February 12, 2014

Rosemary: A Warm Herbal Embrace to Melt Feelings of Cold and Depression

Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis} 

What a delightfully warming culinary herb suitable for cooking meals both sweet and savory!

Surprisingly, Rosemary also offers a yummy addition to teas....and tastes divine with starchy herbs, such as Marshmallow...

The aromatic leaves of Rosemary help to warm our blood and stimulate our circulation. And, Rosemary, (who I will continue to refer to her as she),  is one of my very favorite essential oils to incorporate into my self-care during the cooler months, from the beginning of Fall through the harshest times of Winter.

These warming and stimulating properties of Rosemary 
can also help bring light and life to cold hands/feet or dulled, foggy, sluggish mind.

I kind of like to think that Rosemary has the power to gently kick up in the butt when we need it most. 


Like many of you may experience, I too can get the Winter time blues...you know, the kind where you can't wrap your mind around pushing through your goals {such as leaving the house on your own accord, haha}, or when the snow and cold begins to feel wearing, slow, and even bleak...

Letting the Sunshine In


Okay, just in-case you are feeling a bit more bleak than before, lift your chin up. My message to you is one of hope and help :)

If sun isn't shining and you are ready for a move, sometimes you just have to bring it to you {in other clever little ways}. And, what better ways than through our senses?

I mean, we seem to rely on our minds so very much. However, in reality, our minds are one little piece of the community that makes the sum of all our parts.

If you can't get out of your mind through intellectual means, why no try relying on some of our other biologically genius parts of self?



If your restorative, cuddly indoor hibernation and movie watching, is *finally* growing a little old, yet, you feel unable to intuitively *think* up your next step towards the light...why not feel it instead?

Energetically Shifting your Environment 

Okay, so if you feel like you've mastered the embodiment of blankets and pillows, cups of hot tea/cocoa and quiet days off...and are ready for a change...here are a few fairly effortless suggestions to help you get ready, to finally get ready, to get your energy moving in Mind, Heart, Body and Spirit....

Heart

Rosemary is a lovely, lovely, heart lifter, inspirational motivator, and understanding ally. I can't emphasize that enough really. And, even though I have been practicing aromatherapy for over 7 years, I am almost always set beside myself on how supportive Rosemary can be during those times of cold that inspire physical and/or mental depression. 

So, for those of you with high blood pressure, who tend to run hot, this may not be the right plant ally for you. Consider working with Lemongrass, it is also uplifting, but, gentler on our bodies circulation and thermostat. 

Hearth

Rosemary grows well in rough, rocky, and dry soil with bright sun. So, in it's lifetime, it understands truly what it is to be grounded into some fairly rough terrain!

I think of Rosemary as having tough, but, loving personality...tough love, but, in the most understanding and subtle of ways. She brings to us warmth, arid heat, and sunshine <3


Being that Rosemary is warming and drying, if you tend to run dry, you may consider balancing your blend with moisture restoring herbs, such as a dash of powdered Marshmallow root or, if using essential oils, Vetiver or Chamomile. Before moving back from my herbal apprenticeship in Ithaca, I purchased two Rosemary plants. It was a cool fall and my body was simply craving it. I found the pair in a local greenhouse and couldn't break them apart! I gave one to a Soul Sister as a parting gift, and traversed the other all the way home back to Kentucky <3

I love to capture the essence of the natural oils by gently brushing both hands alongside the leaves. It's so nice to cup my hands over my face in appreciation of its company and beauty.


Inspiring Uses

Some of my very favorite ways to use Rosemary essential oil are in a warm bath oil or as an invigorating facial steam. I love how it only takes a single drop {in candle lit diffuser} to subtly pick up the energy of my home and thoughts.  Room sprays are also a lovely option. 

If you would like to know more about these applications of essential oils, visit my blog where you can read more on how to make a facial steam, how to use a bath oil,  how to make a diffuser and more:  Using Your Essential Oils.

If you are needing to focus, Rosemary can be a clarifying coach...so for those of you with a home work space or just plain groovy offices, consider diffusing Rosemary essential oil in the air when energy at work feels at a grey lull. 

Rosemary Tea 

As a tea, Rosemary to me is a bit sweet, aromatic, slightly bitter and even a tiny bit salty. The flavor has a similarly light landing on the tongue as the flavor of green tea. 

Some Effects of  a Cold + Moist Environment on Our Bodies

The cold can slow us down drastically, and, for some, it affects our tissues in a way where we can feel heavy and bogged down...leading to constipation, lack of whimsy, dulled thoughts, heavy emotions, etc.

