Updated: Nov 18
Rosemary is a perennial plant whose scientific name is Salvia Rosmarinus. This shrub is from the mint family and continues to regrow on its own and can grow up to 4 feet tall. The leaves of this plant are evergreen and needle-shaped which produce oil which gives it a characteristic scent, for which this shrub is famous for. The flower of this plant can be violet, blue, pink or white and attract bees, butterflies and some birds for pollination. The essential oil that its leaves produce has camphor and rosmarinic acid. Some studies show that rosmarinic acid has been found to restrain enzymes which cause neurological disorders and also found to have antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Planting, growing and Harvest of Rosemary Plants
Rosemary can be planted from seeds and can also be propagated through cuttings. Seeds have low germination rate therefore its best to plant them from cuttings. The cuttings can be planted in full sun for best results. The soil should be wet and well drained loamy consistency and slightly acidic from pH 5 to 7.
Once the cuttings have developed roots you should monitor them for pests and diseases. Overwatering the plants can also lead to root-rot. These don’t need fertilisers but when the growth is slow you can use multi-purpose fertiliser. During winters you can bring potted plants inside for freshest taste. Regular pruning is necessary to get the desired shape.
The stems need to be snipped off to use as fresh garnish on your dishes or you can hang them in the kitchen to dry and preserve for a long time. You should harvest one third of the plant at one time and allow the plant to replace its growth before taking any more cuttings.
The fresh and dried leaves of Rosemary are used in traditional Mediterranean dishes as a herb. Its bitter and astringent taste compliments a wide variety of foods. The herb can be obtained in fresh, dried or powdered form.
Dishes where rosemary can be used as a seasoning in soups and fruit salads, in non-vegetarian dishes such as fish, mutton, lamb etc., it can be used as stuffing or dressing.
It is high in calcium, iron and Vitamin B6.
As we have already mentioned Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory compounds, hence they boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. Some research shows the aroma from rosemary can improve concentration, speed, focus, accuracy and to some lesser extent, mood. There are various studies which support that it has neurological benefits, can reduce the formation of cancer-causing cells and protects against macular degeneration (eye disease).
Author: Shailesh Gururani