The use of rosemary essential oil in herbal medicine was first documented in the 1st century by Hildegard of Bingen, who is considered to be the first naturopath of that age. Originally known as the rose of Mary, the legend tells of the virgin Mary spreading her cloak over the bush, after which its flowers would turn from white to blue. Used by the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks and Romans for a variety of purposes, it was planted outside the doors of their homes to ward off evil, and in the middle ages it was said to protect against the plague. Paracelsus, a Swiss-German physician in the 16th century, hailed rosemary essential oil as a cure-all, due to its observed ability to strengthen the whole body and heal the liver, heart and brain.
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