Rosemary’s name comes from the Latin ‘ros’ and ‘marinus’ – meaning sea dew – perhaps because it favors coastal locations.
Ancient Greek scholars tied rosemary into their hair and wore garlands round their neck to improve their memory. Shakespeare possibly referred to this idea in Hamletwhen Ophelia says: “Rosemary – that’s for remembrance.”
Rosemary has long been used as an antiseptic and was carried in pouches during the Black Death to ward off illness.
Hungary water was first prepared for the Queen of Hungary Elisabeth of Poland (1305 – December 29, 1380) to ” … renovate vitality of paralyzed limbs … ” and to treat gout.
In the Middle Ages sprigs of rosemary were kept on pillows to prevent nightmares.
Rosemary is associated with love and fidelity in folklore, and was used by newly-weds as a love charm. Anne of Cleves reportedly wore a wreath of rosemary at her wedding to Henry VIII.
|Rosemary in bloom. By Margalob|
In the modern era, Japanese research has found that sniffing rosemary can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Rosemary leaves are used as a flavoring in foods such as stuffings and roast lamb, pork, chicken and turkey.
|Dried rosemary leaves. By Atudu|
Both rose hips and rose petals are edible. However, be careful not to use rose hips from plants that have been treated with a pesticide unless it has been labeled for use on edibles.