The Herb Rosemary Has Many Health Benefits
"Where rosemary flourished, the women ruled."
What is Rosemary?
A rosemary plant is a woody stemmed herb. Depending on where you live, it can be a perennial or an annual. This plant thrives in warm climates but acts more like an annual in cooler areas of the world. If you have rosemary in your garden and would like to have the same plant next year, chances are you will have to lift the plant in the late fall and keep it indoors until Jack Frost has left your area.
The plant has a distinct smell that I always describe as the smell of cleanliness. It is unmistakable after you have been graced with rosemary's scent for the first time. Most people that I know love it and the smell adds to the distinct flavor of the leaves when used in culinary adventures.
When the plant is able to bloom, the gardener can enjoy white, blue, purple or pink flowers. The plant grows vigorously and will tolerate pruning and shaping, similar to evergreen shrubs. It is a member of the mint family which will explain the strength of the scent that the plant emits whenever it is disturbed.
Rosemary can be propagated to create more plants. You will want to cut new growth from the plant before the stem becomes woody. Strip the bottom couple of inches of the leaves and dip the stem into rooting powder. Plant the new cutting being careful not to disturb the rooting powder and keep the cutting moist until new roots have formed. I have increased the number of rosemary plants in my gardens by using the propagation method and it does work quite well with this herb.
Common Uses for Rosemary
Rosemary is used in many different forms for many different things.
- It is used for culinary purposes in bread stuffing and for flavoring meats.
- It can be steeped into a tea.
- It can be made into essential oil and used medicinally.
- It can be used to add scent to potpourri and sachets.
- It can be processed into perfume.
A Rosemary Plant in Bloom
Rosemary and Health Benefits
Herbalists use rosemary to help cure and prevent many health issues and conditions in humans and animals. This herb has been around for a long time and does have many health benefits when applied correctly.
Some of the benefits of the herb rosemary are:
- improves digestion
- helps prevent cold and flu
- acts as an astringent when applied to the skin
- helps relieve flatulence and upset stomach
- improves blood circulation
- acts as a stimulant to the liver and gall bladder
- it is a natural treatment for dandruff
- acts as an antiseptic for minor cuts and scrapes
- can act as an antidepressant
Rosemary really is an amazing plant that aids in healing many common aliments in people and pets. A word of caution though, since it is a stimulant, anyone that suffers from epilepsy, high blood pressure or a woman that is pregnant should consult their doctor before deciding to utilize the health benefits of this or any other herb.
How to Make Rosemary Tea
One of the best ways to enjoy the internal benefits of the rosemary herb is to enjoy a nice cup of rosemary tea. This tea is extremely easy to make and can be done with dried or fresh leaves from the plant.
If you are using fresh leaves, steep one teaspoon of rosemary for every 1/2 cup of hot water. If you are using dried leaves, steep 1/2 teaspoon for every 1/2 cup of water. You can adjust the amount of the herb to your liking and for the number of people that will be sharing the tea with you.
You'll want to filter the herb leaves out of the tea before drinking it. This can easily be done by pouring the finished tea through a fine mesh strainer or a coffee filter. The tea is really great for relieving cold and flu symptoms because rosemary will help open the sinuses. To help relieve a sore throat and cough, add a bit of fresh organic honey to your cup of hot rosemary tea.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil is another way to utilize the health benefits of the herb. You can easily make your own essential oil at home from plants in your garden or purchase pre-made oils to keep in the medicine cabinet at home.
Essential oils make it easier to utilize an herb's medicinal properties for external uses. It can be rubbed on the scalp, added to bathwater and used as a soothing massage oil.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2012 Helena Ricketts
Helena Ricketts (author) from Indiana on June 11, 2014:
It's another great herb. The smell is also so calming and relaxing.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 09, 2014:
Rosemary grows well in rock places. Interesting about such beautiful plant and herb.
Connie Smith from Southern Tier New York State on October 27, 2012:
I just brought in my rosemary plants so that I can continue to use them in my recipes. I did not know about the health benefits. Thank you for sharing this very good information. Voted Up and Useful and pinned.
carol stanley from Arizona on October 22, 2012:
Thanks for this hub on Rosemary. I keep a bottle of it and when I have an achy neck it really helps. We have lots of Rosemary growing around here and I love to use it cooking chicken and other things. Great hub with lots of great information. Voting UP.