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erbal Medicine Materia Medica


© David L. Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH

Rosmarinus officinalis

Habitat: Native to the Mediterranean region, cultivated widelyelsewhere.

Collection: The leaves may be gathered throughout the summer but are attheir best during flowering time.

Part Used: Leaves and twigs.

Constituents: * Volatile oil: composed of borneol, camphene, camphor,cineole, limonene, linalool, isobutyl acetate, 3-octanone,terpineol, verbenol etc.

* Flavonoids: apigenin, diosmetin, diosmin, genkwanin, 6-methoxygenkwanin,

hispidulin, sinensetin, luteolin and derivatives

* Rosmarinic acid and other phenolic acids

* Diterpenes such as picrosalvin (= carnosol), carnosolic acid androsmariquinone

* Miscellaneous; rosmaricine, the triterpenes ursolic acid, oleanolic acid & derivatives.

Actions: Carminative, anti-spasmodic, anti-depressive, rubefacient, anti-microbial, emmenagogue.

Indications: Rosemary is a circulatory and nervine stimulant, which in addition to the toning and calming effect on the digestion is used where psychological tension is present. This may show for instance as flatulent dyspepsia, headache or depression associated with debility. Externally it may be used to ease muscular pain, sciatica and neuralgia. It acts as a stimulant to both the hair follicles and circulation in the scalp and thus may be helpful inpremature baldness. The oil is most effective here.

Priest & Priest tell us that it is a "diffuse stimulant andrelaxing tonic with special influence upon stomach and cerebrum. It soothes the nervous system and is tonic to the vaso-motor function and peripheral circulation. It is a suitable tonic for the elderly" They give the following specific indications: atonic conditions of the stomach; gastric headache; adolescent hypotonia, asthenia with pallid complexion; circulatory weakness following stress or illness.

Combinations: For depression it may be used with Skullcap, Kola and Oats.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water ontol-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse in a covered container for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. Tincture: take l-2 ml of the tincture three times a day.

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About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary......more
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