Every month we will be posting a blog on plants/herbs/flowers which have amazing medicinal purposes. Some will be well known, others a bit more obscure… This month it’s Rosemary!
Rosemary means ‘dew of the sea’, a lovely name referring to where it likes to grow, near the sea!
I have seen it tumbling over old stone walls in little Cornish seaside villages, reaching for the sun and displaying it’s pretty, blue flowers in early Spring. It’s an evergreen shrub so stays looking good all year and there are many different types to try. Flower colour varies from very pale to a bright shade of blue. Also there is a choice of an upright variety or one that cascades over a wall or the side of a pot. Keep it in full sun and a well drained soil and it will last for years, giving you plenty of material to harvest in the Spring. Cut the tips of the branches with flowers on and hang up to dry in bunches in an airy place. Now you have enough for the year, but you can pick fresh as well if needed.
Widely used in cooking, Rosemary has a strong flavour, so don’t overdo it! I like to roughly chop vegetables such as peppers, courgettes, onions, garlic or aubergines and add sprigs of Rosemary to the roasting pan. Coat everything in olive oil or coconut oil (using your hands is best!) and roast in a hot oven for about 30 minutes, delicious, and the smell wafting around your home really gets your appetite going.
Add it to soup, casseroles and bakes, but make sure you chop it very finely as its a woody herb. Use thin branches, stripped of leaves and soaked in water, as barbecue skewers. This gives off the aroma of the herb, chuck the leaves onto the fire too!
A sprig in a mug of boiling water is a lovely infusion to drink, add stevia to taste as it has a ‘piney ‘ flavour if you want to. Also, if you put a couple of slices of fresh ginger root in with it the health benefits increase. It helps with nasal congestion and nausea, cleansing your system and relieving any tiredness.
Rosemary is natures antiseptic and can help ease a number of problems including headaches, sinus congestion (as already mentioned) and Candida albicans, a species of yeast which causes fungal infection.
When ingested it helps with your body’s alkalinity and a Rosemary extract can flush out toxins.
Try a few drops in your bath and afterwards massage into your skin a soothing cream made with coconut oil mixed with a little Rosemary oil. Always test a little first to be sure of no allergic reaction. This will leave your skin feeling smooth and smelling gorgeous!
Rosemary is a truly remarkable herb, valuable as a source of vitamins A, C and B complex and also iron . Who could do without it?