My Uses for Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary is certainly one of my favorite oils. Before I tell you my uses, let me tell you a bit about Rosemary herb and essential oil. Rosemary Rosmarinus officianalis herb was most common in the South of France (Provence), Italy, Spain, Tunisia and Dalmatia. At one time, it’s main use was in cooking, infusions into vegetable oils and later, essential oil, which was obtained by steam distillation. The main constituents or chemical components within Rosemary, depending on the chemotype, are pinene, camphene, cineole, borneals, camphors. (1)
There are different chemotypes of Rosemary essential oil. The chemotype of the oil is determined by the components within an oil and for Rosemary, the major chemotypes are mentioned above. There are 3 major chemo types (ct) of Rosemary used for essential oil; ct camphor, ct. verbenone and ct. 1-8 cineole. When purchasing Rosemary essential oil, the chemo type should always be included on the bottle, along with the name and botanical name. Like any essential oil, the safety of the oil is determined by the components within the oil and although some are from the same species, the chemistry can vary. And although we review an oil for it’s major components, it’s the overall chemistry of any oil that makes it therapeutically effective.
With the exception of Rosemary Rosmarinus officianlis ct. 1,8-cineole, the standard dilution rates for Rosemary apply which is 9 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil or unscented lotion. The standard dilution rate for Rosemary is as follows:
Up to 3 months, no oils should be used; 3-24 mnths. 0.5%; 2-6 yrs. 2%; 6-15 yrs. 3%, 15+ is 5% and for those that are pregnant, 2%. This would be maximum dilution rates. When blending, start at a lower rate to find the threshold that best suites your needs. This especially applies to children and the eldery. Their skin is very senstive and in the very young, their respiratory system is more delicate than others.
Ct 1-8 cineole is found in many many oils, up to a possible 270 oils, and it offers remarkable therapeutic properties including as an expectorant, hypotensive, central nervous system stimulant although sedative as well, great anesthetic, helps in opening broncial airways and many more properties that I will cover here. (2)
Dr. Jean Valnet continues that Rosemary’s therapeutic properties also include as a general cardiac stimulant, stimulant to the adrenal cortex restorative, a cerbral stimulant and more. Rosemary also offers skin healing properties for wounds and burns, as a parasiticde and even as an aphrodisiac. (3)
Because 1-8 cineole presents a risk of negative interefence in younger undeveloped respiratory systems, Tisserand advises caution with Rosemary 1-8, cineole chemotype. The recommended maximum dilution rates for 1,8-cineole are; for 3-24 months, 0.5%; 2-6 yrs. 1%; 6-15 yrs, 2%; 15+, 5% and those pregnant, 2%. Again, I’d like to re-iterate that this is maximum use to stay in the “safety zone”.
Now that we’ve covered the safety of Rosemary essential oil, along with your essential oil, Rosemary herb is one of the strongest herbs for the liver, gallbladder and colon and has no safety concerns. It’s important to chat a bit about the herb since it works well with the essential oil, internally and externally. For internal use, you can steep 1 tablespoon of rosemary leaves in boiling water. Leave to sit for at least 10 minutes. Drink one cup after each meal.
It's not advised to use essential oils internally without proper training in pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of essential oils which includes learning to use the proper dosage, application (depending on diagnosis), duration of time, gathering a case history on client, using oils that are considered “safe” for internal use, knowing the cause (not just symptoms). Methods of application for internal use can include capsules filled with honey and suggested amount of essential oil. For Rosemary, 3-4 drops twice a day is the suggested maximum per day. Anymore can create adverse effects. Eat a proper meal when taking internally. If treating lower bowel issues such as IBS, you will need enteric capsules to make it to the lower bowel where IBS occurs.
