The sharp, piney scent of rosemary instantly takes me back to childhood. I remember carefully using cookie cutters to help my mom create rosemary whole-wheat sugar cookies, a recipe adapted specifically for our family.
Originating in the Mediterranean and used in many Italian recipes, the benefits of rosemary have earned the ingredient quite a status. It’s one of the most famous, widely grown, and frequently used herbs in the world. This plant, with its tiny blue flowers and spiky green leaves, is part of the mint family. It can reach six feet tall, though it’s commonly seen growing in a kitchen window or a container garden.
If you’re wondering how to release the powerful benefits of rosemary into your home, here are some helpful ideas to get you started.
Rosemary in the Kitchen
Both fresh and dried rosemary are added to many traditional Italian recipes and can be used in just about anything. The refreshing flavor is versatile enough to complement both savory and sweet, so whether you’re cooking chicken, roasting potatoes, or baking a batch of cookies, chop up and sprinkle in rosemary extract for an extra flavor boost.
Flex your culinary muscles by creating a simple rosemary-infused oil to eat with salads, pasta, or bread. Put a whole sprig of rosemary into the pan with your meat dish, or chop it up and add it to soup to lend it a subtle rustic flavor. Rosemary can be powerful, so be sure to experiment carefully. You don’t want to overwhelm the dish.
My mom’s rosemary cookies took a basic whole-wheat cookie recipe and incorporated chopped-up rosemary for that timeless, nostalgic, and especially unique flavor.
Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary has traditionally been used to treat indigestion and relieve joint and muscle pain, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Dried rosemary can be used to make a tea to soothe your sore throat, a rosemary liquid extract could be added to a bath, and rosemary essential oil can be combined with other oils to be used topically.
A 2016 report published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal details the therapeutic potential of rosemary for Alzheimer’s disease, saying the results are positive and encouraging more studies. What’s more, the research team at the University of Florida has said rosemary can improve cognitive function immediately upon inhaling its distinctive scent. It will be interesting to see what sort of potential treatments this research leads to!
Rosemary as a Fragrance
Another study suggests that rosemary is a mood enhancer, and the fragrance industry has definitely caught on to the benefits of rosemary-scented products. Soaps, lotions, shampoos, and candles can all be purchased with the distinctive rosemary smell. The strong crisp fragrance is wonderful when combined with other scents such as a citrusy lemon or grapefruit.
My family uses rosemary essential oil in a diffuser to reap the benefits of inhalation, which is thought to be one of the most effective ways of getting the benefits of an essential oil into the bloodstream. I also add a customized rosemary essential oil blend to a spray bottle of water kept in my wardrobe. It’s my version of an instant fabric refresher.
Sharing the Benefits
One unconventional way I’ve used potted rosemary plants is by gifting them when attending dinner parties. Hostesses are charmed by the subtle nod to their culinary skills and the live herb brightens a kitchen like no other.
Another popular way to use rosemary is to chop the leaves and add them to play dough. This is a great way to administer the benefits of rosemary to your kids, especially those who may be picky eaters. What better way to help kids focus than to let them play and inhale a scent that may improve their mood?
There are so many rosemary uses, from your kitchen to your closet, and you don’t have to try too hard to reap the benefits. How do you incorporate rosemary into your home? Share your pictures with us on social media, and include your favorite uses and tips.
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.