Rosemary infusion has been used for hundreds of years in parts of Europe, Asia and America for its health properties.
Its intense flavor and aromatic fragrance are invigorating. Rediscover this plant and learn more about its properties of rosemary for health, its side effects and the proper methods to collect and prepare it.
What is rosemary infusion good for?
The properties of rosemary for health are largely related to the activity of its essential oils. Rosemary has antiviral, bactericidal and antioxidant effects.
Rosemary is harvested before or after flowering and is dried or consumed fresh for its pharmacological properties. Its famous monographs on the therapeutic properties of medicinal plants, approved the use of rosemary to treat disorders of the digestive system, appetite disorders and pain and inflammation of the joints.
Popular medicine has commonly used rosemary to treat muscle pain, as a disinfectant, to treat skin lesions and for illnesses such as colds, sinusitis or the flu.
The properties of rosemary have also been the subject of studies from a scientific perspective, let’s see.
Rosemary serves as a remedy to treat arthritis and arthralgia. In these cases, the essential oils of the plant are extracted and prepared in the form of rosemary alcohol.
The anti-inflammatory effects of rosemary have been studied in patients with osteoarthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia, where its pain-reducing effects have been appreciated.
Rosemary is used to treat alopecia. Rosemary promotes circulation in the scalp, the circulation supplies nutrients to the hair follicles and is one of the main factors that causes the death of these.
Minoxidil is one of the most common medications in the treatment of androgenetic baldness. This study compared the efficacy of minoxidil treatments with the application of rosemary oils, achieving similar effects.
Rosemary has gastroprotective properties. A study from the Federal University of Santa Maria, in Brazil, studied the effects of rosemary alcoholic extract to prevent intestinal ulcers thanks to its vasodilator, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
The study was carried out on animals, but compared the efficacy of the treatment with the results obtained with a usual medication in these cases, such as Omeoprazole.
Continuing with the digestive system, this infusion has antispasmodic properties that facilitate the elimination of gases. It also contains carnosic acid, which has been shown to be important for healthy intestinal flora.
Rosemary infusion is a natural disinfectant. Its antibacterial properties make it useful for treating skin problems such as sores and wounds or diseases of the teeth and gums such as gingivitis.
Rosemary infusion is loaded with antioxidants in the form of polyphenols and catechins and also provides a good amount of vitamin C. It is a healthy drink that can help your immune system to function properly.
The intake of rosemary by pregnant and lactating women is not recommended. Its abortifacient effects are known, since it stimulates menstruation and can affect the uterus.
Those allergic to salicylate, an aspirin-like element, should also avoid rosemary.
On the other hand, rosemary can affect bleeding disorders. Rosemary infusion has shown anticoagulant properties, so if you suffer from a bleeding disorder you should consult your doctor before taking this infusion. Remember that it is always good to seek medical advice if you intend to treat (or complement the treatment of) any condition with natural remedies, especially if you are under medication.
The properties of rosemary could also worsen cases of seizure disorders, its consumption is not recommended if you suffer from any related ailment.
Among the nutritional components of rosemary, calcium and potassium stand out, but it also contains other minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. It also provides vitamins A, C and B.
Another remarkable point of the plant is its active ingredients, responsible for the effects of rosemary on the body. Rosmaricin, abundant in the leaves and flowers, produces stimulating effects. Rosemary also contains tannins, saponins and rosmarinic acid.
Guide for collection and preparation
Collection and drying
You can harvest rosemary throughout the year, but it’s best to do so during the plant’s main growth phase, which occurs during the spring and summer. In this way, you ensure the possibility of finding tender stems, which contain a higher concentration of the active substances of rosemary.
Rosemary blooms twice a year, in spring and autumn. If you want to obtain rosemary essence, it is the ideal time to collect it. In these cases, it is usually dried immediately to minimize the loss of aroma. If taken as an infusion, the flowers also provide a greater flavor.
Popular knowledge says that the moon plays an important role in determining the ideal time to collect plants. The full moon makes the stems accumulate more sap and, therefore, improves their properties. The new moon, on the other hand, causes the plant fluids to concentrate in the roots.
Rosemary infusion is very aromatic and quite strong. The plant’s tannins give it a bitter taste that may not be appreciated by all palates.
If you’re using dried rosemary, measure out about a teaspoon per cup (about 5 grams). You can also use fresh rosemary, but keep in mind that it adds more flavor, use a few sprigs.
Use very hot water, bring it to a boil and pour it into a cup next to the herb.
Let the infusion rest for at least 5 minutes.
Remember that there are other variants of preparations that take advantage of the health properties of rosemary, including rosemary oil, which is excellent for relaxing massages, or rosemary alcohol, good for effective rubs against colds.
The rosemary plant
Rosemary is another of those totally common plants in the Spanish geography, accustomed to heat and water scarcity, known by all and appreciated for its uses.
Rosemary is a shrub that is part of the labiatae family, which groups together some plants such as mint, basil, oregano or thyme, all of which are commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine for their aromatic properties. Many of the family have also been used since time immemorial for their medicinal properties.
Rosemary grows near the sea and in low mountain areas, but it does not tolerate frost well. It is widespread throughout the Iberian Peninsula, except in some areas in the north such as Galicia and Euskadi. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean basin, beyond southern Europe, it is also possible to find it in North Africa and also in other more remote parts, such as western Asia.
The rosmarinus of its scientific name, rosmarinus officinalis, derives from the Greek and means aromatic bush.
History of its use
Rosemary has had a long relationship with the peoples that have populated areas near the Mediterranean Sea basin. Its aromatic, medicinal and gastronomic properties aroused the interest of the locals since ancient times.
In ancient Egypt, rosemary was part of the secret formulations used to embalm bodies in their funeral rites.
Easy to grow, rosemary was introduced to northern Europe by Christian monks, who brought it to monastery gardens beyond the Alps.
Charlemagne, for his part, issued an edict ordering a selection of plants to be cultivated in royal gardens throughout his empire. Among them was rosemary.
Rosemary also came to enter the culture of the towns. Sometimes rosemary was used to make crowns for parties and celebrations. An example is the celebration of Almatrieb, in the Alps, an old ramadera festival in which decorations and crowns are made using rosemary. Today, in the UK, rosemary wreaths are made on November 11 to honor combatants from the two world wars.