Rosemary

Rosemary (Lamiaceae)

Flavour

Rosemary has a slightly minty, sage-like, peppery, balsamic taste with a bitter, woody aftertaste. Rosemary’s flavour does not diminish in cooking so can be added at the beginning or cooked in stews.

Aroma

Rosemary is a woody herb with a slight piney and tea-like aroma.

Pairing

Rosemary is best when added to a dish and cooked. Add sprigs to dough for making scones, biscuits or focaccia. Use in dishes featuring parmesan, chicken and tomato. Rosemary also pairs well with roast chicken, lamb or veal, pot roasts, stews and stuffing.

Growing

The rosemary plant is difficulat to grow from seed so if possible should be grown through propagation. Rosemary and sage grow well together, it has been shown that they mutually promote growth. Growth will stop or slow down in winter depending on your climate. However you can pick its leaves throughout the year.

Rosemary is a perennial herb that grows to roughly a metre and a half in height. As well as being used for health reasons and in cooking, rosemary is often used as a hedging plant. There are many different types of rosemary but the most common will sprout little blue flowers during the summer. A very hot and humid summer can be very harsh on the plant so it is important that you water it well and that it has a well-draining soil.

History

During ancient Greek students wore rosemary around their heads to stimulate memory. At wedding ceremonies rosemary was worn by the bride and groom and also given as gifts. During the plagues of the Middle Ages rosemary was burnt to protect the occupants of the home. It was also used around hospitals as a healing incense in sick rooms.
A rosemary infusion was used in Elizabethan times to prevent baldness and dandruff.

 

Medicinal

Rosemary has a property in it that expand and stimulates skin tissue which can increase blood supply to certain areas. Researchers believe that rosemary is a powerful tool in increasing memory. It has also been found that rosemary has antioxidants in it that help with relieving pain.
Rosemary will help ease arthritic pain. You can use a rosemary tea or consume it with your food. It can also be used as an inhalant to relieve a blocked nose or tension headache.
Using rosemary in your food will aid in digestion of starchy or rich foods.

Facts about Rosemary

Rosemary can be used as a deterrent from insects. It can be added to a fire or just placed in areas where insects are more prolific. This includes moths, so place some rosemary in your cupboards.

Common Questions

Can rosemary grow from cuttings?

Yes it can, in fact growing rosemary from cuttings is one of the easiest ways to grow it. Cut the stem of the rosemary plant, these can then be placed in a glass of water where they will root.

Will rosemary hurt cats?

The rosemary plant is not toxic to cats generally. Though it should not be fed to them in high doses.

Should rosemary be pruned?

Rosemary does not have to be pruned, though for aesthetic reasons many prefer to prune the plant to avoid spreading. Rosemary has been used for topiary and as garden edging. Although not necessary, pruning rosemary will provide extra growth. The best time to prune your rosemary is in winter.

Can sniffing rosemary improve memory?

Recent studies have shown that sniffing rosemary can help a person improve their ability to remember events and complex tasks. In Hamlet, Shakespeare referenced rosemary “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance: pray you, love, remember.”