Merry Meet everyone! Hope that you are having a beautiful Sun day in your neck of the woods. Here in Ohio, we woke up to heavy Frost and freezing temps…but it has warmed up since to the 50’s, Sun is shining and it’s a gorgeous day! We are yet warm enough to do any planting here….tradition states not to plant til Mother’s day to be safe from late Ohio frosts. I however am biting at the bit so to speak to dig in the dirt!
As I told you before..I am most thrilled to be a writer..the Herbal Witch…for The Pagan blog The Sunday Stew. Here’s the link again The Sunday Stew. If you haven’t read it…please do and support it as well. For this week, I wrote about Rosemary….and thought I’d go ahead and share it here on my blog as well. But go and read everything else the Stew has to offer by some of my favorite people!
“I plant rosemary all over the garden, so pleasant is it to know that at every few steps one may draw the kindly branchlets through one’s hand, and have the enjoyment of their incomparable incense; and I grow it against walls, so that the sun may draw out its inexhaustible sweetness to greet me as I pass ..”
– Gertrude Jekyll
Rosemary or Rosmarinus officinalis is one of my very favorite herbs. I believe I find a use for it most days! It has a long history of uses…medicinal, culinary and magickal! Rosmarinus officinalis means “dew of the sea”. But you don’t need to be near the sea to grow it.
Rosemary is a beautiful ornamental plant that takes very little attention to thrive. It’s a hardy, bushy perennial plant that comes back bigger each year. It can grow quite large in the right conditions. It looks much like an evergreen with a sweet, pungent scent. The leaves are needle- like…..dark green on the top, and grayish green underneath. It gets pale blue flowers around the stem when in bloom. Rosemary likes Sun and some room to breathe, and water when too dry. Pruning is perfectly acceptable, not only so you can use it but to spur on more growth.
Rosemary has long been the herb of Remembrance…to this day. It was the herb used at funerals and to honor the dead after they are gone from the home. The tradition of laying sprigs across the coffin or upon tombstones dates back to ancient Egypt. Personally, I honor this tradition to this day. When visiting a grave of a loved one, I take a small wand of rosemary or plant rosemary where allowed. I also put rosemary on my Dumb Supper table at Samhain. To remember.
Rosemary was also associated with memory. Scholars of ancient Greece wore wreaths of rosemary on their head, to help recall while taking exams. It was used widely at weddings..in the bride’s bouquet, given to the wedding guests to wear and put in the wine the couple drank to help them remember their sacred vows. Rosemary was planted in every newlyweds garden, but the adage “where rosemary flourished, the woman ruled” caused this practice to fall out of style when husbands kept plucking them from the ground to prove that they were the “ruler” of the home.
During the Middle Ages, rosemary was thought to dispel negativity and promote prosperity. It was thought to encourage happiness of home and hearth. It was kept in the home in some way, under pillows, hung on the mantle or hearth or by the door. It was even burned in homes to prevent the black plague! To me, many of those traditions stand true today.
Parts Used: leaves
Preparation: infusions, teas, oils, salves & balms, vinegars, and culinary use.
Healing properties of Rosemary are: pain relieving, restorative, stimulating, anti-bacterial, decongestant, diuretic and anti-fungal. Rosemary is used in the treatment of muscular pain, rheumatism, circulation problems, mental fatigue, nervous exhaustion, cellulite, arthritis, colds, bronchitis, fluid retention, sinusitis and is suitable for dry, mature skin and acne.
Excellent tonic for those who suffer from burnout or chronic fatigue syndrome
Encourages the production of bile thus aiding digestion
Helps to relieve the symptoms of Bronchitis, Asthma and Flu
Nervous system tonic
Emmenagogue (induces menstruation)
Relieves migraines and headaches caused by stress
Encourages hair growth and scalp health
Relieves vertigo caused by inner ear problems
Mouthwash for bad breath
Stimulates the brain for memory and recall.
Make Rosemary tea for digestive problems, as an expectorant, to relieve cold symptoms, and as a relaxing beverage that may be helpful for headaches and low moods.
Externally, its oil made into an ointment has been said to treat rheumatism, sores, eczema, bruises, and wounds. Rosemary tea or vinegar used as a hair rinse promotes hair health, hair growth and healthy scalp.
Aromatherapy: Use rosemary essential oil in your salves, balms, and bath products. Rosemary oil blends well with LOTS of other essential oils… Lavender, Citronella, Oregano, Thyme, Pine, Basil, Eucalyptus Radiata, Peppermint, Elemi, Cedarwood, Petitgrain Bigarade, Cinnamon Bark, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Ginger Root, Bergamot, Frankincense, Juniper Berry, Melissa, Celery Seed, and Fennel Seed. I use it in many of my Verbena Lane Shoppe products. It’s extremely healing!
In Cosmetics, rosemary is used often in shampoos, conditioners, lotions etc.
Rosemary has a strong and pleasant aroma and piney, earthy flavor. In cooking, it works well with dishes of beef and lamb, fish and bread. It’s excellent in stews and casseroles, roasted and grilled foods, pizzas, soups, vinegars, and herbed butters. Don’t be afraid to try it!
Rosemary works in magick to rid negativity, to protect, to heal, to banish and to bring luck and prosperity. It’s used for mental clarity and cleansing. It’s associated with Love, friendship and memory. There are many ways to use Rosemary for magick. Here are a few!
-Burn rosemary to rid your home of negative energy
-use it in incense to meditate and clear your mind
-use it in mojo bags for multiple reasons ie: before a test, for healing, for protection
-Hang bundles by your front door for protection
-Add it to a healing poppet
-use rosemary to substitute for other herbs
-put it in a dream pillow to ward off nightmares
-add it to bath water to cleanse and heal
-keep a plant in your garden, by your front door or in your kitchen..use it’s scent when you need to be uplifted, use it in your cooking, use it to make vinegars and herbal preparations
-Use in potpourris and sachets
–plant it at your loved ones graves, or take them a bouquet
-keep it on your Samhain table or altar
-Make rosemary infused Moon water to cleanse your hands before spellwork
-Add to your recipes to add protection and healing for your family
These are just a few ideas…I’m sure there are many more! I’ll be back to post a recipe or two using rosemary in the next couple weeks. Be sure to add it to your “must have” garden plant, kitchen herb, and Witch’s cupboard.
This is the post in it’s entirety on the Stew. I will be back here on my blog as well with recipes, more herbs and will post pictures along the way as I’m planting…soon!
Blessings and Light and Happy Sun day!