WHAT IS THIS ROSEMARY?
Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as Rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region.
Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen shrub with leaves similar to hemlock needles. 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.Rosemary also has a tendency to flower outside its normal flowering season; it has been known to flower as late as early December, and as early as mid-February.
According to legend, it was draped around the Greek goddess Aphrodite when she rose from the sea, born of Uranus’s semen. The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her blue cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush when she was resting, and the flowers turned blue. The shrub then became known as the “Rose of Mary”
The leaves are used as a flavoring in foods such as stuffings and roast lamb, pork, chicken and turkey. Fresh or dried leaves are used in traditional Mediterranean cuisine. They have a bitter, astringent taste and a characteristic aroma which complements many cooked foods. Herbal tea can be made from the leaves. When roasted with meats or vegetables, the leaves impart a mustard-like aroma with an additional fragrance of charred wood compatible with barbecued foods.
In amounts typically used to flavor foods, such as one teaspoon (1 gram), rosemary provides no nutritional value. Rosemary extract has been shown to improve the shelf life and heat stability of omega 3-rich oils which are prone to rancidity.
Mood and Stress: The aroma of rosemary alone has been linked to improving mood, clearing the mind, and relieving stress in those with chronic anxiety or stress hormone imbalances. When the plant is consumed or applied topically in some sort of salve of the leaves, it can have similar effects. Aromatherapy also uses rosemary essential oil for this purpose, but that concentration of active components isn’t necessary to have positive effects on stress and mood.
Skin Health: The anti-aging properties of rosemary are quite well known. Although more commonly thought of in the essential oil form, the leaves of rosemary can also effect the skin internally or topically, and has been shown to improve the youthful quality of the skin, while also healing blemishes and increasing the natural shine and hydrated appearance of your body’s largest organ.
Antibacterial Potential: While the general immune boosting qualities of rosemary are impressive enough, it is specifically powerful against bacterial infections, particularly those in the stomach. H. pylori bacteria is a common and very dangerous pathogen that can cause stomach ulcers, but rosemary has been shown to prevent its growth when consumed. Similarly, it is linked to preventing Staph infections, which kill thousands of people each year.
Stimulate Blood Flow: Rosemary acts as a stimulant for the body and boosts the production of red blood cells and blood flow. This helps to oxygenate vital organ systems and areas of the body, ensuring that the metabolic activities in those areas are running smoothly, in addition to stimulating the movement of nutrients to cells that require repair.
Anti-Inflammatory Qualities: Perhaps the most important function of rosemary is as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body. Carnosol and Carnosic acid are two powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds found in rosemary that have been linked to reducing inflammation of muscles, blood vessels, and joints.
Rosemary from the Garden
We cut the Rosemary, dry it, remove the needles from the branches, grind it into powder, and voila, we have 100% natural Rosemary for our soap.
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