Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, a member of the mint family, grows wild on the windswept Mediterranean coast but it is cultivated in many regions. Major producers for export are Yugoslavia, France, Spain and Portugal. Rosemary herb was once thought to ward off evil spirits. During the Middle Ages people slept with rosemary branches under their pillows to keep them safe from demons and nightmares. Demons can take many forms such as unpleasant odours, witchcraft and the Plague - rosemary plant has been burned or ingested or carried to prevent them all.
Early Greek students took the meaning more literally by wearing wreaths of rosemary around their heads to stimulate their memories during exams.
Rosemary plant is an attractive evergreen shrub, with lovely aromatic linear leaves. Coloured a dark shade of green above and white below, the leaves of the rosemary give off a beautiful fragrance, and with its small pale blue flowers, the plant is cultivated extensively in many kitchen gardens across America and elsewhere. The leaves are needle like, and the flowers are pale blue to lilac.
Rosemary herb can grow up 15 feet tall. It is easy to grow rosemary from slips or cuttings. The plant matures in about 85 days. It is essential to cut back the Rosemary plant in spring after it has flowered. You may pick the fresh leaves all year round as the Rosemary is an evergreen shrub. There is no need to store Rosemary if you have a bush that is established in your herb garden.
Rosemary is a very hardy herb and can tolerate drought.
Brew some fresh Rosemary in tea, adding a few fresh or dried leaves. Rosemary Tea increases circulation and slightly raises the blood pressure warming the body from the inside out. Rosemary Tea stimulates the liver and digestion, promotes blood circulation, tones up the blood vessels, invigorates, and increases your awareness. Use Rosemary Tea as a mouthwash for a bad breath.
While Rosemary blends well with other herbs, use it lightly on its own in lamb, pork, chicken, and veal dishes, as well as in soups and stews, vegetables, and sauces. Rosemary provides a wonderful flavor in breads and makes a good marinade with olive oil, wine, and garlic. The leaves are used fresh, dried, or frozen in many recipes.
Rosemary has been found to be a stimulant and mild analgesic. The following health benefits are attributed to the Rosemary Tea:
• Rosemary tea fights headaches and fever
• Rosemary tea can be used to help treat epilepsy
• Rosemary tea counters poor circulation
• Rosemary tea can be used to fight rheumatism
• Rosemary tea may help improve memory
Rosemary leaves can be used as potpourri to freshen the air. Use the dried leaves as potpourri and in sachets to scent clothes and linen and deter moths.
Lay Rosemary sprigs amongst your linen where it will impart a wonderful fragrance to your linens.
Burn Rosemary twigs after it has been pruned in your fireplace or on you barbeque.
Rosemary is grown as a companion plant for cabbage, beans carrots and sage. It helps to deter cabbage moths, bean beetles and carrot flies.
It is believed that some aromatic spices like sage, peppermint, savory, rosemary, and thyme, hold incredible value in sterilizing water that has been contaminated with unfriendly bacteria.