Rosemary: “Dew of the Sea”

Rosemary: A Favorite Ingredient for a Cleansing Facial Steam.

Rosemary is a refreshing herb long used by aromatherapists for its soothing effects.

Wild rosemary can withstand harsh conditions, making it a familiar sight along the sides of roads, in gardens, and fields throughout the Mediterranean. Rosemarinus is Latin for “dew of the sea.” Wild rosemary often grows among the cliffs facing the Mediterranean Sea.

Oil, extracted from its aromatic leaves, is used to perfume body creams and hair products. It also can be found in room fresheners and cleaning products and can be burnt as incense.

Rosemary has been used extensively over the centuries for its medicinal properties. Traditionally, herbalists have used it to alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune system, increase circulation, and even increase hair growth. 

Early Greek scholars wore rosemary garlands upon their heads during exams to aid their memory.

More recent scientific studies have shown that rosemary contains carnosic acid, which may fight off free radical damage in the brain, so it may prove one day to be beneficial for enhancing memory and concentration and slowing the brain’s aging process. 

It seems that this same element may have beneficial properties for skin care, as well. It’s rosemary’s anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and puffiness of the skin, aids in healing burns, and soothes the skin. 

These qualities make rosemary a powerful herbal remedy for chronic skin conditions, including dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.

The stimulating properties of rosemary may also help restore elasticity, make skin firm and supple, and encourage cell growth, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

So, the next time you pick up a few rosemary stems to flavor your favorite Italian sauce, hold back a couple of fresh sprigs to create your own refreshing facial. Who knows, your skin may remember its youthful glow. And even if it doesn’t, the time you take to indulge in this easy-to-prepare fragrant facial steam will provide you with a relaxing and invigorating break. 

Facial massage with herbal facial treatment.

Cleansing Rosemary Facial Steam

Wash the face with a gentle cleanser before enjoying a fragrant rosemary facial steam.

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or

2 tablespoons of dried rosemary

Place the rosemary in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Steep for ten minutes.

Tent a thick bath towel over the head and shoulders and inhale the invigorating aroma for five to ten minutes. Soak a cloth in the rosemary water and wipe the face. Afterward, apply witch hazel or another light toner to the face as a final refresher.

Illustration by Roman Szolkowski, from “Herbs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia,” by Kathi Keville, Friedman/Fairfax Publishers, 1999.