How Rosemary Can Give You Fresh Pits & Clear Skin

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On one of the hottest days this summer, I caught a co-worker drinking hot water, lemon, and rosemary. As his sweaty body slithered past me up the stairs, I couldn't resist the urge to sip the steaming liquid before me. After realizing my rookie mistake, I quickly followed him to demand what type of gross summer sickness was making him drink tea on a day where temperatures rose well into the 90s. Fortunately for me, he wasn't sick at all — he simply told me that rosemary was his new jam. He had no knowledge of any health benefits, but welcomed any information to justify his new craving for rosemary water.

Being part of the mint family, it was obvious that rosemary had to have similar health benefits as sage and peppermint, but aside from it being a secret ingredient in my eggs scramble, this herb has a unique history that's loaded with all types of health benefits for our bods. Rosemary has long been known for its memory, from honoring the memory of the dead to enhancing memories in adults. A scientific study presented to the Society of Neuroscience found that the antioxidants in rosemary's extract, in high doses, improved cognitive memory that had suffered a decline due to the aging process.

This flavorful evergreen isn't just going to help the decline in your mind, those same antioxidants can be used for skin benefits to combat premature aging. Rosemary increases the skin's elasticity therefore decreasing droopiness and age spots. The anti-inflammatory benefits are key to eliminating puffiness from age or a regretful night of drinking sugary cocktails at your fave happy hour.

Rosemary contains iron, calcium, and phytonutrients. Over-exposure to sunlight is one of the leading causes of photodamage, the phytonutrients in rosemary are tough on sun crime. The nutrients of rosemary can help protect skin cells from damage often caused by the sun and free radicals. Since rosemary has natural antiseptic properties, it's a superior disinfectant for our skin and hair. In fact, this essential oil is known to promote a healthy, moisturized scalp and reverse premature graying.

You can easily grow your own rosemary and your garden and extract oil from the flowering leaves, or you can purchase rosemary essential oil at your local organic grocery or vitamin store. Either way, keep those rosemary herbs leftover from last Thanksgiving, as long as the expiration date is still valid, because consuming rosemary has some health benefits that all of us can enjoy.

Try: Majestic Pure Essential Oil Rosemary, $14, Amazon

1. Natural Facial Astringent

To reap rosemary's natural astringent benefits, simply apply the oil directly on a freshly washed face with a cotton ball. Allow this seductive oil to dissolve into your skin before applying your moisturizer.

2. Bad Breath

Suffering from morning breath even after you brush your teeth? Simply gargle with rosemary before leaving the house and have delightful breath all day long. Sources say that brushing your teeth too often can irritate gums and expose teeth to unnecessary irritation. Before you start compulsively brushing to rid the smell of garlic or other unwanted foods, think about keeping rosemary essential oil at your desk to gargle with as an alternative.

Try: USDA Certified Organic Rosemary Essential Oil, $9, Amazon

3. Natural Deodorant

This is a great remedy for forgotten deodorant on an unexpected sleepover or if you are trying to keep the harsh chemicals in antiperspirants off your natural bod. This is a cheap, effective natural deodorant that anyone can make. Just apply apple cider vinegar and rosemary oil on a cotton ball and wipe directly on your underarms to keep a strong distance between you and body odor, so you can be as close as you want this summer.

4. Acne Oil Treatment

Another great ingredient for acne oil treatments is rosemary, those anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties are def going to be a pimple's worse enemy. Combine rosemary oil with primrose oil, which is an excellent topical treatment for hormonal acne, and use your favorite carrier oil. If nuts are your friend, argan oil will be a great carrier oil for this mask. Argan oil is a beauty secret for celebs like Eva Mendes because of its light fragrance and natural ability to restore skin's strength and elasticity with high antioxidants, vitamin E, and natural fatty acids.

Simply use equal parts of rosemary and primrose and then add 2 parts of your carrier oil. Oil masks work best on a freshly cleaned, makeup free face. Leave the oil on for at least 5 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

Try: Virgin Argan Oil Of Morocco, $16, Amazon

5. Hot Oil Detangling Mask

Nothing gets my 'fro in a better mood than a hot oil mask that detangles and restores moisture in my locks and scalp. Use one part rosemary oil, one part lavender oil, and two parts of castor oil. This mask is especially great if you're starting to see some rude premature gray hairs popping up because rosemary is also known as a natural hair darkener. Not only will you find yourself easily maneuvering a comb or your fingers through tangles, you'll mask the greasy scent of castor oil with these essential oils and get some serious hair benefits from them too!

Try: Indie Lee Moisturizing Lavender Oil , $36, Amazon

Image: Kristin Collins Jackson