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Rosemary Camphor (Rosmarinus officinalis camphoriferum)

Rosemary Camphor

Rosmarinus officinalis camphoriferum

Camphor rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis camphoriferum) is a shrub of the Lamiaceae family native to the Mediterranean area. It is one of the "herbes de Provence".

Its stem, that can reach two metres in length, is covered with a greyish bark and divides into opposing branches. Its persistent leaves are longer than they are wide, with slightly rolled edges. Its blue tending towards purple flower spikes blossom from January to May.

Rosemary thrives in sunny scrubland and maquis. Three millennia ago, rosemary was cultivated between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for its medicinal properties.

Main aromatic molecules: (1,8-cineole or eucalyptol), monoterpenes, monoterpenones (camphor).
Family: Lamiaceae.
Producing organs: twigs and flowering tops.
Yield: 400 g of essential oil per 100 kg of plants.
Equivalence: 1 ml → 34 drops (dosage calculated for a calibrated dropper European Pharmacopoeia).

  • Bath Bath
  • Skin application Skin application
  • Oral route Oral route

Main properties

Essential oil of rosemary camphor is a potent stimulant and gives tone to a tired body. It relieves "heavy legs" and attenuates cellulite. It facilitates digestion and relieves aches, cramps and muscle pain.

Find all the virtues and uses of essential oils in our tips section.


Muscle pain, aches and pains, recovery after sport
Mix 5 drops of rosemary camphor essential oil + 6 drops of arnica vegetable oil and massage the affected areas. From 12 years of age.

Digestion and period pains
Massage the stomach 4 times a day with a mixture of 3 drops of rosemary camphor essential oil + 4 drops of macadamia or sweet almond vegetable oil. From the age of 12.

Cellulite, venous disorders
Mix 5 drops of rosemary camphor essential oil + 1 tablespoon of a mixture of calophyll and macadamia vegetable oils (equal parts) and massage the affected areas every other morning for 3 weeks. From 15 years of age.


Rosemary grows wild on the Mediterranean coast; it is one of the most extensively cultivated plants in France. In Corsica, where it is abundant (hence its designation Corsican blue), its intense blue flowers and multiple virtues have led to its being nicknamed a man di Diu (the hand of God). It is also produced in Tunisia, Morocco, Italy and Spain.


The scent of rosemary is fine, spicy and fresh.


The steam distillation of the flowering tops of rosemary gives a yield of 0.4%, i.e. four hundred grams from one hundred kilograms of plant.


Rosemary possesses multiple chemotypes, depending on where it is cultivated. All contain camphor, but in different proportions: rosemary camphor contains 20% on average, rosemary 1,8-cineol/eucalyptol contains approximately 10% and rosemary verbenone contains between 3 and 8%. These different chemotypes give the plant different properties that must not be confused. The main active constituents of essential oil of rosemary are the same for the different chemotypes, though in varying proportions: monoterpenes (alpha-pinenes, beta-pinenes, camphene), sesquiterpenes, terpene oxides (1,8-cineol) and monoterpenones (camphor).

Precautions for use

Do not use in: pregnant or breast-feeding women, children under the age of seven years, persons allergic to one of the components (geraniol, linalool, limonene), subjects with asthma without the advice of an allergologist before the first use, subjects with epilepsy (or children who have had fever seizures)

Rosemary prefers sun-drenched garrigues and scrubland. Rosemary was cultivated as far as three thousand years ago between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, for its medicinal virtues. In Rome, Vespasian mentioned it in his fiscal list of flavourings. It was placed on graves to ensure immortality and, in Ovid's Metamorphoses, it arose from the blood of a princess killed by her father to punish her for having given in to Apollo's advances. The Middle Ages could not forego a good legend: rosemary flowers were white but, just before giving birth to Jesus, Mary laid her blue cape on them, giving them their blue colour. The plant's benefits are numerous, though one predominates. The famous "Queen of Hungary's water" was made from rosemary flowers. According to legend, this 19th century sovereign, who could not get over being, and more importantly, looking seventy two years of age, regained a fresh and young appearance, along with a suitor.


Extracts from the book 'Aromatherapia - All about essential oils', by Isabelle Pacchioni, watercolors by Patrick MORIN, Aroma Thera Editions . Extracts from the book '41 essential oils essential for treating yourself differently' and '48 essential oils which every home needs to be healthy' by Isabelle Delaleu and Isabelle Pacchioni, Publications of the Mandadori France group. Botanical illustrations by Agathe Haevermans.

The properties, benefits and method of use are given for information; they cannot in any case constitute or replace medical information that only health professionals can provide. For any use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, please consult your GP or pharmacist.
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