rosemary

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rosemary

[ultimately from Lat.,=dew of the sea], widely cultivated evergreen and shrubby perennial (Rosmarinus officinalis) of the family Labiatae (mintmint,
in botany, common name for members of the Labiatae, a large family of chiefly annual or perennial herbs. Several species are shrubby or climbing forms or, rarely, small trees.
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 family), fairly hardy and native to the Mediterranean region. It has small light-blue flowers. The aromatic leaves, whitish beneath, are used for seasoning, and the oil is used in perfume and medicine. From ancient times rosemary has been regarded as a token of constancy and remembrance. In Hamlet (iv:5) Ophelia says, "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance." There is a prostrate variety. Rosemary is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Lamiales, family Labiatae.

Rosemary

Seasonal decorations of greenery have embellished European Christmas celebrations for centuries. Rosemary was at one time a popular element in these decorations. Between the fourteenth and the midnineteenth centuries, rosemary reigned as a favorite item in English Christmas garlands. In the seventeenth century the English poet Robert Herrick (1591-1674) noted that, according to local custom, "Rosemary and baies [bays] that are most faire were stuck about the houses and the churches as Christmas decorations" (see also Laurel).

Folk belief attributed a number of positive qualities to the plant, qualities that might be thought to justify its association with the season. Rosemary signified remembrance, as attested to by Ophelia in Shakespeare's play, Hamlet. In addition, evil spirits fled in the presence of rosemary. Finally, its name echoed that of Mary, mother of Jesus, one of whose symbols was the rose. Should these explanations be found wanting, many legends developed to offer a Christian explanation of the herb's connection with Christmas (see also Nativity Legends). Rosemary's popularity has since declined, however. Today we seldom twine this fragrant herb into our Christmas decorations.

Further Reading

Auld, Williams Muir. Christmas Traditions. 1931. Reprint. Detroit, Mich.: Omnigraphics, 1992.
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rosemary

rosemary

One of nature's finest antioxidants and stimulants, making it a famous anti-aging herb. Drooping shrub that looks like pine needles with white, blue, purple or pink flowers. It stimulates everything in the body, including circulation to the head, so it’s good for memory, hair and age related problems. Contains a powerful substance called rosemarinic, which is used for everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s. Components in rosemary prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain, a key brain chemical for memory. Rosemary is rich in highly absorbable calcium for stress and tension, and shows good results for breast cancer. A good antidepressant tea because of strengthening and calming effect on the nerves. Put in bath for calming effect. Contains up to 20% camphor. Stimulates digestion, sexual organs, menstrual flow, helps low blood pressure, anti-fungal rub on head to stimulate hair growth, adrenal glands, great for headaches, vertigo, dizziness, increases bile (helps liver, gallbladder), stimulates waste to move through body, eliminating stagnant food from a sluggish digestive system, helps heal the mouth gums. For food poisoning, chew rosemary and swallow. Avoid if pregnant or prone to epileptic seizures. Highly suggested for women with breast cancer. Make tea, crush into food and drinks, or just plain eat it.

rosemary

[′rōz‚mer·ē]
(botany)
Rosmarinus officinalis. A fragrant evergreen of the mint family from France, Spain, and Portugal; leaves have a pungent bitter taste and are used as an herb and in perfumes.

rosemary

an aromatic European shrub, Rosmarinus officinalis, widely cultivated for its grey-green evergreen leaves, which are used in cookery for flavouring and yield a fragrant oil used in the manufacture of perfumes: family Lamiaceae (labiates). It is the traditional flower of remembrance