Plant Talk: Rosemary


Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Lore & History:

  • Native to southern France
  • Her name – Ros marinus – means “fond of the sea”, not surprising since the plant thrives along the Mediterranean coast
  • Garlands were worn on the head while studying in ancient Greece to improve memory
  • Symbol of remembrance, friendship & love: worn at weddings – esp. bridal bouquets – and used at funerals by tossing branches in with the dead
  • Long held belief that it wards off evil spirits: it was said to not grow in the gardens of evil people – a good personality tester!  Rosemary’s leaves were placed under the bed pillow to do away with nasty spirits and ward off bad dreams.
  • Branches were burned in the 14th & 15th century homes to ward off the Black Death.
  • The wood of the plant was used to make lutes & burned into charcoal, then crushed into a powder to keep teeth healthy.
  • In WW II, Rosemary and Juniper were burned in French hospitals to kill germs – a practice we’d be wise to modernize and implement today with all of the MRSA and other community virus & bacteria outbreaks.

Healing Qualities:

  • Stress reducer
  • Stimulant of nervous & circulatory systems, also pelvic region.
  • Heart tonic
  • High in calcium, Vitamins A & C, iron, zinc, potassium & phosphorous
  • Excessive dosing can cause death


  • Culinary
  • Bath
  • Household: as disinfectant
  • Teeth & gum care
  • Hair care
  • Insect repellant

May Provide relief for:

  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Colds, flu & fever
  • Insect bites
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Dry and damaged hair
  • Premature balding: acts as preventative

Culinary Uses:

  • Pungent, distinctive flavor which harmonizes well with poultry, fish, lamb, beef & game – particularly when the meat is roasted.
  • Great with tomatoes, eggs, cheeses – especially goat cheese!
  • Combined w/ fresh garlic, it makes a lovely infused olive oil to pair with peasant bread chunks as dippers -perhaps with a touch of balsamic vinegar!  Use the infused oil in salad dressings, marinades…let your creativity pour out!

These statements are provided for informational and educational purposes only and have been neither approved nor refuted by the Food and Drug Administration. Any advice and/or products mentioned should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any illness. Consult your healthcare professional if you have a health condition, are pregnant, or are currently taking medication before using any products or applying any of this information. Iris Healing Arts, LLC and Heather Michet cannot be held responsible for the misuse of essential oils, products, or any of the therapeutic methods presented herein.