This familiar culinary native of the Mediteranean coast is currently attracting renewed interest as a key herb in cancer prevention. Rosemary is the primary source of quinones, antioxidants which inhibit the action of carcinogens in the body. Laboratory tests have also shown the quinone compounds to suppress the activity of co-carcinogens, chemicals which stimulate the cancerous agents into action.
The use of rosemary throughout Europe as a symbol of remembrance is well founded. Rubbed on the temples, the oil of rosemary strengthens memory and stimulates a sluggish mind. It has been used successfully to combat nervous depression.
Rosemary is described by some as the supreme heart tonic and an infusion of the leaves is helpful at the onset of migraine.
Applied topically, rosemary oil soothes aching joints and an infusion of rosemary makes an excellent skin wash. It is used in number of natural hair preparations, including conditioners, and is highly effective against head lice.