Rosemary and Other NewsSpring seems to be finally HERE. WAHOOO. I’ve been busy this month, moving and prepping the gardens, getting the seeds going in the green house and harvesting a few different flowering beauties. I also set up a few shelves of herbal things at Denise Thompson’s office Centered, in West Knoxville. Denise is a talented massage therapist, reiki practitioner and beautiful soul sister, go check her out if you can.
I have openings for a few new clients in May. I WON'T be taking new clients after May 25th until late August but will continue all other aspects of business because on the home front, our son is about to graduate from HS and has finally made his college choice and my daughter is getting ready to finish up MS and head to West High in the Fall. New cases and clients take much time and I intend to enjoy the last few months before Brose leaves the family unit as much as I can. All of life is moving through seasons even while we try and find our footing.
So here are the notes I have complied on Rosemary, our herb of the month. Be sure to try the BBQ Spice Rub recipe or reach out if you want to purchase it, if you aren’t a DIYer. It’s so versatile and just in time for grilling season. In May, we will focus on Chaga mushroom. Lots of great info to share.
Awwww, Rosemary is one of my favorite go to herbs. I have 2 massive bushes and 2 more standard size plants currently. Who knows how many I’ll add this year? I love it as a cooking herb, a tea ingredient and it’s a first try for headaches, stomach distress especially food poisoning, and for a lovely tired muscle soak. Try it with a little sage and peppermint for a throat gargle. If you have dark hair, there is no better herb to rinse your hair with than Rosemary. There are so many uses that I can’t list them all but here’s a great overview.
Rosemary is high in vitamins A and B6, vitamin B6, thiamin, and folate. It contains minerals like magnesium, calcium and iron It has abundant antioxidants in the form of phenolic compounds like diterpene, carnosol, and rosmarinic acid. The essential oils in rosemary herb also contain powerful ingredients such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, α-terpineol, and α-pinene.
Aside from the nutrients mentioned above, the herb contains high dietary fiber. It is low in cholesterol and sodium but high in saturated fats.
Maintains Gut Health
Rosemary has traditionally been used as a natural remedy for upset stomach, constipation gas, bloating as it helps in relaxing the muscles of the intestine. Adding it to your diet can help you regulate your bowel movements and your gastrointestinal system.
One study showed that in test subjects with colitis treatment with rosemary extract was effective to reduce colon tissue lesions and colitis. This helps fight gut diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and colitis.
Rosemary has long been used to help with the effects of food poisoning, making healing a quicker and more painless process.
Rosemary herbal extracts exert anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperglycemic effects so it promotes a healthy weight or weight loss.
According to another study, carnosic acid-rich rosemary can be used as a preventive treatment for metabolic disorders such as PCOS and/or diabetes.
Antibacterial & Antimicrobial
Rosemary is specifically powerful against bacterial infections. It prevents staph infections and also eradicates various gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria completely.
Due to its antibacterial qualities, rosemary intake has been shown to prevent the growth of H. pylori bacteria, a dangerous pathogen that is associated with gastritis, stomach ulcers, and some cancers.
The active components in rosemary are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic in nature. This represents a three-pronged attack against many different diseases and pathogens that could threaten the immune system or damage the integrity of the body.
Rosemary contains a significant amount of antioxidants including rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, betulin acid, and carnosol. Antioxidants in rosemary make a secondary line of defense behind the body’s own immune system.
Carnosol and carnosic acids are two powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in rosemary that have been linked to reducing inflammation of muscles, blood vessels, and joints. This makes it an effective treatment and prevention of many diseases, including blood pressure, gout, arthritis, and injuries sustained during physical exertion or surgery. It is effective in oral or topical form.
Enhances Brain Function
Rosemary has an affinity for the head and study after study has shown that it helps improve memory performance and quality. It is also known to boost alertness, intelligence, and focus. One possible mechanism for this action is that rosemary extract enhances the synthesis of nerve growth factor which is vital for nerve tissue.
Depression and anxiety are related to gut health and the fact that Rosemary works well on maintaining good gut health and it’s relationship to the head makes it a wonderful mild anti depressant.
A study conducted on the anti-depressant effects of rosemary concluded that the herb is effective in improving symptoms of depression. These anti-depressant effects were observed even with repeated administration two weeks later. Furthermore, it may also reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, which helps ease tension in the body.
Rosemary is slightly diuretic in nature, meaning that it can help flush out toxins efficiently during urination. It also breaks up congestion and phlegm, this combined with it’s diuretic qualities makes it a great herb for pitted edema or to help with congestive heart failure.
Rosemary can be added to teas, tinctures and foods. It goes well with fatty foods like meats, butters, oils or high carb foods like white or sweet potatoes, dark chocolate or even vanilla. Rosemary isn’t like thyme, which blends with flavors, Rosemary demands more attention so it needs to have flavors that blend with it. We love it in soups, roasted veggies, enhanced cooking oils or butters plant based or dairy. A little rosemary goes a long way because it is one of the most resinous herbs. It’s also hearty and you can throw it in the soup pot at the beginning and it doesn’t alter the flavor in the end unlike more delicate herbs like parsley. Many people like to strip the leaves and use the left over stems as skewers for mushrooms or shrimp as it imparts a milder flavor this way.
In tea blends, I like to put it with either other bold flavors like mint, cinnamon or tulsi or really mild ones like orange or lemon balm.
