New post, new spice! And also one of my favorites- rosemary. I love everything about it, from smell to taste and I put it everywhere (which is not so good for others but c’est la vie, I cook, I make the rules).
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a fragrant evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean. As an evergreen, rosemary is available throughout the year. Rosemary grows on a small evergreen shrub belonging to the Labiatae family that is related to mint. Its leaves look like flat pine-tree needles, deep green in color on top while silver-white on their underside. Its memorable flavor and unique health benefits makes it an indispensable herb for every kitchen. Rosemary is a member of the mint family Lamiaceaealong with many other herbs, such as oregano, thyme, basil, and lavender. The name rosemary derives from the Latin ros meaning “dew” and marinus meaning “sea” – “sea dew.”
In ancient Greece, students would place rosemary sprigs in their hair when studying for exams, and mourners would also throw the fragrant herb into the grave of the deceased as a symbol of remembrance. In old England, rosemary’s ability to fortify the memory transformed it into a symbol of fidelity, and it played an important role in the costumes, decorations and gifts used at weddings. Tradition holds that rosemary will grow only in gardens of households where the “mistress” is truly the “master.”
Looking like a small sprig from an evergreen tree the wonderful smell and assertively pine-like fragrance and pungent flavor of rosemary goes a long way to flavor to chicken, lamb, pork, salmon and tuna dishes as well as many soups and sauces. Most recipes call for rosemary leaves, which can be easily removed from the stem. Alternatively, you can add the whole sprig to season soups, stews and meat dishes, then simply remove it before serving. Add fresh rosemary to omelets and frittatas. Rosemary is a wonderful herb for seasoning chicken and lamb dishes. Add rosemary to tomato sauces and soups. Even better than butter—purée fresh rosemary leaves with olive oil and use as a dipping sauce for bread.
According to European law, rosemary’s leaves and essential oil are officially health beneficial.
Rosemary has been reported to decrease capillary permeability and fragility. Extracts have been used in insect repellents. The plant may have anticancer properties and has spasmolytic actions, liver and immune effects, and other various actions from asthma treatment to aromatherapy. It has antimicrobial actions against a variety of bacteria, fungi, mold, and viruses.
There are couple of types of rosemary’s essential oil, all used in different purposes.
Rosmarinus officinalis CT camphor – This plant is extremely high in camphor. Is considered a powerful energy stimulant. Grown in Spain and Croatia.
Rosmarinus officinalis CT 1, 8 cineol – This plant is stimulating and is the subject of this website. Grown in Morocco and Tunisia.
Rosmarinus officinalis CT verbenon – This is considered the most gentle of the chemotypes. It is used for skin care because of its dominant regenerative properties. Grown in Corsica.
The wonderful smell of rosemary is often associated with good food and great times. But it could just as easily be associated with good health. Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks. In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration.
Some health benefits:
Enhancing memory and concentration
Prevent brain aging
Protection against muscular degeneration
Stimulation of kidneys
It is often used with cough problems for inhalation- put 1 drop of rosemary essential oil in 0,5 l of hot water and inhale for 1 minute, then add one more drop and inhale, repeat 5x tops. You can inhale 2-3 times per day but not if you have asthma.
Because it works against bacteria and fungus you can use rosemary as a cleaning detergent. Add 20 ml of apple cider and 10 ml of alcohol in 60 ml of water. Then add essential oils: 10 drops of lemon, 10 drops of rosemary, 5 drops of lavender. Mix it and spray. It’s a great way to clean your house and keep the environment safe.
Rosemary tea is beneficial for muscle relaxation, indigestion and menstrual cramps. Pour one tea spoon of dry rosemary leaves with 2 dcl of hot water, let it rest for 10 minutes and then drain. Drink it 2-3 times a day, half an hour before meal.
Boiled leaves of nettle and rosemary are a great combination for cleaning your hair and to help normalize sebum and oily hair.
That’s all for today, as you can see many benefits come from this little plant if you know how to use it.
“As for rosemary, I let it run all over my garden walls, not only because my bees love it but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance and to friendship, whence a sprig of it hath a dumb language.”
Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)