Throughout history, rosemary has been used in a variety of ways in many cultures. In Ancient Greece, rosemary was thought to improve memory, ward off evil spirits, and prevent nightmares. In the Middle Ages, the herb was associated with love and worn at weddings by the bride, groom, and guests. Today, it’s an essential herb in most kitchen spice racks. What most people don’t know is rosemary’s surprising amount of health and nutritional benefits.
Rosemary Health Benefits
Rosemary health benefits include improving mood, sharpening the mind’s clarity, and relieving stress. Rosemary’s essential oil can be used in aromatherapy and applied topically to the skin. On April 9, 2013, Dr. Mark Moss and Dr. Jemma McCready from Northumbria University presented to the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference that smelling rosemary could aid adults in remembering future tasks. On May 4, 2017 at the same conference, it was presented that smelling rosemary can also aid the memory of children.
Rosemary oil carries antibacterial agents used to remedy bacterial infections. It can aid in fighting stomach infections, such as helicobacter pylori (a cause of stomach ulcers) and staphylococcal enteritis (abdominal staph infections.) Rosemary’s ability to fight staph infections was shown in a study published in the February 2010 issue of the Asia Pacific Journal for Tropical Medicine by Naser Jarrar, Awni Abu-Hiljeh, and Kamel Adwan.
Minor Pain Relief
If you’re looking for an alternative natural treatment to traditional pain medicine, try rosemary. Rosemary essential oil can be inhaled to treat moderate headaches and migraines. Rosemary health benefits also include stimulating blood circulation, so rosemary essential oil can be massaged onto the skin to relieve sore muscles and minor arthritis or joint aches.
Rosemary health benefits can be linked to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, rosemarinic acid and caffeic acid. Recent research suggests that these agents can protect the body’s cell and DNA from dangerous rogue compounds. Rosemary can also help to detoxify harmful substances from the body that can cause hormone imbalances. Hormone imbalances can play a role in the start of cancers, especially breast cancer. Rosemary supports liver enzymes that keep the hormones balanced within the body.
Rosemary Nutritional Value
In a tablespoon (a single serving) of fresh rosemary, there are 2 calories and a carb-to-calories ratio of 70 percent. A single serving has a high amount of dietary fiber with the fiber-to-calorie ratio at 10 percent. Rosemary also contains Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin C.
Dietary fiber isn’t absorbed by the body. Instead, it’s passed through the body whole, helping to normalize bowel movements and maintain bowel health. High fiber foods often leave you feeling fuller for longer, aiding in weight loss. While rosemary won’t provide you with all of your dietary fiber, it can add a small amount into your diet, helping to achieve your daily intake goal.
Rosemary health benefits include Vitamin A, which is essential for a healthy body. Vitamin A ensures eye health by reducing the risks of cataracts and increasing the eye’s ability to adjust from lightness to darkness. It renews body tissues that are imperative to keeping strong teeth and bones.
Vitamin B-6 is necessary for a healthy diet. It is needed for daily functions of the body’s nervous, digestive, immune, muscular, and cardiovascular systems. Within the brain, B-6 aids in the production of hormones, melatonin, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which regulates mood and sleep.
Rosemary contains Vitamin C, which is known as an immune booster. Lesser known is Vitamin C’s role in heart and skin health. New studies show that Vitamin C could play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease and when consumed in large doses, it could lower blood pressure. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, which leads to firmer, younger looking skin. Vitamin C also supports new tissue growth, beneficial in the treatment of burns and small skin wounds.
What are some ways that rosemary can be used to maximize its health benefits?
In The Home
Use rosemary’s aroma in your laundry to ease stress. Fill a homemade dryer sachet or small drawstring bag with dried rosemary and toss into your dryer with your clothes. Your clothes will carry a faint rosemary scent that will keep you calm all day.
In The Kitchen
Add rosemary to ingredients you use every day, such as salt and olive oil.
For a delicious rosemary lemon salt, combine sea salt, fresh rosemary leaves, and lemon zest.
To add rosemary to olive oil, cook 1 cup of olive oil with a few sprigs of rosemary over medium heat. After 5 minutes, take it off the heat and let it cool. Put the cooked rosemary springs at the bottom of an empty bottle and then add in the cooked olive oil.
The longer the salt and olive oil sit, the more infused they’ll become with the rosemary taste.
In The Bathroom
Create a yummy orange rosemary salt scrub. Use it to exfoliate your hands and feet, while breathing in its aroma to help you relax. The recipe is linked below:
In The Backyard
Use rosemary and other items from your pantry to make an all-natural insect repellant. No scary chemical and no scary bugs! Here’s the recipe:
Rosemary, the common kitchen herb, is a versatile tool in creating a healthy lifestyle. Rosemary’s health benefits are numerous, proving why it’s been highly used in many cultures. It’s affordable, accessible, and easily incorporated into your daily lifestyle. This article is only a start to rosemary’s uses. We would love to hear your thoughts, questions, and experiences with rosemary.