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By April Punsalan for The Island Eye News

April Punsalan

Rosemary is a powerhouse herb. The name rosemary comes from the Latin ros (meaning dew) and marinus (meaning sea), which translates to “dew of the sea.” Rosemary is a popular landscape plant given its drought tolerance and resilience to pests. Hence why rosemary occurs in almost every shopping parking lot, median strip, and garden across the island. Despite its local abundance, few people know how to use this amazing herb known for remembrance, friendship, and love. 

Since the time of ancient Greece (about 1,000 BC), rosemary has been used to improve memory and concentration. Students wore rosemary garlands while studying for exams. During the 14th and 15th centuries, dried rosemary was burned to purify and cleanse the air during the black plague. Also, during this time, rosemary herb bundles were worn as a necklace and sniffed when traveling to questionable areas. The historical use of rosemary has been backed by science. 

Rosemary is loaded with phytochemicals that fight bacteria and viruses. Also, rosemary is loaded with oils, resins, and antioxidants that can improve your memory, mood, and wellbeing. 

Externally, rosemary can relieve inflammation, bruises, sores, and cellulite. I could go on and on about rosemary’s benefits, but let’s move on to how you can use this herb today. The easiest way to incorporate rosemary into your life is by making tea. Add one tablespoon of fresh or two teaspoons of dried rosemary to one cup of hot water. Steep for 10-15 minutes. Rosemary tea can relieve headaches, tiredness, and improve blood circulation and concentration. Need I say more? If that wasn’t enough for you to grab your pruners and head to the nearest rosemary bush, what about making a strong rosemary tea to add to your bath. Rosemary contains oils that stimulate blood flow underneath the skin. A rosemary bath is stimulating, uplifting, and the perfect remedy to a long tiring day. One last tip, if you get a cold this fall, prepare a rosemary steam facial to cleanse the sinuses. Remember, and rosemary will help you do just that, all you need to get started is a few cups of water, several rosemary sprigs, and a heat source. I hope you find the time to try a cup of rosemary tea, a rosemary bath, or a steam facial. You won’t regret it. 

April Punsalan is a botanist, ethnobotanist, and herbalist, dedicated to teaching you how to improve your health with plant medicine. She is the founder of Yahola Herbal School. Contact her at or reach out on Instagram @ yaholaherbschool. 

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