Have you ever tasted roasted vegetables or meat with mustard aroma with an additional fragrance of charred wood? Ever tried Mediterranean food with astringent flavoring? Ever attended a wedding where the bride wears an aromatic wreath while the groom and the guests would all wear a sprig of a plant? Ever watched mourners throw a herb onto the grave as a symbol of remembrance for the dead? Ever heard about the Greek goddess Aphrodite when she rose from the sea, born of Uranus’ semen? Ever read about what Aphrodite was seen draped in?
Yes. There is a lot more to this world and life than any of us can ever imagine. If there is one herb that could serve all of the above diverse uses, could there be a reason to not find this world awesome? Well there could possibly be, if we care to observe less. Not otherwise, in real. This is the herb from the Mediterranean Basin – the ‘Rose of Mary’ as is believed to have gotten its name since it was spread over, with the blue cloak of Virgin Mary.
Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly called rosemary, is a woody perennial herb with sharp long needle-like leaves with fragrance, and bloom with white, blue, pink and purple flowers. A close cousin of its look-alike Lavender, this Mary also has its roots in mint. The main chemical components of rosemary oil include a-pinene, borneol, b-pinene, camphor, bornyl acetate, camphene, 1,8-cineole, and limonene. Rosemary essential oil is extracted from the flowering tips of the plant through steam distillation. This crisp and clean-smelling oil is rich in healthy properties like benefitting phytonutrients, antioxidants and essential acids.
Rosemary is considered a medicine for several issues such as indigestion, flatulence, and menstrual disorders. It improves circulation and aids in liver health which is unique about this essential oil. It is not to be consumed orally since it can cause nausea and vomiting.
Treats respiratory problems
The scent of rosemary is proven to be effective in relieving throat congestions, allergies, colds and flu. It is the antiseptic qualities of rosemary that makes it conducive for the treatment of bronchial asthma.
Dental health –
The antibacterial and astringent properties make it an effective oil in the treatment of bad breath, plaque build-up, cavities and gingivitis. It could make a good mouthwash and keeps the teeth healthy.
Improves immunity –
The antioxidant properties of this Mary which are powerful weapons for fighting infection and disease. The massage and inhalation of rosemary decreases the cortisol levels thus helping in removing the free radicals movement in the body. Removing free radicals help in combating heart diseases and cancer.
In culinary field. Rosemary flavored breads, toasted rosemary with vegetables, baked veggies tossed with sautéed rosemary are all heavenly delicacies to savor. It goes well with almost all consistencies of dishes like the soups, stews, salads and main course dishes.
Cultural significance –
Apart from all of the health and food benefits, rosemary is very close to the ever young senior citizens of the Mediterranean basin. It has had religious importance from its very name to the history behind its color that is believed to have been obtained from Virgin Mary. Although I have not come across any proof in my research, it does make me wonder if the green wreaths worn by Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary and people of those times, was probably this Mary – the rosemary.
Egyptians, Greeks, Italian, Mediterranean, Jews and Christians alike – everyone considered rosemary an important part of their culture, and lifestyle. Good is that, that does good. Passed on for generations, is this virgin Mary find. Let’s promise to keep up the legacy and keep the torch moving.
Disclaimer – Usage for different applications might demand specific mixture and composition with specific compounds that may not have been discussed in this blog. All of the above information has not been evaluated by the food and Drug Administration or any other qualifying entity. All of the content above is from various sources on the web. The medicines and the recipes discussed, are proven to be effective based on the experiences and other blogs on the internet. Not all of these have been personally tried and tested by me. I am no expert in this oil’s usage. Good luck trying!
This post has been written in collaboration with the IndianSuperHeroes. They have these oils purely extracted from the herbs. You can find them in their store right here.