Thursday, August 13, 2009
I may or may not have mentioned this before but I am endeavoring to have my own organic garden. The appeal of being able to pick fresh, healthy food with my own hands in my own back yard is really strong for me. Maybe it's just the healthnut in me but it is a dream of mine to have a nice garden in the backyard of my eco-friendly, fashionable chic yet cozy small home. **sighs...One day ;)**
Anyhoo, I've started my garden with a rosemary plant
See this pic of my baby.
Isn't she beautiful! I plan on extending my herbal family this weekend with a couple of more plants. Maybe basil, mint and parsley.
I absolutely love the smell (and taste) of rosemary. For me, it's such a warm, comforting scent.
Here's a little info about Rosemary, my sweet.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis [Latin]), also known as rosemarine, has a long tradition of culinary and medicinal use. Today, rosemary is still a popular herb for seasoning, and modern herbalists recommend it for treatment of depression, indigestion, headache, muscle aches, and bad breath.
Rosemary contains powerful antioxidants. In the days before refrigeration, meat was sometimes wrapped in rosemary leaves for flavoring as well as to keep it from going rancid. The antioxidants in rosemary may also offer some level of cancer protection. In one laboratory study, animals that were exposed to toxic chemicals but consumed rosemary developed cancer less frequently than those that did not.
Rosemary has been shown to help kill bacteria that cause infection, which supports its traditional use as an antiseptic treatment for wounds. In France during World War II nurses burned rosemary leaves together with juniper berries to keep the hospital germ-free, which is why the French sometimes refer to it as incensier. The scent of rosemary is also thought to help relieve congestion caused by allergies and respiratory infections.
Like two other culinary herbs, sage and thyme, rosemary contains phytochemicals that help guard against the depletion of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is crucial to proper brain function. Rosemary also protects the brain from oxidation and increases blood flow, two actions that may help prevent or slow the development of Alzheimer's. Better yet, the phytochemicals and antioxidants in rosemary can be absorbed topically through the skin as well-massaging with rosemary oil is beneficial to both physical and mental well-being.
Rosemary is available in commercial teas, extracts, and essential oils. You can also use dried rosemary needles to make a homebrewed rosemary tea; just add 1 teaspoon of dried leaves to a cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Use this infusion as a gargle for bad breath, or drink up to 3 cups a day to help improve digestion or clear congestion. Do not consume rosemary oil; it can cause stomach irritation and even poisoning. Rosemary may stimulate uterine contractions and menstruation, so pregnant women should not consume highly concentrated forms of this herb.
Rosemary, the essential oil has become important to us due to its various health benefits including its ability to stimulate hair growth, boost mental activity, relieve respiratory problems and reduce pain.
Today, many medicinal preparations contain rosemary oil. The various health benefits of rosemary oil are given below:
• Hair Care: Rosemary oil and rosemary teas are used extensively for hair care in shampoos and lotions. Regular use of rosemary oil helps in stimulating follicles, as a result of which, hair grow longer and stronger. It is also believed that rosemary oil slows down premature hair loss and graying of hair. Hence it is an excellent tonic for bald people. Rosemary essential oil is also beneficial for dry and flaky scalps. Regular massage of scalp with rosemary oil nourishes the scalp and removes dandruff. Further, it is often mixed with tea tree oil and basil oil to treat scalp problems. **Along w/food recipes & teas, I plan on using mine in an herbal hair rinse. I'll definitely post about it once I do.**
• Mouth Care: Rosemary essential oil is a disinfectant and is used as a mouth wash. It also helps in removing bad breadth.
• Skin Care: Rosemary essential oil is not used in skin care as extensively as it is used in hair care. Regular massage with the oil helps in toning your skin and removing dryness. It is also considered as a beauty aid for the face.
• Boost Mental Activity: Rosemary essential oil is an excellent brain and nerve tonic. It is often used by students during exam times as it increases concentration and helps in studying efficiently. It stimulates mental activity and is a good remedy for depression, mental fatigue and forgetfulness. Inhaling rosemary oil lifts your spirits immediately. Whenever your brain is tired, inhale rosemary oil to remove boredom and get fresh mental energy.
• Pain Relief: The ability of rosemary essential oil to relieve pain has resulted in its extensive usage in headaches, muscle pains, sore muscles, rheumatism and even arthritis. Massaging the part which is in pain with rosemary essential oil give relief from the pain. Vapor baths with rosemary oil is found to be effective for rheumatism.
• Aroma: Rosemary has a mesmerizing aroma and hence rosemary essential oil is an excellent inhalant. The oil is used in room fresheners, cosmetics, beauty aids, food, bath oil, candles and perfumes due to its aroma. The oil, when inhaled brings mental energy and also clears the respiratory tract. Many people spray mixture of rosemary essential oil and water to remove bad odor from room.
• Respiratory Problems: The benefits of rosemary essential oil in treating respiratory problems are unmatched. The scent of the oil gives relief from throat congestion. The oil is used in treating respiratory allergies, cold, sore throat and flu. Since rosemary oil is antiseptic it is effective for respiratory infections as well. The oil is antispasmodic and is used in bronchial asthma.
• Indigestion: Rosemary oil is often used for indigestion, flautulence and stomach cramps. Rosemary leaves are often added to meat dishes as it helps in digesting meat, especially lamb, beef and pork.
Other claimed health benefits of rosemary oil include its usage for disorders in menstrual cycle, menstrual cramps, peptic ulcer, urine flow, prostrate, gall bladder, intestine, liver, cataract, heart, sperm mobility, leukemia, kidney stones and associated pain. Research is also being carried out to study its potential in treating various types of caners including colon cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer.
Rosemary oil may, at times, have allergic reactions and hence it should be used only with prescription. Again, since rosemary oil is volatile in nature, the oil may cause vomiting and spasms. Hence it should not be consumed orally. It is suggested that rosemary essential oil should not be used by pregnant and breastfeeding or nursing women. Excessive dosage of the oil may lead to miscarriage or may affect the fetus.
Rosemary essential oil is used extensively in aromatherapy as it can be used in many preparations. The oil blends well with frankincense, lavender, clary sage, cedarwood, basil, thyme, citronella, lemongrass, elemi, geranium, chamomile, peppermint and cardamom.
**Information gathered from Organic Facts and VitaminStuff.com.