30 grams of the finest quality dried cut Rosemary
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a woody perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae which also includes many other herbs. Since it is attractive and tolerates some degree of drought it is also used in landscaping especially in areas having a Mediterranean climate.
The growing plant is said to repel insects from neighbouring plants. Branches or sachets of the leaves are often placed in clothes cupboards to keep moths away. An infusion of the dried plant (both leaves and flowers) is used in shampoos. An essential oil is obtained from the leaves and flowering stems. The oil is used in perfumery soaps and medicinally.
Young shoots leaves and flowers – raw or cooked. The leaves have a very strong flavour that is bitter and somewhat resinous the flowers are somewhat milder. The fresh and dried leaves are used frequently in traditional Mediterranean cuisine. They are used in small quantities as a flavouring in soups and stews with vegetables such as peas and spinach and with sweet dishes such as biscuits cakes jams and jellies. They can be used fresh or dried. The leaves have a tough texture and so should either be used very finely chopped or in sprigs that can be removed after cooking. A fragrant tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. It is said to be especially nice when mixed with tansy.
When burned they give off a distinct mustard smell as well as a smell similar to that of burning which can be used to flavor foods while barbecuing.
Rosemary is commonly grown in the herb garden as a domestic remedy used especially as a tonic and pick-me-up when feeling depressed mentally tired nervous etc. Research has shown that the plant is rich in volatile oils flavanoids and phenolic acids which are strongly antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Rosmarinic acid has potential in the treatment of toxic shock syndrome whilst the flavonoid diosmin is reputedly more effective than rutin in reducing capillary fragility. Rosmarol an extract from the leaves has shown remarkably high antioxidant activity.
The whole plant is antiseptic antispasmodic aromatic astringent cardiac carminative cholagogue diaphoretic emmenagogue nervine stimulant stomachic and tonic. An infusion of the flowering stems made in a closed container to prevent the steam from escaping is effective in treating headaches colic colds and nervous diseases. A distilled water from the flowers is used as an eyewash. An essential oil distilled from the stems and leaves is often used medicinally that distilled from the flowering tops is superior but not often available. The oil is applied externally as a rubefacient added to liniments rubbed into the temples to treat headaches and used internally as a stomachic and nervine. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. When combined with borax and used cold it is one of the best hair washes known and is effective against dandruff.
Avoid consuming large quantities of rosemary especially if pregnant or breastfeeding.
A few instances of allergic skin reactions to topical preparations containing rosemary have been reported.
Recent research has shown that rosemary may interfere with the absorption of iron in the diet and should not be used by persons with iron deficiency.