Originally published in Natural Herbal Living Magazine September 2013
The excitement of the start of the school year brings so much change. Some of it is fun like new books and binders, new friends and teachers, and so many unique experiences. Yet it also brings the stress of change, increased exposure to germs and often exhaustion as kids adjust their schedule to the rigors of school days. All of this and there is also the pressure that learning can put on students novice and seasoned alike. During this crazy time of transition we can look to our herbaceous friend rosemary for a little extra help and support.
Typical of most mint family members, rosemary is rich in antibacterial essential oils providing wonderful support for the immune system. As a mom and preschool teacher I have seen plenty of kids come down with illness at the beginning of the school year. So why not give little immune systems some gentle support as the school year starts? Having a lovely action on the nervous system, rosemary simultaneously relaxes and refreshes an overwhelmed, tired mind as well as easing tension headaches. When your kiddos come home tired and exhausted from school offering them a nice cup of rosemary tea, relaxing foot bath or full body bath with rosemary in the tub will help them let go of the stress of the day and clear away muddled tiredness from their heads.
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Making a rosemary bath is easy. If you have the essential oil on hand just add a 5 to 8 drops (2 to 3 drops for a foot bath) to the tub along with a couple handfuls of epsom salt. Swish the water around to help the oil disperse and climb in. To use the herb in the bath I like to do this simple method: simply place a handful or two of rosemary leaf in a sock and tie the top off (you can also use a wash cloth and tie it shut with an elastic band). Toss this bundle into a tub full of extra hot water and let it steep for a while, letting the water cool down to a comfortable temperature. Again you can add a handful or two of epsom salts to the water if you would like. After the rosemary has steeped for about 20 minutes your bath is ready! Use either of these methods to create a foot bath or for a full body bath.
Rosemary For Studying
Another wonderful way for students to use rosemary is to smell it while studying. Rosemary has been used for centuries to refresh the brain and improve memory. Simply place a few drops of rosemary essential oil* in a diffuser while studying or even put a few drops on a hair brush and brush it through the hair. Take deep rosemary-filled breaths often to relieve mental fatigue and increase memory. This was one of my favorite ways to study when I was in college.
Invite this wonderful plant to help during those first few excitement filled weeks as kids head back to school and I hope you will find that using rosemary eases the way.
- Family Herbal by Rosemary Gladstar
- Flower Power by Anne McIntyre
- Herbal Medicine From The Heart by Sharol Tilgner, N.D.
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