Rosemary Herb, Rosemary Tea, Rosemary Essential Oil - Nutritional And Health Benefits
Latin Name : Rosmarinus officinalis
Rosemary is called "rusmary" in India.
The rosemary plant is native to the Mediterranean and Asia.
Among several other names rosemary is also known as sea rose, Mary's tree, Mary's cloak, dew of the sea, compass plant and anthos.
Dried Rosemary Leaves
About The Rosemary Plant
Rosemary is a perennial herb that has needle like leaves that are about an inch long and have emit a pine like fragrance. This evergreen herb bears white to pink and purple to blue flowers. The leaves are dark green on top and have a silver colored underside.
The rosemary plant can grow to a height of up to 5 feet though usually it stays around 2 feet high.It grows both in warm and temperate climates but blooms almost constantly in warm areas, and in spring and summer in temperate areas. It is very drought resistant and quite hardy in cool climates.
It grows easily and is pest resistant. Rosemary does best in well drained, neutral to alkaline soils. It can be grown from seeds as well as stem cuttings. Seeds germinate much slower and the percentage of germination is quite low as well. Rosemary can also be propagated by layering and division of roots.
Rosemary has both upright and trailing varieties.
Dried rosemary is produced from leaves of the plant that are cut before flowering commences.
Uses Of Rosemary
In olden times rosemary herb was used symbolically for loyalty, friendship and remembrance. It was often used both weddings and funerals.
Though rosemary is used as a spice it has many medicinal properties as well. Ancient people were well aware of the healing effects of this herb and used it to strengthen memory.
Rosemary leaves are used to roast a variety of meats, fish and flavor soups, stews, sauces and stuffings.
It is used in some household cleaners and air fresheners and also some organic pesticides.
Rosemary is also used as an ornamental plant in gardening and landscaping. It can be planted as a hedge or used as a ground cover or planted as a source of nectar for bees. The plant also repels insects.
Rosemary is also used in food and cosmetic products like soaps, creams, deodorants, shampoos and hair tonics. It is used in non alcoholic beverages as well.
Nutrients In Rosemary
- The leaves contain several phytonutrients.
- The flower tops contain rosamarinic acid and other volatile oils, among them are cineol, camphene and borneol.
- Rosemary is rich in fiber, low in calories and cholesterol free.
- It contains good amounts of vitamins A & C, and iron.
- Also contains appreciable amounts of copper, calcium, magnesium, folates, potassium and vitamins B1 & B6.
- It is low in sodium.
Nutition In Rosemary
Rosemary herb (Rosmarinus officinalis), Fresh leaves
Nutritive value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Percentage of RDA
Health Benefits Of Rosemary
Ancient civilizations used this herb as an antiseptic and to improve blood flow to the brain. This helped in improving memory. Rosemary was also used as a cleansing agent for the body.
- Rosemary has anti inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, nervine, tonic and stimulant properties. An amazing range of benefits!
- Rosemary improves brain health. It is rich in antioxidants which help in preventing oxidation of the cell membranes and protects them from getting destroyed. This property is especially useful for the brain cells and along with its stimulating properties it helps to boost memory and prevents brain aging. The carnosic acid in rosemary is good for the brain. The cineol in the herb improves brain performance.
- Rosemary protects the DNA from getting mutated thereby preventing development of tumors and cancer. Rosemary extracts control the growth of ovarian cancer.
- It improves blood circulation and this provides relief in muscle, nerve and joint pains.
- The carosic acid component also promotes eye health as it protects against age related macular degeneration. The high levels of vitamin A also promote and maintain healthy vision.
- Rosemary boosts immunity, relieves stress and inflammation. It also kills bacteria and eliminates infection. It cures skin conditions like eczema, and the antifungal properties prevent yeast growth.
- It improves oral health and makes the breath fresh. Water in which rosemary has been steeped can be used as a mouth wash.
- Rosemary helps detoxify the liver and prevents liver damage. It also acts as a diuretic.
- The rosamarinic acid blocks allergens that trigger allergies like sneezing etc.
- Rosemary prevents and treats bloating. Dr Oz suggests drinking 3 cups of rosemary iced tea to obtain this benefit. It also treats indigestion and other digestive disorders and also improves digestion.
- Adding rosemary to meats that are being grilled reduces to a great extent carcinogenic compounds that usually form when meat is grilled. Place rosemary twigs on the grill and then place the meats on top.
- Rosemary extracts help in protecting the omega-3 fats from getting oxidized. This property can be used in preservation of foods rich in omega-3 fats like fish and prevent fishy flavor as well.
- The extracts also protect the skin from free radical damage. This property is used in developing cosmetic products for the skin for treating acne and dermatitis.
- Rosemary stimulates the hair follicles and as a consequence the hair growth is enhanced and also protects against dandruff.
Availability Of Rosemary
Rosemary is available as :
- Fresh and dried herb
- In capsule form
- In the form of tea, tincture and liquid extract.
- As an essential oil for external use only.
Whether one takes it as tea or dried herb the daily intake should not be more than 4 to 6 grams per day.
Rosemary oil should never be taken internally as it can be toxic.
Rosemary in normal doses is safe though some people may develop allergic reactions. It should not be taken by children under 18 years. Pregnant women should not take it as higher doses may lead to miscarriage. Those breastfeeding should also avoid it as a supplement.
Also those with ulcers, ulcerative colitis, epilepsy and Crohn's disease must avoid it.
Large quantity of rosemary leaves can cause vomiting, spasms, coma and pulmonary edema,
Rosemary can interact with blood thinners, ACE inhibitors, diuretics, lithium and drugs used to control diabetes.
Rosemary Essential Ol
Rosemary Essential Oil And Its Benefits
The highest quality rosemary essential oil is obtained when only the flowering tips are harvested from plants in bloom.
Rosemary essential oil is a clear, colorless to pale yellow oil with a minty herbal smell.It is used in aromatherapy.
Rosemary oil acts on the brain, brings clarity of mind and enhances memory. It eliminates brain fag.
The oil relaxes the nerves, migraine and other headaches, neuralgia and other muscle pains and nervous exhaustion.
Rosemary oil is effective for respiratory system problems like asthma, bronchitis, etc.
It is astringent in action and controls sagging of the skin. It relieves congestion, swelling and puffing of the skin.
The oil enhances hair growth and relieves scalp problems like dandruff. It also increases blood circulation to the scalp.
Rosemary oil blends well with peppermint, lavender, citronella, lemongrass and geranium essential oils.
How to Make Rosemary Tea Using Fresh or Dried Rosemary
Rosemary Tea And Its Uses
Rosemary tea is quite simple to prepare. Add 1 tsp of the dried herb to 3 cups of boiling water and let it steep for about 5 minutes. Strain and add some agave for taste.
You may chill this in the refrigerator if you prefer cold tea.
Rosemary tea is a warming and stimulating beverage that relieves headaches, rheumatic pains, and improves blood circulation. It stimulates the digestive system.
When used as a mouth wash it kills bacteria in the mouth and ensures oral health.
Wash scalp with it to eliminate dandruff.
Drink it to clear the brain and thinking, enhance focus and concentration.
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or embarking on a new health regime.
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© 2014 Rajan Singh Jolly