Herbal Series with Tess: Rosemary

by Tess Wood | Instagram

Rosmarinus officinalis

Compass plant, Old Man, Rose de Marins, Romero

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Rosemary is a herb that’s been used in ancient medicine for thousands of years for its easy- to-use properties topically and internally. It is a natural stimulant that helps with tired and sore achy muscles because it’s fantastic at enhancing circulation, especially around the head. It does this by increasing the local blood supply and creating a warming sensation when applied to the skin. Rosemary can also stimulate the appetite and help the digestion system to help cleanse catarrhal issues. It’s also used to treat things like nervous tension, low mood and headache. The volatile oil of the rosemary plant can help increase alertness, focus and mental clarity. Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make this herb fantastic for any irritations or infections. 

Magical Uses

Rosemary is such a powerful old world herb used mainly for protection and purification, as it was planted by doors and along hedges to keep evil spirits at bay. This herb is known for memory and mood enhancement, used to accelerate learning of any kind. Rosemary is also said to help hold secure bonds between loved loves and souls. Using it in a ritual bath can help to remove stress and any worries you are currently experiencing. Use rosemary in the kitchen, as it’s a culinary herb for any food-related workings or just to add a little magic to your cooking. It also makes a fantastic offering to the ancient Italian Goddess Venus in your workings with her. 


In history, this herb was burned as an incense to help purify the air in sick chambers to prevent any type of infection. Rosemary was traditionally used for decking banquet halls and wedding ceremonies to help remember vows. Some Sicilians believed that young faeries that took the form of snakes would hide in amongst the Rosemary branches to cause harm. According to legend, an alcohol-based perfume was created at the command of Queen Elisabeth of Hungary in the late 14th century who was suffering from severe rheumatism. This was created by distilling fresh Rosemary and Thyme in brandy. Thus the creation of the “Queen of Hungary Water” which was also heavily used in the 17th century to help prevent headaches and toothache. This is still used today as a facial toner and air purifier, as its antibacterial.

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Rosemary and Orange Syrup 

This syrup is fantastic added to teas and cold drinks as an easy-to-take immune booster and natural cold and flu preventative. 


2 large oranges 

5-6 (3 tbsp) sprigs of rosemary fresh or dried

1 tsp of cloves

1 piece of ginger 

1.5 cups of water 

1. 5 cups of honey

  • Cut your oranges into about 1-inch thick slices and ginger into chunks. 
  • Add orange slices, ginger, clove, rosemary and water to a medium saucepan. 
  • Let this simmer on low for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the water has reduced down by half. 
  • Take off heat, let cool down. Then strain. 
  • Place the strained decoction back into the saucepan and add the honey. Heat up on low and let simmer for a further 30 minutes. 
  • Let sit and cool down before adding to a jar or container and label with the date and name of your creation. 
  • Place in the fridge and use for up to 12 weeks. 
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  • Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Always consult your doctor before starting to use herbal remedies of any kind as they can interact with other medications.

About the Author: Tess is a Canadian herbalist who has lived in the UK for the past four years. She started working with herbs as a way to change her and her families’ lifestyle and help with her overall health. She is currently working on extending her qualifications and becoming a herbalist full-time. You can find out more about her, and working with holistic medicine, on her Instagram page @theobscurawitch, where she posts frequently about her herbalism journey.

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