The Health Potential of Rosemary

Highlights

  1. Rosemary leaves are often used as a seasoning for food, especially in Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. The aromatic and sweet leaves can add flavor to meats and soups.
  2. Rosemary also has many health benefits and is used in aromatherapy, hair loss treatment, and even in fighting cancer and dementia.
  3. While rosemary can be beneficial to your health, it’s not appropriate for everyone. The herb should only be taken in small doses.

Rosemary is a popular herb most commonly used in cooking to add flavor to food. While its culinary potential knows no bounds, what’s not so commonly known is that rosemary also has many health benefits.

 Rosemary is a culinary staple

Rosemary, or Rosmarinus officianalis, grows natively in the sunny and warm climates of Asia and the Mediterranean. Its fragrant evergreen needles come in a variety of colors, including purple, blue, pink, or white.

 Rosemary leaves are often used as a seasoning for food, especially in Mediterranean and Italian cuisines. Since the leaves are aromatic and sweet, they can also be added to flavor meats and soups. Use whole sprigs of rosemary for seasoning poultry, as in this roasted chicken recipe. The herb is also a great addition to side dishes, such as in this recipe for roasted rosemary root vegetables.

Rosemary has health benefits, too

Rosemary has wide-ranging health benefits that are the subject of much current research.

Aromatherapy

Sometimes all you need to destress is a soothing scent. Rosemary oil is often used in aromatherapy, and this rosemary and spearmint tincture works well to help clear your mind.

One study of 20 adults published in Scientia Pharmaceutica found that inhaling rosemary oil can increase brain wave activity, decrease drowsiness, and even improve your mood.

Dementia

Other research, an animal study, published in the journal Fitoterapiaindicates that rosemary leaf extract might be able to treat and prevent dementia. Another study published in the Journal of Medicinal Foodindicated that rosemary might improve cognitive function among older people.

Cancer

In addition to the benefits rosemary has on your mental state of mind, it can also fight serious physical problems. According to one study done on mice reported in the journal Cancer Research, rosemary could possibly be used in skin cancer treatments to help reduce the spread of cancer cells. The study found that application of rosemary extract helped block skin tumor cells.

Rosemary extracts have also been found to inhibit the growth of some cancer cells, such as the cells in lung carcinoma. Another study published in the journal Biofactors revealed that rosemary works as an antioxidant by protecting healthy cells.

Alopecia

Alopecia is a disease that causes hair loss, and it can be uncomfortable for many people. However, rosemary has been shown in some instances to help treat the disease. In one study, published in the Archives of Dermatology, 43 people with alopecia massaged their scalps with essential oils of rosemary, thyme, lavender, and cedarwood daily for seven months. Almost half of them saw hair growth. Researchers concluded that these essential oils are a safe and effective treatment for alopecia.

Warnings about rosemary

Medicinal use of rosemary is gaining more traction worldwide. Germany’s version of the FDA, the German Commission E, approves the use of rosemary oil to treat joint pain and circulation problems. They also approve the use of rosemary leaves to help treat various digestive issues.

While rosemary can be beneficial to your health, it’s not for everyone to use. The herb should only be taken in small doses. Avoid rosemary if you’re pregnant or nursing, as it can be an abortifacient, a product that could stimulate an abortion. Patients with high blood pressure should also avoid taking rosemary as a supplement.

Though culinary use of rosemary is safe, you should always consult with your doctor before trying any new supplements or treatments. Check to see if rosemary oils will interfere with your diabetes or blood thinner medication. If your doctor gives you the all clear to use rosemary, you know it can certainly contribute to your health.

Slow Cooker Fresh Herb Chicken Mushroom Leek Casserole

Serves: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into large bite sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ pound (about 3) leeks, washed well and sliced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, halved
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 14 oz bag cubed country style stuffing mix (or homemade cubed bread crumbs if preferred)
  • ½ cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup fresh chopped herbs (I used rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat butter and olive oil in skillet over medium high heat
  2. Add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes on each side until lightly browned
  3. Remove from pan and set aside
  4. Add onions to skillet and saute for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften
  5. Add mushroom and leeks and continue to saute until slightly softened, about 4-5 minutes
  6. Add minced garlic and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes
  7. Sprinkle veggies with flour and stir to coat
  8. Slowly stir in lemon juice, broth and then cream and chicken and let simmer for 2-3 minutes
  9. Remove from heat
  10. Stir in stuffing, half of the cheese and fresh chopped herbs
  11. Transfer to slow cooker that has been sprayed with nonstick spray
  12. Top with remaining cheese
  13. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 until chicken is fully cooked

8 Herbs That You Can Grow In Water All Year Round

Herbs have long been used for their medicinal, culinary and aromatic qualities, and for anyone seeking a healthy lifestyle, it has never been easier to start building your herb garden – these 8 herbs can all be grown indoors using water alone.

The best way to ensure you have a fresh supply of your favourite herbs all year round is to grow them indoors – using just water. This is a simple step by step guide to get you started on your very own hydroponic, indoor herb garden.

