Beauty Ingredient-Focus on Rosemary

Rosemary (rosemarinus officinalis)

Not only do we love rosemary in cooking, it is also an important herb in skin care and hair products.  In the ancient times as well as modern times, it has a reputation for improving memory and lifting the spirits. It is said that even the Greek scholars wore garlands of rosemary to improve their memory and concentration. I have also read that rosemary was given to brides with the hope that she will enjoy a happy marriage (I in fact burn Rosemary during my marriage ceremony!) 

Today it is used in shampoos, conditioners, lotions, perfumes, ointments, aromatherapy, etc.  Rosemary oil tones and firms the skin. It is an astringent that helps to reduce excess oil in skin and hair. The disinfectant and antibiotic properties of rosemary contribute to its use for treating acne, dermatitis and eczema. 

Below is a delicious recipe for aging well!  Thank you to the ancient ones and to Rosemary Gladstar!


This wonderful astringent lotion has been hailed as the first herbal product ever produced and marketed. Legend has it that the early Gypsies formulated it and claimed it to be a cure-all. Whether or not it is I hardly know, but I do know that it is an excellent astringent for the face and a great rinse for dark hair.

This is one of the world’s finest cosmetic formulas. It combines gentle common herbs in a masterful way, it’s easy to make, and it’s a versatile formula that serves many purposes. The Gypsies used it as a hair rinse, mouthwash, headache remedy, aftershave, footbath, and who knows what else! I have seen this formula sold in department stores in exotic little bottles for a fancy price. You can make it for the cost of a few herbs and a bottle of vinegar.

6 parts lemon balm
4 parts chamomile
4 parts roses
3 parts calendula
3 parts comfrey leaf
1 part lemon peel
1 part rosemary
1 part sage
Vinegar to cover (apple cider or wine vinegar)
Rose water or witch hazel extract
Essential oil of lavender or rose (optional)

Place the herbs in a widemouthed jar. Fill the jar with enough vinegar that it rises an inch or two above the herb mixture. Cover tightly and let it sit in a warm spot for 2 to 3 weeks. Strain out the herbs. To each cup of herbal vinegar, add 2/3 to 1 cup of rose water or witch hazel. Add a drop or two of essential oil, if desired. Rebottle. This product does not need to be refrigerated and will keep indefinitely.



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