“What’s your favorite herb?”
This is probably the question I am asked most often. I couldn’t pick a favorite herb- possibly a Top 10 list, but never a favorite.
Rosemary is an herb that would ALWAYS be on this list and very likely in the #1 spot. The reasons are many- from ease of growing to the powerful medicinal benefits- but for sake of time, I will narrow it down to five reasons you will love Rosemary.
5 Reasons To Grow Rosemary
#1 Rosemary loves heat.
I have always gardened in Texas and it is ALWAYS hot in the summer. Rosemary doesn’t care, in fact- it likes it! Because Rosemary hails from hot, arid conditions in Northern Africa and the Mediterranean, its DNA makes it perfect for Texas gardens and the great majority of the United States. This is definitely an herb that should be a foundation of your herb garden.
#2 Rosemary Protects Against Alzheimer’s
Rosemary may also become useful in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease in the near future. Researchers have discovered that certain phytochemicals in the herb prevent the degradation of acetylcholine, an important brain chemical needed for normal neurotransmission. A deficiency of this chemical is commonly seen in Alzheimer’s patients. See full article here
I, personally, am not waiting for all the test results, I have started including rosemary in our family’s diet on a daily basis. An easy way to use rosemary medicinally is in a tincture.
#3 Rosemary Makes A Great Hedge
Rosemary can be utilized as a shrub. If you are feeling creative, rosemary can be shaped into topiary. But more simply, plant as a hedge and trim like any other landscape hedge- except save the clippings and make a tincture!
Rosemary is heat and drought tolerant so it saves on water usage. Very few pest or fungal problems exist with rosemary.
It blooms! Very pretty light blue flowers appear in spring and continue for several weeks. Some years, rosemary will bloom again in the fall.
#4 Bees LOVE Rosemary
Its becoming common knowledge (THANK GOD) that our bee population is in trouble and if the bees go, we go. Two of every three bites we eat are pollinated by bees. As we have said, Rosemary needs little care and won’t need spraying of any kind to look beautiful, so it is a great choice for feeding bees, butterflies and a whole host of beneficial insects. So, plant some rosemary for the bees. Don’t worry about getting stung, the bees have way too much work to do to worry over you.
#5 Rosemary Will Make You A Great Cook
Well, I may be over-selling rosemary’s abilities just a bit. However, it can’t hurt. Rosemary can transform a dull chicken or homely sweet potato into something fantastic with very little effort. Just sprinkle the chopped rosemary in the pot and – VIOLA!
Not only does rosemary taste great, but by adding it to your food you are taking advantage of the health benefits and those are many:
Rosemary leaf is used in Europe for indigestion (dyspepsia) and is approved by the German Commission E, which examines the safety and efficacy of herbs.
Muscle and joint pain
Applied topically (to the skin), rosemary oil is sometimes used to treat muscle pain and arthritis and improve circulation. It is approved by the German Commission E for these purposes.
Historically, rosemary has been used to stimulate hair growth. In one study of 84 people with alopecia areata (a disease in which hair falls out, generally in patches), those who massaged their scalps with rosemary and other essential oils (including lavender, thyme, and cedarwood) every day for 7 months experienced significant hair regrowth compared to those who massaged their scalps without the essential oils. But the study was not well designed, and it is impossible to say whether rosemary caused the hair growth.
Neutralize food-borne pathogens
Several studies show that rosemary inhibits food-borne pathogens like Listeria monocytogenes, B. cereus, and S. aureus.
Improve memory or concentration
Rosemary is often used in aromatherapy to increase concentration and memory, and to relieve stress. One study suggests that rosemary, combined with other pleasant-smelling oils, may lower cortisol levels and help reduce anxiety. Another study found that the use of lavender and rosemary essential oil sachets reduced test taking stress in graduate nursing students.
Several studies suggest that rosemary extract may inhibit tumor growth by preventing cancerous cells from replicating. One study found that rosemary, on its own and in combination with curcumin, helped prevent breast cancer. A second study found similar effects of rosemary on colon cancer cells.” Article here
So, you see, Rosemary should really be in your garden or at least in a pot on your patio!
I am also sure that you understand that I am NOT a doctor nor have I tried to diagnose or treat any of your ailments.