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Rosemary and Well-Being
Rich in volatile oils, rosemary is an aromatic herb with beneficial medicinal properties. While the dried leaves and twigs can, of course, be infused in hot water and taken as a tea beneficial for the digestive system, depression, and circulation, rosemary may also be infused into bath water.
Soaking in a rosemary bath is a wonderful way to enjoy the health benefits of this herb. With anti-spasmodic and rubefacient properties, this aromatic plant is one of the best herbs to use for muscle aches and pains. It relieves muscle tension while also drawing blood from deep within the body to the skin. Also, as a general stimulant to the circulatory system bathing in rosemary is beneficial for improving overall well-being — good blood flow means plenty of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood is flowing through the body. Increasing blood flow to the brain it may be helpful for treating headaches naturally and improving memory.
Rosemary also has astringent and anti-microbial properties which can benefit the skin. The astringent action contracts tissue, toning the skin and preventing sagging. As an anti-microbial herb the volatile oils in rosemary help to cleanse the body.
Soaking in bath water that has been infused with rosemary, either the herb or the essential oil, can also benefit your state of mind. Rosemary stimulates not only the circulatory system but the nervous system as well. This helps to ease tension. Rosemary also has a gentle antidepressant effect.
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Using either the actual herb or the essential oil, which is a concentrated natural extraction of rosemary's volatile oils, you can make a therapeutic bath at home. This allows you to soak in the medicinal benefits of rosemary, light a few candles, and relax.
Basic Rosemary Herbal Bath Recipe:
- 1/2 cup dried rosemary or 2 cups of fresh rosemary
- Muslin bag
Draw very hot bath water. Wrap the rosemary in the muslin bag and drop into the water. Allow the herbs to infuse into the water for about fifteen minutes while the water cools to a tolerable level, then soak for about thirty minutes. For a bath to relieve tension, stress, and headaches use equal parts of rosemary and lavender. For a more cleansing herbal bath use rosemary with peppermint. For depression use rosemary with skullcap or oats.
Another method to prepare an herbal bath is to make the infusion on the stove and then add to bath water. Use the same amount of herbs and steep in a pot of water for about ten minutes.
Basic Rosemary Aromatherapy Bath Recipe:
- 1 tablespoon of jojoba, sweet almond, avocado, or olive oil
- 8 drops of rosemary essential oil
Add the essential oil to the vegetable oil to make a rosemary bath oil. Add to bath water and swirl around just before getting in. Soak for twenty to thirty minutes. You can also add the essential oil to one cup of epsom salts, sea salt, or a cup of milk instead of the oil. Rosemary essential oil blends well in the bath with lavender, peppermint, marjoram, and clary sage. If blending essential oils for your bath only use a total of eight to ten drops, such as four of rosemary essential oil and four of clary sage. Essential oils are highly concentrated and only a small amount is necessary to enjoy the beneficial properties.
A rosemary bath is an enjoyable and therapeutic experience. Take one to sooth nerves, ease tired muscles, and improve your well-being. Rosemary is excellent for both the mind and body so enjoy this pleasing, healing herb.
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Balch, Phyllis A. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).
Hoffmann, David. "The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies." (Element Books, 1996).
Page, Linda. "Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone." Eleventh Edition (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
photo by Kitay
photo by Shane Vaughn
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