Rosemary plant

[/custom_frame_right]

Rosmarinus officinalis

Description

Rosemary is used as a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and also revered for its ability to improve memory, for centuries. In Ancient Greece, it is said, students tucked sprigs of rosemary into their hair when studying to improve their brain function and recall. Since then, this spiky-leaved, aromatic herb has also been used medicinally to relieve muscle pain and spasms, stimulate hair growth and support the circulatory and nervous systems. And it continues to be used to flavour dishes around the world.

Parts used

Leaves and twigs.

Constituents

Rosemary contains rosmarinic acid and other antioxidants that fight free radicals, which can damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA and even cause cell death. The herb also contains vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin B6, vitamin C and folate, as well as the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium.

Medicinal uses

In Europe, rosemary leaf is approved by the German Commission E to treat dyspepsia and painful indigestion. Elsewhere, it is also recommended for its ability to enhance the manufacture of detoxifying enzymes in the liver, thereby increasing levels of energy in human beings – which is probably the reason it’s believed that a mug of rosemary tea will help you recover from a hangover. A single study has revealed that taking rosemary daily in the long term helps to prevent thrombosis. In another study at Rutgers University in the USA, rosemary has been shown to be a strong inhibitor in the development and growth of cancerous tumours.

  • Helps ease pain, such as headache.
  • Helps to relax muscles.
  • Helps to relieve menstrual cramps.
  • Helps to prevent the development of cancerous tumours.
  • Soothes upset digestion.
  • Increases energy levels.
  • Helps blood circulation.
  • Its diuretic properties improve kidney function and prevent water retention.

CAUTION

Talk to your medical practitioner before taking any herbal supplements.
Rosemary is generally considered safe when taken in recommended doses. However, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, large quantities of rosemary leaves, because of their volatile oil content, can cause vomiting, spasms and, in rare cases, pulmonary oedema (fluid in the lungs). Because higher doses of rosemary may cause miscarriage, pregnant and nursing women should not take the herb as a supplement. It is safe to use in foods, though. People with high blood pressure, ulcers, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or those on blood-thinning drugs, should not take rosemary supplements.

Flora Force Products containing Rosemary

Domestic & culinary uses

Rosemary is an extremely versatile and safe herb in everyday cuisine. Use it to flavour bread dough, poultry and other meat dishes and vegetables. Try this terrific recipe for roasted potatoes with rosemary and garlic.

Cultivation

Indigenous to the Mediterranean area, rosemary is an evergreen shrub with aromatic, spiky leaves and small, pale blue flowers. It is now grown widely around the world and thrives in a warm and sunny climate. It is easy to grow, drought-resistant and can be planted in a tub or as a hedge in light, sandy soil and a sunny position.

Photo credits

  1. By Fir0002/Flagstaffotos via WikimediaGNU Free Documentation License
Information in our herb library is intended only as a general reference for further exploration. It is not a replacement for professional health advice and does not provide complete dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription medicines. Accordingly, this information should only be used under the direct supervision of a suitably qualified health practitioner such as a registered homeopath, naturopath or phytotherapist.