Origin: The herb is considered to be very sacred by ancient Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, and Hebrews and is a significant part of Italian cuisine. It is also popularly known as ‘Dew of the Sea’ or ‘Old man’.
It has been in use since 500 BC and was very popular among Greeks and Romans. It had both culinary and medicinal uses. The herb has been used as a symbol for remembrance during war commemorations and funerals in Europe and Australia. They used to put rosemary on the graves as a sign of remembrance. In Shakespeare's famous Hamlet, Ophelia says, "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance."
Scientifically: Rosemary belongs to the family of Lamiaceae, of the genus, Rosmarinus. The scientific or the botanical name is Rosmarinus officinalis. This is a fragrant evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean.
Rosemary is a member of the mint family called Lamiaceae, along with other herbs, such as oregano, thyme, basil, and lavender. Rosemary grows in well-drained and alkaline soil. It prefers sunny weather but also needs shelter from the winds. The plant grows up to 1.5-3 meters in height. It has fine needle-like leaves with a silver and pink touch and flower are in purple, white, or blue flowers. It is one of the most commonly found herbs. The herb has a warm, lemony, and astringent taste but yet it gives a wonderful flavor and aroma to soups, sauces, stews, roasts, and stuffing.
This herb not only tastes good in food items such as rosemary chicken and lamb, but it is also a good source of vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6.
Usage: This herb is available in dried, powdered or fresh form. Rosemary oil is one of the best forms of using rosemary. The teas and liquid extracts are made from fresh or dried leaves. There are a lot of rosemary products is available in the market. In foods, rosemary is used as a spice. This herb is known for its medicinal properties. Rosemary was traditionally used to relieve muscle pain, boost memory, improve the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth.
Rosemary is applied to the skin for preventing and treating baldness. Rosemary is also used to treat hair loss. It is also used for treating toothache, gum disease, eczema, psoriasis, muscle pain, etc. It is also used for wound healing, in bath therapy, and as an insect repellent.
It is also used for liver and gallbladder complaints, cough, headache, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, improving energy and mental tiredness, sunburn protection, and diabetic kidney disease, etc.
Below are some DIYs with rosemary:
- Apply some rosemary oil under the eyes and leave it on overnight. This helps in reducing puffiness and dark circles.
- Take some fresh rosemary herb and boiling it in water for 30 minutes. Let this mixture chill and strain into a vessel. Apply this rosemary water as a hair rinse after the shampoo. This improves the strength of the hair.
- Take a teaspoon of fresh rosemary paste and add a teaspoon of yogurt. Mix well. Apply this mask on the face. Leave it on 5 minutes and then rinse. This mask helps in fighting acne and gives a refreshed look.
- Applying rosemary essential oil to the hair helps in stimulating hair growth and prevents hair fall
- For thickening of hair, add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to a tablespoon of castor oil and two tablespoons of coconut oil and massage it into your hair. leave it overnight and rinse the next day.