Here in Arizona, after some considerable rain, the sun returned – and, with it, the blooming of the spring flowers and trees. So, I thought it was finally time to get out and plant the rosemary bush that I had left sitting in its container for longer than I intended. If you are thinking of adding some aromatherapy plants to your garden, here’s a closer look at adding rosemary.
Rosemary in History
Rosemary is one of the ancient herbs that has been around as a food and medicinal source for centuries. It also has associations with magic and it was believed to be capable of repelling evil spirits in Medieval Europe. In addition, it was one of several herbs to be used for protection against the Black Plague.
Botanical Profile of Rosemary
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) starts off as a small herb that can grow quite profusely, given the right climate; it can grow into a six foot shrub. In Arizona, I have seen it spring up in people’s gardens without much care and attention, in addition to adorning the entrance way to many local businesses.
It usually flowers in the spring, but I have noticed it flowering as early as January in Arizona, given the milder climate. The flowers are pale-blue in color and grow alongside spiky, needle-shaped leaves. You can smell the natural aroma by rubbing a small piece of the plant between your fingers. It is drought-tolerant (good for long, hot, Arizona summers) and some cultivars can stand minimal frost (such as here in Sedona).
Benefits of Planting Rosemary
If you buy your rosemary plant at the local garden center, you will probably be buying a rosemary cultivar suitable for your area. However, many places do not label with botanical names and will label a plant simply as “rosemary.” It is assumed that most rosemary plants are grown for ornamental use in gardens.
As an essential oil, rosemary is available in several chemotypes; these include ct. camphor, ct. cineole, and ct. verbenone. Rosemary essential oil is used for various purposes. If you are growing rosemary in your garden, consider its ability to stimulate memory, lift mood, and improve mental fatigue, as you take a walk through your garden! It may also help with conditions such as asthma, sinusitis, and colds.
Rosemary plants also attract bees. Bees are fast losing many of their natural habits, so just planting a rosemary bush will provide a means of forage for them. Bees also like many other aromatic plants – such as lavender, sage, mint, oregano, and honeysuckle. They are also attracted to sunflowers.
Learn More About Aromatherapy Plants with Sedona Aromatherapie
If you are a regular reader of Sedona Aromatherapie, you will no doubt know that the botany of the source of essential oils is important to me! If you would like to learn more about a particular plant species, consider one of the specialist aromatherapy subject courses, available in the Sedona Aromatherapie home study program. To learn more, visit the courses home page!
Falsetto, Sharon, 2014, Authentic Aromatherapy, US: Skyhorse Publishing
Price, Shirley, Price, Len, 2012, Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, UK: Churchill Livingstone
Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, aromatherapy published author, approved aromatherapy education provider, aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.