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A Recipe for Rosemary

Cathy Christensen November 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

As the seasons change and the months pass, a person can’t help but savor cooler nights with fragrant, steaming meals, and the promise of the holidays soon to come.

And one of the most aromatic and beneficial ingredients that seems to bring warmth to the chill in the air is rosemary. With its bittersweet, slightly piney flavor, rosemary is from the evergreen family and is closely related to mint, basil, marjoram and oregano.1 The herb, which is native to the Mediterranean, has been used since 500 BC in both cooking and medicine by the ancient Greeks and Romans.1 It is usually found growing by the ocean and its Latin name means “dew of the sea.”1

Rosemary contains substances that stimulate the immune system, increasing circulation and improving digestion.2 It also has been shown to improve concentration, and its essential oil is commonly used for its aromatherapeutic benefits, including relieving aching muscles, dull skin and exhaustion.3

In the kitchen

In the kitchen, rosemary serves as an herb that uplifts its accompanying dishes, and is often used in breads, salad, vegetables, meats, stuffings and even desserts. It is also featured in a variety of spa cuisine dishes, such as:

Pan Seared Duck With Ancho Chile Mango Salsa—Red Mountain Resort & Spa, St. George, Utah;

Marinated Shrimp on Rosemary Brochettes—Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Baja California, Mexico;

Garlic-Rosemary Chicken in a Pot—California Health & Longevity Institute, Westlake Village, California;

Seasonal Fruit Sautéed With Rosemary Honey—Les Sources de Caudalíe, Martillac, France;

Rosemary Scented Almonds—See this Web Exclusive recipe from The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pennsylvania; and

Sungold Tomato and Rosemary Soup—See recipe from Executive Chef Peter Schott of The Lodge at Woodloch.

In the spa

Rosemary is a common ingredient in spa treatments and products due to its invigorating scent, and its toning and binding properties that are great for anti-aging formulations. It also increases blood flow, which promotes proper skin function, and relieves skin congestion while reducing puffiness for firmer skin and better skin tone.4 It is important to note, however, that clients with epilepsy or who are pregnant or nursing should avoid rosemary essential oil because it is a stimulant.5

Many spas use this energizing herb in treatments, including:

The Rosemary, Citron and Sea Salt Body Scrub stimulates circulation and sloughs away dull skin—The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia;

The Rosemary Sage Purification Ritual is an exfoliating treatment that cleanses the body and clarifies the mind—Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Ojai, California;

The Lavender Flower Massage relieves tired muscles with an essential oil blend of rosemary, lavender, peppermint, peperina and French lavender—The Inn & Spa at Montchanin Village, Montchanin, Delaware;

Rosemary Awakenings features a full-body tri-crystal microdermabrasion body scrub that finishes with a mist of rosemary essential oil—Spa Toscana at Peppermill Resort, Spa and Casino, Reno, Nevada;

Come to Your Senses includes warm body compresses soaked in rosemary, a sugar scrub, milk bath and aromatherapy massage—The Spa at Vail Mountain Lodge, Vail, Colorado;

Salish Signature Rosemary and Mint Body Scrub includes a salt scrub blended with essential oils of rosemary and mint—Salish Lodge & Spa, Snoqualmie, Washington; and

The Rosemary Herbal Wrap—See step-by-step how-to from The Spa at the Sporting Club in San Diego.

Many professional skin care and spa products also feature the benefits of rosemary.

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics’ Restore from the Minerals in the Mist collection features a replenishing blend of rosemary, grapefruit and lime infused with minerals and vitamins for long-lasting hydration and protection.

Yon-Ka Paris’ Phyto 152 helps reduce the marks of pregnancy, preserve youthful curves and refresh tired legs with a rosemary elixir concentrate.

Sothys’ Beauty Garden Range featuring the EcoCert organic label includes Comfort Mask and Gentle Face Care with helianthus and rosemary.

