I woke up thinking about rosemary today. Yeah, the herb rosemary. Not sure why, I sat thinking about the properties of rosemary. This is an herb of legends. From ancient Greece, Rome and pre-modern Europe, rosemary has been used for healing and holy purposes: longevity, remembrance, fidelity, and protection. It has many healing benefits, which I will share here. But first, let’s look back at how plants were once used for health and healing.
How Rosemary Was Used for Heath and Healing
In Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Native American culture, we look at each plant’s potential for resolving severe cases of spiritual imbalance – not just physical. Things like shape, root structure and where a plant grows says a lot about it’s healing powers.
Here’s the cool part: when you take time to connect with a plant intuitively (those who were most called to this became medicine people), you begin to recognize and appreciate a plant’s potential uses. It was the relationship between medicine person, plant and patient that made all the difference. The resulting “cure” depended heavily upon the creativity and sensitivity of the medicine person AND the faith, belief and expectation of the patient.
So in Native American medicine, the healing relationship was about the voice, meaning, and power brought to the table by the medicine person, plant, and patient.
You can be your own medicine person and much of your medicine can be found in your garden or kitchen cabinets. In the case of rosemary, notice how it grows, it’s shape, it’s smell, it’s taste, how it feels. Think about what it means to you. What you think of as you sit with it. Does it have a message for you?
The Healing Benefits of Rosemary
Besides being a tasty herbal addition to foods and beverages, research has brought us great science about rosemary’s healing benefits:
- Cancer preventative
- Protects the skin from the sun’s UV rays
- Can resolve dermatitis
- Boosts memory
- Decreases anxiety
- Supports the liver, protects against cirrhosis
- Protects against blood clots and stroke
- Reduces arthritis inflammation and pain
- Aids diabetes, lowers blood sugar
- May protect against ulcers
- Helps treat urinary tract infection
- Boosts moods
Now I get it. Rosemary is a wonderful treatment for this time of year. Many people experience anxiety and depression during this time of year, which can trigger cravings for inflammatory foods, like sugary carbs or alcohol. Winter and wet weather often bring on joint pain and arthritis. And right now, stress is pretty high for a variety of political, weather, economic and planetary reasons.
Use Rosemary and Be Your Own Medicine Person
I invite you to be your own medicine person this week. Get some dried rosemary (or fresh, if it’s available in your local area or kitchen herb garden) and use it in your food, particularly soups, stews and teas. To boost the healing power, make sure you connect to the rosemary and the meal you’re making.
Here’s a recipe for healing rosemary tea:
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1.5 tsp fresh
- 8 ounces water
Boil the rosemary in water for 5 minutes, then bring to simmer for 1 more minute. Strain into a cup. Add stevia or honey if you like sweetness. Say your affirmations or prayers while drinking it.
Let’s all affirm: “I am my own medicine person and I nourish myself with healing foods and drinks.”
Above is a picture of the Cleansing Cilantro Soup, which includes the healing benefits of rosemary, cilantro, and bone broth, among other nourishing goodies. The recipe and an appendix on how to work with healing herbs and spices is included in my book with Louise Hay, The Bone Broth Secret.
How do you like using rosemary?
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