Sometimes I sit in my garden and let all of the healing colors and scents just wash away the cares of my day. Every once in a while I just have to write a love letter and sing a song to my plants because they bring me such pleasure. The plant that I have been smitten by today is Rosemary. I have ten rosemary bushes that are about three feet wide by four feet tall. That is a lot of rosemary!
I can never get enough of this plant. The dark green leaves and the bright blue flowers of the rosemary ask us to stop and just behold their beauty and healing power.
I love drinking rosemary tea but most of all I enjoy putting several fresh sprigs of rosemary into my bath. Rosemary is an invigorating herb that gets everything in my body moving! If I feel a little sluggish, fatigued or down and out, a rosemary bath shifts things to a new place. It is so uplifting and even just one bath with rosemary helps me to approach my life with a new perspective.
There are many other ways that I use rosemary in my life. I actually like it as a cut flower. I just harvest a bunch and put it in a beautiful vase in the center of my dining room table. Its antibacterial aromatic oils kill air born bacteria and the fresh smell brings a sense of peace. The old French word for rosemary is incensier, because of its ancient use as an incense plant and air purifier.
I like to decorate with rosemary. I tie it into bundles with nice ribbons and hang them on both sides of a window. I also decorate with it at Christmas time, using it just like pine or cedar boughs. It makes wonderful wreaths for the door and garlands for the table.
Of course I add lots of fresh rosemary to my meals. I not only use it in marinades and sauces, but I mince it finely and add it to salads and sprinkle it on rice, meat and fish dishes. I put a sprig of fresh rosemary in chardonnay wine about one half hour prior to drinking the wine at dinner. When rosemary is in bloom, I put the beautiful blue flowers on salads and into the water that I drink during the day.
Rosemary is a great culinary herb that can be added to most anything. It not only enhances the flavor of your food but eating it is great preventive medicine. Rosemary is a very strong antibacterial and antioxidant plant that keeps pathogenic bacteria from growing in your food. It helps to preserve meats and keeps oils from going rancid. Dried, powdered rosemary is on my kitchen table for adding to food as a salt substitute.
Rosemary is a wonderful carminative herb which means that it brings energy, blood and oxygen to the digestive tract. Adding rosemary to your food or drinking a cup of rosemary tea after dinner will help you to better digest anything that you eat. It will help to dispel any gas or bloating that a food might cause.
Drinking rosemary tea in the morning especially during the fall and winter really helps to stimulate blood circulation and brings energy to the brain and all parts of the body. I think it is a good coffee substitute for people who use coffee to get their blood moving in the morning. Rosemary is much more subtle but it has a good blood moving effect.
Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean and since we have a similar climate, it does very well here. It especially likes to be watered and likes to live where there is a little moisture in the air like near the coast. It can thrive just about anywhere though, with enough water. Planting rosemary in your garden will bring the bees. Even if you don’t have a garden, planting some rosemary in a pot to keep in your kitchen will bring you pleasure!
So would this be considered an ‘ode’ to rosemary? Or just another day in the garden in love with my plants!
Kami McBride is the author of The Herbal Kitchen and has helped thousands of people learn to use herbs in their daily lives in ways that are healthy, safe and fun. She is the director of Cultivating the Herbal Medicine Woman Within, an experiential training in using herbs in the home for everyday health. An intuitive and inspiring teacher, Kami works to revive the cultural art of home herbal care and teaches herbology as a relationship with the Earth and a way of life. For a schedule of classes or herbal consultations Kami can be reached at (707) 446-1290 or sign up for her free herbal e-newsletter at: www.livingawareness.com