Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen shrub that has leaves similar to hemlock needles. The leaves are used as a flavoring in foods such as stuffings and roast lamb, pork, chicken and turkey. It is native to the Mediterranean and Asia, but is reasonably hardy in cool climates. It can withstand droughts, surviving a severe lack of water for lengthy periods. Forms range from upright to trailing; the upright forms can reach 1.5 m (5 ft) tall, rarely 2 m (6 ft 7 in). The leaves are evergreen, 2–4 cm (0.8–1.6 in) long and 2–5 mm broad, green above, and white below, with dense, short, woolly hair. The plant flowers in spring and summer in temperate climates, but the plants can be in constant bloom in warm climates; flowers are white, pink, purple or deep blue.
Where Rosemary herbs Flourishes
Rosemary flourishes in well-drained, alkaline soil. It prefers sunny condition and needs protection shelter from gusty winds. The plant reaches about 1.5-3 meters in height. Its bushy stems and downy young shoots are covered with about 1 inch long, narrow, needle-like aromatic leaves; dark green above and grayish underneath. The plant bears short racemes of small sea blue flowers appearing in early summer.
The plant parts; flowers and leaves have an odor that is pungently aromatic and somewhat camphoraceous (camphor-like).
Apart from culinary and medicinal purpose rosemary shoots, flowers and leaves are used in ceremonies such as weddings and festivals for decorating banquet halls as incense to ward off bad influences.
Since it is attractive and drought tolerant, rosemary is used as an ornamental plant in gardens and for xeriscape landscaping, especially in regions of Mediterranean climate. It is considered easy to grow and pest-resistant. Rosemary can grow quite large and retain attractiveness for many years, can be pruned into formal shapes and low hedges, and has been used for topiary. It is easily grown in pots. The groundcover cultivars spread widely, with a dense and durable texture.
Rosemary grows on friable loam soil with good drainage in an open, sunny position. It will not withstand waterlogging and some varieties are susceptible to frost. It grows best in neutral to alkaline conditions (pH 7–7.8) with average fertility. It can be propagated from an existing plant by clipping a shoot (from a soft new growth) 10–15 cm (4–6 in) long, stripping a few leaves from the bottom, and planting it directly into soil.
Herbal Remedy Products with Rosemary as part of the ingredients
News About Rosemary
What Are the Benefits of Eating Rosemary?
- By Mala Srivastava
Rosemary, or Rosmarinus officinalis, is used as a spice in Mediterranean dishes. Traditionally, the herb has been used to ease muscle pain and spasm, support the circulatory and nervous systems, improve memory and stimulate hair growth, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. Rosemary tea, which can be made from fresh or dried leaves, offers impressive health benefits.
- Cancer Prevention
According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, research has shown that rosemary can protect you from cancer. Rosemary contains two key ingredients -- rosemarinic acid and caffeic acid -- that are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents. These potent ingredients minimize damage to your body’s cells from free radicals, which are rogue compounds that damage your DNA and may contribute to the development of diseases such as heart disease, arthritis and cancer. Furthermore, rosemary also contains carnosol which has been found to detoxify substances that can commence the breast-cancer process. Women can develop breast cancer when their estrogen hormones fall out of balance. Researchers say that rosemary stimulates liver enzymes, which inactivate these hormones, notes the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.
- Digestive Support
Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a term that describes discomfort in the stomach associated with eating. You may experience indigestion as heartburn, abdominal pain or pressure, or as belching -- a feeling of excessive gas. According to the UMMC, rosemary has been used to treat indigestion. The German Commission E, which tests the efficiency and safety of herbs, has approved rosemary for the treatment of dyspepsia. However, New York Langone Medical Center says that there is no valid scientific evidence to support this use.
- Eczema Treatment
Rosemary may help treat eczema -- a common term for painful skin outbreaks -- which causes some areas of your skin to become dry, red and flaky and other areas to become crusty, moist, inflamed and oozing. Phyllis A. Balch, author of the book “Prescription for Herbal Healing,” recommends using rosemary tea as a skin wash two to three times a day to treat eczema. Rosemary stimulates flow of blood to the skin and blocks secondary infections.
- Neurological Protection
A study published in the February 2008 issue of “Journal of Neurochemistry” found that the herb rosemary contains an ingredient called carnosic acid that wards off free-radical damage in your brain. Carnosic acid protects your brain from stroke and neurodegeneration -- the loss of structure or function of neurons -- that are caused by free radicals.
