Captured by Rosemary

“Take thee a box of the wood of rosemary and smell to it, and it shall preserve thy youth.” Richard Banckes unillustrated Herball (1525)

rosemary blog post flowers (1).jpgI woke to a very chilly morning. Like most gardeners, I debate if I am ready for winter or want that basil plant in the garden to hang on just a little longer. Frost or not, there is a plant in my garden that never fails to capture my attention. It usually has hummingbirds dancing over it on a sunny morning and gives a nice dose of aromatherapy when I brush against it. Hello, rosemary!   

What prompted me to write today is I am having some electrical work done outside the home. A worker needed to dig in an area where there was a big, woody, rosemary plant. I have always known it would need to be cut out of the way of utilities, but I waited as long as I could because it was so awesome. This morning, big loppers in hand, I gave it a haircut, well more than a haircut, it was pretty dramatic whack along the backside of it where it crowded the walls of my stucco house. I am sure it loved the heat off the stone house and probably the reason the base of the plant is so massive. As I was cutting the rosemary away, both of the workers commented on how wonderful it smelled. One asked what it was, because it was so familiar. As soon as I said it, he said he loved to use it on chicken. The other said he had a pot of it at his house. I smiled because this was not my usual gardening audience, but I loved hearing how a fragrance just draws a person back to a memory or a taste. Now piles of fresh-cut stems lay on the lawn, and the fragrance is heady and energizing.
That’s the real enchantment of herbs, how all the gifts of aroma, flavor, and healing capture us!

Thoughts of rosemary for your day:

  • Rosemary is a “wake-up” herb because of its heavy, enchanting fragrance; the volatile essential oil on the fresh leaves in the peak of summer will linger on your hands after rubbing it.
  • The essence of rosemary in aromatherapy practice is well-known for its use to help chase away mental and physical weariness.
  • Antiseptic, deodorizing and cleansing. Use in natural household cleaning products, foot powder and shampoo.
  • A cup of rosemary tea sipped after a heavy, fatty meal will help with digestion.

A recipe to try: do this as a refreshing min spa moment when winter weather traps feet inside woolly socks all day.

Rosemary Foot Scrub
¾ cup organic cornmeal
1 leafy, tender rosemary or an overflowing tablespoon of fresh leaves
1 tablespoon sweet almond oil
¼ cup rosemary-infused water
2 to 3 drops of rosemary essential oil (if desired)

rosemary blog post (1)Brew rosemary infusion (bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a glass saucepan. Remove the pan from heat and add a handful of young tender springs or about ¼ cup of fresh rosemary leaves. Cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the leaves from the water by filtering through cheesecloth.)

In a small nonmetal bowl, add cornmeal, almond oil. Pour rosemary infusion over the cornmeal mix until it has the texture of a smooth paste. Add fresh rosemary leaves and essential oi. Stir until well mixed. Massage rosemary scrub onto feet with a gentle circular motion. The abrasiveness of the cornmeal on rough skin around the heels and ball of the foot to help soften and remove dead skin cells.

Take your time and enjoy the benefits of the massage as the rosemary starts its healing process. Rinse feet well.

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