For the last in our series of blogs about plants that can help you kick-start the New Year, we’ve chosen one of nature’s multi-tasking plants - rosemary.
Firstly a bit of clarification about the different types of extracts you can get from rosemary. Rosemary is of course is a well known culinary and medicinal herb with a strong, woody, fresh, herby aroma that you can easily grow in your garden and pick the leaves to use in flavouring your food. In skin care, rosemary can be distilled to extract the essential oil or an extract can be made of the whole herb either by an infusion of the leaves, or by a process called super-critical CO2 extraction, a cold process which conserves all the precious constituents of the whole herb. This is the form we prefer for its purity, freshness and consistent high potency.
You can make your own rosemary infusion at home as a hair tonic to refresh dull, lifeless hair. Margaret suggests infusing a few rosemary leaves in hot water, or adding 2 - 3 drops of the essential oil to warm water as a final rinse after washing your hair to leave it shiny and freshly scented. Rosemary has an affinity for the hair and scalp as it stimulates the circulation to the hair follicles promoting a healthy scalp and hair growth, which is why we use rosemary herb in our Gentle Herb Shampoo and Tea Tree and Herb Shampoo. Rosemary herb also contains powerful antioxidants and other bioactive constituents which have aroused particular scientific interest for neutralising cancer-causing and skin-aging free-radicals. These antioxidants not only help to protect skin but also help to maintain the freshness of other precious plant ingredients, which is why the fresh organic herb features widely in our products including our Organic Avocado Replenishing Cream.
The essential oil of rosemary has additional unique characteristics. Extracted by steam distillation of the leaves and flowers, it is known to boost mental clarity and relieve mental fatigue - just the thing when your concentration is flagging and great for students at exam time! In fact, Shakespeare remarked that rosemary is for ‘remembrance’, relating to its reputation to sharpen concentration and improve the memory. Its ability to relieve mental and physical fatigue makes rosemary a key ingredient in our Revive essential oil blend.
Rosemary essential oil aids the circulation and removal of metabolic waste products and lactic acid build up from exercised muscles. Simply add 2-3 drops of rosemary essential oil or 4-5 drops of a blend like Revive to a bath or alternatively, massage Muscle Ease directly into the affected parts for effective relief of muscular aches and pains.