Rosemary is an herb renowned around the world for its medicinal benefits. A versatile herb, cultures have brought rosemary into both the kitchen and medicine cabinet for over a millenia. It is often combined with other flowers and herbs in bridal bouquets and wreaths both for its loving aroma as well as its cultural legend for remembrance; many believe this herb helps us maintain clearer memories. Brides would wear a head wreath weaved with rosemary and flowers; this wedding wreath symbolizes love, grace, and the memory of the woman she had been before becoming married. As head wreaths eventually fell out of style, rosemary was incorporated into the floral bouquets to continue this honoring tradition. Shakespeare even shined a spotlight on rosemary in Hamlet; Ophelia famously declares, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember!”
Living with Rosemary
Rosemary’s medicinal properties have long been known, documented as far back as the time of the ancient Greeks. Dioscorides, the author of De Materia Medica, a book recording the uses of medicinal herbs, expounded upon its healing properties. Several authors in the 16th century supported rosemary’s ability to treat a wide range of ailments. The essence of rosemary was even added into Holy Water for it’s powerfully aromatic presence, and helped holy water become even more divine because of its antibacterial properties, which may not have been understood at the time. Within rosemary there are compounds that can help defend against the growth of certain types of harmful bacteria, including those that contribute to infections. The smell of rosemary also acts as a natural bug repellent and may help prevent certain insect bites, including from ticks and other bugs that can spread illnesses and viruses.
Loving with Rosemary
Rosemary is one of the most important age-old magickal herbs. There is an enormous amount of rosemary folklore. It has been used for cleansing and purifying incense since ancient times. It was associated with Aphrodite/Venus, Rosemary's name means “dew of the sea” in Latin. Later, it became linked to the Virgin Mary, who is said to have given the plant its blue blossoms when she rested her blue mantle on a bush. Rosemary has also been long used to ward off negative energies. It was placed under pillows to ward off nightmares and was burned in houses to keep away the plague. The idea that rosemary provided protection and purification still continues today and it is often used to purify sacred places.
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