An ancient herb with some quite interesting history. For the Greeks and Romans, rosemary symbolizes friendship, love, fidelity and loyalty. They were also used in ancient weddings and burials. Its name is said to have originated from the Latin word “rosmarinus” which means ‘dew of the sea’. Rosemary herb was a documented remedy in Hildegard’s Medicine Book that first appeared in 1098 A.D.
Wild rosemary is native to the Mediterranean and are often found along the sea cliff on the coast of France, Italy and Greece. Spain in the 13th century started cultivating the herb which became a widely used condiment with salt meats in the 15th century.
Rosemary is a woody evergreen and perennial herb which is part of the mint family together with oregano, basil and lavender. Its scientific name is rosmarinus officinalis. This plant is extremely drought resistant and can grow to a height of 5 feet. They prefer well drained sandy soil. It hates excessive rainfall, high humidity and extremely low temperatures. This herb can be easily spread by cutting, but is quite difficult to grow from seeds. It produces a blue, purple, pink or white flowers and needle–like evergreen leaves.
A superfood with excellent amount of antioxidant properties to fight off free radicals in your body.This super herb can improve your memory by elevating your blood compound called cineole. If you need to perform better memory task, do this simple trick… add a few drops of rosemary essential oil in a steam diffuser for at least five minutes, this will increase the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your head.
Rosemary contains carnosic acids that protects your eyes from macular degeneration. It is also packed with antibacterial and antimicrobial agents, including certain compounds that can inhibit carcinogenic chemicals from binding to cellular DNA.
To reduce joint pains like arthritis and rheumatism, apply rosemary oil directly to affected areas. This also applies to eczema, bruises and wounds to speed up the healing process. This is made possible by the good amount of salicylic acid it contains, the most active ingredient if aspirin. Mix rosemary and nettle to create a strong infusion for an effective herbal rinse to treat dandruff.
But the most promising part is the discovery of a certain phytochemicals in rosemary that may help prevent the degradation of acetylcholine, a brain chemical that is essential for normal neurotransmission. This may one day be an effective cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
As a precaution, do not take large amounts of undiluted rosemary oil as it can cause uterine bleeding, kidney irritation, vomiting, and allergic reactions. It may also worsen seizure disorder. Pregnant and nursing mothers are to avoid using rosemary for medicinal purposes. Rosemary is also known to stimulate menstruation and affect the uterus, which may cause miscarriage. Consuming rosemary in food or inhaled as aromatherapy is generally safe.
Rosemary fun fact: The 72 year old Queen Elizabeth of Hungary claimed that drinking rosemary water regain her beauty and strength. A 26 year old King of Poland even proposed to marry her! Very interesting.
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