ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis L.)
Rosemary is an evergreen Mediterranean bush of aromatic scent that can grow up to 2 meters in height. It is grown as an ornamental shrub, spice plant and for the production of essential oil. The thick bush with many branches is woody at the lower part, while the upper part is covered in thick leaves of short stems. The leaves are firm, narrow, leathery and dark green, long 2 to 4 cm. They are dark green above, and grey and white below with dense hair and glands which discharge essential oil. The flower is light blue, purple-blue or white. It blooms twice a year, from March till May and in September, but on Lošinj it blooms throughout the year. It likes sunny and rocky areas and does not need much water. It is susceptible to frost and is easy to transplant. The leaves (Rosmarini folia) are collected by cutting and drying the branches. Then the leaves are shaken off and cleaned through a sieve. Rosemary oil (Aetheroleum Rosmarini) is extracted by distillation. The oil is an integral part of rosemary fats. (Unguentum Rosmarini compositum). Flowers are harvested in April and May and dried in the shade. It is best to keep the leaves in bottles because their oil evaporates. Rosemary can be grown indoors, in pots. In that way it is within easy reach while preparing meals in the kitchen, and at the same time its fragrance improves your concentration because it strengthens metal awareness, makes breathing easier and improves memory.
LAUREL (lat. Laurus nobilis L.)
Laurel is an evergreen Mediterranean bush or tree up to 15 metres tall. It is spread through the Mediterranean countries, and in Croatia it grows along the Adriatic coast separately or with other evergreen bushes. It grows in areas up to 400 metres above the sea level. The leaves are leathery, firm and glossy, and flowers are yellow-white. The tree reaches 60 cm in diameter. The fruit is an egg-shaped dark blue berry 8-12 mm long. The oil oleum lauri is extracted from the fruit. The leaves are harvested throughout the year, and the fruit is picked from the late spring and in summer, and it is put in javorčić brandy. A laurel bush becomes a tree when the branches are shaped and trimmed into a bush and one stem is allowed to grow upward. Along the promenades in the Čikat cove there are laurel trees taller than 6 metres.
EUCALYPTUS (lat. Eukaliptus globulus)
Eucalyptus grows very fast and reaches the height of 80 metres. Today it is grown in many countries with warm climates, including Primorje. The fruit is cone-shaped with valves, so its very shape indicates that it protects. The leaves are long, lance-shaped, usually sickle-like, with a short petiole and pale-green. They are about 20 cm long and about 5 cm wide. Their edges are always in the north-south position, in which way the leaves protect themselves from overevaporation on high temperatures. If the leaf is observed in the light, one can see small dots that actually represent the essential oil cavities. In dry leaves there is 1,5 – 3 percent of the essential oil the main ingredient of which is cineole (eucalyptol) It is an excellent air purifier so the surroundings of eucalyptus forests are very healthy areas. The most beautiful eucalyptus trees on Lošinj can be seen along the promenade on Čikat where they reach the height of over 15 metres making a nice shade and providing a pleasant relaxation and break or sun shelter while you spend your time on one of the Čikat beautiful beaches. The leaves are added to tea mixtures for diabetes, used as a laxative in case of constipation and for nervous diseases and anxiety. Eucalyptus oil is an ingredient in many preparations that help with rheumatic diseases. It is also used for women's diseases as a tea or bath.
MEDICINAL USE AND PROPERTIES OF ROSEMARY
Rosemary has a significant stimulating effect on the central nervous system, especially in cases of function failure such as loss of smell, affected sensory parts of nerves, and some speech defects. Rosemary has a long-lasting reputation to improve memory, and it is even called the fragrance of eternal love. It is excellent with headaches, mental fatigue and exhaustion and general loss of vitality. Its penetrating power makes it valuable with respiratory difficulties, from common cold, sinusitis, and catarrhal conditions to chronic bronchitis. For these difficulties it is best to use the inhalation of rosemary, cypress and eucalyptus. Given the fact that rosemary stimulates blood circulation, heart, and normalises low blood pressure, it is often used for the problem of cold hands and feet. In winter period it is enough to dissolve several drops of rosemary oil in olive oil, massage it into feet and the feeling of coldness disappears. Since it has a beneficial effect on the urinary system because it prevents the retention of urine, and it is an antiseptic and stimulates circulation, it is often recommended for the prevention of urinary bladder infections. It is a good analgesic, without a sedative effect, which is a side effect of many pain suppressants.
