The Forest Apothecary serves as an ecclectic online compilation of some of my herbal recipes, plant ponderings and insights.

I hope you find my notes here useful and enjoyable.

~ Green Blessings ~

Rosemary Journal, Infusions and Research Started ...

My first rosemary infusion didn't yield much in the way of color, but packed a punch in flavor. Unreal how much flavor a few sprigs added after steeping throughout the day! I tried some hot when first brewed, and enjoyed it's earthy pungent flavor, and then decided I may like this cooler so tried an iced version (no sweetener added) before heading to out work. This was actually quite agreeable. Strange too considering it's freezing out and we have 10" of snow on the ground, but I have always enjoyed my nettle infusions cold with a bit of mint, and now I've discovered I like rosemary this way too.

The thing about rosemary is that I love just touching the leaves. This is what I remember most as a child, when discovering herbs. They seemingly ask to be touched, and the scent that lingers behind is pure magic! This plant seems so regal and proud even being cooped up in a pot in the house. The picture that comes to mind when thinking of her image is a strong yet gentle, regal green goddess with her feet planted firmly in the earth.

In my book and online research I've discovered there are so many uses for rosemary it's almost overwhelming. Everything from natural home cleaning, medicinal uses, flavoring foods, beauty and ritual. The folklore is facinating stuff. I tend to digress and get way off track whenever studying the plant, jotting down notes for future uses and concoctions, getting lost in the folklore and poetry. I could probably benefit from some tea right now just to keep me on track. She is a practical, strong, useful plant. Though I tend to wander off and get interested in other herbs when reading the posts others have done on their ally, I really could spend a least a year with this plant and all that she offers. It's mind boggling really.

I'm also having a wonderful time discovering some beautiful writings about this herb. One of my favorite herbalists, Juliette de Bairacli Levy shares an old story here about rosemary:

"When Mary and Joseph were fleeing with the infant Jesus, Mary placed her damp blue cloak on the rosemary bush to dry it. The rosemary, thus blessed, forever more has had blue flowers, and the absolute power to protect against evil. A sprig of rosemary hung by the door banishes all thieves; a bush of rosemary growing by the door allows only love to enter.

And this lovely poem, author unknown, will also be included in my journal:

I thank you gentle rosemary
Henceforward you shall bear Blue clusters for remembrance
Of this cloak I wear.
And not your blossoms only I give you as reward.
But where His raiment clung to you Which clad the little Lord
All shall be aromatic, Said Mary, for I bless

Leaf, stem, and flower
That from this hour
Shall smell of Holiness.

Since beginning my research it has become apparent to me that I am a romantic dreamer, approaching my herbal challenge much the same way I approach many things, slowly, deliberately, with an emphasis on the sensory level. Rosemary has chosen me I think, to help me gently ground and center.

So I share here some of my books used for my rosemary research:

Healing Oils, Healing Hands, Linda L. Smith

Growing and Using Herbs and Spices, Milo Miloradovich

Plant Spirit Healing, Pam Montgomery

Herbal Rituals, Judith Berger

Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs, Gaith Faith Edwards

The Wild & Weedy Apothecary, Doreen Shababy

And here a couple of pictures of the journal in progress:

Along the way I wandered off and found this book, and couldn't resist adding it to my library, again I digress....

And have added this one to my wish list....
Through the Wild Heart of Mary; Teachings of the 20 Mysteries of the Rosary and the Herbs and Foods Associated with Them; Gail Faith Edwards.

And since I don't want to take too many cuttings from my plant, I discovered I'm out of dried rosemary so will be purchasing some this weekend from Roots, or better yet getting some from my mother's stash if she still has some left.

I currently don't have any rosemary essential oil, but when doing my reading and working in my journal I've taken to burning a bit of Young Living's "Thieves" or "Purification" oils, both of which contain rosemary in the blend. This has helped to make the bits of time I devote to my herbal studies more of a sacred ritual for me.

Thanks for sharing in my herbal journey with rosemary. I will continue to post on the challenges as I move forward.


  1. Oh your diary is beautiful and I love your attitude! I am also finding my way more on a dreamy learning track. I think maybe because I don't agree with everything the scientific books are saying. Not that my untrained mind really has a right to disagree its just something I feel in my heart.

  2. very lovely! when i was reading about your experience with infusions, i was thinking i'd probably like rosemary best chilled...just something about her flavor that warrants that i suppose!

    great research and i love the addition of the stories and poems.

    i just purchased that fairy book a few weeks ago myself! i need to read the section on nettles, thanks for reminding about it. through the wild heart of mary is a great book! i highly recommend it.

  3. Your journal is lovely. I have that very same pencil!
    I love rosemary. It was actually one I'd thought of as an ally but I wanted to branch out and try something new.

  4. Hi ~ You journal cover is beautiful , so natural , love it. I've only used rosemary for cooking , look forward to learning more about her medicinal properties along with you.

    ~ Rosemary Blessings ~

  5. Oh, wow! I am loving your posts!!!

    I adore Rosemary, and I am excited to read all about your experiences with her! :)


  6. beautiful thoughts, research and journal:) I am so going to enjoy sharing your journey xx Oh, and oh yea, I love Gail Faith Edwards teachings xx Rosemary is a great ally of mine in keeping my kitty Wisteria healthy:)

  7. Merry Meet
    I love your blog, it is poetic, informative, and very beautiful. Rosemary is a delightful plant, I haven't been able to keep one even a year inside, but I still keep planting it outside each year.
    Many Blessings,
    Doreen Shababy, author
    The Wild & Weedy Apothecary