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What is Rosemary and Why Rosemary is Good For Your Health Benefits

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What is Rosemary?

Rosemary is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae along with many other herbs, such as oregano, thyme, basil, and lavender. The name rosemary derives from the Latin ros meaning “dew” and marinus meaning “sea” – “sea dew.”

The scientific name of this perennial woody herb is Rosmarinus officinalis, but the world knows it by its common name. Similar to many other useful herbs, rosemary is in the same taxonomic family as mint, but doesn’t have that characteristic flavour. Rosemary has a warmer, bitter, and more astringent taste that gives wonderful flavor to soups, sauces, stews, roasts, and stuffing. It is particularly prevalent in Italian cultural cuisine.

 

Health Benefits of Rosemary

Some of the most interesting and unique health benefits of rosemary include its ability to boost memory, improve mood, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, protect the immune system, stimulate circulation, detoxify the body, protect the body from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions.

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.

Immune System Strength: The active components in rosemary are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic in nature. This represents a three-pronged attack against many different diseases and pathogens that could threaten the immune system or damage the integrity of the body. Antioxidant compounds form a secondary line of defense behind the body’s own immune system, and rosemary contains a significant amount of those powerful compounds, including rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, betulic acid, and carnosol.

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Memory Booster: One of the earliest reported or documented uses of rosemary for health reasons was as a cognitive stimulant. It was said to improve memory and help to increase intelligence and focus. While many of those claims are still being researched and studied, its effects on the brain do indicate an increase in memory retention, which is never a bad thing; keeping your mind quick will help to keep it young. In that same vein, rosemary has been linked to stimulating cognitive activity in the elderly, as well as those suffering from more acute cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. This is an exciting alternative or supplement to more modern treatment for these as yet uncured conditions.

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.

Pain Relief:
As an analgesic substance, rosemary has been topically applied in a paste or salve for hundreds of years to the affected area of the pain. When consumed orally, rosemary acts as a pain reliever for harder to reach spots, such as headaches and pain from a condition. In fact, one of the most popular uses of rosemary is for the treatment of migraines. Applying a decoction to the temples, or simply smelling the aroma of rosemary has been linked to reducing the severity of migraine symptoms.

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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, rosemary is linked to preventing Staph infections, which kill thousands of people each year.

Stomach Soother: Rosemary has traditionally been used by dozens of cultures as a natural remedy for upset stomachs, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and everything in between. Its anti-inflammatory and stimulant effects are largely the cause of these effects, so adding rosemary to your weekly diet can quickly help you regulate your bowel movements and your gastrointestinal system.

Breath Freshener: As a natural antibacterial agent, rosemary works as a wonderful breath freshener that also improves your oral health. Steep rosemary leaves in a glass of hot water and then gargle or swish the water in your mouth to eliminate bacteria and give you naturally fresh and clean breath all night!

Uses of  Rosemary

Medical uses

  • Rosemary is used for digestion problems, including heartburn, intestinal gas (flatulence), liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite.
  • It is also used for gout, cough, headache, high blood pressure, and reducing age-related memory loss. Rosemary is an herb, oil is extracted from the leaf and used to make medicine.
  • Some women use rosemary for increasing menstrual flow and causing abortions.
  • Rosemary is used topically (applied to the skin) for preventing and treating baldness; and treating circulation problems, toothache, a skin condition called eczema, and joint or muscle pain such as myalgia, sciatica, and intercostal neuralgia.
  • It is also used for wound healing, in bath therapy (balneotherapy), and as an insect repellent. In foods, rosemary is used as a spice.
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Culinary uses

  • Wash fresh leaves in cold running water or rinse for few minutes to remove any dirt or pesticide residues. In order to keep the fragrance and flavor intact, the herb is generally added to cooking recipes at the last moments, since prolonged cooking would result in the evaporation of its essential oils.
  • Fresh or dried rosemary leaves are part of Mediterranean cooking, employd in the preparation of variety of recipes.
  • The herb is used to flavor in salads, soups, baked vegetables, and meat dishes.
  • Rosemary goes well with tomatoes, aubergine, potato, zucchinis (courgettes). Finely chopped fresh leaves are used in the preparation of delicious sautéed rosemary potatoes.
  • Rosemary tea is a popular flavor drink in Mediterranean region.

Nutritional Value of  Rosemary

Rosemary is a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B6