*I encourage you to seek the advice of a Qualified Aromatherapist trained in Aromatic Medicine before attempting internal use.*
Wounds: Rosemary has shown to be a cerebral stimulant, creating more blood flow. When using Rosemary in your wound healing product, it helps to increase more blood flow to the wounded area. This is due to the component Camphor, present in all Rosemary chemotypes, from a small percentage up to over 30% of the oil found in the Rosemary chemotype (ct) Camphor. The wound healing component in Rosemary is Borneol, a component found under the essential oil chemical family Monoterpenols. This component helps to lessen the healing time and has shown great results in healing the scarring as well. Along with other wound healing oils, you’ll cut your healing time down dramatically. Once your wound has scabbed over and is sealed, you can begin using your product. When choosing your Rosemary, look for the GC/MS report and the two mentioned components for wound healing. Many company’s carry various chemotypes. Always use companies that provide these reports on their website. (4)
Wound Healing Blend
One-ounce Tamanu oil
10 drops Rosemary Rosmarinus officianalis ct. Verbenone
7 drops Helichrysum Helichrysum italicum
3 drops Jasmine absolute Jasminum grandiflorum
Directions: Apply up to 4 times a day, especially after shower and before bed. Duration of time depends on the depth of the wound and scarring,
Blood pressure: Because of Rosemary’s ability to stimulate the circulatory system, it stands to reason that it would assist with the levels of blood pressure. As stated in referenced article, “The increase achieved in blood pressure values after administration of Rosemary essential oil is clinically significant. The results obtained from this prospective clinical trial prove the effectiveness of statistical methodology as a new approach to explain the anti-hypotensive effect of rosemary essential oil and its relationship with the improvement in patients' quality of life”. (5)
Immune Support: One way to improve your immune system is getting your lymphatic system and circulatory system’s functioning correctly. Rosemary’s stimulating properties can help them do just that. By doing a lymphatic massage and cleanse, and along with a clean diet and exercise, you can improve your immune system dramatically. Another important step in keeping your immune system healthy is keeping your mouth and throat wet. Drinking water is not only important in keeping our insides healthy, but it also keeps our mouth moist. I dry mouth can lead to bacterial infections such as candida, or mouth sores. This in turn can weaken our immune systems, especially after being ill. Many people who have gone through chemo and/or radiation suffer from mouth issues and are encouraged to keep their mouths moist and bacteria free.
Gallbladder support: Essential oils are not always the way to go. Don’t forget about the power of the herb. Per Jean Valnet, to protect the gallbladder, this is done through Rosemary “tonics”, which is the herbs steeped and a tea or tonic drank. (6) Along with following the directions given in the beginning of the article on steeping Rosemary leaves, massaging or stimulating the vagus nerve with Rosemary essential oil can ease inflammation. The vagus nerve extends from the brain stem to the lowest viscera of the abdomen and very much beyond and massaging it can bring tremendous relief. The vagus nerve travels through multiple organs such as the lungs and the heart, spreading its network to the tongue, throat, intestines and glands. The vagus nerve is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for maintaining unconscious actions such as keeping the heart rate constant and instigating the breakdown of food. But the gallbladder? That’s right, it includes the gallbladder and plays a crucial role in the functioning our biliary system. The nerve helps control the contraction of the gallbladder, stimulates the digestive system and gallbladder. and influences the production and release of bile into the gallbladder. If you suspect a more serious issue, consult your physician. Try the following for a comforting massage.
One-ounce Jojoba oil or carrier of choice
3 drops Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis ct. 1,8 cineole
2 drops Lavender (angustifolia)
4 drops Roman Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile
Colds and Flu symptoms are not pleasant, but Rosemary can help. One of the greatest benefits of Rosemary essential oil is its function as an expectorant. Whether you are still suffering from the cold or flu or remnants of it, an expectorant will help to clear out the left behind mucous build up. An expectorant works to release sputum, phlegm and mucous from our airways allowing us to breath more freely as well as relieve infection.
One-ounce unscented lotion or carrier oil
8 drops Ravintsara Cinnamomum camphora ct. 1,8 cineole
6 drops Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus
4 drops Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis ct. 1,8 cineole
Blend and apply to chest and neck area as often as needed. This also goes great in a personal inhaler. Inhalers area a great way to get right to the source. Using along-side a topical application could cut your healing time down. You can leave out the carrier and make an inhaler which is great for on the go or needing a safer application if you have small children around.
