Monday, 1 September 2008

Rosemary Discovered

Rosemary is one of the most well-known herbs. It comes from the Latin text 'ros-marinus' which means 'dew of the sea'. Less know is the fact that Rosemary extract has a long and continued history of medicinal uses too. It treats a wide range of ailments, including stomach upsets, digestive disorders and headaches. More research recently has revealed even more benefits to health and well being.

Rosemary grows as a small bush to a height of up to 150cm, It has straight narrow branches with dark green leaves and small mauve flowers. The scent is reminiscent of pine and presents a pungent flavour.

Fresh and dried rosemary leaves are one of the most popular seasoning for food. it is used extensively to add flavour to soups, stews, meat and fish. Probably the most favourite foods in which rosemary is added to is lamb, namely Lamb Cooked with Rosemary.

Other facts and stories associated with Rosemary are quite interesting:

It has been said that the Virgin Mary spread her cloak over a white flowered bush, which then turned blue and since then the bush has been called the Rose of Mary.

Rosemary was introduced into Britain by Romans

It acts as a moth Moth repellent and can be put in wardrobes and cloth filled draws to ward moths off.

It attracts bees with rosemary based honey that is produced from it is very much a prized variety.

In times gone by rosemary was symbol of friendship and love a wreath of rosemary was worn by brides as a sign of love and loyalty
Going back further rosemary was once used in religious ceremonies to ward of evil spirits

The ancient Greeks believed it improved memory and Greek students used to wear a wreath while sitting examinations

The health benefits take on another chapter as rosemary is an antiseptic and used externally to heal wounds and mouth infections and to preserve teeth. Also, it is know as an effective cough cure and aid to soothing bruises, falls and sprains.

A traditional use of rosemary is as a cosmetic with research now confirming its skin-protective benefits. Rosemary extract helps protect the individual components of skin cells, which prevent age-related skin damage such as wrinkles

Right to today, the versatile rosemary is being discovered as a aid to breast cancer with the properties it holds and remains not just one of the most popular herbs but one of the most important.

Finally you will find that rosemary is quite an expensive product to buy so why not try growing is yourself. It's easily grown from from seeds or cuttings. It just likes to be cultivated in a well drained sandy based soil with lots of sunshine. The only maintenance is being pruned each autumn and the pruned cuttings can be dried by hanging in bunches is a covered area then used for food and medicine. It's as simple as that!

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