The daily intake of rosemary should not go beyond 4 to 6 grams of the dried herb, states UMMC. Ask your doctor about the right dose for your condition. When taken in recommended doses, rosemary is generally considered safe. However, it can cause allergic reactions in some people. Furthermore, rosemary can interact with certain medications such as diuretics, blood thinners or ACE inhibitors; therefore, drink rosemary tea only under the supervision of your health care provider. People with Crohn's disease, ulcers, ulcerative colitis or high blood pressure should avoid drinking rosemary tea.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Rosemary?
- By Michelle Kerns
Rosemary is an herb used to flavor tomato-based dishes, meat, poultry, seafood, beans and baked goods, particularly in Italian cooking. It has been traditionally used as a folk medicine, as treatment for conditions ranging from indigestion to hair loss, though the University of Maryland Medical Center notes that there is little scientific evidence to support these claims. However, rosemary is a good source of a variety of essential nutrients, including dietary fiber, iron, calcium and folate. Per serving, dried rosemary contains more vitamins and minerals than fresh rosemary.
- Dietary Fiber
A 1-tablespoon serving of dried rosemary contains 1.4 grams of dietary fiber. This amount supplies approximately 6 percent of the Food and Nutrition Board's recommended daily allowance of fiber for healthy adults following a 2,000-calorie diet. Fresh rosemary has less fiber, with only 0.2 grams in every tablespoon. Eating fiber-rich foods daily may significantly decrease your risk of diabetes, high blood cholesterol, stroke, heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure. An increased intake of fiber can also help keep bowel movements regular.
Each tablespoon of dried rosemary contains 0.97 milligrams of iron, or 12 percent of the RDA of iron for men and 5.3 percent of the daily required intake of the mineral for women. By contrast, fresh rosemary contains 0.11 milligrams of iron per tablespoon. Iron is necessary for the synthesis of red blood cells and adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, the primary cellular energy source. If your diet does not contain enough iron, you may be more likely to become anemic or to develop a neurological condition like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Adult men and women between 19 and 50 years old need 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day, and a tablespoon of dried rosemary supplies about 4.2 percent of this requirement. A tablespoon of fresh rosemary supplies approximately 0.5 percent of the RDA of calcium. Calcium plays a crucial role in the growth, development and maintenance of bones and teeth. It also helps regulate muscle contraction and acts as a trigger for enzymes involved in blood coagulation. Adequate calcium intake may lower your risk of osteoporosis, high blood cholesterol, hypertension and kidney stones.
A tablespoon of dried rosemary contains 10 micrograms of folate, which is about 3 percent of the required daily intake for both men and women. Fresh rosemary contains 2 micrograms of folate per tablespoon, or 0.5 percent of the RDA. Also known as folic acid or vitamin B-9, folate supports the health and function of the nervous system and aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein. It also helps with the production of red blood cells, DNA and RNA. A diet high in folate may lower your risk of depression, cancer, heart disease and age-related macular degeneration. Pregnant women who consume adequate folate may be less likely to have a child with birth defects.
8 health benefits of rosemary
- By Mary Jo DiLonardo
This fragrant herb may help with everything from memory to stress.
In the remote village of Acciaroli in southwest Italy, about one in every 10 people is over 100 years old. Did they discover the Fountain of Youth? Not likely. It's probably not something in the water that's leading to the incredibly longevity of the residents. But it may be something in the rosemary.
Researchers from the University of California San Diego and Rome's Sapineza University studied the town's incredibly healthy, long-living population and found that one thing they did was cook with lots and lots of rosemary. The local version of the herb is especially pungent and reportedly smells 10 times stronger than the one most people are familiar with, reports the New York Times.
So could this aromatic herb do more than add tasty benefits to a variety of culinary creations? Quite possibly.
Officially Rosmarinus officinalis, rosemary is a perennial evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean that now grows widely in much of the world, particularly in warm, sunny climates. The plant has long, spiky needles that are green on top and silvery underneath, as well as small, blue flowers. In addition to being available as a fresh herb, rosemary is sold as a dried whole herb, dried in capsules and as an oil.
Both the leaves and the stems of the plant have been used for cooking and for medicinal purposes for centuries. Here's a look at some of the ways rosemary might help your health:
Memory and concentration. Rosemary has long been linked in folk medicine to better memory. Reportedly in ancient Greece, students would place rosemary sprigs in their hair while they studied for tests. It is used in aromatherapy to help with concentration and age-related cognitive decline. Some studies show that rosemary aromatherapy can improve the quality, but not the speed of memory, reports WebMD. Early evidence in other studies suggest that taking just 750 mg of powdered rosemary leaves in tomato juice might improve memory speed in healthy, older adults. However, taking higher doses may make memory worse.
