In this month’s herb blog, our Brand Ambassador, Tipper Lewis, shares her knowledge of the rosemary herb and the ways it can support wellbeing all year round.
What is Rosemary?
The herb garden is still enjoying its winter slumber, waiting for the return of the warmth and sunshine that most herbs relish. Rosemary is one of my favourites, as it also flowers in the colder months, providing valuable nectar for pollinators and beautiful pale blue flowers for us to enjoy.
Rosemary is a brilliant herb for the garden, or a pot or window box, as there are different types for all spaces; upright, bushy or trailing. Rosmarinus officinalis is the variety used in herbalism, but they can all be used for cooking and making tea.
It was bought to the UK by the Romans and does best if you can mimic the conditions of its native Mediterranean home. It thrives the most in a hot, sunny spot and copes very well with poor soil and drought once established – I have it in my gravel garden where it is loving life.
Rosemary: teas and tinctures
Right now, I’m enjoying a pot of tea made with fresh rosemary, lemon, and ginger slices. It’s one of my go-to herbal teas for winter wellbeing. It’s perfect for chilly days; it’s aromatic, warming, and invigorating, and if I’m feeling out of sorts or bunged up a chilli often makes its way in too. Another plus of herb tea is the aroma as the essential oils within the herbs are released by the warmth. I find rosemary lifts, refreshes, and helps me with focus.
These same uplifting qualities make rosemary a useful tea or tincture if you’re feel low in mind, mood or energy. Depending how you feel you can alter its focus by combining it with other herbs. A favourite tincture blend of mine is rosemary, oat, skullcap, ashwagandha, and ginger, which I use when life gets busy, frenetic and I find myself struggling to keep up.
The mind, and in particular, memory is often associated with rosemary. It was used at funerals as a symbol of remembrance and ancient Greek scholars wore garlands of rosemary when studying to aid their memory. Nowadays, we use the essential oil to naturally support concentration, and our Study Remedy to Roll is great to have on the desk while you work, ready to smooth onto pulse points when you start to flag. A few drops of our Focus Aromatherapy Blend is great popped on a diffuser, and Calming Temple Salve is wonderful to smooth over the temples if feeling foggy-headed or mentally strained.
The invigorating essential oils within rosemary have long been used to naturally aid hair growth, add shine and help condition the scalp . Traditionally used as a hair rinse, it’s often combined with herbs like silica rich horsetail and naturally conditioning comfrey.
This simple recipe uses dried herbs, but you can use fresh Rosemary sprigs if you prefer, with fresh herb use requiring twice the amount.
- 6 tsp rosemary dried herb
- 250ml freshly boiled water
- Raw apple cider vinegar *optional
Place the herbs in a bowl with 250ml of freshly boiled water, and steep covered for 20 minutes
Leave until cool and then strain and pour into a clean spray bottle.
If you wish, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to naturally support scalp health.
Spray the roots of your hair daily.
N.B. This must be kept in the fridge and used within a week – we recommend making small batches every few days for maximum freshness.
We also use rosemary infusion and essential oil in our Invigorating Seaweed Shampoo and Conditioner, and the much-loved Rosemary & Cedarwood Hair Treatment, which always gets rave reviews.
@nealsyardremediesuk Make a Rosemary Hair Treatment with us 🌿You will need.. 6 teaspoons of dried Rosemary, 6-10 drops of Apple Cider Vinegar and 250ml of water. Happy creating 💙#rosemaryoil #rosemarywater #hairgrowth ♬ Primrose Hill - Gibson Roffe
Rosemary: cooking and digestion
I’d like to mention a couple of other uses for this marvellous herb. We often use rosemary cooked with meats or roasted vegetables. Herbs and spices naturally support our digestion, helping us break down and absorb food, and rosemary can be a helpful tea or tincture if feeling bloated, or uncomfortable after food. A post-dinner combination I enjoy is rosemary, fennel seed, chamomile, and peppermint.
If you have a bit of outside space, however small, I would recommend growing rosemary. It’s a herb that keeps on giving, and picking it encourages fresh new growth and makes bushier plants. Big stalks are perfect for roasting with veggies and smaller tips for making tea. You can harvest it year-round, but I always leave the flowers for the bees to enjoy in winter.
Rosemary dried herb and rosemary tincture are available in-store and online. Our teams can help you find some wonderful partners for this all-rounder herb, so you can make your own personalised blend. If that sounds a bit daunting, or you have a specific concern, you can see a herbalist in our therapy rooms for an individual consultation.