Spice Up Your Recipes, Perk Up Your Health – Summer 2010 Catalog

Spice Up Your Recipes, Perk Up Your Health

The Two Faces of Rosemary

by Mary Ewing266976_10100645769584420_903335_o

I once made a horrible false accusation. When I was fourteen, I blamed my migraine headaches on an innocent herb. At a resort I visited in California with my family, sweet-scented Rosemary plants grew everywhere and hotel chefs seasoned many house specialties with the tantalizing flavor. While there, I experienced the first migraine headache of my life and accused Rosemary of causing it. For fifteen years, I held a grudge-until I learned the delectable truth.

True Love from False Hate

At a church small group dinner one night, I was enthralled with one particular potluck dish. I raved to the young lady who had made it that I could eat her meal every day and never tire of it. She winked as she told me her secret ingredient was Rosemary-and I nearly melted onto the floor, fearing the onset of a migraine. When no headache attacked, I absolved Rosemary of my misconception and welcomed the spice back into my life!

Once I opened my mind to the truth about Rosemary, I not only looked up every culinary use I could find, but I also started reading about the plant itself and the various ways to use Rosemary in day to day life-especially Rosemary Essential Oil. The first night I discovered the oil, I stayed up four hours past my bedtime because I just could not stop reading. I was fascinated at the vast benefits attributed to this divine-tasting herb.

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Now there’s nothing much more comforting to my tummy than potatoes au gratin with Rosemary tucked between the layers of potatoes and cheese. Actually, Rosemary in just about any stew or stock is such a delightful earthy addition, that I will not turn it down. And thanks to Beeyoutiful, there is now another wonderful form through which to indulge in the splendors of Rosemary. Rosemary Essential Oil not only captures the cozy, warm feelings that I get when eating my favorite potatoes, it also harnesses the power of the versatile Rosemary plant, putting it in an easy-to-use form. Let me tell you why it’s a must for all households.

How Does It Work?

The Rosemary plant has many different components that combine to produce its basic anti-inflammatory and tonic functions. It strengthens tissues in the body to help them perform normally, and it offers antiseptic and stimulant properties.

A powerful antioxidant, Rosmarinic acid is one of the primary components in the oil. Antioxidants scour your body, finding free radicals (molecules in the body that have lost an important electron). These free radicals are highly unstable and must find a molecular victim from which to “steal” an electron. Retrieving the electron damages the healthy cells in the body but antioxidants bind with free radicals, neutralizing them and eliminating the threat they pose to your healthy cells. The presence of Rosmarinic acid has been said to decrease the risk of cancer, slow the affects of aging, and reduce inflammation in the body.

Another key component in Rosemary is diosmetin. Diosmetin is flavone, also an antioxidant. It is known to help strengthen capillaries as well as other parts of the cardiovascular system and has been reported to increase circulation and possibly increase low blood pressure. Diosmetin seems to target the head and blood vessels that lead to the head. As a result, it is recommended for helping to increase circulation in the brain and surrounding areas. This can have the effect of enhancing memory, decreasing depression, elevating moods, and reducing headaches.

Rosmaricine is the analgesic part of the Rosemary plant. From sore muscles to throbbing headaches to sprains, this powerful ingredient may bring quick relief and, coupled with the increased circulation, it can help in the healing of injuries.

How Do I Use Rosemary?

My research about Rosemary suggests that it can be used for just about everything from antibacterial agent to sore muscle analgesic to headache-reliever to respiratory health-improver to anxiety-reducer to digestive aid. When I received my first order of my new favorite oil, I used it for a horrible sinus infection coupled with lung congestion. I had read that the anti-inflammatory properties can help open inflamed nasal passages and decrease congestion. Also, the antiseptic properties can help the immune system fight off the offending virus or bacteria. So I pulled out my bottle and started mixing (this used to scare my husband, but now he likes the results and no longer trembles at another one of my concoctions).

First, I got my oil-mixing bowl (the rule here is: always use glass, never plastic). I use a small Pyrex bowl that I found at the thrift store but any small mason jar, glass or ceramic bowl, or similar container will work. I prefer a designated container for mixing, in order to avoid accidentally consuming the full strength oils if I were to confuse the containers.

Next, I decided on my recipe and gathered my oils. For a respiratory formula, I used Rosemary Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, Clary Sage Essential Oil, Eucalyptus and Lemon Essential Oils. I used 10 to 15 drops of each in the bowl. I mixed well to combine all the oils. Then I transferred this mixture into a dark glass jar and labeled it accordingly. It smelled heavenly and I was able to breathe very soon after first inhaling it.

I used my mixture in three ways. First, I diffused it in the room at twenty minute intervals throughout the day. Second, I mixed several drops of it with about a teaspoon of Sweet Almond Oil and rubbed it on my feet, chest, and shoulders. Third, I added about ten drops to a warm bath (this not only helped me breathe, but it also helped relax my sore muscles).

The results? You may be surprised to have me tell you I was disappointed. But it was only because my expectations were wrong. I didn’t understand the wonderful way this Rosemary treatment was meant to work.

I had some fantastic immediate relief from symptoms but, overall, I felt as sick as ever. I was hoping it would knock the opponent I was fighting from here to last Sunday, but it didn’t. Or so I thought. Slowly, I realized what was happening to me. Typically, my colds last a week to ten days with a sore throat at the onset progressing to a runny nose and then a battle of congestion. This time, I had the sore throat and the faucet nose and felt horrible. I was terribly discouraged-until about 36 hours after my Rosemary-based treatment when I woke up completely and utterly well. No congestion, no sore throat, no overall misery. I had been sick for less than three days, rather than the week it usually takes to recover. I was amazed and by the end of the day, I was outside mixing heavy bags of manure, peat moss, and vermiculite for our garden without a single sneeze, sniffle, or sign of a cold. I was convinced!

More Ways to Keep Rosemary Busy

I was even more in love with my new bottle of Rosemary Essential Oil than ever! I could not wait to use it on other ailments. I combined several drops with Jojoba Oil and rubbed it into my shoulders after gardening. The massage oil not only felt great, but it smelled good, too.

In addition to the pain relief for the sore shoulders and the increased blood flow to the brain, it is also said to help relax the user by reducing anxiety and eliminating insomnia. It’s a great before-bedtime massage oil. My youngest, Maggie, loves the smell as much as I do. She begs me to get the bottle out just so she can smell it. I massage her feet and back with it when she is restless. (Note: Never use the oil full strength on your skin, and always test for sensitivity, especially on a child.)

For those of you that suffer from headaches, be sure and keep your bottle close by your side. Dabbing a few drops on your temples can help eliminate the pain immediately. Remember that the oil should never go near your eyes and you should always dilute it with a carrier oil prior to use.

On a dull day, whether due to a cloudy day or a blue temperament, combine several drops of Rosemary Essential Oil with Lemon Essential Oil for a pick me up! You can combine it with a carrier oil and rub it on your wrists, shoulders, temples, and behind your ears. The pleasant aroma doubles as a delightful perfume. Or add it to your infuser for a household mood makeover.

Having Beeyoutiful’s Rosemary Essential Oil has made it so convenient to use in my daily life that I, literally, do not leave home without it. I use an old cloth glasses case inherited from a great grandmother to carry the Rosemary bottle in my purse, ready to pull out if I or any of my friends has need. It also pairs well with many of the other oils that Beeyouitful carries. Obviously, I no longer have any angst about using this wonderful herb. I appreciate the beauty of both faces of my friend, Rosemary.

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