Rosemary- an Herb to Remember
Rosemary - An Herb to Remember Of all the herbs I have grown and loved, rosemary is my favorite. Rosmarinus officinalis is an aromatic perennial evergreen, popular with gardeners because it adapts to a variety of poor soils and requires very little water or natural fertilizer. Gardeners enjoy potted rosemary inside during winter months to decorate for Christmas. Sunshine develops the fragrant, uplifting volatile and essential oils enjoyed in culinary healing and household cures. Lovers wear sprigs to remember good times when they are apart. Married women grow rosemary in honor of the Greek goddess Adephagihia, teaching us to cook and taste, often reminding us that love and good food are synonymous. Historically, women were responsible for the health of their household and included rosemary in many home cures. An oil from the violet blue flowers was used to enhance eyesight, reduce facial scars and balance oily skin. Compresses were applied to the forehead to "cool the brain", reducing headaches and quickening the senses. Teas were brewed to reduce jaundice and gallstones. Meats cooked with rosemary were made more digestible, reducing stomach aches and intestinal cramps. During the winter, meats were preserved with salt and rosemary. Finger bowls were scented with sprigs of rosemary and offered after dinner. Flowering sprigs were laid between linens and pages of a book to repel silver fish and moths. Washing water simmered with rosemary gave clothing a fresh scent. Today, rosemary stands alone as a preferred culinary herb. Salmon, chicken and pork acquire a unique flavor when rosemary is added to the grill. Potatoes and root vegetables are enhanced with a sprinkling of minced rosemary. Sauces, soups, and homemade breads entice the pickiest eaters when a hint of rosemary fills the kitchen. For over 30 years, I have used rosemary in private practice, hospitals, and clinics in a variety of products to encourage self-healing. The scent of rosemary increases endorphin release in the brain, lifting depression and increasing awareness. I distill the essential oil to best utilize the antiseptic, antioxidant properties. Children and adults benefit from its ability to increase focus and cognitive, short term memory. As a nervine, it relieves tension headaches and opens the bronchials for asthmatics. Rosemary's antiseptic properties reduce colds, flu and allergic reactions. As an immune stimulant, rosemary benefits cancer patients, reducing side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. The uplifting fragrance can help those suffering from fatigue. More recently, during the past 10 years, I've used rosemary in topical products to reduce lymphadema in the arms, hands, legs and feet. Rosemary greatly improves circulation, cleansing the lymphatics during massage. My blends have reduced neuropathy, increasing circulation in the peripheral nerves of limbs. Symptoms of dementia have even been reduced with the daily use of rosemary. The fresh, piney scent is pleasing to most people. It helps our bodies remember how to heal and reach its greatest potential. Cosmetically, rosemary increases hair growth and reduces hair loss. Mature skin becomes radiant with frequent rosemary rinses and aromatic creams. Rosemary also removes blackheads and corrects oily and combination skin types. Added to a warm footbath, rosemary will enhance mood . clarity and strengthen the heart. Most of all, rosemary symbolizes love, friendship and faithfulness. The scent reminds us how precious each day of life is together and promises even better times to come. Whether you grow it, smell it, or wear it, rosemary will always lift you up, increase pleasant memories and remind you it is heaven sent.