Terra Dolce: The Esthetician’s Garden’s Rosemary Garden Body Butter hydrates and tones skin using top quality rosemary essential oil.

CA Botana’s Ambrosia Aromatherapy Rosemary Camphor Mask cools and invigorates using rosemary to normalize oily, blemished, congested skin.

Dr.Hauschka Skin Care’s Rosemary Bath includes rosemary essential oil to energize skin and help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

A potent reminder

Rosemary serves as a potent reminder of nature’s wonder, with its ability to bring out the best in food, spa treatments and skin care products. Try incorporating rosemary this winter into your healthy, beneficial and sensuous spa treatment menu and support your rosemary services by providing rosemary-based professional skin care products in your retail area to allow clients to bring the experience home.







Related Content



Quick Facts: Rosemary

  • In 1987, researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey patented a food preservative made from rosemary called rosmaridiphenol, a stable antioxidant used in cosmetics and plastic food packaging.1
  • Rosemary is believed to stimulate and strengthen memory.2
  • In ancient Greece, students would place sprigs of rosemary in their hair when studying for exams.2
  • Ancient Grecian mourners would throw rosemary into graves of the deceased as a symbol of remembrance.2
  • In England, the herb was used as a symbol of fidelity and played an important role in dress, decorations and gifts at weddings.2
  • Rosemary oil was used to make Queen of Hungary water, a popular cosmetic used in the 14th century.2

Recipe: Sungold Tomato and Rosemary Soup

From Executive Chef Peter Schott of The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pennsylvania

Makes 4 servings, 91 calories, 4 grams of fat


4 pints of Sungold tomatoes

1 cup diced onion

½ cup diced celery

½ cup diced carrot

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

2 cups vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Toss 1 tablespoon of olive oil with tomatoes, then place tomatoes on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Roast tomatoes in preheated oven at 350°F for 20 minutes.

3. While the tomatoes are roasting, add remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a four-quart saucepan and turn the heat to medium.

4. Add onion, celery and carrots, and cook until soft.

5. When tomatoes are ready, scrape all of the tomatoes and remaining juices, along with garlic and vegetable stock, into the saucepan with the vegetables and simmer soup for 20 minutes.

6. Next, add the rosemary and use a blender to purée the soup, then season with salt and pepper.

Treatment How-to: Rosemary Herbal Wrap

From The Spa at the Sporting Club in San Diego

Restore the skin’s vitality and balance with this botanical mask, leaving the skin silky smooth with its aromatic rosemary formula.

Treatment duration: 50 minutes

Treatment cost: $100


Private shower area

Hot cabinet

Warm towels

Three bowls

Mylar and thermal blanket


Rosemary essential oil

Purifying volcanic clay mask

Scalp massage oil

Rosemary lotion

Room setup:

Place towels on massage table on top of mylar and thermal blankets.

Step 1: Add drops of rosemary essential oil to wet towels and place towels in hot cabinet. Put volcanic clay mask, scalp massage oil and rosemary lotion into three separate bowls, and also place in hot cabinet.

Step 2: Greet the client and describe the treatment in detail. Discuss the client’s health history and remind her that clients who are pregnant or claustrophobic should avoid this treatment.

Step 3: Guide the client to treatment room and ask her to remove her robe and lie face down on the treatment table. Leave the room momentarily for privacy.

Step 4: When starting the service, apply warm volcanic clay mask on client’s body, starting at the feet and moving upward.

Step 5: Ask the client to turn over onto her back, draping with the blanket for privacy, and repeat Step 4 on the front of the body.

Step 6: Drape the client in warm towels, help her sit up and put another warm towel under her back, then have her lie back down.

Step 7: Wrap client in mylar and thermal blankets, and conduct a scalp massage with warm scalp massage oil for 10 minutes.

Step 9: Direct the client toward the shower to remove the mask and ask her to return to the treatment room when ready.

Step 10: When the client returns, complete the treatment with a 10-minute massage using warm rosemary lotion.

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