It is often used to reduce difficulties related to arthritis, rheumatic pains and tired muscles. It is excellent when combined with marjoram, lavender, eucalyptus, and juniper for athletes before competitions and after a practice or competition as well. Rosemary has a curative effect on the digestive system in cases of indigestion, bellyache, flatulence and constipation, and it is used as a tonic for improving the liver function. As to emotional level, it helps us clear our mind. Rosemary stimulates sensitivity and increases creativity by freeing the mind from exhaustion and the heart from fatigue.
COUNTERINDICATIONS Pregnant women, persons with high blood pressure and epileptics should be cautious with using rosemary.
MEDICINAL USE AND PROPERTIES OF EUCALYPTUS
Even though there are more than 700 species of eucalyptus, the most common is Eucalyptus globulus. This essential oil is mostly used for inhalations which prevent respiratory difficulties. It is valuable for decongestion in catarrhal conditions such as cold, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, especially if they are accompanied with high body temperature. Eucalyptus has a wide range of antiseptic effects, so it is recommended during periods of various infections, usually during winter months, and in enclosed places in order to avoid the spread of infections.
It is an excellent detoxicant and is used very often for difficulties related to the locomotive system. For this reason, and for the fact that it is a good analgesic, the massage with this essential oil has a healing effect in case of arthritis, lower-back pain, sore and tired muscles. The application of eucalyptus in the working environment stimulates memory, balances extreme moods, calms strong emotions, and the scent creates the feeling of tranquillity and peace.
Nina Bašić-Marković, MD, DSc
General Practitioner, Aromatherapist
ROSEMARY ESSENTIAL OIL FOR HEALTH AND BEAUTY
A chemotype is a chemical component that is dominant in an essential oil. Rosemary chemotype is particularly interesting because the plants of the same species that grow in different parts of the world, in different climate conditions and soil type, can have a different chemical composition. In aromatherapy, there are three rosemary chemotypes of rosemary essential oil. Rosemary chemotype 1,8 cineole is traditionally used for respiratory difficulties, for restoring blood circulation and for conditions of chronic exhaustion. (it originates from Tunisia and Morocco) Rosemary chemotype verbenon is used in the production of high-quality cosmetic products for skin regeneration and sensitive skin care. It stimulates liver and bile activity. We use it as a help with mental fatigue. (Corsica) Rosemary chemotype camphor– increases blood pressure, eases pain, refreshes (Croatia, Spain) All three chemotypes can be used for mental fatigue, lack of concentration, weariness and listlessness.
• How to beat spring fatigue:
Dissolve 5 drops of camphor rosemary oil in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and massage it into your feet every morning.
All three rosemary chemotypes are used in low doses and they are not recommended for pregnant women, children and persons with high blood pressure.
LAUREL ESSENTIAL OIL FOR HEALTH AND BEAUTY
Laurel can be used for everyday little victories, as well as for the big ones. Laurel symbolises the sun, beauty, success and the best. When you feel that your life lacks these emotions, just heat up several laurel oil drops in an aroma lamp! Once it was believed that a laurel branch under pillow made bad dreams go away – try it! The essential oil smells pleasantly, and has an antibacterial and antifungal effect. It is used for fungal skin diseases and for oily skin and acne. It eases the difficulties such as rheumatic arthritis and muscle aches.
• Clay facial mask for oily skin:
Add distilled water or lukewarm green tea to 20 g of green clay until you get a creamy mixture.Add 3 drops of laurel essential oil in the mixture. Put it on you face and leave it to dry. After it becomes dry, wash your face in warm water thoroughly. It is used once a week for oily skin and twice a week for acne skin. After you have put the mask on your face lie down, close your eyes and breathe deeply. In this way you will relax and let the beneficial components in the mask do their job.
EUCALYPTUS ESSENTIAL OIL FOR HEALTH AND BEAUTY
• Bath that reduces spring fatigue:
100 g of sea salt 5 drops of rosemary camphor essential oil 5 drops of eucalyptus globulus essential oil 5 drops of laurel essential oil Create a nice bath atmosphere – light some candles, put some music on, sprinkle the water surface with rosemary flowers. Fill in the tub and add bath salts. Enjoy yourself for about 15 minutes, and make sure the water is not too hot because it could exhaust you. This bath is suitable for morning hours, especially for people who have difficulties with waking up and suffer from fatigue. After this bath you will feel lively and fresh. It is also used for female diseases as tea and bath.
(Anamarija Pažin Morović, aromatherapist)