flowers in early summer
Latin name of this plant, Rosmarinus officinalis, means dew-of-the-sea,
probably because rosemary generally grows well by the seashore.
Rosemary was used as incense by the ancient Romans and according
to legend, Mary sheltered the baby Jesus under a rosemary bush.
was used in Roman burial rites, and that practice continued well into
the middle ages when it was customary to lay branches of rosemary on
the coffin at funerals. It was believed quite wrongly that oil of rosemary
could be used to treat patients infected with plague. A sprig of rosemary
placed in a buttonhole is said to bring good luck and improve memory.
the loveliest of all herbal legends is the story of why rosemary has
blue flowers. When the holy family fled into Egypt, a weary Mary spread
her cloak on a white flowered rosemary. The flowers miraculously changed
to the blue of Marys cloak. The Spanish name for rosemary is romero,
or pilgrims plant, and derives from this legend. For botanical accuracy
there is a species with white flowers, but the rest bloom in shades
legend states that rosemary will never grow taller than a person, nor
exceed Christs age at death. Integral to Biblical and medieval
gardens, rosemary is also found in Shakespearean gardens, for the various
references to rosemary in his plays such as this line from Hamlet, "Theres
rosemary; thats for remembrance."
Rose of the Sea, Dew-of-the-Sea and Rose of Mary, is not mentioned specifically
in the Bible but is a plant of ancient lineage and extensive coastlands.
Beginning with Dioscorides, the first century doctor to the Roman Legion
who wrote of rosemary and its virtues in Materia Medica, a list
of 400 healing plants, rosemary has been written about more than any
can be used in many varied ways:
Place a fresh bough in a room to cool the air.
a handful of rosemary in two cups of water for 10 minutes to yield
an antiseptic solution for washing bathroom and kitchen.
rosemary branch provides a fragrant skeleton when woven into wreaths
flowers can be tossed into salads, and crystallized for a garnish.
Pound with sugar, mix with cream and add to a fruit puree. The
leaf can be added sparingly to a wide range of foods including
bread and bean or pasta dishes. Use rosemary to flavor baked potatoes
and to make herb butter for vegetables. (See recipe below.)
stripped of leaves, rosemary stems can be burned on a fire or barbecue
for a lovely aroma.
circulation and eases pain by increasing blood supply where applied.
Aids fat digestion. Good for aching joints and rheumatic pains.
Use as an antiseptic gargle and mouthwash.
Ally ~ Now Remember Rosemary
Traditional Christmas decoration & more
for exhaustion, weakness and depression, the aerial parts invigorate
the circulation, stimulate digestion, and are good treatment for
cold symptoms including chills and rheumatism. They are useful for
headaches that are eased by warm towels rather than ice packs. Harvest
fresh, year round, and take either as an infusion or tincture.
Rosemary is used to treat joint pain, sore muscles, and minor
digestive problems such as loss of appetite, mild nausea and gas.
These leaves contain a variety of substances that are antibacterial,
stimulate the flow of digestive juices, and relax the intestinal
tract. To take internally, drink as tea or as a tincture. To apply
a compress, soak a pad in the hot infusion of rosemary leaves; this
can be used for sprains.
When applied to the skin, rosemary oil made improves blood
flow to the area.
For digestive problems, steep one teaspoon of dried leaves in one
cup of boiling water for ten minutes. Drink one cup before meals,
up to 3 times daily.
For sore joints or muscles, rub a few drops of the essential oil
or a cream standardized to contain 6 to 10 percent essential oil into
the area up to four times daily.
One half teaspoon 3 times daily before meals, or as directed on
One teaspoon up to 3 times daily before meals, or as directed on
and cautions: DO NOT USE rosemary oil internally. Rosemary leaves
may cause diarrhea in children. Moderate
dietary use is safe; external use of oil may cause skin irritation.
a recipe using rosemary as a main flavoring ...
(Pasta and Beans)
pound medium pasta shells or other cup-shaped pasta
(or equivalent amount of rice)
15-oz cans cannellini (white kidney) or great northern beans
(equivalent to three cups cooked)
6-inch sprigs rosemary
tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus oil to drizzle on top
to large flakes of red pepper, to taste
and freshly ground black pepper to taste
starting preparation, bring a large pot of liberally salted water
to a boil for the pasta, and begin cooking, stirring often. Allow
the pasta to cook until softer than al dente but not falling apart.
Drain, reserving two cups of pasta water.
pasta cooks, drain and rinse beans. Crush garlic and finely chop
oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add garlic, rosemary, and
pepper flakes; cook until garlic is just golden, about one to two
minutes. Add beans; increase heat to medium-low, and stir in half
a cup of pasta water; season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5
to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally and crushing about half of the
beans with back of wooden spoon. Return pasta and remaining one
and half cups of pasta water to their large pot and add the bean
mixture. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let sit for
five minutes. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.
four to five people.
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