Rosemary is a plant with an important role in the history of the Mediterranean people since it was used both as a cooking ingredient and a healing herb. Rosemary is a plant that should be found in every garden as it provides many benefits. You can use it to prepare healing beverages, to give your food a better taste or to relieve various illnesses. Its flavor is intense, spicy and relatively bitter. Rosemary is not a simple herb used for gastronomic purposes and it provides many more benefits that will amaze you.
Rosemary is a shrub with very small and thin leaves, which are densely packed on the branches and never lose their green color all year long. Its flowers are blue-purple and sometimes white.
It is not a difficult plant to grow and it prefers every type of soil even if it’s rocky. Overall, this plant has very few growing requirements. It can be easily adapted in your garden or on your balcony in a pot, as long as there is sufficient sunlight.
The best part is that you can grow a new rosemary bush by planting sprigs from a larger plant after keeping them in water for 5 to 6 days. The plant does not like moisture in the soil. The root may rot from over-watering and the plant can be attacked by fungi and die.
The blooming period of rosemary is from March to June and it is best to collect the whole, small tender branches in the morning or in the afternoon. Once you’ve gathered the rosemary you will pluck the leaves on a cotton towel or newspaper and let it dry in a cool and dry place with no sunlight. After the leaves are dried (pinch them to check if moisture comes out) you can keep them in clean, dry containers with the top sealed.
Rosemary can be used for infusions, like tea, as a massage oil and so much more. You can make a homemade infused oil with this simple recipe.
- 1 cup of rosemary
- 2 cups of oil (16 Oz)
- A slow cooker
- A strainer
- A bowl
- A glass container
Here is how to do it:
Remove the rosemary leaves from the stem and measure one cup that will be used for making the oil. Pour to cups of oil, any type of oil can be used, but a high-temperature, low-scent oil is best, such as sunflower or almond oil. Add the cups of oil to the slow cooker and set it to low. Let it warm for six hours. Allow the warm oil to cool in the slow cooker for an hour, and then strain over a bowl. Pour the finished rosemary infused oil in the glass container and it is ready to be used.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, place the oil and the rosemary leaves in a glass jar and seal the top. Let it bask in the sun for a week and a half.
Here are the benefits of growing rosemary:
Use rosemary to cure your headache or migraine
The rosemary infusion is widely used as a healing beverage for the headache. The rubbing of the forehead with rosemary oil can be very beneficial if you suffer from chronic migraine. You can also place a moist fabric with a few drops of essential oil on your forehead. How to make a compress with rosemary:
Use a bowl and pour 2 ½ cups of water in it to which you will add 6 drops of rosemary essential oil and stir. Use a piece of cloth or a small towel as a compress after you’ve immersed it into the bowl for 2-3 minutes. Then squeeze it and place it on your forehead. Press gently with your fingers as you are rested down. Repeat for several times if the headache is intense.
Use it as a calming aid
In a time of crisis, it’s best to keep your cool and be as relaxed as possible in order to face what follows. Although it’s not a general rule, it might be easier for a man to stay calm compared to women and children. Using rosemary as an infusion to keep everyone calm could be your best solution.
Here is a recipe with relaxing proprieties: boil 3 cups of water and add 3 tablespoons of rosemary leaves or flowers, 1 tablespoon of chamomile and 1 tablespoon of valerian. Cover and let it infuse for 10 minutes. Then strain and add 1 teaspoon of honey to make the taste pleasant for kids. One cup two times a day for four to five days should be enough.
Use it to repel insects and venomous snakes
The smell of rosemary is a good repellent for snakes and other animals, therefore it is indicated to plant rosemary in the vicinity of your house or shelter. It will keep these dangerous animals at bay even if you use only small bags with dried leaves. Place them as close to the ground as possible near the entrances and the windows of your house. You can also spread leaves near your sleeping place for safety when you sleep outdoors.
You can make your own spray repellent:
Add 1 cup of rosemary leaves and 1 mashed garlic clove in 2 cups of boiling water and cover. Stir and mash the rosemary with a big wooden spoon while boiling. Remove from fire and leave it there for about 3 hours. Then strain the liquid into a vaporizer and spray with it the passages through which reptiles and insects can enter your home. You can make it stronger by adding 2 tablespoons of mint leaves.
You can also protect your clothes from moths and other insects by placing in the closet a bag with rosemary, basil and lavender.
Use rosemary to clean the air
Rosemary bushes were burned in the French hospitals to disinfect the air and it was a practice widely spread during the last century. It is said that people were carrying the plant in small bags and inhaled it when they passed through places affected by various diseases.
There are conveniently and economically ways to diffuse the fragrance into your living space. All you need is a classic ceramic oil warmer. Put a little water in its dish and add a few small twigs with leaves. Light the candle and that should do the trick. For best results, let the twigs in the water for two or three hours before you light the candle.
If you have a fireplace you can throw 4-5 rosemary twigs in the fire and let the natural scent of the burning leaves fill the room.
Use rosemary to appease your intestines
Rosemary is used by Greek monks even today as a cure for the irritated bowel syndrome. What they do is to add 3 cups of water to a boiling pot and add half a cup of rosemary flowers. It is left to boil until half the water is left and then one tablespoon of honey is added. The mixture is stirred and let to cool. Strain it and drink half of the beverage in the morning and a half in the evening before going to bed.
Rosemary cleans and restores your hair
It is one of the main ingredients in hair products as it cleans the grease from your hair but it also has the proprieties to restore damaged hair. The plant is being used by Mediterranean people as a medicine against hair loss.
You should rinse your hair with rosemary water after each wash. Here is a recipe for cleansing water:
Use a large bowl and put in it, 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary leaves and 1 tablespoon of chamomile. Pour 1 quart of boiling water and let it infuse. Once the water gets cool, strain it into another container and use it after each hair wash.
Massage your hair and let it dry. Use the water four times a week and two weeks per month (alternate between weeks, one week with and one without rosemary water) for better results. If your hair is blond or has a lighter color use 2 tablespoons of chamomile and only one tablespoon of rosemary as it may slightly change the color of your hair.
A few notes of advice:
Don’t use large amounts of rosemary as it may cause poisoning.
Don’t use rosemary if you are pregnant as it can cause serious problems for your baby. Rosemary was used as an abortion method in some rural areas and it is still used today.
If you feel dizzy, if you have hallucinations or convulsions you may have overdosed on it and you should stop any additional intake. It may cause damage to the mucous membranes of the kidneys and intestines.
If you suffer from chronic or incurable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular, hypertension, epilepsy or renal insufficiency, it is recommended to consult a medic before using the plant.
Stay Safe and God Bless!