What you need…

  • A selection of cuttings taken from your favourite herbs
  • A coloured plastic or glass bottle/jar for each of your cuttings (the darker the better as the last things roots want is exposure to any form of light
  • Water

How…

  1. Remove all lower branches from your herb cuttings and prepare them into 5-6 inch sections.
  2. Choose containers that are not too tight around the neck at first as your herbs will grow and you don’t want to suffocate them.
  3. Fill the containers 80% full with fresh water and place one cutting into each, making sure to submerge a good amount of the stem,
  4. Place on a window ledge or area of the house that gets plenty of light and free movement of air, roots should begin to develop after 2-5 weeks depending on the species of herb.
  5. Woody stemmed herbs need their water changing around once a week until roots begin to develop, then the water should be disturbed at little as possible.

There are many herbs which grow well using this technique, some of our personal favourites are:

Sage – Place in water in spring and leave in a bright well ventilated area.

 Peppermint – This is the easiest herb to grow in water. Simply place your cuttings in your containers and watch the magic happen.

Basil – Take your cuttings before the Basil plant has flowered and place in a well lit area.

Thyme – Take cuttings during spring time and submerge well in water. When branches begin to grow, prune to encourage bushing.

 Rosemary – Although the woody stems of your rosemary cuttings may take some time to develop, the fresh shoots are quick to spring to life shortly afterwards. Be sure to keep it in a bright area.

Oregano – Place fresh oregano cuttings in water and when new shoots appear be sure to pinch them to encourage bushing and branching.

Tarragon – After new growth has appeared on the mother plant, take your cuttings and keep them in a warmer, brighter area. In no time at all you should see noticeable growth.

Spearmint – Exactly the same as peppermint – easiest herb to grow in the world. So why not give it a go today and get your mini hydroponic herb garden up and running. It really is great fun and an awesome way to ensure you have a constant supply of your favourite healers, flavours and smells in herb form.

Delicious Basil Herb Recipes

Tomato, Basil, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad

tomato-basil-and-fresh-mozzarella-salad
Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients:

For basil sauce:

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

For salad:

  • 12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices yellow tomato
  • 12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices red tomato
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Procedure:

To prepare basil sauce:

  1. Cook 1 cup basil leaves in boiling water 15 seconds; drain.
  2. Plunge basil into ice water; drain and pat dry.
  3. Combine basil and broth in a blender; process until smooth. Let mixture stand 2 hours at room temperature.
  4. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
  5. Add vinegar and salt, stirring with a whisk.

To prepare salad:

  1. Arrange yellow and red tomato slices alternately on a large platter.
  2. Drizzle with basil sauce; sprinkle with cheese and pepper.
  3. Top with 1/2 cup sliced basil. Serve immediately.

Recipe credit: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/tomato-basil-fresh-mozzarella-salad

Salmon with Basil Sauce

grilled-salmon-with-basil-sauce

Makes: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Procedure:

  1. Drizzle salmon with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside 10 minutes to absorb flavor.
  2. Meanwhile, combine basil, 1/2 cup olive oil, and remaining ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, and set aside.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté salmon 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until desired degree of doneness. Place on serving plates. In the warm skillet, heat reserved basil sauce, and pour over salmon.

Perfect Pairing: California lifestyle expert Susie Coelho recommends Meridian Pinot Noir for the Salmon with Basil Sauce. A hint of lemon means the recipe would work equally well with Meridian’s Chardonnay. Another option is Meridian Sauvignon Blanc. Its bright, sunny quality matches the acidity of the tomatoes.

Recipe Credit: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/salmon-with-basil-sauce

Basil Herb: Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts, Side Effects

By Appreciate Goods

It is not surprising as to why the Greeks refer to basil as the ‘king of the herbs’ since it has both culinary value and medical uses. Native to India, basil is used as a cooking staple in dishes all around the world, particularly in the Italian cuisine. It is also widely used in Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Generally, basil is used fresh and added at the last moment of cooking, because it destroys the flavor of the herb. Drying the herb also makes it lose its flavor and aroma, which is why fresh basil can only be stored for a short time in the refrigerator. The flower buds are edible and are also used to give flavor to dishes in place of the leaves.

In addition to its culinary applications, basil has numerous health benefits that range from promoting mental health to preventing bacterial infections. Here are 15 reasons why you should consider planting basil in your garden and start incorporating it into your diet.

15 Health Benefits of Basil Herb

  1. Combats depression

Basil is believed to combat the onset of depression by acting on the adrenal cortex and stimulating the production of cortisol, the hormones responsible for fighting stress. Drinking it as a tea or chewing on the leaves can greatly uplift your mood and decrease your risks of experiencing depression.

  1. Prevents bacterial infection

The abundance of essential oils in basil contributes to its excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, making it an effective treatment for wounds and skin infections. The essential oils citral, citronellol, linalool, terpineol, and eugenol are all chemical components of basil that can kill infection-causing bacteria.

  1. Relieves cough

When it is steeped and made into a hot tea, basil can effectively relieve cough, asthma, and bronchitis. It is also used as an expectorant, which enhances the expulsion of phlegm from the air passages of the lungs.

