Aromatherapists have long employed Rosemary’s strongly aromatic qualities to treat infectious diseases including colds and flu, heart and circulatory conditions including low blood pressure and cold hands and feet, slow or sluggish digestion, menstrual irregularity and infertility, and what was once called weakened brain, which today we would probably recognize as forgetfulness on the Alzheimer’s or Dementia spectrum. Before we had distillation, Rosemary was added to food and drink, burned as incense, hung and worn…and all the while it was truly Rosemary’s volatile oils that handled the bulk of the work.

Over the past few hundred years, distillation technology developed, making it easier for Aromatherapists to isolate and use Rosemary’s volatile oils, which we now call essential oils, and even to isolate different Rosemary essential oil types. Modern practitioners may choose to match one type, such as the cineole or camphor type, to a client or application. They do so to emphasize one element or action over the others. Most of us, however, will do well to use the Rosemary essential oil that’s most handy; all Rosemary essential oil types share the same basic qualities, so emphasis of one action over another within a type is really about fine-tuning the formula.

Physical Health: Rosemary Essential Oil as a Topical

Rosemary essential oil can be used in topical blends to stimulate circulation, ease tension, and tone tissues. That means Rosemary essential oil can be a terrific addition to formulas designed to promote circulation, such as for cold hands and feet or to heal bruised tissues. It can also be useful in lotions, salves, oils, and liniments designed to heal wounds, protect against infection, and reduce varicose veins. Rosemary antioxidant, now famous for its ability to reduce free radicals in the skin, is often added to topical formulas both as an antioxidant and as a preservative, and it pairs nicely with Rosemary essential oil in similar blends.

Rosemary essential oil is also a lovely addition to beauty care formulas. It’s particularly useful when paired with Rosemary Antioxidant to give skin a youthful glow and tone. Rosemary essential oil’s astringent nature helps tone skin that has become baggy, droopy, or otherwise lost it’s elasticity. Paired with essential oils like Copaiba Balsam and Vetiver or extracts like Balm of Gilead or Cotton Wood bud oil, Rosemary essential oil is also useful for beard care and general skin health.

Mental Health: Rosemary for Remembrance

Used topically or diffused and inhaled, Rosemary essential oil helps improve memory of many types. Scientific research links Rosemary essential oil with decreased symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia and can be particularly useful when paired with other essential oils like Bergamot, Lavender, Lemon and Orange. Studies have shown these particular essential oils beneficial for reducing violence, agitation, and psychotic symptoms.

Traditionally, Rosemary was used through out life to prevent forgetfulness and “brain weakness,” supporting the idea that including Rosemary in your daily essential oil blend may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. Certainly, we know now that adding Rosemary to Memory care routines and formulas is more likely to help than harm once signs of memory loss have arisen.

Memory care aside, Rosemary has a long-standing use as a study aid. Students through the ages have drawn on Rosemary in essential oil form or as a tea to improve focus and retention of learned material. Inhaling a blend of Rosemary and Peppermint essential oils can help improve memorization and study, making it easier to recall information later on.

I can attest to the value in a good Rosemary-based essential oil blend for boosting memory during late-night or long afternoon study sessions. Although since my own college exam days I’ve heard that one must sniff Rosemary essential oil while studying and again just before the test to improve one’s ability to score well on the test, my own experience is that just including Rosemary essential oil in my study routine has made study easier and improved my memory for the material I’ve digested considerably regardless of whether or not I inhaled Rosemary essential oil before needing to use that material in a test-situation or otherwise.

My theory is Rosemary essential oil helps you better digest and assimilate. That goes for learning new material as much as it goes for ingesting dinner. I’ve noticed when I include Rosemary essential oil in my study, writing, and meditative practices, I find answers come a little easier.

Emotional-Spiritual Health: Rosemary for Self-identity

Rosemary essential oil is helpful for some types of anxiety and depression. From a more physical-health perspective, Rosemary essential oil helps ease anxiety and depression that is related to cold-damp conditions, like those connected to slow or reduced circulation, heart problems including edema, digestion that seems slow or stuck including constipation and bloating, and hormonal imbalances including those that occur during stressful and highly transitional times of life like adolescence, menopause, and gender transition. While that’s a lot, Rosemary essential oil does so much more.

Rosemary essential oil, like the flower essence, is connected with helping people who struggle with anxiety, depression, and feelings of general unworthiness or disconnection from life warm up to what life has to offer. Gabriel Mojay describes Rosemary essential oil as helping improve one’s self-confidence, find and believe in one’s destiny or ability to fully engage in life’s potential.

The general energy of Rosemary essential oil is that of warmth and circulation, allowing one’s energy to rise into the heart center and move whatever has gotten stuck gently yet firmly. Folks who were traumatized and feel disconnected from their bodies or themselves can benefit from Rosemary’s energy of digestion and integration as can those who struggle with self-identity, full commitment to life, or feelings of disconnection that give rise to a sense of weakness, weakened spirit, or lack of energy in general.

Resources for Using Rosemary Essential Oil