Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rosemary-Garden Delights 2/27/2011

I have a love affair with herbs. Growing them, using them, harvesting them, reseeding them, the mythology and lore, there scent, there texture, you name it; there isn't anything about herbs I do not like. Though I am very partial to the lore and mythology as it is what drew me to herbs in the first place.

I would like to introduce you to one of my favorites, rosemary.

Rosemary is a perennial herb with woody stocks and evergreen needle-like leaves. Its origins can be traced back to the Mediterranean region. Believe it or not it is classified as a member of the mint family. The Latin
name "rosmarinus" is where the name rosemary is derived from. For more in depth information click here.

In mythology it is said that Aphrodite was draped in rosemary as she rose up from the sea.

Today rosemary is best known as a culinary herb, most common in Mediterranean Though few probably know that rosemary is more beneficial than just as a flavor improvement for our food.  You see it is chock full of iron, calcium and vitamin B6.

There is a long list of medicinal uses associated with rosemary, because of how long it has been around.  Claims include that rosemary can be of assistance internally in the treatment of digestive problems, muscle spasms, an expectorant and the production of bile.  It has also been claimed that is aids in the promotion of the the female menstrual cycle.

Externally it has been known to be created into and ointment using rosemary oil.  For the treatment of rheumatism, sores, eczema, bruises, and wounds.

Digesting excessive amounts of rosemary are known today to be an irritant to the intestines, kidneys and stomach.

The medicinal informational only, not meant to be used as medical advice.

The language of flowers, the age of flowers, during Victorian times, really brought into focus the meaning of plants.   During Victorian times,  nosegay's (some also refer to them as posie’s or tussie-mussies) were all the rage, to send messages, people were to afraid to say aloud.  However, they didn't limit themselves to what we think of as flowers, when we think of flower arrangements.  They used flowers, herbs, and plants that many today view as weeds.   All plants have meanings that can be traced back in history, further than the Victorian era.

However, the Victorian era was the age of romance and the point in time people usually reference when they start talking about plants and there meanings. Though it is noteworthy to mention that in the middle ages, rosemary was associated with wedding ceremonies. That is probably due to the meaning of rosemary being remembrance.

From the time I was little, I remember my Grandmother always saying:

"Rosemary is for Remembrance!"

It didn't matter if we were out in the garden pulling weeds or in the kitchen cooking.

Rosemary is such a fun and versatile plant.    With many varieties to choose from, don't forget  to grow it as a living decoration.     Certain varieties can be trained to create topiary.   Use a frame and the shapes you can create are unlimited.

Do you have a favorite herb?

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