ROSEMARY R. - the meaning
ROSEMARY R. = ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS = ROSEMARY
The two varieties most widely known are:
-ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS PROSTRATUS
(taken from the book of Alfredo Cattabiani "Florario - myths, legends and symbols of plants and flowers". It is a book to buy read see!)
THE DEW OF THE SEA
Rosemary is not only one of the herbs main of the feast of the Precursor, used in conjunction with the st. john's wort, lavender and rue, to the so-called "water of Saint John", but a plant that since antiquity has inspired legends, traditions, and medicines miraculous.
Its Latin name, rosmarinus, it matches closely to the sea: according to some etimologi is derived from ros, dew, and maris, of the sea.
According to others, from pink and maris, and would mean "rose of the sea".
But there is also who supports that ros derived from rhus, a shrub, sapling, so that rosemary would be "bush of the sea".
In every way his blue flower recalls the colour of the sea water.
In the language of the love of the flowers evokes a happy heart, and if it gives conveys the message: "I'm happy when I see you".
According to the hermetic tradition is the plant of the third dean of the Twins, and presides over the hands, and to their evils.
For this reason, in the rites of purification and ablution manual with solutions to the rosemary were the condition for each healing.
It was also used in religious ceremonies in the place of incense.
For the Egyptians it was the symbol of immortality, so much so that they used to put a handful into the hand of the deceased to facilitate the trip to the underworld.
The Romans, however, incoronavano with rosemary statuettes of the Lares, family genes of the house.
The funerary use of the herb spread, in a large part of the mediterranean world but also in the North, so much so that once in northern Europe accompanied the dead to the cemetery with a sprig in hand, while we made up the funeral wreaths with laurel, myrtle and rosemary.
This custom is also attested by a sicilian proverb:
Cc is as much ervi to the gardens
And cc is the rosmarina pi li dead!
THE LEGEND OF THE PRINCESS AND ROSEMARY
In Sicily, it tells a legend seemingly bizarre and obscure.
Once a queen, sterile was walking in the garden when, seeing a blooming plant of rosemary, she was overwhelmed with envy
irresistible to its numerous branches that evoked the symbol of fertility.
Shortly after it was discovered pregnant, and at the end of the pregnancy gave birth to a rosemary bush that she, intenerita, after having named Rosamarina, watered four times each day with their milk.
But during a visit to the king of Spain, his nephew, stole the plant and placed them in the garden feeding her with goat's milk.
One day the king was playing the flute next to the seedling when amazed saw out a beautiful princess that fell in love with immediately; so that on a daily basis, finished the commitments of the government, had a visit to the rosemary from which, at the first sound of the flute, leaving the beloved girl.
But there was the war, and the young king was forced to leave, entrusting the vessel to the care of your gardener.
The sisters of the king wanted to imitate him, and, taking the flute, the band played in front of the magical plant, and thus to evoke the mysterious and beautiful princess.
The girl fascinating provoked in them an access of jealousy that irresistibly pushed to change it without mercy.
The princess vanished forever, and from that moment rosemary began to decay.
The gardener, fearing that the king, on his return, he would punish, he fled from the palace going to sleep on the top of a tree.
At midnight under those trees came a dragon, and their companions, who began to chat. The dragon explained to the gardener to give life to the rosemary you had to take his blood along with the fat her and prepare an ointment by which the plan would be returned to the green and vital.
That ointment could symbolize the humidity of the night, thanks to which it can be reborn every day, the beautiful princess Aurora.
The gardener, killed the two dragons, watered with the magic prepared the rosemary in the breaking of the spell, and the return of the king married the beautiful Rosamarina.
The tale could simply be an allegory of the succession of night and day, but also to allude to the resurrection from the dead.
However, like any symbolic object, can conjure up other images: in Sicily, " says De Gubernatis, it is believed that rosemary may be dear to the fairies that were hiding in the likeness of serpents.
We can therefore assume that the binding of the rosemary with the fairies, the sea, on whose shores is the natural habitat, and finally with the figure
of the woman described in the Corpus hermeticum alluda to the Great Mother by many names.
"His name is Pepisoth," it is written in the Corpus hermeticum "its shape is that of a woman. In her right hand she brings the lightning (symbol of fire), and in the left the symbol of water. He has the body covered with feathers from the waist to the feet, and a crown on the head."
But like every living being or object, even rosemary can summon, depending on the context, symbols and opposites.
It was argued in fact, that the poisonous animals fed against an invincible aversion, so much so that neither the serpent nor scorpion would be able to enter a house where there was a sprig of rosemary.
And if this plant were eaten, the flowers with bread and honey, no animal poisonous and could hurt.
To dig out, then a snake from a hole, it would be enough to burn at the entrance, a sprig of rosemary so that the smoke will penetrate, forcing the reptile to flee precipitately.
The flowers, finally, would protect the clothes from moths and worms.
THE VIRTUE MAGIC
The symbolism of rebirth and of immortality, the plant has inspired a range of beliefs about the beneficial impact that would have on the psyche and on the body.
In the countryside of bologna of the Nineteenth century it was thought that its flowers, placed in contact with the skin, especially at the height of the heart, donassero happiness: a belief is very ancient, and is witnessed by its name, dorian, makarites, or "blessed".
The leaves, in their turn, placed under the bed, would have had the virtue of avoiding bad dreams, and the smell of the plant, placed in a vase in the window or near the door, would have distanced the scent that they carried diseases.
