can help with throat congestion, respiratory allergies, bronchial asthma, colds and the flu, due to its antiseptic action and antispasmodic effect.

Growing your own rosemary at home

Got a spare pot at home? Planting and growing your own rosemary is as easy as it gets, especially if you live in a warm climate. Otherwise, you can always bring the rosemary plant inside throughout the cold season, and you'll still be able to keep it green all year long. Once you've harvested your first rosemary herbs, you'll be able to dry them and use them as condiments, or transform them into a homemade essential oil.

All you need are a few sterilized jars, a cup of rosemary and two cups of oil. If you'd like to use the homemade rosemary oil for cosmetic purposes, then you'll need some baby or almond oil to work with. For general purposes, you can utilize canola or safflower oil. At first, put your rosemary in the jar and cover it with the oil. Then, cap the jar tightly and place it in a warm spot (a sunny place, a windowsill or a warm cupboard). About one week later, when you notice the rosemary turning brown, take the cap off and smell the oil. If the smell is strong enough, strain it thoroughly and pour it in a clean jar. And voila! Your rosemary oil is ready to use.

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