Rosemary: Important Facts, Health Benefits, and Recipes

Explore the health benefits of rosemary, a versatile herb rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, and discover its uses in various cuisines and recipes.

What Is Rosemary?

Rosemary is a member of the mint familyLamiaceae(including other herbs, such as oregano, thyme, mint, lemon balm, basil, and lavender)

Is Rosemary Good For You?

Yes, rosemary is good for you. There are many health benefits associated with consuming rosemary.

6 Health Benefits Of Rosemary

  1. Rosemary is a good source of antioxidants and is an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial
    1. Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which may help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation.
    2. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of rosemary is largely attributed to its polyphenolic compounds like rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid
    3. Due to its antioxidant capability, rosmarinic acid is often used as a natural preservative to increase the shelf life of perishable foods
  2. Rosemary may improve concentration and memory
    1. According to a study , the aroma from rosemary can improve a person’s concentration, performance, speed, and accuracy
    2. Taking rosemary by mouth may mildly improve memory in young adults. Using rosemary aromatherapy seems to improve some measures of memory. Rosemary aromatherapy also seems to increase alertness.
    3. One study found that taking 500 mg of oral rosemary twice daily for 1 month significantly lowered anxiety levels and improved memory and sleep quality among college students, compared with a placebo
  3. Rosemary may help brain health
    1. Rosemary contains an ingredient called carnosic acid, which can fight off damage by free radicals in the brain.
  4. Rosemary may help prevent macular degeneration
    1. A study revealed that a carnosic acid, which is a major component of rosemary, can significantly promote eye health.
  5. Rosemary may help with hair growth
    1. Although it's not clear how rosemary works for hair loss, applying it to the scalp irritates the skin and increases blood circulation.
    2. Early research suggests that applying rosemary oil to the scalp is as effective as minoxidil for increasing hair count in people with male-pattern baldness.
  6. Rosemary may help with blood sugar levels
    1. Studies have shown that compounds in rosemary tea may lower blood sugar, showing that rosemary could have potential applications for managing high blood sugar among people with diabetes.

History, Background, and General Facts About Rosemary

  • The first record of rosemary is found on cuneiform stone tablets as early as 5000 BCE.
  • Egyptians used it in their burial rituals . There is no further mention of rosemary until the ancient Greeks and Romans.
  • The plant has been used as a symbol for remembrance during war commemorations and funerals in Europe and Australia. Mourners would throw it into graves as a symbol of remembrance for the dead.
  • In Australia , sprigs of rosemary are worn on ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) a day to remember all who have served in wars. Rosemary grows wild on the Gallipoli Peninsula , where many Australians died during World War I
  • Rosemary is a fragrant evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean.
  • Rosemary is a perennial plant (it lives more than 2 years).
  • It grows in bushes with wood-like stems and short needles like pine needles, and the plant has white, pink, purple, or blue flowers.
  • It is often grown as an ornamental shrub because of its ability to withstand harsh conditions and it has a fibrous root system
  • The plant is also sometimes called anthos , from the ancient Greek word meaning "flower".
  • The plant can live as long as 30 years

What Are The Cuisines That Regularly Include Rosemary?

  • Italian - marinades and rubs for chicken and fish
  • French - grilled calamari with rosemary
  • Spanish - chicken stew with rosemary
  • Greek - lamb with rosemary
  • U.S. - rosemary potatoes

What Is The Best Way To Store Rosemary?

  • Fresh rosemary should be kept refrigerated in a plastic food storage bag with a damp paper towel. Fresh rosemary will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.
  • Dried rosemary should be stored in an air-tight container away from heat and moisture. When stored properly, dried rosemary will retain its flavor for up to six months.

What Are The Different Types Of Rosemary?

  • There are basically two types of rosemary, those that are upright shrubs and those that grow as ground covers.

Toxicity and Side Effects Of Rosemary

Ingestion of large quantities of rosemary may result in stomach and intestinal irritation, but it’s generally considered safe to eat.

Best Rosemary Recipes