Rosemary is well known in Texas and you can see it growing everywhere. It is a hardy perennial herb that has culinary, aromatic, and medicinal uses. A member of the mint family, the name originates from the Latin word rosmarinus, meaning “mist of the sea” or “dew of the sea”. It is native to the Mediterranean region, specifically the cliffs of Spain, France, Italy, and Greece. It was historically associated with both deaths and weddings. It was often entwined into a wreath, dipped in scented water, and worn by the bride on her special day. It was meant to symbolize love, fidelity, and abiding friendship. In the 14th century, it was mixed with wine vinegar and the “lotion” was placed on the feet of thieves in the thought that it would sap their strength so they could no longer commit robbery.
Medicinally, rosemary is known to boost memory, improve mood, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, protect the immune system, stimulate circulation, detoxify the body, protect the body from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions. In the 16th century, Rosemary was often burned in sickrooms as disinfectant to kill germs. It does well in the treatment of stomach ailments and as a breath freshener. Its strong scent makes it useful as an insect repellent and perfume.