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Healthy herbs are in fact handy medicines. Whether we are familiar with their benefits or not, they are capable to resolve almost every health-related problem. We need them to purify our body, to enhance our mind and to indulge our soul.
Rosemary is one of those widely used herbs. As an important part of Mediterranean cuisine, it is lucrative for our health in many ways.
Sometimes, culture and history are the best sources that can reveal interesting information about a certain herb. That is surely the case with rosemary plant.
For instance, rosemary plant was draped around the Greek goddess Aphrodite when she was born from the Uranus’s semen, when she rose from the sea.
In the middle ages, rosemary was a symbol of love, or a love charm. The bride and the groom would wear rosemary on their heads or clothes. Even today in some cultures in Europe, rosemary is essential part of wedding rituals. This plant was also used as a divinatory herb; it could tell the name of the future lover.
Another ritual documented that rosemary plant was stiffed into cloth dolls to attract the lover.
Many researchers also documented the usage of rosemary plant as an herb that protects from nightmares, insomnia and witches. Women used to place rosemary plant under pillow to relief the pain from headaches and migraines.
For Christians, rosemary is a holy herb because, according to the legend, the Virgin Mary draped her cloak over a rosemary bush and the colours of the blossoms turned from white to blue.
What Are the Characteristics of Rosemary Herb?
A woody, perennial herb, with green needle-like leaves and pink, purple, blue, and white flowers is from mint family Lamiaceae. Native to Mediterranean region, Rosmarinus officinalis is widely used as a decorative plant in garden and as a culinary and medical herb.
The name is derived from Latin words ros (dew) and marinus (sea). It flourishes in well-drained soil, it prefers sunny condition, and it can reach up to 1.5 meters in heights.
Rosemary leaves and flowers are the parts most important for us. Leaves contain phyto-chemical compounds that have many health benefits; they have no cholesterol while rich with dietary fiber. Fresh leaves are good source of antioxidant vitamin – 100 grams of leaves contain 22 mg of vitamin C.
Regular consumption of the food rich in vitamin C is excellent for skin, bones, and blood vessels. Moreover, this vitamin protects the body from scurvy, boosts immunity, helps free the body from harmful radicals, and is important for collagen synthesis in the body.
As for the flower tops, they contain anti-oxidant rosmarinic acid. This natural acid has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-viral properties. It is water-soluble and it has been tested in the therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. It is known as a natural compound that strength the memory and improve mood.
Herb in general contains good amount of vitamin A, 100 grams contains about 97% of RDA. Only few leaves a day will protect our vision, skin and mucus membrane. Rosemary plant is one of the herbs that contain high amount of B-complex vitamins and high level of folates that are important for DBA synthesis.
Fresh or dried, rosemary is rich with potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, and cooper.
How Can Rosemary Help Us?
Excellent herb for the immunity system – Rosemary is one of the top ten herbs that can help our overall health due to its numerous properties. It is a healing herb in many ways.
Lucrative for memory – This herb contains carnosic acid, an acid that has neuro-protective properties. Some studies showed that even the smell of rosemary herb improves memory quality and reduce the memory loss.
Herb for skin protection – Rosemary is in general great for skin due to its rejuvenation ability. Due to the anti-oxidants, the complexion of the skin improves, the cells regenerate, and the puffiness reduce. It also increases the blood flow, thus it improves the skin tone and protects the skin from aging.
Because of anti-inflammatory characteristics, rosemary reduces the size of acne, lessens the bites from insects, and cures various wounds.
Essential herb for healthy blood system – Due to the high content of iron, rosemary is an herb necessary for the prevention of anemia. Regular doses of rosemary can balance the lack of iron. Moreover, rosemary normalizes the blood pressure in the way that rejuvenates blood capillary in the brain and the rest of the body.
Powerful herb for detoxification – Hippocrates was one of the first who prescribed rosemary for liver detoxification due to its cleansing properties. In a word, rosemary deactivates toxins that accumulate in the body and help the body flush them out from the liver.
Healing herb for hair – Rosemary essential oil is often used to stimulate hair growth. It controls the production of the oil in the scalp, thus control the dandruff. Because it increases the blood flow to the head, it prevents pre-mature balding.
Calming herb for digestive system – Rosemary has been used for centuries as a remedy against upset stomach, indigestion, constipation and other digestive problems. To sooth the digestive tract, drink rosemary tea, or use rosemary tea with diluted peppermint to rub it on the stomach. This treatment can help with stomach cramps as well.
Herb to fight cancer – Anti oxidants in rosemary plant, fight free radicals in the body. They also block the estrogen thus prevent the breast cancer.
Powerful herb for respiratory system – When breathing in the scent of rosemary essential oil, this plant effectively treat colds, allergies, flu, bronchitis, asthma, and respiratory infections. For another treatment, boil fresh rosemary in a pot of water, and breathe in the steam. This way rosemary can help clear the lungs and throat, and easy the head and sinus pain.
Herb with diuretic properties – When rosemary is used regularly, it helps the kidneys to function properly. In a word, it gets rid of the excess water in the body and increase the urine flow.
The Forms of Rosemary Plant and Side Effect
Popular rosemary essential oil is main ingredient in cosmetic industry, while the tea is ancient remedy; however, rosemary is available in the forms of tincture and capsules. Tincture is taken when one is having problems with indigestion, chronic inflammation, insomnia, headaches, asthma, liver congestion, rheumatism, swelling, and sprains.
Take a teaspoon of tincture, dilute in 100 ml of water, and take three to four times a day. Capsules are, on the other hand, good for physical and intellectual overwork.
Rosemary herb is safe when taken in recommended doses and after the consultation with health provider. However, large quantities of rosemary can cause allergic reactions, vomiting, spasms and coma. People with high blood pressure, pregnant and nursing women should avoid rosemary.
Al-Sereiti M.R., Abu-Amer K.M., Sen P. (1999). Pharmacology of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.) and its therapeutic potentials. Indian J Exp Biol, Feb;37(2):124-30.
Green, J. (2000). The Herbal Medicine – Maker’s Handbook: A Home Manual. Crossing Press.
Hartung, T. (2011). Homegrown Herbs: A Complete Guide to Growing, Using, and Enjoying More than 100 Herbs. Storey Publishing.
Wood, R.(1988.) The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press.
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