Whatever I’m cooking, whether it’s pasta, meat, fish or a vegetable dish, I always add a sprinkle of mixed herbs to flavour it. I particularly like to add basil to tomato based sauces, parsley and coriander to fish, tarragon to mushrooms, rosemary to lamb and roast chicken, and cloves to soups. Of course, all herbs have their individual properties and benefits, and it’s good to use a variety of them. However, I’ve realised that by having such fixed combinations, I might be missing out on the benefits of using rosemary more often. It was not until very recently that I learnt about the history of rosemary extract, or rosmarinus officinalis, and its fantastic medicinal properties. The two most important ingredients in rosemary, which are thought to be largely responsible for many of its therapeutic actions, are caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid, both potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents.
Keeps your skin young: Not only does rosemary add and enhance flavour, but rosemary extract also helps protect the individual components of skin cells, which may prevent age-related skin damage such as wrinkles, as discovered by researchers at the University of Catania (Italy). Furthermore, when applied directly to the skin, rosemary essential oil helps strengthen capillaries and thus rejuvenates the skin.
Enhances memory: Rosemary is also a brain stimulant and has been shown to enhance memory and brain function. A study found that when the smell of rosemary was pumped into cubicles where people were working, people showed memory improvements.
Improves kidney function: It has also been found that a daily dose of rosemary extract in liquid form can improve kidney function and increase urine flow whilst also preserving sodium, potassium and chlorium.
Relaxes muscles: Rosemary infused massage oils work well in relaxing muscles and help reduce joint spasms, body aches and pains. You can easily prepare rosemary infused oil at home by placing rosemary springs in a jar of olive oil, leaving it for a few weeks exposed to the sun so that the oil becomes completely infused with the rosemary and can then be heated before massaging.
Make sure you consume enough rosemary
Even though you can sprinkle some finely chopped rosemary leaves on your pizza or any other food or use it while cooking, another easy way to ensure a daily intake of rosemary is by making a tea from one teaspoon of rosemary immersed in a large cup of hot water. It is also possible to put a handful of rosemary springs into your bath, which is great for the skin.