Native to the Mediterranean region, rosemary is one of the most commonly found herbs in a spice rack, and for good reason – not only does it have a wonderful taste and aroma, but also a wealth of beneficial health effects if regularly added to our diet. The scientific name of this perennial woody herb is Rosmarinus officinalis. Similar to many other useful herbs, rosemary is in the same taxonomic family as mint, but doesn’t have that characteristic flavor. It has a warmer, bitter, and more astringent taste that gives a wonderful flavor to soups, sauces, stews, roasts, and stuffing. It is particularly prevalent in Italian cultural cuisine.
Rosemary is most commonly known as a cooking herb, but it can also be used as an ornamental shrub. There are two main types of rosemary plants, the upright varieties and the creeping varieties. Both offer evergreen leaves, fragrant foliage and edible flowers.
Our little dog Rocky loved Rosemary. He used to stick his whole head inside the bush, and inhale deeply. He did this several times a day, so our, and his Rosemary become Rocky’s Rosemary. Wish I had a photo to share since he’s no longer here to enjoy his Rosemary.
The most interesting health benefits of rosemary include its ability to boost memory, improve mood, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, protect the immune system, stimulate circulation, detoxify the body, protect the body from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions.
Rosemary is a very easy plant to grow. An established plant’s stems with lay over on the ground and root, and you can transplant this roots stems to other spaces in your garden. Or better yet, share them with a gardening friend. You can also start with cutting from another plant, or buy a plant from your local garden center.
Plant the Rosemary plants in well drained soil in full sun. Water when soil is very dry and that’s about it. You can clip ends for cooking when the plant is well established.
Not into growing your own Rosemary? That’s okay, you can use dried Rosemary instead.