A woody perennial herb known botanically as Rosmarinus Officinalis, rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region and belongs to the Lamiaceae family, more commonly known as the mint family. Rosemary shares its genealogy with other well-known herbs, such as basil, thyme, lavender and oregano. The etymology of the word rosemary shows it stems from the Latin words “ros,” meaning “dew,” and “marinus,” meaning “sea.” Rosemary’s pine-like taste and rich aroma evoke associations with the forest and the sea. Its needle-like leaves resemble the evergreen and are characteristic of countless mouthwatering Mediterranean dishes.
Rosemary’s unmistakable aroma livens up sauces, stews, meats and veggies while packing in plenty of well-being effects. It is an important ingredient in the well-stocked kitchen. Not only is rosemary used as a culinary herb, but its abundant health benefits make it popular is as a medicinal aid as well.
The Health Benefits of Rosemary are Far and Wide
Historically, rosemary has been used to stimulate memory, something for which it still is used today. Rosemary is an outstanding antioxidant and has been referred to as the memory booster. In the ancient world, Greek students adorned their hair with rosemary sprigs when studying for exams and mourners in ancient Egypt would cast the versatile herb into graves to symbolize remembrance.
Rosemary’s abundant antioxidants and phytonutrients are responsible for its healing effects. Rosemary essential oil is very therapeutic, too. The main active component in rosemary is carsonic acid, which helps promote brain health, protecting the brain from toxins and free radicals that attack our cells regularly. The stress hormone known as cortisol also can be reduced simply by inhaling the aroma of rosemary essential oil. Rosemary also contains carnosol and ursolic acids, two compounds that have been found to have cancer-fighting properties, specifically against melanoma.
Applying rosemary to the skin helps control muscle pain and arthritis because it decreases inflammation and improves circulation. This can be done by infusing rosemary in oil or using the rosemary essential oil in a carrier oil such as organic coconut oil or jojoba oil.
Consuming rosemary also can help alleviate digestive complications and headaches. This powerful herb reduces anxiety, elevates mood, soothes nerves, boosts memory and provides pain relief. It also can be used to protect against DNA damage, increase immunity and circulation, detoxify the liver and tone the hair and skin. Rosemary is antibacterial and can cleanse the blood and manage the growth of bacteria without killing the favorable bacteria in your gut.
Rosemary contains ProVitamin A
Rosemary contains potassium, calcium, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and trace amounts of zinc, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. However, this herb’s healing power is exemplified by the presence of vitamin A in the form of retinoids and carotenoids. It is the main phytonutrient present in rosemary. The provitamin A is turned into vitamin A by the liver when it is required by the body. Under the umbrella of provitamin A are molecules known as alpha and beta carotenes, which are used to form vitamin A. Antioxidants fight disease by deactivating unstable oxygen molecules known as free radicals. Provitamin A is effective in suppressing several eyesight disorders and was found to improve night vision.
Why not integrate rosemary into your diet and lifestyle using the tips below?
Incorporate rosemary into your diet with suggestions from Mimi’s Organic Corner
I love organic food and pursue an eco-friendly lifestyle. So I suggest using certified organic ingredients to maximize flavors and nutrition while minimizing your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives. Rosemary is available year-round and is very easy to keep fresh. Utilizing rosemary in your repertoire of disease-busting remedies is painless and trouble-free. You can make several recipes to benefit from this wonderful herb and start benefiting its amazing healing powers.
Tomato Basil Rosemary Omelets or Veggie Frittatas
Adding fresh rosemary to your frittatas and omelets is a quick and easy way to get it into your diet. Try mincing the rosemary and combining it with the other omelet ingredients. For the frittata, I use 4 eggs, ¼ cup of liquid such as homemade veggie broth, ¼ cup of dried rosemary leaves, and 1 cup of filling, including broccoli and red onion. Add your favorite cheese to both the omelets and the frittata if you like, and salt and pepper to taste. For the tomato basil rosemary omelets I chose feta cheese.
Season Poultry or Meat
Rosemary seasonings quickly give chicken and other meats an exotic outdoor flavor reminiscent of the forest or woods. I was sure to use it for my turkey flavorings during Thanksgiving.
Add Flavor to Sauces and Soups
Rosemary is also a delightful herb for seasoning tomato sauces and soups. Fresh rosemary leaves infused in olive oil is a sensational dipping sauce for breads.
Chicken Tortilla Stew
This is best prepared in a crock pot, but also may be assembled on the stovetop. Chop organic celery, onions and carrots and warm in the crockpot first. Then add 1 cup of dried organic great northern beans, 1 cup of homemade tomato sauce and 7 cups of water. Add 2 teaspoons of sea salt, 1 tsp each of cumin and paprika, ½ teaspoon of pepper and a few dashes of chili powder. You will want to add 1 bay leaf and 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary to top it off.
Rosemary Infused Tea or Rosemary Water Spritzer
Steep several sprigs of rosemary in boiling water and flavor the tea to your liking. Allow this mixture to cool and put in a spray bottle. Use it to freshen the air or as a spritzer for its aromatic benefits. Add other essential oils to the spritzer and you’ve just made your own homemade perfume or hand sanitizer without the alcohol.
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