There are three different chemotypes of Rosemary all of which can produce a hydrosol. With its shorter shelf life Rosemary ct. 1,8-cineole is usually not available.
Lydia Bosson says that: “Rosemary is a very resistant plant surviving in arid regions and growing back quickly after fires. It activates the transforming fire inside us, and removes lethargy“. She recommends using it in “cases of stagnation, when there is a blockage in the healing process as it will trigger a new momentum and create the vital strength necessary to continue.”
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Plant Description: Rosemary is an evergreen perennial shrub with needle-like silver-green leaves and small, tubular, pale-blue flowers.
History/Folklore: The name comes from the Latin ‘ros marinus’ meaning ‘rose of the sea’. In Ancient Egypt the springs were burnt as ritual incense and placed in the tombs of pharaohs. To the Greeks and Romans, the plant was sacred, being symbolic of loyalty, scholarly learning, death and remembrance.
Aroma and Taste: According to Suzanne Catty Rosemary ct. camphor hydrosol has an almost floral aroma, which is followed by a soft, non-camphor rosemary scent. On the other hand, Rosemary ct. verbenone hydrosol is rosemary without the bite. The first note is sweet, soft green, which is then followed by the classic sharp rosemary odor but with less intensity.
Stability and Shelf Life: ct. camphor – Stable (18 – 20 months); ct. verbenone – slightly unstable (14 – 16 months); ct. 1,8 cineole – shorter shelf life than either of the other two chemotypes.
pH: 4.6 – 4.7 ct. camphor; 4.2 – 4.5 ct. I,8 cineole; 4.5-4.7 ct. verbenone
Suzanne Catty says avoid Rosemary hydrosol ct. camphor in cases of high blood pressure and during the first trimester of pregnancy. While Lydia Bosson says avoid its use during pregnancy and for children under 3.
Rosemary hydrosol has analgesic, anticoagulant, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiviral, bactericidal, decongestant, digestive, expectorant, mucolytic and stimulant properties.
Jeanne Rose says that this hydrosol is revitalizing for skin and helps to restore energy and alertness.
Suzanne Catty suggests that as rosemary ct. camphor hydrosol is a mental and physical stimulant, it makes a good coffee substitute for those wishing to cut back on caffeine and can provide the same pick-me-up feeling. She also says that it makes a delicious cold drink and is indispensable in the kitchen for both savory and sweet dishes. Of Rosemary ct. verbenone hydrosol she says this hydrosol is excellent for treating the respiratory system and conditions of congestion and mucus. She recommends sniffing a few drops of this hydrosol up each nostril every morning in winter will help to keep the airways clean and moist and combat the congestion associated with central heating. Of Rosemary ct. 1,8 cineole she says this hydrosol is rarely available and has a short shelf life, however if you are able to get it from a good supplier it is useful as a mucolytic.
Suzanne Fischer-Rizzi recommends using Rosemary hydrosol in fot baths, sitz baths and compresses to help stimulate menstration, as well as help with weak and painful menstration.
Rosemary hydrosol makes an efficient friction rub for hair loss. Its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties are helpful for rheumatism and joint pain. Its stimulating properties can be helpful for circulation and improving alertness.
I personally find that by their very nature, hydrosols are particularly helpful when used energetically. I like to include them in misters and sprays and find that they can make a subtle and effective difference.
In Dr. Berkowsky’s Spiritual PhytoEssencing, Rosemary has the themes of faithfulness and memory. There is also a theme of metamorphosis in Rosemary.
You can view other posts written on individual hydrosols here.
Another general article on Floral Waters/Hydrosols/Hydrolats.
Reference Steffen Arctander, Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin, 1960 Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils ©1998-2018 Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc. Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy, Healing Arts Press, 2001 Ernst Guenther, The Essential Oil, Vol V, 1948 reprinted 1972 Ann Harman, Harvest to Hydrosol, IAG Botanics LLC dba botanicals, 2015 Beverley Hawkins, Essential Oils and Carriers, Aromatherapy 101, Aromatherapy 201, Aromatherapy 301, 1999-2018 Bettina Malle & Helge Schmickl, The Essential Oil Maker’s Handbook, Spikehorn Press, 2012, 2015 Len and Shirley Price, Understanding Hydrolats Churchill Livingstone, 2004 Jeanne Rose, 374 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, Frog Ltd, 1999 Lydia Bosson, Hydrosol Therapy, Singing Dragon, 2019 Susanne Fischer-Rizzi, Das Grosse Buch der Pflanzenwaesser, Atverlag, 2020