June 10, 2016

ROSEMARY - PLANT OF THE MONTH FOR JUNE

I have grown Rosemary in my garden as for the last 15 years. The only time I've been without it was was the year that our winter was so harsh that all the Rosemary in Tennessee was killed by the cold. I grow it in containers and in the ground and DO NOT TAKE IT INTO THE HOUSE IN WINTER. Taking it in is a sure way to kill it! Those little Rosemary Christmas trees you find at the big box store are rarely going to survive inside all winter. My friend told me about Rosemary hedges in Maine - so I think it will survive our Zone 6 winter. Resist the urge to buy Rosemary in winter. Instead, purchase a plant in spring and plant it in a sheltered place outside. Mine is against the side of my house, mostly because it is the sunniest place in my yard and convenient to reach for snipping a branch when I want to use it.

With all that said, Rosemary wants to be in as much sun as you can give it (half day for me - my yard is shady) and once established, I let God water it. It is a Mediterranean plant and loves hot and dry.

Besides it's culinary uses - wonderful on Chicken and fish, it has medicinal uses as well. Below is a quote from Mercola.com about healthy uses for Rosemary.

"It was an old custom to burn rosemary in sick chambers, and in French hospitals it is customary to burn rosemary with juniper berries to purify the air and prevent infection. Like rue, it was placed in the dock of courts of justice, as a preventative from the contagion of gaol-fever." 
Gaol, or jail, was where a number of prisoners contracted a typhus-like, highly infectious disease. The physicians of the period may have been on to something, because modern-day scientists have identified rosemary as an herb with anti-bacterial qualities.

It begs the question: if rosemary's link to memory and infectious disease was understood 500 years ago and beyond, what might Renaissance scholars have known that we forgot?

Health Advantages of Rosemary

Such historical anecdotes may have helped prompt scientists to compare the effects of essential oils with commonly used antibiotics. One of the more recent studies found that rosemary and oregano oils:
"Resulted in the same amount of growth in chickens as the antibiotic avilamycin, and that the oils killed bacteria, too. Additional findings have shown that essential oils help reduce salmonella in chickens, and another study found that a blend of several oils can limit the spread of salmonella among animals."2
Science has churned out multiple studies to substantiate many of the early health claims of this fragrant herb, finding that besides being an excellent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, benefits include:
  • Enhanced memory and concentration  Scientists say they proved for the first time that the fragrance of rosemary enhanced memory during a study published in 2012 in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology.3
  • Diabetes protection  Greek and Mexican oregano, marjoram and rosemary were determined to be a natural way to keep glucose levels in check.4
  • Neurological defense  A review concluded that "carnosic acid (in rosemary) may be useful in protecting against beta amyloid-induced neurodegeneration in the hippocampus."5
  • Prevents brain aging  Carnosic acid, a compound in rosemary, was effective against brain aging in a Japanese study.6
  • Cancer protection  Compounds in rosemary were reported to have antiproliferative effects on leukemia and breast cancer cells.7 Another review reported it to be beneficial against inflammation, and tumor-protective.8
  • Macular degeneration protection  Carnosic acid was found to be a protective agent against this most common age-related eye-related problem in the U.S.9
Read the rest of the report here : The Health Benefits of Rosemary 

No comments: