Botanical name:Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.
Indian names are as follows:
Rosemary is not a popular herb in India. It was perhaps introduced in India by Europeans as garden plant mainly for its pleasantly fragrant leaves, limited only in cool places and hill stations where the colonial rulers used to stay during summer days.
It is an exotic, leafy, evergreen shrub, grows up to a height of 2 meters. The leaves are narrow, about 2.5 cm long, and resemble curved pine needles. It bears a few bluish, white or violet flowers. The dried leaves are popular as flavoring agent and spice.
The color of the dried herb is brownish green. Rosemary leaves have a tea-like fragrance. The crushed rosemary, however, has an agreeable and fragrant, spicy aroma with a camphoraceous note. The taste has fragrant, spicy, pungent, bitter and camphoraceous notes.
The leaves give piny pungent and lingering aroma.
It adds flavour to most unusual foods as well as every day dishes of meat, eggs and vegetables
Freshly chopped leaves gives flavour to Jam, sweet sauces and herb butter
It acts as `digestif` after a banquet and will refresh the body and mind
It used in the preparation of biscuits, cheese, eggs, soup, stews, sauces
It is also used in meat, fish poultry and stuffing or rabbit
It is used for the preparation of Rosemary tea, wine.
For diuretic disorder . Prepare diuretic tea- take one tea spoon leaves boil it with Lovage and Juniper
Rosemary water (Rosemary steeped in boil water) improves the skin, and is used as a hair wash. It also stimulates hair growth.
It cures weak digestion, flatulence, neuralgic pains.
Blood circulation is stimulated by use of rosemary.
It widens the tissues where it is applied
It acts as a room freshner-twigs are burnt to give the aroma
It is used as a moth repellant with other herbs.
Dried rosemary leaves have the following typical composition:
Vitamin A:175 I.U./100 gram
VitaminB1:0.51 mg/100 gram
Vitamin C:61.3 mg/100 gram
Calorific value: 440-calories/100 gram.
The leaves contain a saponin, tannin, ursolic acid, carnosic acid, amyrins, betulin and rosemarinic acid. The dried rosemary leaves, on steam distillation, yield 1 to 2% of a volatile oil, known in the trade as `Oil of Rosemary`, used in perfumery and medicine. A phenolic fraction possessing anti-oxidant properties has been isolated from the leaves and also from the oil.
Volatile oil is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves, flowering tops and twigs. India imports its entire requirement since no attempt has been made so far in this country to produce this oil. The chief constituents of the oil are pinene, camphene, cineol, camphor, borneol and bornyl acetate.
Fresh tender tops are used for garnishing and for flavoring cold drinks, pickles, soups and other foods. The leaves are employed as a condiment; dried and powdered, they are added to cooked meats, fish, poultry, soups, stews, sauces, dressings, preserves and jams.
Oil of Rosemary is used mainly in cheap perfumery, scenting of soaps, hair lotions and denatured alcohol. It is employed in room sprays and inhalants. Superior grades of the oil are employed for blending in eau-de-cologne and for flavoring of meats, sausages, soups and other food products.
All parts of the plant are astringent and serve as a nervine tonic and an excellent stomachic. An infusion of the plant with borax is employed as a hair wash and is said to prevent premature baldness.
The oil also finds use in medicinal preparations and as an ingredient in rubefacient liniments. It is official in some pharmacopoeias. It is mildly irritant and has been used as a carminative. The oil exhibits anti-bacterial and protistocidal activity.
Flowering tops and leaves have camphor like odor and taste and are considered carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, aperient, emmenagogue, etc. Dried leaves are smoked for the relief of asthma. stimulant and stomachic. They are used for vapor baths for the relief of rheumatism, paralysis etc. Pressed juice of the leaves possesses a strong anti-bacterial action on Staphylococcus aureus, E.coli etc.
The oil of rosemary is useful in headache and in tardy menstruation. It is diaphoretic and is employed with hot water in chills and colds. It is also considered as cardiac stimulant.