Have you met Rosemary?
I’d like to formally introduce you to ROSEMARY – no, not that lovely nursery school teacher you still remember decades on.
This is Rosemary – that wild herb that grows in your garden. The one whose green leaves look a bit like pine needles. The one which has some flowers – usually purple but sometimes white, pink or blue. And yes, the one which has a strong flavour and aroma.
This ancient Mediterranean herb (considered sacred to ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks) which is perennial so can be used all year round is a miracle worker. I’m not kidding – and apparently humans have known about it for centuries – it is said that Rosemary or “Rose of Mary” got its name from an ancient myth that Virgin Mary is said to have spread her blue cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush and the flowers turned blue.
So what’s so good about Rosemary? Allow me to let you into this well-kept secret:
- Memory Booster
One of the earliest documented uses of rosemary has been to improve memory and focus. Records have shown that in ancient Greece, students would put sprigs of rosemary in their hair when they studied for tests to help them remember and concentrate. In Hamlet, Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” And in Australia, sprigs of rosemary are worn on ANZAC Day (one of Australia’s most important national occasions which marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War) to signify remembrance
Rosemary helps improve memory and concentration. It may also help with age-related memory loss (including alzheimers and dementia) and cognitive decline.
Try it out – no harm in having a better memory!
- Antiseptic Properties
Rosemary consists of several active components which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. This makes it a great immune booster and works as a line of defense for the body.
The antibacterial properties can help combat bacterial infections – particularly stomach infections. It can also be used to detoxify the body.
The anti-inflammatory properties help reduce inflammation of muscles, blood vessels and joints and is possibly an effective treatment for ailments like blood pressure, arthritis and gout.
- Happy Herb
Rosemary is said to help uplift moods when one is feeling grey. If you’re feeling a little low or uninspired a whiff of Rosemary is said to be able to help. Alternatively burning some rosemary oil in an oil burner can help brighten the mood and clear your mind and give your day the boost it needs.
The oil is often used in aromatherapy and is said to reduce anxiety and stress (by lowering cortisol levels).
Rosemary has lots of other uses, for example applying Rosemary oil to the scalp is said to help prevent excessive hair loss. It has also been used to treat toothache and eczema. There is even a small amount of evidence that it may prevent cancer cells from replicating – more research is being conducted in this area to understand how effective a treatment it is.
There are various ways to take in Rosemary – you can add some to flavour food (either fresh or dried), although when eaten the effect may be diluted. You can also apply the Rosemary oil onto your skin and hair. Alternatively make some pot pourries or simply put some bunches in vases all over your house – after all this miracle herb is available in abundance!
Please let us know how you try and it and what the effects are…