(Editor’s note: Today we have another guest post from Mrs. TPL. Sometimes known as “Monkey Momma 5,” she home-schools the kids and has many other important duties as the domestic engineer. I like to grow herbs to give her to cook with. She is a superior cook, and so she’s going to talk about using culinary herbs for cleaning and health as well as for cooking. The best way to get these herbs is to get them fresh, by growing them at home. So make sure you put some herbs in your permaculture food forest!)
I’m humming an old Simon and Garfunkel song the last couple of days while working on this series of posts. Anyway, Scarborough Fair aside, rosemary is a great plant.
It works in most climates and is one of those herbs where for seasoning food a little goes a really long way. It’s great for meats, cheese dishes and even in some “summery”, fruit based deserts.
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There is so much good stuff about rosemary I haven’t time enough to tell you all about it. I suggest that you do some research and spend some time really getting to know this amazing plant.
In my own research I have found it is useful for digestion, it stimulates the liver, digestive tract and gallbladder.
I can’t help but think that is why it is so good one for fatty meats like lamb and in cheese dishes, since it helps to stimulate the proper release of bile.
I also saw some research that showed the rosemary constituent chemicals – rosemarinic acids – almost completely prevent the formation of the enzyme urease, which is one of the main contributors to kidney stones.
Now how can we use this herb in a practical home application? Since many of rosemary’s chemicals cross the blood-brain barrier even with external use, finding an organic, high quality source is really important.
NOTE: If you are using the essential oil it is critical to make sure you are getting steam distilled and 100% organic.
Once you have your awesome plant in hand it can be used as a tea for digestion. The oil can be used on the forehead to increase awareness and concentration as well as to reduce migraine and headache.
It does increase blood to the brain so if that is not your goal this isn’t the one to pick.
I use rosemary in my apple cider vinegar hair rinse. It’s great for stimulating the scalp: even people with hair loss have seen rosemary aid in hair regrowth. Though I have to say I like bald-headed men. (Editor: Lucky me!)
Here are a couple of recipes and applications I think you may enjoy trying at home:
For lice treatment:
- 2 oz vegetable oil
- 20 drops tea tree oil
- 10 drops each of rosemary, lavender and lemon oil.
Apply to dry hair and cover with a plastic bag or shower cap.
Wrap the head in a towel, leave on for 1 hour.
Then put shampoo on dry hair to help cut the oil.
Work the shampoo into hair, rinse, shampoo again and rinse.
Now, for the men in our lives that we love, I hope they never need this but if so, best wishes.
Anti-inflammatory Prostate Oil:
- 1/8 tsp each lavender and rosemary essential oils
- 4 drops Roman chamomile essential oil (optional)
- 2 oz St. John’s Wort oil (can be purchased from Mtn Rose herbs)
Rub on the skin under the scrotum once or twice a day to increase circulation, reduce inflammation and relax muscles.
- 1/3 cup fresh rosemary leaves
- 1½ cup fresh parsley leaves
- 2 large garlic cloves
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine the rosemary, parsley, garlic, cheese, and walnuts in a food processor or blender.
Process to mix.
With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and process to the desired consistency.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Use this pesto as a sauce or marinade base for vegetables, seafood and lamb.
- 1 large can pineapple juice 5 tsp fresh rosemary
- 1 ½ cups lemon juice
- 2 cups water
- fresh lemon slices and rosemary sprigs
- 1 large bottle ginger ale
Boil 1 cup of pineapple juice with the rosemary.
Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes, then strain and cool.
Add all other ingredients except the ginger ale.
Pour into a punch bowl over ice and add ginger ale just before serving.
Float lemon slices and rosemary sprigs in a bunch bowl.
**WARNING**: Use rosemary sparingly if pregnant and not at all during first trimester because it could trigger a miscarriage (in therapeutic doses). There is mixed info on the possibility of rosemary as an abortifacient and Review of Natural Products says no valid role.
If you’d like to know more ways to live better, we’ve partnered with Claire Goodall to offer the Everyday Roots ebook. It’s over 350 pages of home remedies, natural beauty recipes, and DIY household products.
This ebook shows you how to protect yourself and your family from toxic products and use healthier, all-natural alternatives. For more info Click Here or on the pictures!
OK, that’s all folks! Do you have any questions or comments about herbs for health, cooking with herbs, sustainable homesteading, permaculture design or anything else? Ask your question down below and let’s talk! You can also use the contact form, or email me at info at thepermaculture dot life.
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