Rosemary adds its woodsy, crisp flavor to lots of popular dishes. Today, we use rosemary mostly as a seasoning, but you can take full advantage of its health benefits by using it in a variety of ways. You can inhale its scent, clean with it or eat it. If you need a quick rosemary snack, grab one of our Mediterranean Lamb bars. The new Apple Pork Wild Zora bar combines rosemary with the familiar notes of parsley, sage, and thyme.
Throughout history, rosemary was prized for its many qualities, beyond culinary use. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed rosemary improved memory; when preparing for exams, students wore rosemary wreaths on their heads.
In Medieval and Renaissance times, rosemary was used to ward off plague and as a deodorizer. It was still believed to help memory and later it became the symbol of remembrance and faithfulness. As such, it was often used at both weddings and funerals.
Here are three easy ways rosemary can boost your health:
#1. Plant it for mental clarity
Wearing a rosemary wreath while studying might seem silly, but rosemary stimulates brain activity. If you struggle with "foggy brain" every afternoon, try diffusing rosemary essential oil or rub a fresh rosemary sprig between your hands and inhale deeply.
Rosemary is easy to grow in pots, so try keeping a small plant close to your work space. You can grow it outside, too. In warm climates, rosemary is a perennial and will grow into a nice shrub. If you live in an area with cold winters, you will have to replant your rosemary every year, or you might keep it in a large planter that can be moved indoors during the cold months.
#2 Spray it to kill germs
The medieval beliefs that rosemary will ward off plague were not without merit. Rosemary has strong antimicrobial properties. If you like to clean your home without toxic chemicals, rosemary will be your best friend. By killing bacteria, it neutralizes odors and leaves your home smelling fresh and clean. Use fresh rosemary, lemon and vinegar to make a simple all-purpose cleaner.
Photo by Mick Telkamp
#3 Eat it for your digestive health
It's not a coincidence that rosemary is often paired with pork or lamb. It tastes wonderful, but more importantly, rosemary helps you digest those meats. Because it stimulates the bile flow, rosemary is crucial to digestion of fatty foods. Like other herbs in the mint family, it helps with indigestion, excessive bloating, and stomach cramps.
When cooking with rosemary, try to use it fresh. Simply strip the leaves off the woody stem (if the stem is soft, you can skip this step), and give them a rough chop before adding them to your dish. You can add whole sprigs to stews, soups and sauces, but be aware that the leaves will fall off and you might need to strain them. If you use dried rosemary, crush it well, because the dry leaves stay hard and are not pleasant to eat.
Try this recipe:
Not in the mood for a large meal? On the go? Traveling? Get the wonderful benefits of rosemary from a healthy snack, like Wild Zora Mediterranean Lamb Bar. Don't forget about the new Apple Pork bar! It combines pork with rosemary, parsley, sage and thyme for your taste buds and your digestive health.
How do you like to use rosemary? Let us know in comments!