Kitchen Remedies – Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) has a colorful history of healing. The ancient Greeks thought that putting Rosemary garlands on their heads would help them learn, this has not been proven to be true, but of course it couldn’t hurt.

Rosemary has been long used as a preservative, especially for meats. This is true, the antioxidants protects fats from being attacked by oxygen. This fact could save many picnics, by mixing a generous amount of crushed leaves into your hamburger and adding it to your pasta and potato salads. Rosemary compares favorably with BHA and BHT as a preservative.

During the middle ages, the English began incorporating Rosemary into their wedding ceremonies and funerals. For weddings it was thought to be a symbol of fidelity and in funerals it was for remembering the deceased. Rumor has it that by the 16th century Rosemary planted around the house meant that the woman was “in charge” so husbands began tearing up the plants to prove they ran their homes.

According to legend in 1235, Queen Elizabeth of Hungary was paralyzed. A local healer soaked Rosemary in wine and rubbed it on her legs and she was healed. Even today the use of “Hungary Water” is prevalent.

Several studies have shown that in lab animals Rosemary as an oil or seasoning can reduce the risk of several cancers by 1/2. It has not been proven to work on humans, but it seems to be worth trying in my book. The cancers that it works on in animals are colon, lung and breast. In some studies the oil has been rubbed on the skin and in others it was fed to the animals. Either way having Rosemary as a regular in your diet is an easy preventative.

Rosemary is most often currently used as a stimulate for the circulatory system, used for headaches, indigestion, a gargle for bad breath and in baths for relaxation. It is said that a cup of Rosemary tea is as effective as an aspirin.

To make rosemary tea, use 1 teaspoon crushed leaves to 1 cup boiling water and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. You may drink up to 3 cups per day.

Rosemary will also relieve nasal congestion due to flu, colds or allergy. Rosemary will strengthen your heart and reduce blood pressure.

As an after dinner drink it will ease indigestion.

Rosemary will also ease menstruation pain. It should not be used by women who are pregnant as it will also relax the womb.

Externally it works as a wonderful hair rinse to strengthen your hair, reduce dandruff and stop premature balding.

The oil used externally will help ease the pain of stiff and inflamed joints. It is a wonderful addition to a foot bath to relax and ease sore feet.

Rosemary is a wonderful ground cover in your garden and grows in light sandy soil with full sun. To much watering will cause root rot. That makes it a perfect plant for someone who does not get around to watering often. It should be started as a plant as seed is difficult to germinate. It will withstand zero weather without any care. If you live in an area where the temperature drops well below that, mulching in the fall will keep the plant over winter.

Studies have shown that it really doesn’t take a lot of Rosemary for it to work. It is a wonderful flavoring for meat, potatoes and vegetables and even a teaspoon a day will have therapeutic effect.

For more information on herbs and home remedies please visit me at