The Many Uses for Rosemary Herb
Rosemary is a versatile herb that can be used in everything from culinary dishes to medicinal preparations. In fact, you’ll never want for uses for rosemary herb once you start growing your own. It’s an easy herb to grow both indoors and outdoors and is definitely worth your time and effort as you will soon discover. In this post, we’re going to explore the many reasons why this versatile herb should be on every herbalist’s list of things to grow!
Some Reasons to Grow Rosemary
- Rosemary is an easy herb to grow indoors and adds a beautiful fragrant element to an kitchen.
- Growing your own herbs saves money and ensures you have fresh flavors all year long.
- You can use rosemary in tons of recipes, from savory to sweet, so it’s easy for beginners to explore new recipes with this versatile herb.
- Rosemary is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors.
- No yard? That’s okay because rosemary does wonderfully in pots and make great patio plants.
- Rosemary can be used to deter pests in our gardens- because of its powerful aroma, rosemary distracts pests from finding the plants that they want. So the more smells we can add to our garden, the better for pest deterrent.
- Like most culinary herbs, rosemary is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, and it contains natural compounds that are anti-inflammatory and anti-septic. It is also a good source of minerals, such as iron, potassium, manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium.
- Rosemary was traditionally used to help alleviate muscle pain.
- Rosemary is know to improve memory. British researchers found that simply sniffing rosemary improved memory by 75%. Its leaves contain carnosic acid which protects the brain from free radical damage. Other compounds in the herb promote healthy blood flow to brain tissue and have a stimulating effect on the mind.
- Rosemary can boost the immune and circulatory systems. It’s full of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties that make rosemary a top contender for protecting your health, especially during winter months
- Rosemary has been known to promote hair growth. Rosemary oil increases blood circulation and is used to treat hair loss and irritating dandruff by improving scalp condition.
- Rosemary is drought tolerant. That means it requires less care than other plants.
- Rosemary oil has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a great chronic pain reliever when rubbed into affected areas.
- Smelling rosemary lowers cortisol levels and can help with stress relief.
- Drinking rosemary tea helps with the productions of bile and therefore can aid in digestion.
- Rosemary contains a eucalyptol compound that can loosen chest congestion, making it easier to cough up phlegm. Rub a few drops of rosemary oil onto your chest.
- Inhaling the fragrance or drinking rosemary tea can help with headaches and migraines.
- Rosemary can soothe skin irritations with its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. It is known to be beneficial for those with eczema and dermatitis.
How Do I Grow Rosemary Indoors?
I absolutely love fresh rosemary. It’s versatility is endless, from its uniquely delicious flavor in culinary dishes, to its medicinal uses, this herb is hard to beat.
Growing rosemary indoors is a great way to have fresh herbs on hand all year long. The best part is that it’s one of the easiest plants to grow and maintain!
If you’re thinking about growing rosemary indoors, the process is pretty easy, even if you have no green thumb! Simply plant your rosemary in pots filled with potting soil or garden soil if you’re using trays, then place them in a sunny location where they’ll get eight hours of full sunlight per day. Be sure not to overwater these hardy plants as they prefer drier conditions than most other houseplants – only water when the top inch or so has dried out completely.
How to Grow Rosemary Outdoors?
Growing rosemary outdoors is as easy as planting a few sprigs in the ground. You can also plant it with other herbs like thyme, chives, and oregano to create your own mixed herb garden or even cook together for added flavor!
To plant rosemary from seeds outdoors, prepare your garden beds with a generous layer of compost or organic material, and then sprinkle your seeds and cover them with a thin layer of soil. Water daily to keep the soil moist until it sprouts. Plant in an area that receives at least eight hours of full sunlight per day,
If you choose to purchase rosemary seedlings all you have to do to plant them is gently remove from the potting soil, make a hole in your prepared soil with your fingers and plant them at least 12 inches apart.
Note: If you live in cold climates, check the cold hardiness map for best practices for your particular zone. I live in the northeast so I plant my rosemary in pots and winter them over in the house to ensure they survive our frigid New England winters.