There is nothing more stimulating for the circulatory systems than Rosemary essential oil. After a busy day, gently massage your legs to increase circulation and ease pain and any inflammation. If you tend to be on the cold side, by increasing your circulation, the body becomes warmer. Try a good overall massage with the following for arterial, venous and capillary stimulation:
One-Ounce carrier of choice
5 drops Rosemary Rosmarinus officianalis (Ct of choice)
5 drops Petitgrain Citrus aurantium var. Amara or Bigaradia
3 drops Helichrysum Helichrysum italicum
Rosemary is excellent in relieving headaches, including migraines by not only stimulating the circulatory system, increasing blood supply to the area, it also stimulates the central nervous system, relieving tension and headaches. You can try combining the following with a carrier oil or unscented lotion and rub on your temples and base of your neck. You can also add the following to an inhaler to bring almost instant relief. A few drops on a warm compress (away from skin) applied across the forehead will also ease pain.
One-ounce Unscented lotion, carrier oil or one Inhaler
6 drops Frankincense Boswellia carterii
5 drops Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis ct. verbenone
4 drops Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus
1 drop Jasmine Jasminum grandiflorum
Rosemary, no matter the chemotype, has peripheral antinociceptive activity, which
means it can reduce sensitivity to pain (analgesic). Rosemary is also a strong
anti-inflammatory and along with its well-known ability to stimulate the circulatory system, it
brings great relief to sore, tight muscles. Try the following after your
workout at the gym, in the yard, running or whatever your workout is. Use after shower and
before bedtime. My recommendation for carrier oils are Tamanu or Trauma oil, both
available at most essential oil websites.
One-ounce Carrier oil of choice
5 drops Rosemary (camphor or 1,8 cineole ct.)
3 drops Black Pepper Piper nigrum
6 drops Cypress Cupressus sempervirens
4 drops Ginger Zingiber officinale
As with sore muscles, Rosemary can bring great relief to inflammation due to arthritis, specifically Rheumatoid Arthritis. (7) The oils in the previous blend are also recommended for Rheumatoid arthritis. For daily minor aches, consider reducing the blend from 2% to 1%. To do this, use 2 ounces of carrier oil instead of one ounce.
The next use for Rosemary is assisting with the associated symptoms from damage to your peripheral nerves. Neuropathy can cause weakness, inflammation, numbness and pain in your hands and feet as well as other parts of your body. Stimulation to the central nervous system may bring relief from the various symptoms of neuropathy. As with previous uses, stimulation is key to keeping our bodies functioning more efficiently and in our favor. Use the previous blends or try the following blend.
One-ounce carrier of choice
6 drops Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis ct. 1,8 cineole or ct. camphor
4 drops Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus
5 drops Sweet Marjoram Origanum majorana
3 drops Lemon Citrus limon
My next use for Rosemary essential oil is for acne. Rosemary has shown to enhance the free radical scavenging activity in the body simply by inhaling it. (8)
This can decrease free radical induced skin damage. Rosemary is also long been used as an astringent. Rosemary will help to regulate the oil secretions of the hair follicles.
For skincare products, I recommend keeping your percentage at a maximum of 1% or 9 drops of essential oil to carrier.
I’d like to say an essential oil can rid us pf cellulite, but no product can get rid of cellulite. Cellulite is a multifactorial condition and can be stubborn to most treatments. Things that can lessen the appearance include muscle building, tanning, diet, vitamins and plenty of hydration. Massaging the skin with stimulating and skin healing essential oils can also greatly improve the appearance of your skin and lessen the appearance of cellulite. Use any of the previous blends which have multi-factual uses. However, replace when treating cellulite, use Rosemary chemotype ‘Verbenone’.
