Good Medicine Everyday: Rosemary / by emily penn

Rosemary has been my favorite herb for a long time. I love it with vegetables - especially roasted potatoes, I make a rosemary cashew sauce, I even make granola with rosemary in it! It’s just got such a satisfying flavor and aroma.

And - you guessed it - rosemary has some impressive health benefits. It’s packed with antioxidants and polyphenols. Rosmarinic acid is the primary compound that gives rosemary its health punch. This is what rosemary means for your health (1):

  • One of the oldest medicinal uses of rosemary is for improving memory and boosting brain health. It’s protective against Alzheimers and cognitive decline. I like to diffuse rosemary essential oil if I’m studying or anytime I want to enhance my memory.

  • Mood boosting - rosemary reduces cortisol levels and has a calming effect, making it great for those suffering from anxiety and depression.

  • Rosemary has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It selectively kills cancer cells.

  • Rosmarinic acid prevents accumulation of fluid in the lungs, making it a great remedy for a cough, cold, flu and even asthma.

  • Boosts immunity - like so many other herbs, the antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary make it a great herb to consume regularly for immune protection.

  • It increases bile flow and gallbladder function, resulting in overall improved digestive health.

  • It supports the liver, especially the healing of the liver.

  • Rosemary essential oil promotes hair growth, slows graying and helps treat dry scalp. Try adding a few drops to your shampoo or doing a hair mask that includes rosemary.

Use rosemary in any savory dish where you want a pop of flavor or a boost in brain power. Marinate and cook meats with it - the high antioxidant content can help offset any potential carcinogens produced by cooking the meat (especially grilling).

This super herb is easy to access and also super easy to grow! Here in the PNW it grows everywhere, but it’s super hardy so will grow well in many regions, or you can always grow indoors!