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Rosemary seems to be more of a humble cooking ingredient than a sacred healing herb, yet one of the clues in its power lies in the name (rose + mary). Perhaps no spiritual symbol has more significance than that of the Rose, signifying unconditional love, rebirth, and spiritual purity. It is the Western equivalent of the eastern lotus flower: the unfolding petals of both have been used to represent infinity. And the name Mary represents the mother of God in the Christian tradition - the ancient Egyptian equivalent being Isis. This is the divine feminine, associated with purity, love, forgiveness and the power to bring life into the world. So, looking at it this way, Rosemary sounds quite sacred, not just a herb you put on a roast chicken!
Rosemary is, in fact, an incredibly powerful healing herb. It has a long history of medicinal use. As with many ancient medicines, modern science is now starting to verify rosemary’s benefits. What is most fascinating about this holy herb, is its ability to protect us from EMF radiation. In today’s world, we are being bombarded with so much that is unnatural to our bodies, and we must look to the natural world to defend ourselves.
Rosemary is a powerhouse of antioxidants and cellular protective properties. So, it is no surprise that rosemary has been used for centuries in ancient healing practices. Historically it was used as a painkiller, mood booster, sleep enhancer, spasm-reliever, and more.
Commonly taken as a tea, rosemary can also be taken in a variety of forms such as tincture, poultice, salve, steam inhalation, aromatherapy, and more. In the current research, rosemary has been recognized for many applications in medical settings. A wide range of benefits has been discovered, including mental health improvement, immune support, nerve-pain reduction, and support for chronic neurological conditions. Rosemary has been shown to possess antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic, anti-tumorigenic, and neuroprotective properties. Rosemary appears to benefit mood, learning, memory, pain, anxiety, and sleep – all relating to the brain and central nervous system. It is not surprising the herb was seen as sacred if it has the power to heal the most complex part of our bodies! The research that shows its effect on nerve pain is fascinating since this is a difficult type of pain to treat and many pharmaceutical painkillers are highly addictive.
A lot of research is being conducted to understand the long-term side effects of EMF exposure. It has never been higher thanks to smartphones being absolutely everywhere, and it is dramatically increasing all the time. There is also research into substances that may mitigate any of the negative effects of EMF. One candidate is Rosemary, which has been studied and proven to help reduce the effects pre-and post- EMF exposure. For example, EMF radiation can damage the parotid glands (which produce saliva to help with chewing and swallowing). Rosemary has been shown to protect these glands from EMF damage in both human and animal studies.
EMF seems to damage the body through oxidative stress (the same process by which pollution, alcohol, pesticides and so on damage our DNA). Rosemary acts as an anti-oxidant, preventing this damage. One study concluded: “Research reveals that the ethanolic extract of rosemary has many beneficial effects that can be compelling in supporting individuals living with EMF ecological contamination.”. If you want to learn more about oxidative stress, See our article on DNA damage and helpful herbs here.
Although modern science likes to extract a few “active ingredients” from a herb, in reality, the way they work is far more complicated. Herbs contain thousands of ingredients that work together in subtle ways and interact with the body in a way science cannot yet understand. Yet there have been some interesting substances isolated from Rosemary, that partly explain its effects on the brain and nervous systems. Rosemaric acid, carsonic acid, and essential oils are the ones that have attracted the most interest in Rosemary studies relating to depression, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and other neurological problems.
Rosemary is tolerated well by the body and is not known to interact with any medicines, although very high doses can cause nausea and other symptoms.
So perhaps Rosemary deserves its powerful name and stands out as one of the healing herbs that we need to turn to in these days of toxic bombardment.
To brew rosemary, use fresh or dry leaves steeped in boiling water for about 5-10 minutes. Make sure to cover the container or pot so that none of the active ingredients evaporate.
We stock Rosemary and hundreds of other herbs at our shop in Brixton. You are welcome to pop in for a free consultation.
de Oliveira, Jonatas Rafael et al. “Rosmarinus officinalis L. (rosemary) as therapeutic and prophylactic agent.” Journal of biomedical science vol. 26,1 5. 9 Jan. 2019, doi:10.1186/s12929-019-0499-8
Gazwi, Hanaa S S et al. “Antimicrobial activity of rosemary leaf extracts and efficacy of ethanol extract against testicular damage caused by 50-Hz electromagnetic field in albino rats.” Environmental science and pollution research international vol. 27,13 (2020): 15798-15805. doi:10.1007/s11356-020-08111-w
Ghasemzadeh Rahbardar, Mahboobeh, and Hossein Hosseinzadeh. “Therapeutic effects of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) and its active constituents on nervous system disorders.” Iranian journal of basic medical sciences vol. 23,9 (2020): 1100-1112. doi:10.22038/ijbms.2020.45269.10541
Ghoneim, Fatma M, and Eetmad A Arafat. “Histological and histochemical study of the protective role of rosemary extract against harmful effect of cell phone electromagnetic radiation on the parotid glands.” Acta histochemica vol. 118,5 (2016): 478-85. doi:10.1016/j.acthis.2016.04.010