His scent would have also boosted the memory, so that they used to study, focusing on the table a twig or cingendosene the temples like a crown.
This property alludes to the mad Ophelia in Hamlet when he says to Laertes donandogliene a branch: "Here's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember; and, behold, the violets, these thoughts".
It was used as a plant of good omen on the day of the wedding because it also symbolizes Sincerity, as evidenced by a nuptial song cretan remembered by the De Gubematis.
And in the Havelland it was used during weddings to donate to the shepherd officiating a cup of beer, a candle and a bouquet of rosemary wrapped in threads of red silk.
The plant protected the finally against lightning: the opinion that must be born by the figure of a woman, described in the Corpus hermeticum, holding a thunderbolt in one hand.
Proliferated in the middle Ages the beliefs about the magical properties of rosemary with the wooden which were manufactured the boxes and various objects considered talismans and amulets, and even spoons, which would have prevented the poison, and dies to protect yourself from baldness.
In England you still think today, that a sprig, brought it to the buttonhole of a dress, can foster any business.
Like every beneficial plant, it was christianized, according to a tópos legendary, already met with in this journey of mythical and symbolic.
A legend in the andalusian tells that the rosemary would be hidden among the branches of the Madonna and the Child Jesus during the flight into Egypt, preventing the soldiers of Herod, who were pursuing them, to catch them.
Another belief claims that the face to blossom its flowers in the day of the Passion that Mary had the habit of drawing on it the clothes of the Infant Jesus.
Always for these reasons in Spain is said to bring good luck to the families that smell the house in noche buena, Christmas eve.
THE BELIEFS OF THE VIRTUES OF THERAPEUTIC
Thanks to its quality magical and sacred is attributed to the rosemary since ancient times, astonishing medicinal properties, on which we will not be long, if not to describe some of the preparations that became famous in the first place, the Water of the queen of Hungary, who, so Isabella praised: "I, donna Isabella, queen of Hungary, aged 72, who is sick in the limbs and suffering from gout, I used it for a whole year, this recipe had given me a hermit, never to me known, which produced me such a salutary effect that I am healed and I have regained the strength, to the point of looking beautiful to someone. The king of Poland wanted me to marry but I refused for the love of Jesus Christ. I believed that the recipe I was given by an angel. Take the distilled water, four times 30 ounces, 20 ounces of flowers of rosemary, put the whole in a vessel well closed, for the space of 50 hours, then distilled in an alembic in a bain-marie. Take once a week a drama of this potion with any other liquor or beverage, or even with the meat. Wash with it in the face every morning, and rubbed with it the members sick. This remedy renews the forces, lifts the spirit, cleans the marrow, gives new lena, it returns the view and keep it for a long time; it is excellent for the stomach and the chest".
It is said that Louis XIV was cured, thanks to this water weighty, from a rheumatism in the arm and shoulder.
And Madame de Sévigné, the exalted, saying: "It is the divine; I inebrio every day. I find it good against sadness. They are insane, it's the relief of all the sorrows".
The VINEGAR OF the FOUR THIEVES
Equally portentous was the Vinegar of the four thieves.
Made its appearance during the epidemic of plague that struck Toulouse between 1628 and 1631.
As attested by the registers of the city, four thieves were arrested red-handed while they were looting the houses of plague victims were forced to confess, behind the promise to save his life, what was the mysterious substance that them preserved him from the contagion.
But as soon as they revealed the formula were hanged.
The recipe included, in addition to rosemary, other plants that varied from place to place.
In Germany they used to dissolve in 300 parts of alcohol to one part of ethereal oil of lavender, peppermint, rosemary, juniper and cinnamon, and two parts of oil of cedar and cloves; then added 450 parts of dilute acetic acid in 1200 parts of water. Fidgeting for a few days the liquid is obtained and finally it is filtered. Mixed with water was used not only against plague, but also for washing of the mouth and the affections scorbutiche to the gums; and, more rarely, for internal use at the dose of 1 or 2 teaspoons per day with the wine with the water and sugar, and even how to smell.
Against sprains and rheumatic pain, used the Balm and nervine or Ointment nerve, composed of a mixture of oil of poppy-seeds, beef marrow, butter, nutmeg, sunflower oil and, of course, oil of rosemary, to which were added the camphor and balsam of Tolù.
No less famous for curing the rheumatic pain was the Tranquil Balm, so called because the author was a capuchin father, Tranquil, who invented it together with a confrere, father Rousseau.
Comprised of 18 components, varied, however, in places and over the years, according to the recipes of the various doctors.
There was also an amazing preserved flowers of rosemary, as well described by Donzelli in his Theatre pharmaceutical: "Take of rosemary flowers lb a, sugar three pounds. It cooks the sugar to the cooking of manuschristi and let it cool down, and then meschiano them flowers healthy, and cook them a little, because in doing so remains to their native color. It comforts the brain humido, is good for the heart and strengthens the limbs nerve".
Caterina Sforza, lady of Forlì, baptized finally heavenly Water a tonic, obtained by distilling three times, in addition to rosemary, a number of other herbs including sage, basil, cloves, mint, nutmeg, elderberry, juniper, cinnamon, the white and red roses, anise and incense.
Beyond amplifications and accretions, the legendary rosemary is actually a plant with many therapeutic properties: it is antiseptic, antispasmodic, diuretic, stimulant, tonic, vulnerary as well as indicated in herbal medicine to treat asthma, asthenia, hair, cellulite, cholesterol, impotence, memory, and many other disorders.