Amazing health benefits of Rosemary – a Mediterranean plant you should have at home

rosemary-on-wood

Veggy Malta takes a closer look at Rosemary, a typical Maltese (and Mediterranean) plant locally know as Klin. It is in fact native to the Mediterranean area.

Grow your own rosemary

Whilst you can find it dried, or even fresh from any shop, it is a plant you can easily grow in your herb garden at home. It is a bit tricky to grow, but it is a beginner-level plant.  Rosemary is a great container-plant or alternatively you can grow it in the soil (bees love it). It is after all native to our climate and region. If you are buying a small plant from a local greenhouse, just make sure that it hasn’t been dozed with pesticides. Alternatively try to grow from a seed (more difficult).  Your rosemary doesn’t require a lot of water. It loves the sun and heat and will only flourish when it gets a lot of sun, throughout all hours of the day, so don’t plant it in shade.

Drying your sprigs

Harvesting rosemary is quite an easy task. Just cut the sprigs 10 to 20 cm down. If you wish to dry your own leaves, simply tie bundles of sprigs with a piece of cord and hand upside down. It dries very easily and maintains its potency through the drying process. Now enjoy your cup of rosemary tea.

Health benefits of rosemary

In Guido Lanfranco’s book Hxejjex Medicinali u ohrajn fil-gzejjer Maltin he describes the many medicinal properties of this local plant. It has long been known that rosemary has many positive attributes.  In fact it is said that Greek students would wear it while sitting for tests, believing the plant’s scent would boost their brain power. [1] Here are some benefits.

  • Improved memory. Research has found that it contains a diterpine called carnosic acid that has neuroprotective properties that researchers believe may protect against Alzheimer’s disease as well as the normal memory loss that happens with ageing [2].
  • Mood elevator. It’s aroma on it’s own has been said to improve the mood, clear the mind and relive stress. This is also why it is very popular in aromatherapy. [3]
  • Hair loss. For ages, it has been linked with hair growth in many cultures. Some early research shows that applying a combination of rosemary oil, lavender, thyme and cedarwood oil to the scalp can help improve hair growth. [4] Maybe I should have this earlier in life…
  • Digestion issues. Rosemary has been attributed in aiding digestion related issues like hearthburn, intestinal gas (flatulence), and indigestion [5].

Some precautions to take. Rosemary is possibly unsafe during pregnancy. It might stimulate menstruation or affect the uterus, causing a miscarriage. Not enough is known about the safety of applying rosemary to the skin during pregnancy. Furthermore it contains a chemical that is very similar to aspirin. This chemical, known a as salicylate, may cause a reaction in people who are allergic to aspirin. [6]

rosemary-hanging

Disclaimer: The information and content on this site is intended to be of general informational use. It is not intended to constitute medical advice, medical diagnosis, or medical treatment. They are not intended to replace a one-to-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before making any changes in your diet, exercise pattern or lifestyle.

Author: Darryl Grima

Darryl Grima is Veggy Malta's Editor. He has been a vegetarian for over 31 years and recalls a time when Malta was not so vegetarian and vegan friendly. Apart from blogging on vegetarian matters, Darryl is also active in environmental and animal welfare organisations. He holds a Diploma in Political Studies and a Masters in Business Administration.

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1 Comment

  1. i grow rosemary at home and I can assure you it is very easy to grow. An the fact that you can reach out an get a bit of fresh rosemary to add with your food, makes it all so different.

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