Rosemary is one of the most commonly found herbs in a spice rack – not only does it have a great taste and aroma, but also an array of health benefits; its ability to boost memory, improve mood, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, protect the immune system, stimulate circulation, detoxify the body, protect the body from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions.
Rosemary is a perennial woody in the same family as mint which explains its very pleasant scent and popularity in cuisines around the world. It has a warmer, bitter, and more astringent taste that gives wonderful flavor to soups, sauces, stews, roasts, and stuffing. It is widely available and relatively cheap.
However, there are also other uses of rosemary as detailed below;
1. Skin Health: The rosemary is very well known for good skin maintenance. This is because of the anti-aging properties – in the medicinal oil that is extracted from the plant.
In the same way, the leaves of rosemary can also effect the youthful quality of the skin, while also healing blemishes and increasing the natural shine and hydrated appearance of your skin.
2. Mood and Stress: The aroma of rosemary alone has been linked to improving mood, clearing the mind, and relieving stress in those with chronic anxiety or stress hormone imbalances. According to Organic Facts, when the plant is consumed or applied topically in some sort of ointment of the leaves, it can have similar effects.
Aromatherapy also uses rosemary essential oil for this purpose.
3. Strengthens The Immune System: The active components in rosemary are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic in nature.
This represents a three-pronged attack against many different diseases and pathogens that could threaten the immune system of the body.
Antioxidant compounds form a secondary line of defense behind the body’s own immune system, and rosemary contains a significant amount of those powerful compounds, including rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, betulic acid, and carnosol, according to Wikipedia.
4. Antibacterial Potential: While the general immune boosting qualities of rosemary are impressive enough, it is specifically powerful against bacterial infections, particularly those in the stomach. H. pylori bacteria is a common and very dangerous pathogen that can cause stomach ulcers, but rosemary has been shown to prevent its growth when consumed. Similarly, it is linked to preventing Staph infections, which kill thousands of people each year.
5. Stomach Soother: Rosemary has traditionally been used by dozens of cultures as a natural remedy for upset stomachs, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and everything in between.
Its anti-inflammatory and stimulant effects are largely the cause of these effects, so adding it to your weekly diet can quickly help you regulate your bowel movements and your gastrointestinal system.
6. Breath Freshener: As a natural antibacterial agent, rosemary works as a wonderful breath freshener that also improves your oral health.
Steep rosemary leaves in a glass of hot water and then gargle or swish the water in your mouth to eliminate bacteria and give you naturally fresh and clean breath all night!
7. Stimulate Blood Flow: Rosemary acts as a stimulant for the body and boosts the production of red blood cells and blood flow.
This helps to oxygenate vital organ systems and areas of the body, ensuring that the metabolic activities in those areas are running smoothly, in addition to stimulating the movement of nutrients to cells that require repair.
8. Pain Relief: As an analgesic substance, rosemary has been topically applied in a paste or gel for hundreds of years to the affected area of the pain. When consumed orally, it acts as a pain reliever for harder to reach spots, such as headaches and pain from a condition. In fact, one of the most popular uses of rosemary is for the treatment of migraines. Applying a decoction to the temples, or simply smelling the aroma of rosemary has been linked to reducing the severity of migraine symptoms.
9. Anti-Inflammatory Qualities: Perhaps the most important function of rosemary is as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body. Carnosol and Carnosic acid are two powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in rosemary that have been linked to reducing inflammation of muscles, blood vessels, and joints.
This makes it an effective treatment for many things, including blood pressure, gout, arthritis, and injuries sustained during physical exertion or surgery. It is effective in oral or topical form for these anti-inflammatory effects.
Furthermore, the reduction in inflammation in the cardiovascular system can help to boost heart health and prevent atherosclerosis from appearing.
10. Detoxify the Body: Rosemary is slightly diuretic in nature, meaning that it can help flush out toxins more efficiently during urination.
Furthermore, by increasing the rate at which water leaves the body, it can also help push out pathogens, salts, toxins, and even excess fat when consumed regularly (or when you’re feeling particularly “toxified”).
In terms of the particular organ it benefits, it has been linked to lower levels of cirrhosis and a faster healing time of the liver, which is one of the slowest organs to heal.
Rosemary As A Memory Booster: Rosemary for a long time has been widely known as a cognitive stimulant. It was said to improve memory and help to increase intelligence and focus. Numerous scholars agree that the effects on the brain do indicate an increase in memory retention, which is never a bad thing; keeping your mind quick will help to keep it young.
In that same vein, rosemary has been linked to stimulating cognitive activity in the elderly, as well as those suffering from more acute cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Word of Caution: If you are allergic to other members of the mint family, you may experience discomfort if you consume or apply it, but the reactions are typically mild.
Other Uses Of Rosemary
Rosemary can be used in very many ways. First and foremost, you can use it in your cooking as a garnish or final spice.
You shouldn’t however cook with rosemary, as this can cause some of the beneficial components to be lost.
Rosemary is also good for a number of diverse things, both in the home and for human health. Rosemary’s strong scent makes it a deterrent for pests and insects, and is also a popular air freshener.
In terms of health, it can be consumed to help with digestion and stomach pain. Mixed into an oil infusion, it can help improve the health of the scalp and hair as a shampoo, and protect the skin from irritation and infection.
Where To Buy Rosemary
You can buy rosemary in almost any natural environment [such as the bushes] if you want it untreated or/and wild.
However, for cooking needs, rosemary is available in grocery stores, as it is a very popular cooking herb.
You can also grow your own rosemary, being quite a hardy plant, and then you won’t have to buy any at all! If you can’t make it out to a major chain store, rosemary is also widely available online in different forms.
How To Eat Rosemary
Yes, you can certainly eat rosemary, and it remains one of the most popular herbs to use in the culinary setting. The strong aroma of rosemary gives it an edge to be preferred in many different dishes.
However, you can also eat rosemary for its health effects, and even consume the essential oil in small or diluted doses. Rosemary has many internal effects, including reducing stomach pain and indigestion.
How To Cook With Rosemary
You can cook with rosemary in so many different ways because the aroma and flavor of this herb. You can place it as a garnish or topping on a fish dish, or cook it inside a poultry meal. You can sprinkle it into soups and stews. Now, if you want to get more flavor, you should cook it with the meals, but if you want to save more of the healthy nutrients contained in rosemary, don’t heat it up too much.
Where To Plant Rosemary
You can plant rosemary in any well-drained soil; you also want to make sure to plant the seeds early. You should give the plant plenty of room to grow, so don’t crowd it into a busy herb garden.
Since rosemary is a perennial, it is a popular choice for personal or home herb gardens, meaning that you can have access to fresh rosemary for cooking and health all year long!