Rosemary

Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosemary helps relief stress and tension. Also used as a brain stimulant based on blood detoxifying. It also helps hair growth.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names:
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: Yes
  • Parts Used: Leaves and Stems
  • Side Effects:
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About Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis, usually called rosemary, is a perennial evergreen herb that belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae. This pleasantly aromatic plant possesses branches that are full of green needle-like leaves that exude fragrance. Its flowers come in pink, purple, blue, or white color, having a mild delicate flavor.

Rosemary is a frequently used spice in cooking, as a natural preservative in various food industries, in cosmetics, as a medicine, and as ornamental specie. Rosemary can be utilized to promote plenty of pharmacological effects. It can ameliorate asthma, atherosclerosis, cataract, renal colic, hepatotoxicity, peptic ulcer, inflammatory diseases, and ischemic heart disease. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of rosemary can reduce oxidative stress and aids in attenuating hypercholesterolemia, physical, and mental fatigue. Rosemary also imparts antiulcer effects, neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, radio-protective, and anti-depressant activities.

The therapeutic efficacy of Rosemary counts on the phytochemicals present in it. It contains caffeic acid, carnosic acid, chlorogenic acid, oleanolic acid, rosmarinic acid, ursolic acid, alpha-pinene, camphor, carnosol, eucalyptol, rosmadail, and rosmanol.

Rosemary’s history dates back to 500BC when it was celebrated among Greeks and Romans as a culinary and medicinal plant. But today, its popularity has soared high and it is used in almost every nook and corner of the world.

Growing

Rosemary seeks warm winds of spring or fall to set out and spread its characteristic aroma. It demands full sun or light shade in warm weather with light garden soil (pH 5 to 8) that can drain easily.

Rosemary seeds can be easily sown in the garden bed to witness them grow robustly but they can also be grown indoors. To start indoor plantation, a fast-draining potting soil is required with regular feeding of fish emulsion. The container must be allowed to sit in a well-ventilated area to avoid harmful mildew.

Also, the outdoor plant can be brought indoors, several weeks before the first frost, to protect it against harsh winters. 

Rosemary acts as both perennial and annual plant. Seeds sown under ideal conditions germinate within 15 to 25 days. The blooming season of rosemary depends on the variety of plants. Mostly, rosemary blooms from late spring to early spring. The exquisite color of flowers attracts pollinating insects to do their job i.e. pollination.

The fertilization results in seed formation that can be dispersed further or used to grow further rosemary plants.

Harvesting

Rosemary leaves portray active growth in spring and summer, so they can be harvested at this time.

It is advised to prune rosemary daily to encourage better growth of the plant.

Rosemary leaves and flowers can be pruned through scissors whereas the seeds can be harvested from brown dry flowers.

Rosemary sprigs can be wrapped lightly in a paper towel and then in a plastic bag to be stored in the crisper of the refrigerator. This way, the sprigs stay fresh for 3 weeks.

To enjoy rosemary all year round, better dry it by air, dehydrator, or oven (on super low heat) and store it in an airtight jar. 

Usage

Rosemary’s fragrance and medicinal properties are of utmost importance and they are incorporated in many dosage forms to take benefits from it.

  • Tincture- Infuse freshly chopped rosemary in grain alcohol 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea- Dried or fresh rosemary is steeped in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes to make rosemary tea.
  • Decoction- Chopped rosemary (either dried or fresh) is simmered in water to make a decoction.
  • Salve- Dried rosemary is blended with other essential ingredients to make a salve.
  • Syrup- Fresh rosemary leaves are simmered with a sugar solution to frame a syrup.
  • Infused oil- Fresh rosemary sprigs are combined with a carrier oil (such as olive oil) to make rosemary oil.