Rosemary: The Timeless Herb of Remembrance and Healing


Rosemary, a fragrant herb, has been revered for centuries for its multifaceted benefits. From its Latin origin meaning “dew of the sea” to its widespread use in culinary, spiritual, and healing practices, rosemary has woven itself into the fabric of various cultures. This article delves deep into the world of rosemary, exploring its history, cultivation techniques, and the myriad ways it touches our lives


It is from the Latin, ros, dew, and marinus, sea hence the common name dew of the sea. Other common names it goes by are Compass Plant, Compass Weed, Elf Leaf, Guardrobe, Incensier (Old French), Libanotis (Greek), Polar Plant, Rosmarinus coronarium, Rosemary, Sea Dew.


Rosemary is hardy in Zones 8-10, elsewhere it is container grown and brought in for the winter.

It thrives in full sun but will tolerate light shade in well-drained soil.

It can be grown from seed but germination is extremely slow. New plants are best started by rooting stem cuttings.

When planting in a garden space the new plants 2 to 3 feet apart. If growing in a container choose one that just fits the size of the root ball because it does best when crowded.

Indoor rosemary needs at least four hours of direct sunlight or twelve hours of artificial light to thrive.

Never let it dry out completely but allow it to become moderately dry between deep waterings. Rosemary leaves can be cut at any time but thier flavor is best just before flowering.

When used in the garden it is a companion to the cabbage family, beans, carrots and sage. It has the ability to deter the cabbage moth, bean beetles and carrot flies.

Place it in books and drawers to repel moths.


The ancients were well acquainted with rosemary which was associated with remembrance, fidelity and love. It has always been used in witchcraft and has many legends attached with its history.

It was used at weddings as well as funerals, as incense in religious ceremonies and for decking churches and banquet halls at festivals. One legend claims that a man who is not sensitive to the scent of the aromatic herb will never be truly able to love a woman.

The Treasury of Botany says: ‘There is a vulgar belief in Gloucestershire and other counties, that Rosemary will not grow well unless where the mistress is “master”; and so touchy are some of the lords of creation upon this point, that we have more than once had reason to suspect them of privately injuring a growing rosemary in order to destroy this evidence of their want of authority.’

Sir Thomas More wrote: ‘As for Rosmarine, I lett it runne all over my garden walls, not onlie because my bees love it, but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance, and, therefore, to friendship; whence a sprig of it hath a dumb language that maketh it the chosen emblem of our funeral wakes and in our buriall grounds.’

Culinary Uses

Rosemary is popular as an aromatic and flavorful culinary seasoning. It is available whole, ground or even fresh and is excellent with lamb or pork.

Spiritual Properties and Uses in Magic

Rosemary has the property of opening one’s heart to the part of all of us that is still child-like and innocent. It is strong yet delicate and brings happiness and contentment. Smelling the fragrance and bathing in an infusion of rosemary is said to preserve youthfulness and to bring success.

When placed in the bedroom rosemary drives away nightmares and ensures a good sleep, it will protect the sleeper from all harm. It is used as a charm against the evil eye and has exorcising qualities.

Rosemary is one of the most ancient of the incenses and can be used as a substiture for frankincense. When it is burned it emits purifying vibrations that will rid an area of negativity prior to performing magic. If used as an incense it enhances the sacredness of any occasion.

When using holy water take a sprig of rosemary and sprinkle the water around with it.

Wearing or burning this herb when divining will help the mind to be clear and the heart to be open.

Wash the hands in an infusion before healing work and the leaves mixed with Juniper berries are burned to promote healing.

Rosemary has long been used in love and lust potions, it preserves love.

When planted at the entrance of your home it will impart an aura of protection to all who are present, some even say it will keep thieves away.

If you wish to receive knowledge burn rosemary inhaling the smoke even the very aroma of the plant will improve the mind and the memory.

Healing Properties and Uses

Rosemary increases circulation and slightly raises the blood pressure warming the body from the inside out.

Internally it stimulates the liver and digestion, promotes blood circulation, tones up the blood vessels, invigorates, and increases your awareness. To make a tea of rosemary steep two teaspoons of the dried flower tops in one cup of water for twenty minutes, take one-forth cup up to four times a day.

Use this as a mouthwash for bad breath.

Rosemary tea relieves depression. It will aid in preventing flatulence, bloating and disturbances of the intestines, stomach and gall bladder.

Steep rosemary in white wine for a week and strain, rub the wine on gouty or paralyzed limbs internally it stimulates the brain, nervous system and kidneys. This wine is excellent for those who lack exercise such as the elderly, the convalescent and all who suffer from fatigue.

Use rosemary externally in salves for eczema, wounds, sores and as a treatment for muscle and joint rheumatism.

A bath preparation made from rosemary leaves or oil of rosemary is refreshing and stimulating when one is fatigued and can help prevent headaches.

It will enliven you when added to soap or shampoos.

Rosemary is also smoked as an herbal ‘tobacco’ to relieve asthma and lung conditions.


Pregnant women should not consume rosemary internally. When using rosemary tea the dose should not exceed one cup per day.

Final Words:

The journey of rosemary, from ancient rituals to modern kitchens, is a testament to its enduring allure. Its rich history, combined with its myriad uses, makes it a staple in gardens and homes alike. Whether you’re looking to enhance your culinary creations, embark on spiritual endeavors, or explore its healing properties, rosemary stands as a timeless herb, offering a touch of nature’s magic.