Most of the garden plants we use today owe their popularity in the past to their centuries-old usefulness in the home, and in the medicine chest. While I won’t try and pass myself off as an herbalist, I have found some great, and creative uses for Rosemary that you might want to know about, to rejuvenate your outlook on this common garden plant! Here are my top 10 ideas that anyone could try!
- Cooking, and Garnishes. Rosemary can be grown in the kitchen window, or in the yard, and is a common herb used in thousands of recipes. The plant can be grown outside year-round in areas where the winter time temperature averages above 20 degrees.
- Repelling Mosquito’s from yard. This is a great plant to grow in gardens or planters especially around areas you use to entertain guests! The oils in the leaves of the plant repel Mosquito’s, and that is never a bad thing!
- Hair Rinse, and Tonic. Rosemary boiled in a few cups of water can be used for a moisturizing hair rinse that has been linked to hair re-growth, and dandruff elimination. Use Half a cup of Rosemary boiled in 2 1/2 cups of water.
- Tropical Christmas Tree. Hearty bushes can be pruned into Christmas trees in warmer areas, where pine trees are on Short order. The plant originally came from the Mediterranean, so it thrives in warmer climates, and does well when pruned regularly, seasonally, or into a particular shape.
- Flavorful Skewers, or Grilling Pins. Woody stem trimmings can be turned into scented kabob skewers, for meat or veggies. Leaves can be pulled off the stems for use in other recipes, or frozen for later use. The stems also double well as ‘grilling pins,” with recipes featuring meat stuffed with cheeses, veggies, or grilling sauces. Substitute one or two firm rosemary twigs in place of toothpicks, to hold added ingredients inside the meat while cooking on the grill.
- Cat Repellent. Most cats detest the smells, and the oils associated with Rosemary plants, especially when it gets on their fur. Clumps of this plant in your yard can repel feral cats from leaving their business in your garden, and freshly trimmed branches left on furniture, or carpet areas that you would like house cats to keep them away from, will work in redirecting your cat to better locations in the house. This herb has worked like a charm with my own cat!
- Memory Assistance. The ancient belief that Rosemary assisted memory, has been proven by modern science! Whether eaten with food, used in oil form on pulse points and temples, or simply smelled, Rosemary has been linked in several studies to increased cognitive performance, it is currently being examined as a possible pharmaceutical ingredient in future drugs that will battle Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
- Gift Accent. Spring and summer weekends inevitably fill up with weddings, graduation parties, and baby showers, so why not make your gift stand out with a ribbon tied bundle of Rosemary attached to the top of your gift with your card. Not only have Rosemary bundles been given with wedding gifts for thousands of years, but the bundles can go in water afterward, to scent the house for days to come.
- Aromatherapy, and Romantic Fire Bundles. Rosemary oil, used lightly in baths, and oil burners can stimulate the senses, and relax the body. Dried Rosemary can be bundled up with twine, or ribbon, and kept with your indoor firewood, and hearth tool set, to be added with wood as a fire-starter, and as a romantic mood setter.
- Steam Treatment. Inhaling boiling water with rosemary in it can assist in treating bronchitis, and the congestion associated with colds, and flu’s. The oils in the plants gently soothe sore throats and lungs, and open up air way temporarily, providing natural relief of common symptoms. Herbalists also recommend using the oils of the plant in chest rubs for nighttime relief. Consult an herbalist for details.
For a great entertaining idea using Rosemary, check out this great recipe for Rosemary Herb Butter!
Your Thoughts: What uses have you found for Rosemary?
(Photo credit: Charlie & Clint)