What Is Rosemary Good For? from Mercola
Since its primordial Mediterranean origins, the woodsy-citrus-like fragrance of rosemary has graced gardens, kitchens, and apothecaries throughout the world. A lovely herb with tags like “Dew of the Sea” and “Old Man,” rosemary is related to mint and resembles lavender, with leaves like flat pine needles touched with silver.
Rosemary is one of those herbs with a thousand uses. It’s extremely hardy and therefore easy to grow and maintain inside or out. Indoors, it requires lots of light but not too much heat and humid air. Spritz the plant with water a few times a week. Add an entire sprig to vegetable soups for a bright, unique flavor.
When purchasing rosemary, fresh is superior because it’s more subtle than the pungent dried form. Fresh rosemary can be refrigerated in a Ziploc bag for several weeks; dried rosemary should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark, and dry place to keep for several months.
To make your own rosemary-infused oil, place a sprig or two of completely dry rosemary leaves into a glass jar, top with olive oil, replace the lid, and shake lightly. Store in a warm, dark place for two weeks, strain, and then simply pour back into the glass jar. Use ¼ cup for a fragrant bath or blend with balsamic vinegar to drizzle all over a salad for a delicious dressing.
Health Benefits of Rosemary
For centuries, one of the most common medicinal uses for rosemary has involved improving memory, not just for the flavor it adds to food. This herb, especially the flower tops, contains antibacterial and antioxidant rosmarinic acid, plus several essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, and α-pinene that are known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties.
Most recipes call for a few teaspoons of rosemary rather than 100 grams, but the above chart indicates the balance of nutrients, which are many. The same amount provides 16% of the daily value of vitamin A for free radical-zapping antioxidant properties, vision protection, healthy skin and mucus membranes, and increased protection from lung and mouth cancers. Mostly renowned for fighting infection, the vitamin C content synthesizes collagen, the protein required for optimal blood vessels, organs, skin, and bones.