Herb of the Week: Rosemary
Working with herbs is a wonderful experience that continually gives me knowledge and inspiration. Learning from others, reading, researching, and creating offers an endless amount of information to me.
|A rooftop garden in Manhattan, with Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, Bay, and other herbs.|
As mentioned before, interning at The Rosemary House has been an amazing opportunity that has given me different perspectives on plants, medicine, and the earth itself. Susanna answers any and all of my bizarre and sometimes random questions as we work on teas, mixes, and a million other things. Every day she amazes me with her ability to be an endless fountain of knowledge. Much like my mother and aunt, Susanna inspires me to continue my studies and shows me that there is always something new to learn.
Being there I have, of course, heard a lot about Rosemary.
|Early spring Rosemary, Chamomile, and Chives greening up.|
Rosemary is a clarifying herb, which is great in shampoo and soap. The herb is also incredibly aromatic so your hair smells wonderful throughout the day. Because of its aroma many brides in the medieval period (even royalty) wore wreaths dipped in scented water to their weddings. These wreaths represented fidelity, love, and remembrance.
It was also worn to funerals. Since it has a strong fragrance, rosemary was used to keep the room fresh. Many funeral goers would wear it on their person since rosemary is known for remembrance. Often wearing sprigs on their clothes or giving some to the deceased, they hoped their loved ones would know they would never be forgotten.
|We have about a 60% chance of Rosemary making it through the winter here. Zone 6b.|
Even scholars used rosemary for memory. In ancient Greece many students would bring sprigs of rosemary to class and sniff while they studied. Many students today will even bring some in during finals week or rub their pencil with rosemary oil while studying and during a test to retain information.
This tonic, astringent, and diaphoretic herb has been used for hundreds of years to help retain memory, clean and clarify, and has even been used as a nervine. The calming affects of smelling the plant may help some focus and retain memories such as lessons. So before your next exam, presentation, or just to remember to pick up the milk don’t forget the rosemary!