Rosemary is one of the most-lauded herbs we encountered along our travels throughout the Americas. We saw both Mediterranean rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) and Caribbean “rosemary” (Croton linearis – Jacq.). The former will likely be more widely available to you, no matter where you live. Though they are not in the same family, they do have similar healing properties. This woody, perennial herb has fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. Caribbean rosemary has longer leaves that are fewer in number.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Western and Central Mediterranean, California, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, cultivated elsewhere
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Tonic, astringent, digestive, carminative, hepatoprotective, antibacterial, diaphoretic, stomachic, nervine, rubefacient, abortifacient, hypotensive, emmenagogue, insecticidal, expectorant, and used for hair loss, skin conditions, dandruff, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, headache, gout, cough, gallbladder conditions, anorexia, toothache, rheumatism, sore muscles, fibromyalgia, menstrual pain, PMS
For all conditions, place 1 cup fresh or
3 teaspoons dried rosemary in a small pot. Add 3 cups water. Bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and steep for 10 minutes. Drink as hot as you can. Cooled, this same decoction is used to treat hair loss, dandruff, and to make hair shiny. It is also used as a skin wash. For congestion and coughs, place a towel over the head, and inhale deeply as the decoction boils.
HERBAL HAIR INFUSION
Makes 6 treatments
This herbal hair rinse is great for removing build-up, flakes, and for making your hair shiny. It can also be used to prevent hair loss. It is not recommended for use on dry, damaged hair. You will need to prepare the infusion two hours before use. It is best used on brunettes, as the infusion can temporarily darken their hair, as well as towels with which it comes into contact. You will need a storage bottle for this recipe. An old shampoo bottle (washed, of course) works great.
2 cups distilled water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
1 tablespoon fresh chopped nettle
1 tablespoon fresh chopped lavender
5 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil
• In a small saucepan, bring the water and vinegar to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat.
• Add the herbs, cover, and steep for 2 hours.
• Strain, and then stir in the essential oils.
• Carefully pour the infusion into your cleaned shampoo bottle. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Shake the bottle, and then apply approximately
1/4 cup of the infusion to washed or unwashed wet hair. Gently massage into the scalp and hair for
2 to 3 minutes, and then rinse.