Rosemary is a relative to the mint family and the name is derived from its Latin origin to mean “dew of the sea.” Rosemary is very common in Mediterranean cuisine and has somewhat of a bitter astringent taste to it. While that is true it compliments oily foods very nicely. A tisane can be made from the Rosemary leaves and that is also very popular when cooking.
First it is burned and then added to a BBQ to flavor various foods. Sage, unlike many other herbs has a high nutritional value to it and is rich in iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6 and is more nutritional in its dried form rather than fresh. Rosemary should be harvested just as you are going to use it because it truly loses its flavor once dried. Gardner’s swear that if you plant some Rosemary plants in and around your garden, the Rosemary will fend off moths, beetles, and carrot flies.
Older Europeans loved Rosemary and believed that it improved memory and also used it as a symbol of remembrance and was often tossed into fresh graves before they were buried over. Traditionally it has been said that Rosemary, left untrimmed, would grow for thirty three years where it will reach the height of Christ when he was crucified. Many would also place sprigs of Rosemary underneath their pillows to ward of evil and nightmares. Often the wood that comes from the stems of the Rosemary plant was used to make musical instruments. Remember that people back then liked to utilize every piece of something as not to waste. Today, many wreaths are made from Rosemary as a symbol of remembrance.
Today, Rosemary is still used for many things besides cooking as it is in potpourris, air fresheners, shampoos, and cosmetics. There has also been scientific evidence that Rosemary works very well as a memory stimulant. Rosemary has also shown some cancer prevention properties in animals. But further Rosemary has shown a strong relationship in relaxing muscles, and to soothe stomach upset as well as menstrual cramps. The main thing to remember when using Rosemary for this purpose is that if you use too much it can actually cause a counter effect.
When made into a tea it is ingested for calming nerves and anxiety and as an antiseptic. Rosemary when used as a tea many people find to taste very good. Making the tea from Rosemary is quite simple actually, just pour boiling water over the leaves and steep for 10-15 minutes. A little sugar can be added by you should not add any cream. A few sprigs can be added to oils and vinegars to flavor the products which add a nice taste for cooking.
When used cosmetically it can lighten and tone human hair and when mixed with equal parts of shampoo it has been known to strengthen hair too. It also makes for a nice additive in hot bath water. Rosemary is still used quite commonly today however more so for cooking than anything else.