Rosemary is a very aromatic evergreen shrub that has been in use from medieval times. I love all aromatic herbs and rosemary is no exception. I have always been mesmerized with herbs and aromatic herbs hold a special place in my heart because I find them greatly relaxing.
The oil extracted from the leaves is called rosemary essential oil and it is widely used in perfumery and as a medicine. Rosemary is a restorative herb, it is good medicine for treating cold, headache and general lethargy. It greatly improves memory, has a calming effect and is very good if we take it internally in the form of tea while suffering from depression and nervous tension.
Health Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary is an amazing anti-oxidant
Potent antioxidants within rosemary protect the body against free-radical damage. I remember reading that rosemary has been shown to contain carnosol and ursolic acid which is known to prevent melanoma and cancer, whilst caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid are well known for their antioxidants (and anti-inflammatory) benefits.
When you feel stress, the glands secrete cortisol. If the amount of cortisol in the bloodstream increases, then you are likely to feel anxious. Moreover, stress causes hormonal imbalance. So, if you are in stress, you can inhale a drop or two of Rosemary oil to reduce stress level.
Cognitive decline is one of the major concerns as we age. Rosemary has been proven to reduce age-related cognitive decline and internal consumption of rosemary showed good results and the effect increased with dosage.
Rosemary was traditionally associated with strengthening the memory and has been shown to stimulate the nervous system in the brain whilst increasing the flow of blood to the head. It also has been said that it contains compounds that stop the degradation of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter that ensures healthy memory and communication between the cells.
Rosemary has an excellent reputation as an anti-inflammatory and has been reported to relieve asthma, eczema, arthritis, gout and other inflammatory conditions. There are other herbs and spices that may be even more powerful at reducing inflammation, although, rosemary is certainly beneficial as an all-rounder, especially if it is something you begin to consume regularly in your diet.
Rosemary has various anti-inflammatory properties as well as antimicrobial properties which help in preventing ovarian cancer, prostate, pancreatic cancer, cancer of the colon.
Intake of rosemary as in tea form or form of spice, act as antioxidants and also reduces the plasma enzymes of the liver which causes diabetes. As the liver is the only organ, which has a very slow healing process, rosemary increases the healing period of the organ.
How to use
Rosemary can be used fresh or dried in soups, stews and all sorts of food dishes. It has quite tough pine needle-like leaves and in most dishes benefits from being chopped finely or cooked for at least half an hour to soften up. Check out my rosemary oatcake crackers for a simple, tasty recipe with a delicate hint of this delightful herb: Trinity’s Rosemary Oatcakes
As a tea infusion
Make a delicious rosemary tea infusion by placing some fresh rosemary into a tea ball or muslin bag and allow it to infuse in a mug for about 10 minutes. If you have a teapot just pour boiling water on the fresh herb and then strain off when ready (this allows more of the leave to infuse, which is actually better). Crush or bruise some the leaves beforehand to release more of the oils and allow for a more potent, rich flavor.
Many people love the intense aroma of rosemary essential oil and use it on the skin topically (minimal amount required) or as a powerful inhalant. (BE AWARE however if you are pregnant to avoid the use of rosemary essential oil, due to its strong stimulant properties).
So, if like me, you feel a resonance with this herb, then embrace it and explore different ways that you can bring it more into your daily life.