Medicinal Properties and Uses of Rosemary
Some of the medicinal uses and health benefits of rosemary include:
- It’s a good source of vitamin A, Biotin, Iron, potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
- Can help improve one’s memory, as it contains carnosic acid (known to have been used in ancient times for this purpose);
- Contains natural anti-inflammatory properties.
- Warming and stimulating, rosemary is often used to treat colds and flu.
- It can be an effective treatment for a variety of stomach problems including indigestion, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, or gas.
- Rosemary-infused oil can be used for arthritis relief, for sore and aching muscles, as a scalp treatment for thinning hair or dandruff…just to name a few.
- In some cultures around the world, it’s believed that rosemary has aphrodisiac properties. Whether you believe in this folk medicine or not will depend on your opinion!
Preparing Rosemary for Medicine
Rosemary tinctures are one of the most common ways in which rosemary is prepared for medicine. There are a number of ways to make tinctures, but all of them require fresh or dried herbs and alcohol as well as time for the flavors to mix properly. Below is one of the more basic methods that’s perfect for the beginner.
- Place fresh rosemary in a jar until it’s 2/3 full.
- Pour high-proof alcohol (vodka or brandy) over the herbs until the alcohol level is an inch above the top of the herbs. If using dry herbs, they may absorb the liquid, so check and add alcohol as needed.
- Cover tightly with a lid and place the jar in a dark cupboard and allow to soak or macerate for 4-6 weeks.
- Give the jar a gentle shake every 2-3 days. Make sure the plant material is still covered with alcohol. If not, add more alcohol.
- After 4-6 weeks, strain your liquid from the plant material. To strain, you can pour your liquid through a fine mesh sieve into another wide mouth jar, or through cheesecloth. If using cheesecloth, squeeze the bundle tightly to get all the liquid out. Whatever you prefer is fine.
- Allow the liquid to settle overnight. Strain again if necessary.
- Transfer into labeled, amber bottles and store in dark place.
Rosemary tea is also a favorite among herbalists, and it’s easy to make. Simply steep a few sprigs of the herb in hot water for around five minutes before straining out any pieces that didn’t get fully brewed (this happens quite often with rosemary).
You can also use a tea infusion as an acne treatment. Follow the steps below to make a blemish treatment.
- Boil one small pot of water.
- Sprinkle in some fresh-picked rosemary (amounts vary, but it’s ultimately up to you) and let it simmer.
- Once you have this pine-like, mint essence perfuming your home, set it aside and allow for it to chill for a few minutes.
- Splash the chilled rosemary water on a clean face, then allow your face to air-dry.
- Enjoy clean skin and a fresh smelling face.
Inhaling rosemary has been shown to help with allergies, congestion, headaches, and stress.
- Add some dried or fresh buds to boiling water on the stovetop.
- Cover your head with a towel.
- Stand over the steamy liquid and lower your face to create a tent over the steamy liquid.
- The heat will open up pores while providing relief from congestion.
An herbal oil infusion of rosemary can be applied to the scalp in order to soothe an itchy, dry head.
Rosemary’s high concentration of antioxidants also makes it a good anti-inflammatory agent for muscles and joints. Applying this herb topically will give you relief from muscle soreness and stiffness as well.
Rosemary can soothe skin irritations with its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. This salve recipe is wonderfully soothing for those with eczema and dermatitis.
- A handful of fresh rosemary leaves (or sprigs)
- Approximately five to six tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil
- Three teaspoons beeswax pastilles/cubes
- Chop up rosemary leaves into small pieces before adding them to a saucepan with your oils.
- Set it on low heat while stirring occasionally until the mixture has reached room temperature.
- Add in three teaspoons worth of beeswax cubes or pastilles and stir vigorously as they melt completely. The mixture should be fairly liquidy—if not, add more olive oil.
- After you’ve got an even consistency, pour the salve into glass jars.
How Do I Preserve Rosemary?
Preserving is a great way to make the most of your harvest. One simple way is by drying it- here’s how:
The process couldn’t be any easier! Simply hang bundles upside down in an airy place for six weeks or so, and then store them away from sunlight until you’re ready to use them again.
Rosemary can also be preserved through freezing—you’ll need good quality ice cube trays (made with food-safe material). Fill each compartment halfway with water and add two sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves per tray; freeze
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