rosemary

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My picket-fenced garden contains three raised beds devoted to herbs. Most of them bloom until a killing frost in late fall. Rosemary, a tender evergreen perennial, is one of the exceptions. It lingers long past frost, and depending upon your zone will survive winter.

The essence of the summer herb garden offers culinary, medicinal, household, and cosmetic uses.

Culinary

The aromatic herb referred to as “dew of the sea,” aids in the digestion of fats. Often, sprinkle the leaves on beef, lamb, and pork. I enjoy adding a fresh sprig of rosemary to when I bake a whole chicken.

During mid-summer, the herb produces prolifically, so I find ways to use as much of the harvest as possible. Years ago, I started making rosemary-infused olive oil or vinegar.

rosemary

Herbal infused oils and vinegar are the perfect hostess or Christmas gift.

To make oils, harvest the herb, and pair with a mild oil. Cover the bottle with cheesecloth and place it in a sunny area for at least two weeks. Stir daily.

Then after two weeks, taste the oil to see if it offers a strong enough flavor. If not, then repeat the process with fresh rosemary sprigs.

For herbal vinegar, use apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar as a base. Harvest the herb and lightly bruise the leaves. Place rosemary sprig in a jar with a lid. Pour warm, not hot, vinegar over the herb, and place the top on the jar.

Allow the herb-vinegar to steep for two weeks, but stir the mixture daily. After two weeks, test the flavor of the vinegar. If you prefer a more robust flavor, strain the vinegar then repeat the process with fresh rosemary sprigs.

Medicinal Remedies

Relieve Muscle Fatigue

  • 3 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops sweet marjoram
  • 1⁄2 ounce carrier oil (sweet almond, avocado, jojoba, etc.)

 

essential oil

 

Bath Blend

Rosemary 1 8-Cineole Essential Oil 10 mL

Note: remember to avoid applying essential oils directly skin without a carrier oil. When using essential oil for the first time, perform a patch test by placing a drop of the oil on your wrist, cover the area with a bandaid, then check the area in 12 hours to see if any irritation occurs.

rosemary

Diffuser

Add 3-10 drops of rosemary oil or a combination of oils to a diffuser.

Diffused rosemary essential oil relieves sinus congestion, colds, headaches, or sore throat.

NovaFuse USB Diffuser White

Household

Sink scrubber for stains

Combine washing soda, baking soda, and essential oil in an air-tight container, shake well. With a damp sponge, sprinkle a small amount into the sink, tub, or shower. Rinse the sink with white vinegar, followed by hot water.

Rosemary Insect Repellent

Add essential oil and alcohol in a jar. Shake vigorously. Transfer to smaller bottles.

Cosmetic

Herbal Hair Rinse (by Jan Berry, founder of The Nerdy Farm Wife) This recipe is from her book 101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health, & Home

  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  • 8 cups of water
  1. Infuse the vinegar and herbs for two weeks, then strain.
  2. After straining, combine 1⁄4 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of water. Depending upon your hair type, you may need to adjust the ratios of vinegar and water to make the rinse stronger or milder.
  3. Pour diluted rinse over your hair and scalp before shampooing. You can leave the tonic in or rinse it out before applying shampoo.

rosemary

Rosemary Facial Toner

  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves (use a small coffee grinder)
  • 1⁄2 cup of hot water
  • 6 drops of glycerin
  • 1⁄4 cup of witch hazel
  1. Pour hot water over the chopped rosemary leaves.
  2. Let steep for several hours.
  3. Strain
  4. Add the glycerin and witch hazel to the rosemary-infused water
  5. Stir until combined
  6. Pour into a bottle
  7. Shake well before using
  8. Using a cotton ball, dab toner on a freshly cleansed face.

Spotlight on Rosemary

As you continue to cultivate a lifestyle of healthy living, you will learn that herbs offer a rewarding combination of beauty and usefulness. Herbs can be grown anywhere, so whether you live in a high rise condo or a country cottage, growing rosemary is possible.

 

 

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