#Mamoon & #mamoonremedies is inspired by the need for alternative to modern-day medical cures. Each month, @thehorseandcrow will focus on the history of a plant, its ethnobotanical uses, and how current research helps to support its historic use. The plant will accompany a #spiritbio and embody, symbolically and medicinally, the remedy we need to get through the times we are in. This report is accompanied by a #spiritbio: Hermaphroditos for the strength we need during snow moon. #memoryloss, #alzeihmers, #neurotransmitter, #doctrineofsignatures, #paracelsus, #apolecia, #lovesymbol, #amulet, #matriarchy, #menstruation, #fertility #matrimony #rosmarinusofficialis
Part I: Memory, Matriarchy, Marriage and It’s Hairy Healing Signature
A symbolic view and scientific grounding of Rosemary as a protector of love, memory, and the female body. Also, a microscopic view of the herb’s ability to aid in hair re-growth and skin disorders through a hairy microscopic look at it’s leaf’s surface, through the mind and revered doctrine of radical alchemist Paracelsus.
The Herb of Remembrance
Throughout recorded history, Rosemary has been used symbolically and medicinally as an ‘herb of remembrance’. Ancient Greek scholars wore a wreath of rosemary during intense examinations because it was said to enhance memory. Modern science now reveals that simply sniffing rosemary oil, can increase your memory by up to 75%, while remembering future tasks. This may be due to the ‘1,8-cineole’ or eucalyptol compound, in rosemary oil, which according to a study reported by the British Broadcasting Company, “may act in the same way as the drugs licensed to treat dementia, causing an increase in a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.”
Maybe this is also why archeologists have found rosemary on tombstones and in the embalming practices linking as far back as Ancient Egyptians. In fact, rosemary has been found in graves wherever the herb grows. For some, the significance is symbolic–as a sprig of Rosemary is a symbol you won’t forget a person. According to worldsonaplate’s blog the herb has been associated with Titaness goddess Mnemosyne, of whom, is believed to give humans their capacity for memory.
Symbol of Matriarchy
There’s an old saying that “where rosemary flourishes, the woman ruled.” In England, they believed that if a rosemary bush grew in front of a home, the woman was the leader of the household. According to herbco.com, when this belief popularized, “Men were known to rip out rosemary plants as evidence that they—not their wives—ruled the roost.” It was however, also known, that ripping out a rosemary bush, would not affect the status of the woman in the household.
This could be unconsciously linked to the herb’s ability to regulate menstruation for women who have their period delayed or too heavy, or perhaps for it’s ability to induce abortions. In addition, the University of Maryland found a study showing that rosemary, independently and with curcumin, helped prevent breast cancer. Other female friendly uses of the plant include being used, “…for retaining placenta, as a postpartum remedy, against vaginal infections, and to enhance fertility”, according to the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.
Love & Loyalty
As mentioned earlier, the herb is linked to the god/goddess of love. At the sanctuary located nearby the said-birthplace of the deity of love, rosemary was burnt and made into oil to honor the goddess. This may be where rosemary found it’s roots in the realm of erotic love. So ingrained was the belief that rosemary could bring love that, in the middle ages, young people would tap each other with rosemary twigs with open blossoms. It was believed that, by doing so, they would fall in love.
Marital practices continue to reflect this practice. Rosemary has been used as a wedding gift, sprigs sometimes dipped in gold, as an outward commitment of loyalty to their partnership.
Rosemary also helped in the choice of partners one needed to make. The inquirer would plant different pots of rosemary and each pot would contain the name of a potential partner. The pot that contained the most robust rosemary growth, was said to be the best romantic partner for the future.Traditionally and in modern times, it has been used symbolically in weddings as a way to bring good luck to a new couple and as a reminder to be loyal to their partner in the future.
‘Likes Cure Likes’: Hair and Skin
Paracelsus (1493-1541) was a radical alchemist that firmly believed in the healing power of plants and minerals and in the efficacy of folk medicine. Many of the ways, I was taught to understand the healing properties of an herb or compound, by a mentor/nutritionist/healer friend of mine, reflected his anti-medical establishment belief–that a remedy and patient should be understood at it’s most essential and microscopic level. When one could see the shape/color of a substance, one could discover a shape/color to combat it. Paracelsus, was lead by a Doctrine of Signatures:
“The doctrine of signatures was an important aspect of folk medicine from the Middle Ages until the early modern period. Often associated with the work of herbalists and wise women, it drew upon the belief that natural objects that looked like a part of the body could cure diseases that would arise there. Folk healers in Christian and Muslim countries claimed that God, or Allah, deliberately made plants resemble the parts of the body they could cure.” — UK Science Museum, ‘Brought To Life: Exploring the History of Medicine’
This idea, ‘like cures like’ is the modern foundation of homeopathy and very helpful in explaining its role as a stimulant of hair growth and regrowth. Taking a microscopic look at the leaf of rosemary, (below), it’s easy to decipher the shape of hair follicles.
If you’re gazing at the microscopic photo of rosemary, unable to decipher the shape of hair follicles and epidermis cells, you may be questioning the efficacy and saftey on making assumptions like those held by the Doctrine of Signatures, (and I wouldn’t blame you.) However, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, in a study designed to see if alopecia could be reversed, researchers found that, “those who massaged their scalps with rosemary and other essential oils (including lavender, thyme, and cedarwood) every day for 7 months experienced significant hair regrowth…” Both Used as a hair rinse and drinken externally, Rosemary, has been used to increase hair follicle growth and even reduce dandruff.
It’s not surprising then, that when rosemary is applied externally, it can help to sooth eczema and helps with the speedy healing of wounds. The Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, published a study in 2014, that showed it’s anti-aging and protective effect on skin cells. Carnosic acid, contained in rosemary oil, reduces the risk of skin cancer by protecting skin cells against the effects of ultraviolet radiation.
In no way is this feature promoting the use of ‘like cure like’ method Perecelus advocated at home. The purpose of the method, which still has modern scientific grounding, brings us back to the symbolism rosemary embodies: remembrance. According to an article on Wired.com by Matt Simon: “… the doctrine of signatures has at times not been used to identify cures, but to remember them, and in that way has been quite beneficial for peoples without a written language. Where the vast majority of scholars have roundly dismissed the doctrine as silly pseudoscience, Bennett sees the mnemonic benefits of the theory. That is, its use as a device to memorize what plants can repair what problems in the human body.”
Therefore, understanding the Doctrine of Signatures is one way to rediscover ancient cures that have been long hidden within the domination of western medicine and our interrelatedness with nature. Perecelus, in his lifetime, established the cure for syphilis, identified the element Zinc, among many other discoveries, that established alchemic cures should be used for health, not for wealth…
Part II: Relief from the Pains of the Body and Mind
On Rosemary’s ability to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression and the painful physical symptoms associated with it. #irritablebowelsyndrome #depression #anxiety, #colitus, #spasmogenicdisorders, #crohnsdisease, #flattulance, #digestive