The rose of sea, Rosmarinus officinalis, known as rosemary, is one of the most common aromatic small bushes growing in the Mediterranean, and one of the few flowering plants thriving near the sea and on salty ground. Rosmarinus is a Latin name meaning “rose of the sea” (sea=mare) and officinalis in Latin means therapeutic. In ancient Greece it was one of Aphrodite’s plants (goddess of beauty, sexuality, love and pleasure). Considered an elixir for youth and beauty, it was widely used in sacred rituals. After Jesus ‘rosemary’ was derived from the Rose of Mary, a shrub that flowered where holy Mary found Jesus. Indeed, rosemary was widely used as a holy plant from ancient, roman, and classic eras but it also carries a deep therapeutic tradition in various remedies from the past to the present.
Ancient Greeks wore a crown of rosemary to enhance their memory through its aroma when they were studying and nowadays it is scientifically proven that it has some substances to enhance the brain and help you focus more. Rosemary tea’s main properties are enhancing the immune system, breathing, and mood. Also, antiseptic and antibacterial properties make it a good mouth wash for better-smelling breath. Extract of rosemary is widely used in cosmetics, for antiaging and anti-cellulite creams and to thicken hair shampoos.
Consuming rosemary and sage should be avoided during pregnancy, while using a small dose, just a few leaves, in cooking, has beneficial properties in your body that are evident! The best combination is cooking poultry with rosemary, thyme, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil. Using too much rosemary can make the food bitter and the aroma too intense for your palate. It is easily grown in a pot in hot or cold weather as a small bush, and it can offer you nice purple flowers all year long! Flowers and leaves are edible and have a better taste when fresh.
The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira is an agriculturist-MSc Botany-Biology and PhD Candidate in Agricultural-Environmental Education and Science Communication