Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region. It was an herb known for strengthening the memory and helping the brain.
The ancients were well acquainted with the shrub, which had a reputation for strengthening the memory. On this account it became the emblem of fidelity for lovers.
Medicinal Uses: The results of a study suggest that carnosic acid, found in rosemary, may shield the brain from free radicals, lowering the risk of strokes and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's.
Rosemary contains a number of potentially biologically active compounds, including antioxidants such as carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid. Other bioactive compounds include camphor (up to 20% in dry rosemary leaves), caffeic acid, ursolic acid, betulinic acid, rosmaridiphenol, and rosmanol.
Potential side effects: When rosemary is harvested appropriately and used within recommended guidelines, side effects are minimal. A few instances of allergic skin reactions to topical preparations containing rosemary have been reported.
Recent European research has shown that rosemary interferes with the absorption of iron in the diet, which indicates that it should not be used internally by persons with iron deficiency anemia.
Rosemary is a strongly scented herb. It pairs well with butter for a rich spread. It also compliments poultry and potato dishes. Rosemary is easily dried and used throughout the winter. Crush the needle like leaves in your hand to release its volatile oils before adding to your recipe. The stems can also be used as skewers and they will infuse your meat with a fabulous flavor.