Rosemary is an evergreen flowering plant which is native to the Mediterranean. Rosemary can also be found in some parts of Europe and Northern Africa.
Taxonomically, it is classified under the family Lamiaceae which includes Sage, Lavender and Basil. It belongs to the genus Rosmarinus, species officinalis. The name Rosemary is gotten from two Latin words ‘ros’ Dew and ‘marinus’ Sea which means Dew of the Sea.
Rosemary possesses oblong or square shape stem. Just like other members of the Lamiaceae family, Rosemary possesses opposite leaves, which are linear, needle shape and evergreen with smooth edges that generally tend to curl slightly under the blade. The flowers have two lips, upper and lower lips. The lower lip of the flower is larger and characterized with distinctive spots and lines. It has two stamens with pistil placed between them. The flower color may be shade of soft to medium blue or lavender-blue with some varieties having whitish or pinkish flower coloration.
Biochemistry of Rosemary
Rosemary was used by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans to enhance memory and in festival ceremonies. Modern finding shows that Rosemary contains phytochemical compounds which break acetylcholine. This is a biochemical compound responsible for thinking, concentration and memory.
Rosemary essential oil is found to contain pinene, camphor, camphene, 1,8 cineol, limonene and linalool.
The pinene was found to lower inflammation. Inflammation is a condition of any part of the body, consisting incongestion of the blood vessels, with obstructionof the blood current, and growth of morbid. This condition is manifested outwardly by redness and swelling, attended with heat and pain. The pinene is also found to kill harmful microorganisms on the body and is used as an expectorant and bronchodilator.
The camphor is a good phytochemical compound found in essential oil of Rosemary which can be used to treat cough. It is also used to monitor various respiratory problems such as Decongestant. Camphor is also used as antimicrobial agent.
Camphene is used to relief various illness in the body. It is used to lower tension and anxiety. This is done by inhibiting the activities of some hormones, reducing nervous tension and dilating of blood vessels and in the reduction of reactive oxygen species.
1, 8 Cineol is used in the treatment of viral and fungal infection. 1, 8 cineol is also used as an analgesic, which means the chemical is used to reduce pain without inducing unconsciousness.
Limonene is a powerful phytochemicalin the treatment of low concentration and memory. This compound can be used as nervous stimulant, psycho-stimulant, detoxifying and in the treatment of mood balancing.
Linalool is a phytochemical found in rosemary which acts as sedative and anti-anxiety.
Uses and Benefits of Rosemary on the Skin
Promotes hair and skin growth
· Treats skin burns and scars and scald
· Prevents wrinkles
· Prevents skin cancers
· Natural antimicrobial
· Natural skin lightening agent
· Prevents skin odor
· Prevent skin inflammation and irritation
Like other herbal supplements and medicines it is very important to consult your medical doctor before you start using Rosemary. It should be kept far away from the reach of children. Rosemary essential oil should not be used without a carrier oil such as coconut oil and olive oil. The essential oil is too concentrated and can burn tissues when in contact with the body. Children under 7 years, nursing mothers and pregnant women should not be given too much Rosemary extract or essential oil.