The therapeutic plant par excellence, rosemary has pain-relieving effects, aids memory, relieves swelling of the legs, is good for the liver and promotes the well-being of many organs. Here we discover all its virtues
Rosemary aromatizes every dish it touches with Mediterranean scrub, giving that unmistakable touch of “sea dew", as one of the most accredited versions of its controversial etymology wants. And then, this is less well known, rosemary offers a series of benefits to our health, given that it is an aromatic herb particularly rich in medicinal properties.
A memory launched forward!
The last in order of official recognition is that of help for memory: the students of ancient Greece already knew this, and for this reason they wore a branch of rosemary in their hair. Now science has confirmed it: research from the University of Northumbria in the UK, recently presented at the annual meeting of the British Society of Psychology, has shown how those who benefit from the aroma of rosemary significantly improve perspective memory and lucidity. . What is perspective memory? The ability to remember intentions to be fulfilled in the future, for example to take a medicine at a specific time. For this purpose it is best to use the aroma of the essential oil that is extracted from its leaves, for example by vaporizing it in the room.
Tonic effect, a balm for the whole organism
Speaking of leaves , it is very easy to collect them, and this - from May to July - is just the right time. The best thing is to use them fresh, otherwise they can be dried in the sun, and use them later: they have the property of stimulating the appetite and digestive properties; they help fight the air in the belly . Rosemary, in general, has tonic and protective properties for the liver and gallbladder , and stimulates the secretion and excretion of bile, with a beneficial effect on the liver.
Rosemary is a balsamic plant par excellence, tonic, invigorating and stimulating for the nervous system. Add it to the bath water: it is invigorating, purifying and tones the skin. It stimulates blood flow and restores the resistance of fragile capillaries. It helps when there is some psycho-physical exhaustion and also in depression.
There is also increasing talk of the antioxidant properties of rosemary, due in particular to the presence of rosmarinic acid.
It is not recommended for use during pregnancy, due to its stimulating action on the uterine level.
Antiseptic and pain reliever, from head to toe
Toothache, rheumatic pains and even headaches (frictions). Rosemary used externally has antibacterial and healing properties - the infusion can be used in gargle, or for wounds on the skin. And then it is a pain reliever with analgesic qualities. An ally for those suffering from menstrual pain - it can also be used to reduce the flow if too abundant.
Macerated in alcohol, for example in wine, and applied locally it is an antirheumatic; it can help fight the pain caused by sciatica and poultices of chopped leaves heated in oil are good for bruises and sprains.
Antiseptic, pesticide and antibacterial, it is preventive against infectious diseases. And, let's not forget, it is a valid anti-inflammatory.
Vasoconstrictor and anti-stress, from feet to head
Rosemary is an important local vasoconstrictor and has astringent properties, thanks to its tannins. As we have said, it heals, and the balm, rich in eucalyptol, inhaled - perhaps together with that of pine - can calm allergies .
If you suffer from swollen and heavy legs, with the oncoming heat, make an infusion of rosemary and put it in the ice cube trays (without adding anything else). In the morning, take out one or more cubes and massage your legs with spiral movements starting from the bottom, from the soles of the feet: it will be like wearing elastic stockings for all the day!
Macerated in alcohol, it can be used to rub the scalp, to stimulate it: in the late Middle Ages, among the many objects made with rosemary wood - considered a plant with magical virtues - there were combs, with which baldness was avoided.
Going back to the present day, with rosemary you can also prepare an adaptogen tonic, putting a couple of sprigs of this plant in 50cc of a liqueur, any grappa or other strong spirit and a little brown sugar. It will be a great stress reliever - as is usually the case with what is locally vasoconstricting, when pulled out. A shot, and go! Better to prepare it in the growing moon , it will be ready for the waning moon, which extracts all the essential oil.
Flowery and healthy cuisine with rosemary
Not only that: do you like to eat meat, fish, vegetables and grilled bread, beautifully burnt, but have you always felt that being burnt "causes cancer"? Rosemary: eliminates the carcinogenic effects of burning . Also in this sense, its essential oil is protective. If you love charred, season with rosemary!
The wonderful violet flowers of rosemary can be found from March to September-October, and in particular from May to August: they have similar properties to leaves; and are used in infusion. But also in the kitchen, where they have a less strong flavor than the leaves . Risotto, salads, pasta with a light white sauce, delicate desserts, perhaps based on ricotta. Let's color lilac and perfume our imagination!
And remember: to make the most of the therapeutic properties of rosemary, it is better to use wild plants rather than cultivated ones. Choose one with a particularly intense aroma, gratefully tear off a sprig and plant it in the ground: it's very easy, rosemary grows by cutting!