  1. Reduces risk of anemia

Basil is a rich source of iron, and a healthy diet that regularly includes basil will reduce the risk of having anemia, a deficiency of hemoglobin in the blood. Eating iron-rich food helps the blood enhance its oxygen-carrying capacity, thus preventing weakness and fatigue.

  1. Prevents eye diseases

Zeaxanthin, a carotenoid compound, is responsible for filtering harmful UV rays from reaching the retina of the eyes. Since basil contains zeaxanthin, it can help protect the eyes from diseases such as age-related macular disease (ARMD), a common eye problem among the elderly.

  1. Helps in blood-clotting

The vitamin K found in basil is important in the production of clotting factors in the blood, as well as in building strong bones.

  1. Regulates blood pressure

Basil contains plenty of minerals that are needed by the body, such as manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium. Potassium is an essential component of body fluids, which helps regulate blood pressure and control normal heart rate.

  1. Soothes insect bites

A teaspoon of basil juice can soothe the redness and itchiness caused by insect bites. Rub the juice generously on the affected area to reduce swelling and discomfort.

  1. Counters bad breath

Due to its anti-bacterial properties, an herbal toothpaste made primarily from basil can kill the odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. The leaves can be ground into a powder and mixed with mustard oil, then massaged on the gums to prevent bad breath and other dental problems.

  1. Acts as an aphrodisiac

The strong and pungent aroma of basil is believed to promote libido and arousal by increasing blood flow and stimulating the production of hormones responsible for happiness and energy.

  1. Protects against radiation injury

The flavonoids orientin and vicenin are known to be good antioxidants found in basil. It inhibits the formation of free radicals in the body and protects against radiation injury.

  1. Cures headache

The steam of basil leaves is said to cure mild headaches, as the aroma can calm the nerves, relieve pain, and reduce swelling. To do this, add a couple of basil leaves in a pot of water, bring to a boil, and inhale the steam for a few minutes until your headache subside.

  1. Calms an upset stomach

Basil can also calm an upset stomach and treat bowel disorders. The beta-caryophyllene found in basil can effectively cure indigestion, relieve stomach spasms, and expel intestinal gas.

  1. Clears acne

There are plenty of reasons that cause breakouts on the face: sudden hormonal changes, lack of sleep, and excessive sebum production. Whatever the reason may be, applying agel containing basil and orange essential oils on the affected area can clear up the skin from acne.

  1. Improves mental alertness

An aromatherapy with basil, sandy everlasting, and peppermint oils is said to improve mental alertness, focus, and attention to people who have been experiencing feelings of mental exhaustion.

Basil Nutrition Facts

You can get the following nutrients in every 5 grams (2 tablespoons) of fresh, chopped basil leaves:
  • 2 Calories
  • 1 grams Total Carbohydrate
  • 0 grams Total Fat (0% Daily Value)
  • 6 milligrams Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • 8 milligrams Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids
  • 2 grams Protein (0% Daily Value)
  • 277 IU Vitamin A (6% Daily Value)
  • 9 milligrams Vitamin C (2% Daily Value)
  • 8 micrograms Vitamin K (27% Daily Value)
  • 6 micrograms Folate (1% Daily Value)
  • 3 milligrams Calcium (1% Daily Value)
  • 2 milligrams Iron (1% Daily Value)
  • 4 milligrams Magnesium (1% Daily Value)
  • 9 milligrams Phosphorus (0% Daily Value)
  • 5 milligrams Potassium (0% Daily Value)
  • 2 milligrams Sodium (0% Daily Value)
  • 0 milligrams Copper (1% Daily Value)
  • 1 milligrams Manganese (3% Daily Value)
  • 0 milligrams Cholesterol (0% Daily Value)
  • 8 grams Water
  • 1 gram Ash

Potential Side Effects of Basil

  •  Basil is safe when consumed as a food in moderate amounts, and as a short-term medicine in adults. However, it may cause low blood sugar in some people.
  • The shoots of the basil should not be taken as a long-term medicine since it contains the chemical estragole. In a laboratory study of estragole, the chemical caused liver cancer to the mice used in the experiment.
  • For pregnant and breastfeeding women, basil is safe when consumed as a food in moderate amounts.
  • For children, basil is safe when consumed as a food in moderate amounts, but should not be taken as a long-term medicine.
  • For people with low blood pressure, consuming basil might lower the blood pressure even more. Thus, extreme precaution should be exercised when consuming basil for people with this condition.

Basil Herb Fun Facts

  • In the Jewish folklore, it suggests that basil adds strength during fasting periods.
  • European lore claims that basil is the symbol of Satan, while a French physician said that smelling basil too much would breed scorpions in the brain.
  • In India, people place basil in the mouths of their dying loved ones to ensure that they reach
  • Certain regions in Mexico believed that basil draws fortune to their business. Shopkeepers would hang a bunch of basil by the window, and its growth would reflect how the business would prosper.

Basil Herb Top View

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