Did you know for centuries the delicious and fragrant herb rosemary has been used as a symbol in memory of lost loved one? In fact the old bard, William Shakespeare himself, even wrote in the play Hamlet, “There is rosemary, and that is for remembrance.” These days the herb is often included in recipes dedicated to those that didn’t survive breast cancer in their memory.
One spring here in Seattle we had a random spring snow, and whenever the sun isn’t shining (almost all the time) I’m drawn to my garden for some sort of UV-free inspiration.
Well this particular spring day everything in my garden was still slumbering or pretty much dead from being untended to at the time (oh who am I kidding? it’s still untended). The only thing that wasn’t dead were my pots of rosemary which were growing wildly huge and out of control.
I love any plant that has some hardiness about it from dandelions to rosemary. Because let’s be honest any flower such as a persnickety rose can flourish in a highly tended to pristine flowerbed. So I save most of my admiration for those plants that can grow through cracks in the cement and still come out beautiful.
From memory to heart health rosemary can help
As I stopped to really admire the flourishing lush flowering perseverance of the rosemary covered in snow I recalled all the reasons I love this particularly special plant. Because if you’re just thinking of rosemary as a tasty spice you’re missing out on a whole wealthy of healing power.
Rosemary is reportedly helpful for…
- improving memory and mental functioning
- a gentle, caffeine-free pick me up instead of coffee and black tea
- alleviating menopause symptoms (rosemary is technically a warming herb so it could lead to hot flashes in sensitive women, but it’s still worth trying)
- fighting the disease-linked oxidation (antioxidant)
- supporting circulation and overall heart health
- fighting menstrual cramps
- relieving headaches, gas, fevers
- stimulating a sluggish gallbladder
- calming an acidic stomach
- fighting fungi (a great herb for candida and yeast infections)
- curbing bacterial growth (anti-microbial)
Grow medicine in your OWN garden
Because rosemary is such a hardy plant you can afford to plant a ton of it as future shrubbery and pretty much abandon it to nearly any weather extreme and watch it flourish.
Why have senseless shrubbery around your house when you can grow simple medicines instead?
When you harvest your first “crop” of rosemary besides whipping up some delicious dishes in your kitchen you can make an indulgent rosemary oil.
|Memory Boosting Rosemary Oil|
|This terrific-smellingrosemary oil can help boost concentration and memory and the smell makes a great replacement for a caffeine filled coffee.
• Wash rosemary and allow to dry COMPLETELY (important so that residual water on the rosemary doesn’t cause the oil to spoil).
• Fill your glass jar with the rosemary.
• Cover rosemary in your chosen oil.
• Let the oil sit in a sunny window for about a month. Shake every couple of days to redistribute the herb, but make sure all parts of the plant stay submerged under the oil)
• Strain the infused oil into a fresh clean container after a month and discard the rosemary leaves.
• Keep the rosemary oil stored in a dark jar or cabinet until needed.
Note: If you don’t have access to fresh rosemary, simply add a few drops of rosemary essential oil per ounce of carrier oil and use topically.
Don’t ever ingest essential oils internally, or apply without diluting as they will burn your skin!
Some usage ideas…
- Boost your memory and concentration at the office by massaging the oil it into your temples
- Relieve menstrual cramps by massaging the rosemary oil into your lower abdomen and cover with a heated pad.
- Warm up cold feet with a rosemary oil foot massage.
Sometimes a simple afternoon pick me up isn’t a big cup of coffee but the luxury of grabbing a big handful of rosemary from my garden, crushing it between my palms and inhaling the essential oils (just don’t huff too hard and get a needle up your nose).
You can also simmer a couple lemons in water on the stove and add a sprig of fresh rosemary to freshen up your entire house. The essential oils of citrus and rosemary are a great uplifting treat for anyone sick, shut in, depressed, or just in need of a little pick me up!
Fresh (or dried) rosemary also makes a terrific “pick me up” tea and making it couldn’t be any simpler. Add one tablespoon of dried rosemary, or three tablespoons fresh rosemary, to one cup boiling water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain, and enjoy plain or with lemon and honey to taste.
Cooking with healing and delicious rosemary
If you’re looking for a delicious way to use rosemary in your kitchen give my favorite salmon recipe “Dr. Nicole’s Rosemary Remembrance Salmon” a try. It doesn’t only taste divine, it’s also a great choice anyone with ADHD or poor memory!
I also love to add rosemary to cooked meats, soups, and baked goods. Rosemary is delicious with chicken, lamb, and seafood. If you have a bread machine you can easily make some whole grain rosemary bread by adding a few tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary.
Learning how to add “tonic” herbs such as rosemary in to your meals will give you added stamina as you become stronger and healthier. Plus cooking with herbs that are full of antioxidants such as rosemary is a simple way to fight off the symptoms of aging and, inf act, should be added to any anti-aging program.
Who doesn’t want to be focused, strong, hardy, and durable?
Please note: As with most herbs, do NOT use rosemary during pregnancy! Only use herbs advised by your doctor.
Dr. Nicole Sundene is a Naturopathic Physician and a graduate of Western Washington University for her undergraduate degree, and Bastyr University for her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine.
She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.
Dr. Sundene’s goal with Kitchen Table Medicine is to provide readers with the missing link in their health care experience. She works hard to share with everyone her latest health-promoting finds, tips, and tircks so that they can get the most out of life. Her mottos are “No hype...only help” and “Progress not perfection right?”
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