Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a symbol of friendship, loyalty and remembrance. It is traditionally carried by mourners at funerals and by the bride at her wedding. Greek scholars wore garlands of rosemary when they were sitting examinations, to improve their memory and concentration.
Rosemary is rich in volatile oil, flavonoids and phenolic acids, which are strongly antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. It is a restorative herb that relaxes spasms, relieves pain and increases perspiration rate. It also stimulates the liver and gall bladder, improves digestion and controls many pathogenic organisms. Internally it is used for depression, apathy, nervous exhaustion, headaches and migraines associated with nervous tension or feeling cold, poor circulation and digestive problems associated with anxiety. Excess causes abortion in pregnant women and convulsions. Externally for rheumatism, arthritis, neuralgia, muscular injuries, wounds, dandruff and scurf.
Fresh or dried leaves are used to flavour meat, soups and stews; should be used either finely chopped or in sprigs that can be removed before serving. Rosemary is often used with oregano and thyme in Italian dishes. Fresh sprigs steeped in vinegar, wine or olive oil flavour sauces and dressings.
Taste and Aroma
Aromatic; minty, bitter, resinous taste.