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Rosemary Essential Oil: The Good and the Bad

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Rosemary essential oil, like many other oils, has a long and rich history. As an herb, the rosemary flower it has been more than a simple spice or preservative.  It has also been used in religious practice, in the belief that it will bring about miraculous powers of healing, as well as call forth hidden powers within the human body.

The subtle sweet scent of rosemary has made it a key element in the evolution of European cultures. Brides from the pre-Christian era bore sprigs of rosemary in celebration, and rosemary was thrown into graves as a gesture of farewell in funeral ceremonies. The importance of the flower appears to be largely due to the potency of the rosemary essential oil. The essence of rosemary has been known to bring about alertness, clarity of thought, and in some cultures even enlightenment.

The Effects of Rosemary Essential Oil

Essential oils differ from other oils mainly through the extraction process. Essential oils are taken from natural organisms through a process called steam distillation. Rosemary essential oils, are distilled from the rosemary flower, which flourishes in Europe, particularly in Spain, France, Morocco and Tunisia.

Throughout recorded history, people have acknowledged the healing powers of essential oils. Apothecaries have employed antiquated distillation processes in creating essences that are used to soothe the spirit, as well as daily aches and pains. One of the more traditional uses of rosemary essential oil is the reduction of skin blemishes, such as pimples.

The Dangers of Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary may bring about alertness and inflame the senses, but in so doing it also activates ones nerves. There is something important that must be known about rosemary essential oils: for people with a delicate constitution, this oil is definitely out of bounds.  This oil is neurotoxic, meaning it is poisonous for the nerves.

Pregnant, epileptic and hypertensive people would do well to avoid using this substance in any form. "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance," says Shakespeare's tragic Ophelia; "pray love, remember..." And perhaps it is a good thing that the rosemary flower symbolizes a long memory; the risks of using rosemary essential oil must not be forgotten.

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