Scientifically checked

Rosemary

By Alyssa Morlacci
Updated on 14. Sep. 2020

With the rosemary on the windowsill, in the garden or at the supermarket, you can not only give dishes a Mediterranean flair and southern spice, but you can also gain some healthy benefits from the intensely fragrant herb.

share Share
print
bookmark_border Copy URL

Rosemary...

  • ...soothes the stomach. Rosemary can soothe and relieve feelings of fullness, stomach cramps or flatulence.
  • ...stimulates circulation. Rosemary increases blood flow and has been proven to help with low blood pressure and poor circulation. It is therefore a good idea to spice dishes with rosemary, especially when it's hot.
  • ..strengthens the nerves. Rosemary can improve states of weakness, nervous restlessness and dizziness. Rosemary also has a soothing effect on headaches and even migraines.
  • ...contains valuable oils. The rosemary leaves are bursting with essential oils, especially oleum rosemary. They also contain plenty of tannins and bitter substances, which give rosemary its intensely aromatic and slightly bitter taste as well as its health benefits.
  • ...supports bile and liver. Rosemary has been used for generations in naturopathy to gently treat liver weakness as well as gallbladder inflammation and gallstones.
  • ..helps with coughs. Rosemary is one of the tried and tested household remedies for all respiratory diseases, especially asthma.
  • ...can promote bleeding. Sometimes a dish that's lightly seasoned with rosemary is no problem for expectant mothers, but teas and other preparations with rosemary can prove problematic because some of the ingredients in rosemary can promote bleeding, thus endangering pregnancy.
  • ...can damage heart patients. If you have high blood pressure, you should use rosemary sparingly, as it additionally stimulates the blood circulation.

What You Should Know About Rosemary

Anyone who sniffs the intense, tangy scent of rosemary immediately feels transported to Southern Europe, where the aromatic herb is used to season fish, meat and poultry.

Even the ancient Romans valued rosemary as a spice and medicinal herb. In ancient Rome it was consecrated to the goddess of love Aphrodite and the household gods were decorated with wreaths in which rosemary was wound with myrtle and laurel. 

People in the Middle Ages believed that it had other powers. Our ancestors believed rosemary could banish evil spirits and used it to decorate rooms for baptisms, weddings and funerals.

In the Mediterranean, rosemary grows wild in coastal areas. Rosemary can also be grown in pots, though it's sensitivity to frost. With good care, the shrub can last for many years.

If you have rosemary on your windowsill or in the garden, you can then enjoy its blue to violet flowers in early summer, which are also edible and can be used to decorate salads.

Origin

Rosemary originated in Southern Italy and other countries around the Mediterranean.

Season

Rosemary is a typical summer herb with the main harvesting period from May to August. However, it is available now all year round.

Taste

Rosemary tastes intensely spicy and tart.

Here you will find all rosemary recipes.

How Healthy Is Rosemary?

Rosemary was cultivated as a medicinal plant in ancient times. The narrow rosemary leaves are full of essential oils. They also contain tannins and bitter substances that give rosemary its intensely aromatic and slightly bitter taste as well as its health benefits.

If you believe in natural medicine, rosemary is good for headaches, rheumatism and sprains. It is a fact that the essential oils in rosemary, when used both internally and externally, stimulate blood circulation and have a general antispasmodic effect.

Rosemary can therefore also help with bloatedness, stomach pressure, abdominal cramps or flatulence. In addition, it stimulates the formation of digestive juices in the stomach and bile. Recent studies show rosemary strengthens the memory and also has positive effects in Alzheimer's disease.

Because of its stimulating effect on blood circulation and the circulatory system, rosemary is also suitable as a gentle remedy for low blood pressure and feelings of weakness, but less so for people with high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. Pregnant women should use rosemary sparingly (preferably after consulting a doctor) to avoid unwanted bleeding.

Nutritional values of rosemary per 100 grams  
Calories 62
Protein 0.8 grams
Fat 2.5 grams
Carbohydrates 7.6 grams
Fibers 2.9 grams

Shopping and Kitchen Tips

Shopping

If you buy rosemary in a pot and want to use it not only for decoration but also for cooking, you should buy organic. It's better to buy small quantities of a credible dried rosemary brand, otherwise the aroma and active ingredients will soon evaporate.

Storage

You almost always buy rosemary in a pot. With good care, the herb will keep practically indefinitely and grow back again and again. As a typical Mediterranean plant, rosemary survives with rather little water. 

Preparation

The typical rosemary leaves are used chopped or whole, depending on the recipe. There is not much to prepare — just rinse and shake the rosemary dry. If necessary, remove the needles and chop them finely with a sharp knife.

What To Make With Rosemary

Rosemary goes particularly well with poultry, lamb and beef, as well as with Mediterranean stews. Fresh rosemary is much more robust than other herbs because of its firm leaf structure. You can also let it cook, but not too long because some of its active ingredients will be lost.

Knowledge To Go

Rosemary has much more to offer than just its typical Mediterranean, intense spice. Both ancient naturopathy and modern medicine attribute numerous positive healthy effects to this herb.

Scientifically checked by our EAT SMARTER experts
Add comment