There’s Rosemary, that’s for Remembrance

There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.   Hamlet, William Shakespeare

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)  is a well-known, and well-loved herb, which has been used for generations in cooking, healing and spell weaving.  Native to Mediterranean coastal areas, its name is derived from the Latin ros and maris meaning Dew from the Sea.

It is a herb that has always been associated with memory.  Apart from the famous Shakespeare quote, Ancient Greeks wore sprigs in their hair to strengthen their memories and concentration, and European brides wore it to show they would not forget their families when they left with their husbands.  It is planted around graves in memory of loved ones and Culpeper wrote “It helps a weak memory and quickens the senses”

In the kitchen rosemary is often paired with rich cuts of meat such as lamb but don’t overlook its usefulness as a flavouring for vegetables such as Rosemary Roasted Potatoes.  A small amount in breads and biscuits gives a wonderful flavour , and I think many of you know how good focaccia tastes with rosemary and salt.

In the vegetable garden it attracts the cabbage moth which keeps it away from your brassicas and is a general insect repellent.

It has a reputation for increasing hair growth after illness, and it has been claimed that it is a solution for baldness.

Medicinally it is excellent for aching joints, indigestion, and as an antiseptic.  If you have low blood pressure, make a strong infusion and add it to a foot bath to bring it up to normal again.

Caution:  do not use medicinally if you have high blood pressure or pregnant.

Rosemary:  Rosmarinus officinalis

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