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Rosemary Herb

Part 2

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Rosemary

Modern-day herbalists use rosemary to assist with illness related to the gall bladder and the liver. Rosemary is also used as an antiseptic for treating flu, viruses and colds, and is touted as being able to help lower blood sugar and raise blood pressure. Many people gargle rosemary tea to help heal mouth ulcers and canker sores, and as a mouth wash for halitosis. To make rosemary tea, steep two teaspoon of the dried flowering tops in one cup of water for twenty minutes.

The oil distilled from this plant's leaves can be mixed with a vegetable oil and used during massage therapy. Applied externally, the oil brings relief from muscular and arthritic pain. In Europe, rosemary oil treats rheumatic conditions, bruises, and circulatory problems. When applied in such a way, it appears to stimulate an increased blood supply. In addition, rosemary oil — or some freshly cut sprigs — can be added to bath water to soothe aching muscles and joints.

It is most commonly grown as a culinary herb, and it is valued for its pungent, pine-like scent. Pinch it as you stroll through a herb garden, and its scent will still be on your thumb and forefinger long after you've returned indoors.

Both the leaves and the flowers are edible. Crush the leaves and sprinkle them over roast chicken, pork or lamb for a wonderful flavor and aroma. Use rosemary to make herb butters or mix into fresh salads. Add to potato dishes, soups or stews, and bake it into bread.

Steep rosemary in vinegar or olive oil, and add to salad dressings or use as a marinade for meats or vegetables. On the outdoor grill, enhance the flavor of meats and vegetables by adding a few stems to the coals near the end of the cooking period. Use sprigs, leaves or flowers as an attractive, edible garnish.

After the leaves are stripped, toss the stems into the fireplace to fill the house with a delightful, pine-scented perfume. Add some leaves or flowers to potpourri as well, and keep a sprig or two in the sweater drawer to repel moths. Weave branches into wreaths or garlands as a silvery, fragrant base.

Cautions:

Only take rosemary oil internally in the form of an enteric-coated capsule. When taken in any other form, it can irritate the stomach and cause heartburn.

If you are pregnant, donít use rosemary in therapeutic amounts. High doses could potentially cause complications. The amounts that typically appear in food or cosmetics pose no risk, however.

If you have epilepsy, donít take medicinal amounts of rosemary; the camphor in the herb could potentially aggravate seizures.

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