Friday, October 29, 2010

Rosemary

The herb Rosemary - commonly known as Rosmarinus officinalis, is a woody, perennial herb that looks like an evergreen shrub with its needles for leaves.  It is considered "woody" because of the tough stem.
It originated in the Mediterranean and is a member of the mint family.
The name means "dew of the sea" and it is believed to be such because it is found growing near the sea.

The plant grows as high as  6 feet tall, but the needles grow to up to 2 inches long with green tops and white beneath.

Rosemary can tolerate drought conditions and will not do well if waterlogged.  They like light, but can grown in partial sun.  If grown in a garden, in late July or August simply take cuttings up to 6 inches long and plant them 2/3 deep in the ground. Rosemary also grows from seeds or divisions of roots.  But, the finest plants are thought to grow from seeds.

Rosemary is used frequently in cooking.  But did you know that Rosemary is high in iron, calcium and Vitamin B6?

Rosemary is rumored to be good for a person's memory.  It is the emblem for fidelity for this very reason.

But, ingesting Rosemary Essential Oil can be toxic.  This is not the same as olive oil flavored with Rosemary and herbs, this is the essence of Rosemary.  So, it is mainly used as a fragrance in lotions. It takes about 100 pounds of flowering tops of Rosemary to make 8 oz of the essential oil!

Rosemary wine is thought to stimulate the kidneys and increase heart rate.   It is made by combining chopped Rosemary and white wine, then straining after a few days.  It is considered a remedy for headaches.
Rosemary Tea (made by combining Rosemary leaves or flowers with hot water) is thought to be good for headaches, colic, colds and anxiety.

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