From injuries and surgeries, I have many scars, and this is one of my favorites uses for Rosemary verbenone. Rosemary can help to regenerate connective tissues, reducing scarring from stretch marks and other wounds. To increase its effectiveness, blend with skin healing (cicatrisant) oils. Use the following 3-4 times a day for at least 6-8 weeks. If your skin becomes irritated, stop immediately. I encourage you to use the suggested carrier oils for skin healing.
One-ounce Tamanu or Trauma oil
3 drops Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis ct. verbenone
2 drops Frankincense Boswellia carterii
3 drops Helichrysum Helichrysum itlicum
2 drops Lavender Lavendula angustifolia
Dandruff is a condition that may be caused by one or more factors including a dry scalp, oily or greasy skin (seborrheic dermatitis), over or under shampooing, eczema, psoriasis or other similar skin issues or sensitivity to hair products (contact dermatitis). Dandruff can also be a result of a fungal infection. Although caused by many different issues, Rosemary has proven to be effective against dandruff. When blending with your shampoo, consider Rosemary ct. verbenone and add no more than 9 drops per ounce of shampoo. My recommendation is look for an unscented organic base shampoo that you can add your oil to.
One of the loved uses for Rosemary, notably Rosemary Ct. Camphor, is for hair growth, specifically baldness/alopecia. Keeping dilution rates in mind, adding to your shampoo as prementioned will help encourage hair growth. Try the following blend to add to your shampoo.
3 drops Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis ct. camphor
3 drops Clary Sage Salvia sclarea
3 drops Thyme Thymus vulgaris ct. linalol
3 drops Sandalwood Santalum album or Santalum paniculatum
Bronchial issues can truly be helped with this oil. Breathing in Rosemary allows the oil to penetrate the bronchial tubes, helping to ease inflammation and discomfort. Along with diffusing and the use of inhalers, you can do a steam. To do a steam, bring about a quart of water to a boil and turn it off. Allow boil to stop and carefully transfer to a heat resistant boil. Add no more than 2 drops of Rosemary essential oil. Using a small hand towel and keeping your eyes closed, cover your head and breathe in the steam. Cautious not to burn yourself. Take deep cleansing breaths. After you can let the water stand in the room the help cleanse the air.
In the mornings, I love to inhale Rosemary to get me going. I have dogs, so diffusing it is out of the question which is why I love to use personal Inhalers. Because of the stimulating effects that Rosemary can have on the circulatory system and the central nervous system, it stands to reason and has been shown that it will help improve our cognitive awareness. (8)
The most effective method of application is through direct inhalation. I especially like to use my inhaler when studying for chemistry exams to keep my memory sharp.
*Consult your physician before you use rosemary EO if you are currently taking any medication for conditions like high blood pressure, edema or diabetes. It also can interact badly with lithium and blood thinners.*
Rosemary is one the best essential oils for beating fatigue. We know Rosemary is stimulating which makes it great for mornings to “wake” up your brain by clearing it and energizing your body at the same time. I recommend the inhaler method here. When making inhalers, use no more than 15 drops or less if required. Going over the safe yet effective amount in inhalers will not bring better results, however, can lead to negative reactions. Rosemary in your diffuser in the mornings or any time of the day is another way to apply your oils. Avoid using diffusers in public settings since many can be allergic to any essential oil.
Thanks for visiting me-Warmly, Rehne
The Practice of Aromatherapy, Dr. Jean Valnet, Rosmarinus officinalis; Pg. 177
The Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual, Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, Vol. II; Pg.493
The Practice of Aromatherapy, Dr. Jean Valnet, Properties; Pg. 177
Essential Oil Safety, Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, 2nd ed., 2007; pg. 407-407
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24269249 Effectiveness of Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil as anti-hypotensive agent in primary hypotensive patients and its influence on health-related quality of life.
The Practice of Aromatherapy, Dr. Jean Valnet, Rosmarinus officinalis; Pg. 179
The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Salvatore Battaglia, 3rd. Ed., Vol. I; pg. 509
The Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual, Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, Vol. II; Pg.373
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