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    13 Uses and Benefits of Rosemary

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    13 Uses and Benefits of Rosemary

    If you’re looking for a plant that is easy to grow indoors and outdoors and has a host of benefits and uses, look no further than rosemary.

    An evergreen plant that is a member of the mint family, rosemary has a pleasant pine-like smell and a slightly-bitter, woodsy taste that add distinction to many dishes. However, rosemary can do much more than serve as a kitchen herb . It contains many nutrients and therapeutic properties.

    Native to the Mediterranean region, rosemary shows up as an ingredient in many ancient remedies. Here are 13 health benefits and uses for rosemary.

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    1. Increase Brain Health

    In the William Shakespeare play Hamlet, Ophelia says, There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.” The famous line is an example of how rosemary has been connected with memory and brain health for centuries. And for a good reason, scientists have found that compounds in rosemary help promote blood flow to the brain and help stimulate brain activity.

    A report published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal noted encouraging results from experiments connecting rosemary with improved cognitive function and its potential for use in treating Alzheimer’s disease.

    2. Boost Immune System

    Rosemary contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. One way to take advantage of these benefits is by adding fresh or dried rosemary to your recipes or by making rosemary tea. Rosemary tea also can help ease digestive issues.

    Here’s how to make rosemary tea:

    1. Boil two sprigs of rosemary in a pot of water herb for five to 10 minutes.
    2. Allow the tea to steep for an additional five minutes before straining.
    3. Add honey or lemon juice as desired.

    3. Ease Allergy and Cold Symptoms

    Rosemary has antihistamine properties that can reduce inflammation of the nasal passages. Here’s how to use rosemary and steam for soothing relief:

    1. Place a handful of fresh or dried rosemary leaves in a large bowl.
    2. Drape a towel over your head and lean over the bowl.
    3. Deeply inhale the steam.

    4. Control Dandruff and Condition the Scalp

    Rosemary’s ability to stimulate blood flow makes it beneficial to the hair and scalp. After you wash your hair, massage your scalp with a couple of drops of rosemary-infused oil. This article describes how to make rosemary oil .

    5. Loosen Congestion

    You also can use rosemary-infused oil to help loosen the phlegm that often accompanies a cough or a cold. All you need to do is massage one or two drops of the oil into your chest or throat every few hours.

    6. Soothe Aches and Pains

    Rosemary’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties make it a good choice as a natural pain reliever. Try throwing a handful of fresh rosemary into a hot bath for soothing results and a fresh aroma. Here’s more information on how to create rosemary-scented bath salts.

    7. Relieve Headache

    Since rosemary increases blood flow in the brain, it can relieve some forms of headache pain. To release the full aroma of the rosemary, vigorously rub a sprig between your hands. Then deeply inhale the scent. Or sip a cup of hot rosemary tea.

    8. Soothe Skin Irritation

    The antimicrobial and antiseptic properties contained in rosemary can help ease itchy, dry skin. You can massage a couple of drips of rosemary-infused oil into the affected area or add a few drops of rosemary oil to your regular moisturizer.

    9. Freshen The Air

    You can give your home a fresh pine-like scent with rosemary. Just place a few sprigs of rosemary, a slice of lemon, and a half-teaspoon of vanilla in a small pot filled about two-thirds with water. Simmer on the stove, adding more water as necessary. Here’s more information on making a rosemary air freshener spray.

    Branch of Fresh Rosemary on Cutting Board

    10. Keep Away Pests

    Many insects and small animals do not like the smell of rosemary. Therefore you can use it as a natural form of pest control. Follow this link for how to use rosemary to keep away pests in your home and garden.   

    11. Create a Natural Decoration

    You can use fresh rosemary to make a wreath that looks pretty and smells great. Here’s how to make a rosemary wreath.

    12. Freshen Your Laundry

    You can replace your dryer sheets with a natural alternative. Follow this link to learn how to make dryer sheets with fresh rosemary.

    13. Use as a Mouthwash

    The antimicrobial qualities of rosemary make it effective for fighting bad breath and helping to prevent a build-up of plaque. This article features a DIY rosemary mouthwash.

    How to Grow Rosemary

    Even if you don’t have much of a green thumb, rosemary is easy to care for and grow. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your plants will grow. And you can propagate the herb to create new plants.

    Rosemary is heat-tolerant and will survive winter temperatures that don’t go too far below freezing. If you live in agricultural zone 8 or lower, you should plant your rosemary in planters that can be moved indoors during the coldest months.

    Here are some tips for growing rosemary:

    • Plant your rosemary starts or seeds in well-drained sandy soil.
    • Aim to give your plants a minimum of six to eight hours of sunlight
    • Allow soil to dry between watering.
    • Trim your rosemary bush regularly to encourage new growth. But be careful not to remove more than 20 percent of the plant at any one time.

    You can propagate rosemary by placing cut stems in water until roots appear and then planting. This video shows the easy process.

    You can harvest rosemary throughout the year. If you’d like to have some of the herbs in dried form for later use or to give as gifts, you can hang bunches of sprigs upside down to dry or lay sprigs out on paper towels or sheets of newspaper in a shady well-ventilated area.

    Check out this video for more information on growing rosemary. And here are a few more helpful resources, including ones that provide information that will help you grow rosemary indoors.

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