During the cold and moist months, our bodies can begin to lack tone. I don't so much mean the kind of tone you on gym billboards. I mean the tone inside your body and inside your mind; the tone of your tissues and organs. 


Because of this, astringent foods, those that make your mouth feel a bit dry, such as a strong tea, can be very good for balancing sluggishness in mind and digestion.

Rosemary Black Tea

Because of this, I have really grown to love starting my deeply Winter-esque mornings with a beautiful pot of lightly astringent black tea. I say beautiful pot, because I mean beautiful!

I choose my tea cups to match my day, and to cheer me up.

I also prefer to choose small dainty tea cups in the cold weather, as they hold the heat much longer. Plus, there is magic in pouring another hot cup, isn't there?

I suggest bright colors, such as warming gem tones with touches of gold. And, when you make your black tea, why not consider adding a touch of dried Rosemary for warmth?

It's the little things in life, right?  :)

Rosemary Baths

The fresh leaves of Rosemary are a festive addition to a warm bath! Like a Rosemary hydrosol,  the energies of an herbal bath move more subtly in this form than through the use of essential oils or an herbal tincture <3 

As for the essential oil in my baths, I really love to use Rosemary in the mornings more so that the evenings. . It is invigorating, stimulating, heart opening and motivating...a perfect antithesis to the Winter time blues! <3 When I am feeling a need for a little extra hug or joy, I love to add a tad bit of sweet and sassy Lemongrass.

If you are looking for warmth at night, and you are someone who relaxes deeply with heat, you may consider Cardamom essential oil instead. I find that, though it can stimulate focus in some, it can also be incredibly relaxing for other in a sweet, gentle and comforting way. I feel that Cardamom offers us warming permission to release and let go, a perfect ally for a hot bath after a long day of work, wouldn't you say?

If you more of a shower mermaid/man...

You can also place a few drops in a bathroom diffuser while taking a shower as a steam inhalation. You could also make a very light dilution of Rosemary oil to apply as an uplifting body moisturizer, or, place a drop on your bathtub faucet.

Being Gentle on Yourself in Times of Transition or Non-action

Jodi Chapman of Soul Speak shared this really beautiful post on the art of taking a dark shower, which is simply the act of taking a low sensory shower in the dark.

I love the idea of incorporating essential oils into such an act of self-love, one where you are fully accepting of where you are in the dark shower, but, also making space for your own personal light to shine in with the help of herbal allies.

Can You Feel the Light Shining In?

I have heard from so many, and have felt myself, just how much of a hibernation this Winter in particular has been.

And, though I absolutely believe in the healing act of embracing, feeling, and being where I am, I also know that sometimes, even when I am ready for a gentle nudge, it is hard to know where to begin. I think a blending of the dark shower and the oils allow for a space where our dark can meet our light.

It is all a dance of balance. We could not be out full selves without the embrace of one to the other....and, really, there is no separation of dark and light!

One of the sweetest things that Marty has shared with me is that, even after six years together, he loves me fully. He loves my light, joyful, goofy, creative and whimsical nature, but, equally as much, he also loves my more emotional, darker, sometimes gruelingly poetic, and fierce aspects.

This to me is Love! It is love for you, love for me and love for ourselves. And, just to bring Rosemary back into the picture...I feel she can also be an ally to help shine light on our full selves...

She can help us pick up and embrace where we are and who we are deep in our hearts, through the grit and the sunshine she knows all so well.

If Your Not Feeling Shiny...Be Patient, and Just Be....

When I work with Rosemary, it is not so much about "task mastering" as it  is about listening. It is about being open to her whispering to my senses, knowing that it is okay to physically move forward in little ways. I don't have to feel guilty about thinking small and slowly working towards goals. 

Sometimes it ca be so easy to be all or nothing! Right?

Rosemary inspires us to feel how okay it is to not intellectually know what to do next. ...


Though it can be hard, it is human. And, through these times we can learn so much. 

Eventually we will begin to feel our next move as our blood warms, as out mind flows, as our hearts build in pulse, and our spirits move....

So, I invite you to join me in a Wintertime love and appreciation fest with this lovely perennial. Partly, as I Rosemary's influence may help reflect some of that very same love and appreciation to you. 


I given you lots of ideas here, some old and some new, for you to work with. And, I am sure you have many of your own!

So, I would love for you to share any stories you have about Rosemary by posting a comment below.


Sending you wishes of  Love + Inspiring Dreams, 
Nishaan 

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