Rosemary has long been used as an antiseptic and was carried in pouches during the Black Death to ward off illness:

Rosemary has long been used as an antiseptic and was carried in pouches during the Black Death to ward off illness:

Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb, which is a native of the Mediterranean region.

Rosemary’s name comes from the Latin ‘ros’ and ‘marinus’ – meaning sea dew – perhaps because it favors coastal locations.

HISTORY

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 was introduced to Britain by the Romans, primarily in the southern part of the country.

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.

CULINARY USE

Rosemary acts as a preservative. Before refrigerators were invented, meat was wrapped in crushed rosemary leaves to stop it going off.

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.

Roses are in the same family as apples and crabapples, so the resemblance of their fruits is not purely coincidental.

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