Name: Rosemary

Latin Name: Rosmarinus officinalis

Description

Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen shrub that has leaves like needles. The leaves are used as a flavoring in foods such as stuffings and roast lamb, pork, chicken and turkey. 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.

In foods, rosemary is used as a spice. The leaf and oil are used in foods, and the oil is used in beverages. In manufacturing, rosemary oil is used as a fragrant component in soaps and perfumes.

The herb not only tastes good in culinary dishes such as rosemary chicken and lamb, but it is also a good source of iron, calcium an vitamin  B6. It is typically prepared as a dried whole herb or a dried powdered extract, while teas and liquid extracts are made from fresh or dried leaves.

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”

Cooking

Fresh or dried leaves are used in traditional Italian cooking. It has a bitter 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 barbecue foods.

 

Health Benefits

Rosemary is traditionally used for helping with digestion problems, including heartburn, intestinal gas, liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite. It is also used for cough, gout, headaches and reducing age-related memory loss.

*It is the policy of www.LoveHerbs.ie not to advise or recommend herbs for medicinal or health use.  This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation or an endorsement of any particular medical or health treatment.  Always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for advice if you suffer with an illness, symptom or health issue.

History & Tradition

According to legend, it was draped around the Greek goddess Aphrodite when she rose from the sea. 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”.