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Rosemary - One of the Oldest Healing Herbs Recorded

Updated on March 5, 2014

Rosemary - A long history of healing

Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) native to western Asia and southern Europe the Mediterranean region is considered to be one of the oldest recorded herbs in history. There have been references of Rosemary written on stone tablets from ancient Sumerian dating as far back as the 5th millennium B.C.

Rosemary is most recognized as a spice for flavoring food and beverage, but has long been used as an antiseptic and astringent as well, and is included in many skin care products for its beneficial effects on both the skin and hair. Since ancient times this wonderful herb has been a symbol of friendship, loyalty and remembrance.

Dew of the Sea

Rosemary being a Mediterranean plant will not take to cold winters for many of us multi-season gardeners, but does grow very well in containers. Growing Rosemary in a potted container allows you to bring  indoors during the winter months having fresh cuttings readily available. Make sure to have a container with good drainage, and not to overwater. The name Rosmarinus comes from the Latin word ros marinus, meaning “dew of the sea”. This tells us a little bit about its cultivation requirements. Rosemary loves sandy soil and a light misting.


Rosemary for hair care

Rosemary is known for stimulating hair follicles, allowing hair to grow longer and stronger. It is also believed to stimulate hair bulbs slowing down premature hair loss. Rosemary is often used to naturally treat dandruff, and is often mixed with tea tree oil and basil oil to treat scalp problems.

Herbal Vinegar Hair Rinse

2cups Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 cup Rosemary (or) your choice (I use fresh herbs)

Place the herb in a glass jar with the vinegar, and let it sit for a week.

Strain threw cheesecloth.

Add 1 Tablespoon of the strained oil to 8ozs. Of water

Use as a hair rinse after shampooing.

Mouth Care

Rosemary is also a disinfectant often used in mouth washes, treating sores, cuts, and gum’s and removing bad breadth. There are no harsh chemicals added to an herbal Rosemary mouth rinse.

Rosemary, Mint, Sage Mouth Rinse

One tea spoon of dried ground up Rosemary, Sage, and Mint

Infuse to 1 cup of hot water

Strain water from herbs, and keep labeled in a separate jar as mouth rise. This should last a few days.

Fun Facts of Rosemary

During ancient times scholars would wear Rosemary garlands during exams to improve their concentration.

During World War II, French hospitals would burn Rosemary leaves to help kill germs.

Raymundus Lullus first extracted Rosemary by distillation around 1330.

The Queen of Hungary was known to use one of the first cosmetic preparations of the fourteenth century.

Rosemary skin care

Rosemary is a common ingredient found in many anti-skin aging products, natural soaps and shampoos. It is known to stimulate circulation and increase the blood supply to the skin. Extracts from this plant rejuvenate the skin by strengthening capillaries restoring the skin to its youthful appearance and preventing age related skin damage.

Rosemary’s anti-oxidant abilities

Recent research has indicated Rosemary to have cancer fighting abilities as well. Rosemary contains caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid both obtaining anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. These ani- oxidants contain monoterpenes, phenolic, diterpenes, and flavonoids which are all known to slow down the production of free radicals.

Growing Rosemary

Starting Rosemary from seed

Rosemary is very difficult to start from seed having a very slow germination rate. Germination could take between 14-30 days, and if you have really good seed, you could possibly see germination as little as 5-10 days. If you are planning to start Rosemary from seed, be sure to start 8-12 weeks before last scheduled frost. Lightly press the seed to the surface of a moist growing mix, and be sure not to bury the seed. Rosemary requires light to germinate and temperatures between 70-75 degrees during the day and 55-60 degrees during the night.

Seed Stratification

If you are unable to keep your seeds at this temperature you can cover your flat with plastic wrap to keep soil moist and place them in the refrigerator for about a week. This process is called seed stratification. This is pre-treating the seed to simulate natural winter conditions that a seed must endure before germination.

Once your seedlings begin to have 4 true leaves you should then begin transplanting those to larger containers or garden as long as you are past your frost season. Rosemary should be spaced 8-10 inches apart in northern climates, and in native settings Rosemary should be transplanted 18-36 inches apart. This plant can overwinter if night time temperatures remain in the teens, but will defiantly not winter over if colder than that. Remember that Rosemary loves well drained soil, lots of sun and light watering. Try to avoid watering at night.

Barely scratched the surface.

This magnificent herb has not only served mankind well in the kitchen but has such a long history of healing. This hub only mentions very few benefits this amazing plant has to offer. There are many cooking recipes, and herbal remedies enough to fill an entire book just on Rosemary.

Remember to always consult with a clinical herbalist or qualified health care practitioner before treating yourself with natural and herbal remedies. All information mentioned in this hub is for general information and should not be considered as medical advice or consultation. Always contact a reputable health care practitioner if medical care is needed.

