Rosmarinus officinalisL.Rosemarinus: from the latin ros marinu(m), that is to say "sea dew". According to other authors the name is of greek origin, from rops "shrub" and myrinòs "odorous", with an evident reference to the plant's own characteristics. According to yet others, it derives from rosa and maris "sea rose", or from rhus and maris "sea shrub".
Culinary useA branch of Rosemary immediately conjures the image of a roast, but its possibilities of use in Mediterranean cuisine are infinitely greater and universally known: game dishes, various meat recipes, fish dishes, fresh or cooked vegetable dishes, potatoes, eggs, soups, broths, omelets, stuffing. It can be crushed with salt in salads or deprived of its leaves and used as a support for a brochette.
Among its most uncommon uses one may mention: fresh Rosemary flowers in salads, in sweet custards, candied or in stewed fruit; extra virgin olive oil flavored with a branch of Rosemary by the process of maceration is excellent.
Rosemary honey is rare, with its outstanding goodness and delicacy.
Medicinal properties"Prendi fiori di Rosmarino e ligali in panno di lino et falli bogire in acqua: vale a tutte le infermità" (Take Rosemary flowers and tie them in a linen cloth and let them boil in water: this will cure any infirmity) attests a sixteenth century medical text.
Cosmetic useFresh chopped Rosemary leaves, in a bag suspended in hot water, provide a bath or footbath which purifies, tones, deodorizes and helps fight cellulite; used as mouthwash it strengthens the gums; as a rinse it darkens and makes the hair glossy. During the renaissance it was believed that a bath (an unusual practice at the time) in Rosemary water could restore youth.
Rosemary essential oil is used in the preparation of perfumes, soaps, shampoos, hair lotions and beauty creams.
Two or three cups of Rosemary and cress infusions a day may prove useful in curing acne.
CharacteristicsIt is easy to grow a beautiful Rosemary bush from a seedling in a pot. Experts may try their hand at creating unique shapes by repeatedly pruning the bush.
Erect or prostrate, according to the variety
Prefers full sun
Can withstand mild cold
Prefers a low humidity level in the substratum