Botanical name:Rosmarinus officinalis ▪ Family name: Lamiaceae
In history, rosemary was believed to only grow in the gardens of righteous and virtuous people. As such, rosemary has come to represent friendship and fidelity, so it is rather an important herb. Rosemary is also said to strengthen the memory, and in ancient Greece students actually wore rosemary around their foreheads to aid their performance in examinations.
Major producers: Italy, Greek, South America
The fresh and dried leaves are used frequently in traditional Mediterranean cuisine; they have a bitter, astringent taste and are highly aromatic, which complements a wide variety of foods.
A tisane can also be made from them. When burned they give off a distinct mustard smell, as well as a smell similar to that of burning which can be used to flavor foods while barbecuing.
Rosemary is extremely high in iron, calcium, and Vitamin B6.
Rosemary extract has been shown to improve the shelf life and heat stability of omega-3 rich oils, which are prone to going rancid.
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 is reputed to help the brain function properly and to relieve headaches, and will stimulate hair groth when used as a rinse. It also gives relief to sufferers of rheumatism and gout.
Rosemary may have some anti-carcinogenic properties. A study where a powdered form of rosemary was given to rats in a measured amount for 2 weeks showed reduction in the binding of a certain carcinogen by 76%, and greatly reduced the formation of mammary tumors.
It is available by 50g, 100g and 500g.