Rosemary, botanical name Rosmarinus officinalis, also known as anthos, belonging to the family Labiatae, is a plant with aromatic leaves and beautiful flowers. The evergreen plant has been used for aesthetic purposes in home gardens due to its beautiful pale blue, purple, white and pink flowers. The plant is also sought after for its amazing flavor, aroma and medicinal properties.
Often, the oil extracted from the leaves of rosemary herb is used for medicinal purposes, whereas the leaves with fragrance resembling pine, along with a distinct aroma, has seen its use in cooking meats, soups, sauces and dressing. The oil obtained through distillation of the flowering tops, is considered to be the best in quality, though it is not easily obtained. Most of the rosemary oil we find in market is obtained through distillation of the leaves and stem.
Medicinal Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary has excellent health benefits, the foremost being its property to improve memory by increasing the supply of oxygen to the brain. The superior antioxidant property of the herb is known to improve health, prevent diseases, and contribute a lot towards good quality of life. Another outstanding property is its ability to prevent DNA mutations which could lead to cancerous growths. Scientific study has provided substantial proof that the ursollic and carnosol components present in the herb is effective in treatment and prevention of Melanoma, a deadly type of skin cancer.
It is an excellent antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, analgesic, aphrodisiac, disinfectant and expectorant. It is also an excellent nervine, helping bring down depression, curing many cases of headache, and increasing memory power. The choleric property of the herb not only stimulates bile secretion, but helps ward of digestive problems.
Rosemary is used in treatment of:
- Poor memory
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Muscular pain
- Poor blood circulation
- Skin diseases including Melanoma
- Arthritis and rheumatism
- Stomach disorders
- Menstrual and menopausal problems
- Stress, anxiety and depression
- High blood pressure
Add either one tsp of dried or freshly crushed Rosemary leaves to a cup of boiling water and allow it to steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain the mixture and add honey for taste if needed. The tea provides relief from indigestion, skin problems, and many other diseases, in addition to increasing blood flow to the brain. Rosemary tea is a good hair rinse that relieves dandruff and stimulates hair growth.
Burning rosemary in the room is known to purify the air, by killing of airborne germs. During the Black Death, plague of 1665, rosemary was burned in the sick rooms and also carried around by individuals to sniff at as prevention against plague.
Rosemary essential oil has various health benefits. It is known to boost memory, reduce pain, prevent hair loss, increase brain activity and provide relief from respiratory problems. Paracelsus believed rosemary oil had ability to heal live, heart and brain, in addition to making the whole body strong and healthy. Massaging the oil on the skin, can not only ward of infections, while at the same time removing dryness and toning it to give it a youthful look. Application of rosemary essential oil to the scalp improves blood circulation, stimulates follicles, thus preventing hair loss and premature baldness.