Rosemary Seeds

What Rosemary oil is used for


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    • luckyfind profile image


      6 years ago

      I never considered using rosmary for anything else than cook with it. I love the smell and I have heard of using vinager as a clairafier for hair. I'll add the rosemary and give it a try. Thanks

    • profile image

      Kritty Williams 

      7 years ago

      Glorious hub.It really is.This healing herb is really a gift of our mother nature.we should preserve it .Thanks a lot for sharing such an informative hub dear.:)


    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from NY

      Thanks Teresa I am so glad you were able to read and enjoy this hub on Rosemary, I too as you may have picked up on already am a big fan of natural healing as well. Take care- Rob.

    • eventsyoudesign profile image


      7 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      Great Hub! I really enjoyed reading this article. I am a great believer in natural healing. You present your information well. Thanks for sharing. Teresa

    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from NY

      Susan, yes Rosemary is awesome and I have it growing in my window for fresh pickings all winter long. You should definitely try the hair rinse, I think you will be shocked how silky and soft your hair will be.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, take care.

    • Susan Miles profile image

      Susan Miles 

      7 years ago

      Great article! I've used rosemary in the kitchen. I'm delighted to learn that it has so many other uses. I must try the Herbal Vinegar Hair Rinse.

    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from NY

      Rosemary is so commonly recognized in the kitchen, not too many know of its many other wonderful benefits. I love exploring these properties in plants. Glad you enjoyed this and hope your father does as well. God bless


    • prasetio30 profile image


      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I'll show this to my father. He liked gardening very much. I thought he want to try to plant rosemary. I never heard about rosemary for healthy skin. But you have done a great job. I also enjoy the video above. Vote up as usual. God bless you.


    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from NY

      Thanks Dlana Adair, so glad you enjoyed this article and have learned a few more things about this wonderful herb Rosemary.

    • profile image

      DIana Adair 

      7 years ago

      Enjoyed this article and the many benefits of rosemary. I use it on my hair but never on my skin especially anti-aging benefits.

    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from NY

      I had really bad dandruff two winters ago and this vinegar rosemary hair rise was made for me and not only did the dandruff go away but I don't think my hair( what little I have left) has ever felt so silky and smooth. Pretty cool stuff.

      Thanks for stopping by Katie, be well my friend.

    • katiem2 profile image


      7 years ago from I'm outta here

      I love rosemary! I had no idea it's a anti aging ingredient, but it does make sense.

      You've highlighted some very good uses for rosemary. I love it as a hair rinse. I also enhances your natural hair color. Rosemary makes my red hair a deeper richer color. It also smells amazing and feels soft and silky.

      Great tips on the uses of Rosemary! :) Katie

    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from NY

      A.B. That is so cool that you grew up having learned many of many uses of herbs such as Rosemary. I have been a landscaper and gardener much of my life and was not until just a couple of years ago that I started realizing the many benefits these plants have to offer. I have so much to learn. I love it!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      So good to see any herbs being used, I grew up with Native Americans in my family on one side anyway. I have learned quite a bit about herbs and there uses. A very good page here, well done. Rosemary, is absolutely a blessing given to us all. A.B.

    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from NY

      Thanks Pamela, I agree it is amazing. So glad you enjoyed this hub on Rosemary.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      It is amazing what herbs can do for us. This was a very good hub that I am bookmarking.

    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from NY

      Darlene, Rosemary can be very difficult to start from seed, most of us are better off just buying Rosemary from a reputable grower and then take good care of the plant and use for its wonderful uses.

      aguasilver, thanks for stopping by, I haven't a clue whats going on with the text, it appear to look fine on my screen. I will pay close attention to this. I hope that its not too serious of a problem and that it can be corrected quickly.

      Thanks again for hub hopping to my Rosemary hub!

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 

      7 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Good hub, good info, thanks.... found it hub hopping, only problem is (and I don't think it's yours, I think its the hub) the text is breaking very badly on screen..... If Hub Central see this, do we have a problem?

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Again, you amaze me, another bookmark I have found it hard to grow Rosemary, my Mothers name. Anyway, this is awesome and useful. I am going to learn to make all the wonderful ideas you have. You are brillent. rate up peace & love darski

    • rpalulis profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from NY

      I agree! I have a bunch of Rosemary plants that I bring in every winter and can't help but to rub the leaves every time I pass them and take in a deep breadth.

      Thanks Sierra Mackenzie for stopping buy and commenting.

    • profile image

      Sierra Mackenzie 

      7 years ago

      A very good article. I enjoy the fragrance of rosemary in my garden after a rain.


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