A to Z Herbarium: Rosemary




Protection, Love, Lust, Mental Powers, Exorcism, Purification, Healing, Sleep, Youth



Placed under the pillow, rosemary promotes good sleep and keeps away nightmares. Placed under the bed it protects the sleeper from harm. Hang rosemary at the door to keep away thieves, and carry it with you to remain healthy and keep your memory sharp. When placed in a bath, it purifies and preserves youth.

Rosemary is one of the oldest incenses and has cleansing and purifying qualities that ward negativity. Burning rosemary leaves and juniper berries promotes healing in sickrooms. For knowledge or to find an answer to a question, burn rosemary on charcoal and smell its smoke. It has been used in love and lust incenses, and can be used as a substitute for frankincense.

Growing rosemary will also attract elves.

Massaging with rosemary oil can ease muscle pain. It may also potentially stimulate hair growth, and can ease indigestion. It is anti-bacterial and recent studies suggest it may also be anti-carcinogenic, particularly for breast and colon cancers.

Larger doses of rosemary can cause miscarriages, so pregnant or nursing women shouldn’t take it medicinally. It is, however, safe to eat as a seasoning. Rosemary can also interfere with some prescription drugs (such as blood pressure meds and blood thinners), so be sure to check with your doctor before taking it.



Cunningham’s Encylopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham, 2016, Llewellyn Publications

University of Maryland Medical Center

Herb Wisdom




  1. This made me chuckle: “Growing rosemary will also attract elves.” 🙂

    I just love these posts, I have to say. If you’ll put them together as en ebook, I’ll buy it! 🙂

    • Sara C. Snider

      Aww thanks Miss Andi! Though, I’m sure there are much better books out there than anything I could put together on the topic. 🙂

  2. I’m thinking of the song with the lines: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme…it’s when I first learned that rosemary was the name of a spice, and not only the girl who lived in the house on the corner of our road when I was growing up.
    The song is Scarborough Fair.

  3. I love the bit about rosemary attracting elves!

  4. I may have to try the under the pillow for sleep idea. Another herb I have to touch when I walk by to get the scent on my hands.
    Back to the last 2 posts, I’m curious about Quince so may give the recipe a try. Then Onions! One of my gut feelings is that onions & garlic are a key to a long life. All those alliums are fantastic additions. Loving every post.

    • Sara C. Snider

      Thanks, Linda! I also have to touch rosemary whenever I see it. 🙂

  5. I like the elves, too 🙂 Lately I’ve been using rosemary in grilling marinades after hearing of it’s anti-cancer properties.

    • Sara C. Snider

      Can’t hurt, right? Plus, it’s tasty. I like the elves too. 🙂

  6. I’m going to have to be on the look out for elves as we have plenty of rosemary growing around the house (it survives the winter here and thrives). Every roast or lamb receives as sprig or three.


  7. I’d love to attract elves! I’ll have to keep this in mind if I grow rosemary. ;D

    I didn’t know rosemary helped with sleep. I’ve heard lavender can help with good sleep – there are lavender-infused pillows. Huh. Wonder why they haven’t tried rosemary?

    • Sara C. Snider

      Maybe the elves took all the rosemary, and left none for pillows. 😉

  8. I use lots of rosemary in recipes, and also grow it. I can’t walk past the bushes without rubbing the leaves between my fingers and enjoying the heady aroma.

    Another day in Amble Bay!

  9. Hi Sara – great post on Rosemary .. especially if there be elves! But it is an excellent herb and so useful for so many things … mostly used today in coookery – unless we can try it medicinally … especially anti-bacterially … useful and lovely plant – cheers Hilary


    • Sara C. Snider

      It is indeed a very lovely plant. The elves are a bonus. 😉

  10. Rosemary for sleep? I always thought rosemary was a more invigorating scent. It’s one of my favorite scents. I’ll try it next time. Maui Jungalow

    • Sara C. Snider

      Yeah, who knew? It’s always worth a shot, at any rate. 🙂

  11. I always think of Rosemary for remembrance. And while I’ve always associated it with remembering loved ones, I understand ancient Greek and Roman students wore garlands of rosemary as they studied believing it would help preserve memory. I might need to make up a rosemary crown for myself. 🙂

    • Sara C. Snider

      Yeah, I think I need to invest in massive amounts of rosemary for myself… 😉

  12. I enjoy the smell of rosemary. The whimsy of inviting in elves intrigues me. I try to grow rosemary in my garden but my climate presents challenges.

    • Sara C. Snider

      I live in Sweden, so I don’t think I’ll be able to grow it either. Maybe an indoor garden though…

  13. Well, I’ve just planted my new rosemery plant, I’m ready for any elf knocking at my door 😉

    I love rosemery. I use it in cooking and I like its smell so much 🙂

    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir

    • Sara C. Snider

      I’m sure an elf will be there any day now! 😉 Rosemary is wonderful.

  14. I wonder why it became associated with memories. I have heard people say it helps you remember things at an exam, if you smelled them while studying…

    The Multicolored Diary: WTF – Weird Things in Folktales

    • Sara C. Snider

      It is interesting about the memories, though I don’t know why the connection is there. Requires more digging, perhaps. 🙂

  15. I’m sure you’re right. Rosemary attracts all sorts of wonderous creatures. It’s my favorite plant and, of course, among my favorite herbs for seasoning.

    Congratulations on coming so far on the A to Z Challenge.

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