Is a woody and fragrant herb with short needle-like leaves. The flowers on Rosemary can be white, pink, purple or blue in colour. It is the leaves, fresh or dry that are commonly used in cooking and like the oils they contain numerous health benefits.
Rosemary belongs to the Lamiaceae family or more commonly, the mint, deadnettle or sage family. The same family as other beneficial herbs such as; basil, sage, oregano, thyme and lavender.
As well as being a good source of iron, calcium and vitamin B6 Rosemary offers more powerful benefits whether you use this as an oil, aromatically or drink it as a tea.
You can use the dried herb as a flavour on meat or in a dish, you can use fresh leaves for a healthy drink just boil a few leaves in some water and add a bit of honey to sweeten the bitter taste.
It may not be what you are used to tasting but once you know the benefits you may be drinking a few more during the week.
The leaves are used in traditional medicine for their antibacterial and wound healing effects. The antimicrobial properties may help fight off infections.
Not the biggest benefit of rosemary but like other essential oils, Rosemary can help promote hair growth. It is used to prevent premature aging (grey hair) and can help with an itchy or dry scalp as well as preventing dandruff.
Immune & Circulatory system
With a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds such as rosmarinic acid, Rosemary is considered to be helpful in boosting the immune system.These compounds are also thought to help improve our blood circulation.
Studies have also shown that the rosmarinic acid along with another compound, carnosic, may have anti-tumour properties and can even slow the growth of cancer cells including breast and prostate.
We need to look after our brain and Rosemary has neurological protection properties.
Rosemary contains carnosic acid, which can fight off free radicals in the brain which can help improve the recovery from a stroke. It is also thought to significantly help with slowing down brain ageing which can help prevent conditions such as alzheimers.
If you want to improve concentration and memory then Rosemary can help with this so having some rosemary essential oil whilst working from home or studying could really help you focus.
As with many natural herbs, Rosemary can interfere with certain medication and as always we always recommend discussing alternative medicine with your health care specialist.
Certain medications can react with Rosemary and even if you are not taking any medication, in extremely high doses Rosemary can have harmful effects.
The following are medication types that have shown to have a reaction with Rosemary: