Invigorating. Refreshing. Stimulating. These are the first three words that come to mind when I think of Rosemary Essential Oil. When I first started exploring aromatherapy, Rosemary Oil took me by surprise. I was expecting it to smell closely to the freshly cut herb, but Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosmarinus officinalis var camphor) smells much more camphorous. As with other oils that contain camphor, Rosemary is helpful in massage and arthritis blends and can help improve circulation. It is useful for respiratory issues and makes a good expectorant/decongestant.
Rosemary has an excellent reputation for oily skin/acne, scalp and hair care, and I have repeatedly read that Rosemary Oil can be helpful with alopecia (hair loss).
Rosemary is quite stimulating and is heralded for help in memory retention and staying focused and alert. Rosemary is a good choice for blends for driving long distances and for long study sessions.
Several important Rosemary chemotypes are worth paying close attention to:
Rosemary Verbenone (Rosmarinus officinalis var verbenone aka Rosmarinus officinalis ct. verbenone) contains less camphor and is widely regarded as being safer to use within topical applications. The aroma is more herbaceous and is preferred by many.
Rosemary Cineole (Rosmarinus officinalis var cineole aka Rosmarinus officinalis ct. cineole) is sometimes preferred for use in respiratory and circulatory issues.
Botanical Name: Rosmarinus officinalis
Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled
Perfumery Note: Middle
Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium - Strong
Aromatic Description: Fresh, herbaceous, sweet, slightly medicinal.
Rosemary Oil Uses: Aching muscles, arthritis, dandruff, dull skin, exhaustion, gout, hair care, muscle cramping, neuralgia, poor circulation, rheumatism. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-67.]
Constituents: Cineole, Pinene, Borneol, Linalol, Alpha-Terpineol, Terpinen-4-ol, Bornyl Acetate, Camphor, Thujone, Camphene, Limonene, Beta-Caryophyllene [Shirley Price, The Aromatherapy Workbook (Hammersmith, London: Thorsons, 1993), 54-5.]
Safety Information: Avoid Rosemary Oil in pregnancy and epilepsy. [Robert Tisserand, Essential Oil Safety (United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone, 1995), 165.]
Avoid Rosemary Oil in cases of hypertension. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 209.]
Important Note: The essential oil information provided within the Essential Oil Properties & Profiles area is intended for educational purposes only.
General Safety Information: Do not take any essential oils internally without consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use essential oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and give children only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using essential oils with children. A skin patch test should be conducted prior to using an essential oil that you've never used before. Instructions on conducting a skin patch test and more safety information can be found by visiting the Essential Oil Safety Information page. For very in-depth information on essential oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Tony Balacs.