Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a fragrant evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean. Rosemary has a unique pine-like fragrant flavor that is balanced by a rich pungency, a combination that evokes both the forest and the sea.
Rosemary is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae along with many other herbs, such as oregano, thyme, basil, and lavender. The name rosemary derives from the Latin ros meaning “dew” and marinus meaning “sea” – “sea dew.” Its leaves look like flat pine-tree needles, deep green in color on top while silver-white on their underside.
History of Rosemary Herb:
Rosemary has been a prized seasoning and natural medicine for millennia. Part of rosemary’s popularity came from the widespread belief that rosemary stimulated and strengthened the memory, a quality for which it is still traditionally used. Rosemary oil was first extracted in the 14th century, after which it was used to make Queen of Hungary water, a very popular cosmetic used at that time. In the 16th and 17th centuries, rosemary became popular as a digestive aid in apothecaries. Recently, as modern research focuses on the beneficial active components in rosemary, our appreciation for this herb’s therapeutic as well as culinary value has been renewed.
How to Brew Rosemary Herbal Tea?
You can make rosemary tea with fresh or dried rosemary. I prefer a fresh sprig from my rosemary bush steeped in a teapot for three to five minutes. A longer steep of up to 10 minutes will draw out more of the healthy oils and nutrients, but also results in a stronger, more bitter taste.
If you use a fresh sprig, leaving the rosemary needles on the stem will save you having to filter the tea. If you use dried rosemary, the rule of thumb is one teaspoon per cup of boiling water.
Top 11 Health Benefits of Sipping Hot Rosemary Tea:
– Digestion: Rosemary’s antispasmodic properties make it beneficial for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders like dyspepsia (indigestion), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), intestinal spasms, diarrhea, constipation as well as relieving bloating caused by water retention and excess gas.
– Skin Care: Rosemary tea has antioxidant and antiseptic properties useful in the topical treatment for eczema and other skin rashes, fungal infections such as yeast and helps to heal superficial wounds and bruises.
– Brain Tonic: Rosemary tea is believed to improve memory function and prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter in the brain and brain tissues by increasing blood flow to the brain, making it a potent treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
– Anti Cancer: Rosemary is rich in antioxidants, important in neutralizing harmful particles called free radicals. Rosemary, taken as a supplement or tea, may inhibit carcinogens from binding to bronchial and liver cells and its antioxidant protective activity may also extend to other organs as well.
– Anti-inflammatory: Rosemary tea‘s anti inflammatory properties help boost the body’s immune defense system.
– Vision Care: A major component of rosemary, carnosic acid, can significantly promote eye health and prevent diseases affecting the outer retina, such as age-related macular degeneration.
– Pain Reliever: Rosemary herb tea’s mild analgesic properties helps ease the pain associated with headaches, stomach cramps, menstruation, arthritis and rheumatism.
– Oral Care: Rosemary herb tea contains antiseptic properties and can be used as a mouthwash to treat ulcers, prevent gum damage and cavities, and to gargle to help relieve sore throats.
– Hair care: Rosemary prevents dandruff by controlling oil production in the scalp, reverses the effects of graying in hair and stops excessive hair loss. It prevents pre-mature balding by stimulating the hair roots and bulbs and increasing blood flow to the head, promoting hair growth and preventing breakage.
– Healthy blood system: Rosemary contains high levels of iron, which helps prevent anemia. Rosemary contains natural ingredients that normalize blood pressure through rejuvenating blood capillaries in the brain and the rest of the body.
– Relaxant: Sipping a warm cup of Rosemary herbal tea improves blood circulation, diffuses mental fogginess and tiredness, relieves headaches and has been promoted as an anti depressant for ages.
Side Effects and Precautions:
Medical Interactions: Rosemary can affect the activity of some medications including Anticoagulant drugs (blood-thinning medications), ACE inhibitors drugs (treating high blood pressure), Diuretics (used to increase urine flow), and Lithium (used to treat manic depression). Rosemary can act as a diuretic and subsequently cause lithium to reach toxic levels in the body.
Allergies: Extremely large doses of Rosemary tea can trigger vomiting, uterine bleeding, kidney irritation, increased sun sensitivity, skin redness, spasms, pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) and allergic reactions.
Pregnancy: Rosemary is known to stimulate menstruation or affect the uterus, causing a miscarriage. If you are pregnant, it’s best to avoid rosemary in amounts larger than food amounts.
Worsens Seizures: Rosemary might make seizure disorders worse, so avoid it if you have had episodes earlier.