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.

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.