Monday, March 15, 2010

Rosemary: An Herb with History

Rosemary is an evergreen shrub and a member of the mint family. It has nothing to do with Mary or roses, instead deriving its name from the Latin "rosmarinus." which means "dew of the sea," referring to its light blue flowers and affinity for wet environments.

Rosemary has been traditionally used in Mediterranean cooking for both flavor and food preservation. In addition, rosemary has antioxidant effects, so may reduce inflammation.

Contrary to popular belief, rosemary is in fact an herb, not a spice. Not to get too fussy, but the difference is that herbs tend to use the leaf of the plant, fresh or dry (like rosemary, cilantro, and parsley) and tend to grow in temperate climates. Spices (like turmeric, cumin, and coriander) come from ground roots, barks, seeds and flowers and tend to be tropical.

Rosemary has a rich history of non-food use. Shakespeare's Ophelia refers to rosemary saying, "That's for remembrance." She might have been on to something. While evidence is conflicting, there are some indications that rosemary improves brain function and reduced anxiety when used as part of aromatherapy. Greek tradition says placing a rosemary twig under a pillow can prevent nightmares. There is less research on that... But, preliminary research does suggest that its topical use can prevent baldness (a technique some Native Americans have used for centuries). At various points in history, rosemary has also been used as an insect repellent.

The good news about rosemary is we don't need an excuse like improved brain function to eat it regularly. Fresh rosemary adds a bang to anything it's in; dried rosemary adds a more subtle full flavor. It's great in rubs and marinades (especially with lamb and pork), with roasted vegetables and atop soups. If you're feeling adventurous, it is great folded into whipped cream and the perfect topping for a refreshing brunch of French toast.

Rosemary grows quickly and without much work in the Pacific Northwest. In a sunny spot it can grow up to two yards tall. It may become a bit of an unruly bush if it isn't pruned back regularly. If kept in a smaller pot and trimmed every so often, it is a great plant for a balcony, patio or front step.

- Christie Taylor and Cristen Harris, PhD, RD, assistant professor and core faculty member in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science

 

Subscribe to Newsletters

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

More Health Tips

Here are some ways to eat an inexpensive and well-balanced diet consisting of many nutritious whole foods.

Here's how to create a healthy posture to improve your health.

The main benefit of the Paleo diet is that it promotes eating whole, nutritious foods while avoiding refined, processed foods.

While tax season can be daunting and stressful, these are simple, easy ways to help lighten the load.

Behind the calm exterior of a doula is a person who is constantly thinking, strategizing and endeavoring to create an environment to support a pregnant, birthing or postpartum family.

With the recent buzz about gluten- and wheat-free diets, it’s good to know how they compare and if they’re right for everyone.

Events

Apr 16

Deepen your understanding of the interconnectedness between energy and healing. Engage the four levels of your being and experience flow as you fuel your body and feed your soul with the Elemental Healing™ Method. Our energy body codes our experiences in its energetic architecture where there is a complete record of all our past experiences and emotional wounds. Healing those wounds is one of the primary rewards of one’s Inner Journey.
April 16, 23 & 30, Wed, 6-9p.m.
Instructor: Lauren Nalder, BSc.
(8 CEUs, PDAs)

Apr 16 Community Ed

Yoga is a way into life. Develop greater awareness of your body's strengths and challenges through yoga. Using the yoga postures (asana) appropriately, we can bring more freedom and peace into our bodies and minds. Working with the breath (pranayama), we can cultivate stillness and strength.
April 16 – June 18, Wednesdays, 6-7:15p.m.
Heidi Fischer, Certified Yoga Teacher.
12.5 HRs

Apr 17 Admissions

Bastyr University will be in Chicago to help you learn about the amazing opportunities that await you at Bastyr.

Student & Alumni Profiles

Coquina Deger, MBA, and David Siebert fill key roles as part of President’s Cabinet

Herbal sciences students cook up foods with love -- and health-giving herbs -- in a popular lab class.

The actor and author joins us for a Q-and-A before her May 22 talk at Bastyr's Spring for Health Luncheon.

Spring 2014: There is a lot blossoming at Bastyr University

A mysterious illness transformed Priya Walia's vision of medicine and gave her a plan for her future.

Press

Bastyr University Nutrition Faculty Member Receives Prestigious State Honor

The public is invited to a free community event to explore Bastyr University’s teaching clinic

Teaching clinic earns second consecutive year of stellar results in regional patient satisfaction survey

In the Media

FOX Q13: Bastyr University's Ellie Freeman Discusses the FDA’s New Food Labels
Bothell-Kenmore Reporter: Bastyr Center for Natural Health Expands Integrative Oncology Services
Puget Sound Business Journal: Bastyr University's President Daniel Church to Retire