Stress. Rosemary is also used in aromatherapy to ease stress. One study suggests that the combination of rosemary with other oils could possibly lower cortisol levels and thereby lower anxiety, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM). A similar study found that using essential oil sachets made of rosemary and lavender helped ease test-taking stress for nursing students. Other studies, however, show that applying straight rosemary oil to the wrist can actually increase anxiety and tension while taking a test.
Hair loss. For ages, rosemary has been linked with hair growth in many cultures. Some early research shows that applying a combination of rosemary oil, lavender, thyme and cedarwood oil to the scalp can help improve hair growth, according to WebMD. In one study, people with a disease where hair falls out in patches (alopecia areata) experienced significant hair regrowth when they massaged their scalps with rosemary and other essential oils compared to those who just massaged their scalps with no oils. However, the study was poorly designed, UMM points out, so researchers aren't sure if the rosemary was responsible for the hair growth.
Indigestion and other gastric issues. There isn't a lot of scientific evidence that rosemary helps with problems like stomach upset, gas or indigestion. However, UMM reports that in Europe rosemary leaf is used for indigestion and is approved by the German Commission E, which examines the safety and efficacy of herbs.
Muscle pains and aches. Some early studies show that taking a combination of rosemary, hops and oleanolic acid may help ease the pain associated with arthritis, according to WebMD. Rosemary oil is also approved by the German Commission E as a topic treatment to treat muscle and arthritis-related pain and to improve circulation.
Mental energy. Rosemary's smell is unmistakable. And if you're bored or a little uninspired, maybe a whiff of the pungent herb can help. A 2013 study looked at the effects of inhaled rosemary oil on feelings and activities of the nervous systems. Among its findings: "All the data has collectively shown a medicinal benefit of rosemary oil when inhaled, by the removal of feelings of boredom and by providing fresh mental energy."
Cancer. A number of studies suggest that rosemary extract may prevent cancer cells from replicating, thereby stopping tumors from growing, reports UMM. One study found that rosemary (alone, and with curcumin) helped prevent breast cancer; another study found similar effects with rosemary on colon cancer cell replication.
Other possible benefits. So the science is iffy (or nonexistent) in these situations, but some people use rosemary to treat a range of conditions including gout, cough, headache, liver and gallstone problems, high blood pressure, toothache and eczema. Although there isn't the research to back up the claims in these instances,
Rosemary: the mind-bending herb of choice for today’s students
- By Emine Saner
Sales of the plant’s oil – which reportedly improves memory – have shot up in the past year. So, which other natural remedies may aid learning?
Students are known for dabbling with mind-altering herbs, and the latest tale of herbal experimentation shows there has been a rush on rosemary. Following a report that the woody herb may improve memory, students have been seeking it out to give them the edge in exams.
Health store Holland & Barrett has reported a 187% increase in sales of rosemary oil in the past year. A spokesperson said that most in-store questions about rosemary “came from parents hoping to boost their children’s success for exam season”. The store also said that relaxation aids and “natural energy drinks ... have been popular this exam time as alternatives to caffeine”.
Molecules in rosemary oil have “been shown previously [to] have the ability to interact with the brain’s neurotransmitters”, according to Mark Moss, head of the psychology department at Northumbria University. Compounds are absorbed into the blood by inhaling the aroma. “They interact with what is called the cholinergic system, which is involved in memory,” he added.
Herbal remedies, says Moss, are not a “magic bullet”. “It’s not just one molecule; there are a number of them and you need the right molecules in the right proportions in order to get the beneficial effect. You might actually get some rosemary oil that isn’t having any beneficial effect.”
It is also worth remembering, perhaps aided by a cup of rosemary tea, that evidence for the benefits of herbal remedies mostly comes from small-scale studies. In any case, here are some other remedies that might be useful to students.
Last year, Moss presented findings that showed that volunteers who drank peppermint tea before tests had better memory and alertness than those who were given camomile tea. In the US, studies led by Bryan Raudenbush, an associate professor of psychology at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, found peppermint scent reduced anxiety and fatigue.
Raudenbush also studied the effects of cinnamon, testing it in a simulated driving experiment. He found it increased alertness and reduced frustration.
Moss has also studied sage. He discovered “performance enhancements in aspects of memory and also attention – the speed at which you can attend to something. They are small effects, but they seem to be beneficial”.
- Ginkgo biloba
This supplement, extracted from the leaves of the ginkgo tree, is believed traditionally to give cognitive benefits, but one large study into whether it could help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia failed to show positive results, while one review found no compelling evidence that ginkgo biloba was helpful in healthy young people. “Sometimes we have found beneficial effects and sometimes we have not,” says Moss. “These extracts differ considerably depending on where they have been sourced.” Perhaps no amount of supplements and herbal teas can make up for rest and revision.