Rosemary acts as a stimulant for the body and boosts the production of red blood cells and blood flow.
Rosemary can be topically applied to the affected area to soothe the pain and works to unknot tired muscles. It can be taken internally or externally to help with headaches, migraines, menstrual and stomach cramps, as well as kidney pain.
Cineole in rosemary oil, taken either orally or via inhalation, boosts body activities by enhancing locomotion, according to a study.
Rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid found in Rosemary help to preserve food by destroying toxins and pathogens
Never harvest more than 1/3 of your Rosemary to avoid sending her into shock.
Rosemary HATES wet roots. I always put sand and gravel where I plant her in full or even harsh sunlight.
Popular “myth” about Rosemary is that she will only grow and thrive where a strong woman lives.
Dried Rosemary Bundles make a great cleansing wand and it repels insects.
Rosemary BBQ Spice Rub
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Smoked Paprika
2 TBSP Celery Salt
2 TBSP Onion Powder
1 1/2 TBSP Chili Powder
1 12/ TBSP Ground Cumin
2 TBSP Freshly Ground White Pepper
1 TBSP Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
1 tsp ground Sage
1 TBSP Rosemary
1/2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Garlic powder
Welcome the month of April and all the hope and beauty that she brings! I am definitely looking forward to warmer weather and all the planting and harvesting that will come with it! I have been moving most of my garden beds and redesigning some of the lay out for my yards. All the veggies are getting moved upfront and new stainless steel beds. I'll be incorporating some herbs with them and expanding what I call "the mother garden" which has the bulk of herbs I grow.
It was announced a few weeks ago that The Lavender Festival in Oak Ridge was cancelled again due to Covid, but they assured me that I was still on the agenda to make my debut in 2022, so I have loads of time to plan.
Lots of beautiful Herb of the Month info to share incase you haven't been following it on Facebook, here it is-
Off the Mulberry, we can use the fruit, the leaves, twigs and root bark for medicine and each part has a different affinity and action. Let’s break it down starting with the tasty fruit- In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the berries are known as Sang Shen and are used as tonic herbs to help with Yin deficiency. I don’t practice TCM, but Yin deficiency is known in more Western Herbalism as showing up as adrenal fatigue, burn- out, nervousness, hypersensitivity, anemia and/or excess dampness in the body. A good indication for this plant ally would be if you crave sleep and rest and feel great benefit from those.
Mulberry leaves may help lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and inflammation levels. These attributes may make them useful for fighting heart disease and diabetes. They are used in TCM as a cooling herb that combats against high fevers and feeling drained especially if you are running hot. The leaves as actually a diaphoretic and make you perspire which acts as our coolant.
* Mulberry leaves provide several compounds that may help combat diabetes and and blood sugar spikes.
These include 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ), which prevents the absorption of carbs in your gut.
* The leaves may reduce high levels of blood sugar and insulin. In one study, 37 adults ingested maltodextrin, a starchy powder that rapidly boosts blood sugar levels. They were then given mulberry leaf extract containing 5% DNJ.
Those who took either 250 or 500 mg of the extract experienced a significantly lower rise in blood sugar and insulin levels than the placebo group
* Some research suggests that mulberry leaf extract may improve cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure levels, decreasing inflammation, and preventing atherosclerosis — a buildup of plaque in your arteries that can lead to heart disease.
* Mulberry leaf contains numerous anti-inflammatory compounds.
*Some research suggests that mulberry leaf may combat inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are linked to chronic disease. I like the combo of the leaves and fruit together here to balance out the oxidative stress.
*Mulberry leaves can be taken as a tea, tincture or in capsules. Of course, I prefer the first two!
The root bark is an excellent expectorant and antitussive. It clears the inflammation of the lungs, stops coughs and helps bring up the phlegm that you can feel deeply. Decoction or tincture is the best way to take it for this. You can combine other herbs such as everlasting, Usnea or something pleasant like thyme or a mint added to the decoction as it cools.
Mulberry twigs are the anti inflammatory parts of the plant and have a particular use against rtheumatic issues and hypertension.
Used topically it’s renown for lighting age spots and evening skin tone. It’s a safe way to help with melasma or chloasma, known as the “pregnancy mask” that is a result of a spike in hormones creating more melanin.
My favorite way to use Mulberry is of course the fruit! I use the white Mulberry in teas, infusions, recipes and of course just eat them plain. The fruit is used to help fatigue and the feeling of being overwhelmed. It’s a tonic and works best when used over long periods of time. I feel like this herb is particularly valuable now as we all feel a little battle scared from the last year. It’s is an excellent source of iron and Vitamin C. It’s so easy to add a handful to yogurt, oatmeal or salads and I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like or love the sweet yet subtle flavored fruit.
Individuals taking diabetes medications should consult a health professional before trying mulberry leaf due to its effects on blood sugar and there is not enough research about it’s use in pregnancy or breastfeeding to deem it’s safety. It is also counter indicated to use this herb if you are cold and clammy or have been diagnosed with a lung condition.
HERB TIP THURSDAY
Studies in mice on high fat diets demonstrate that supplements from this leaf reduced inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein, as well as oxidative stress markers like superoxide dismutaseStudies in mice on high fat diets show that Mulberry leaf reduced both inflammatory and oxidative stress markers
A test-tube study in human white blood cells likewise revealed that extracts of mulberry leaf and its tea not only reduced inflammatory proteins but also significantly lowered DNA damage caused by oxidative stress
Study using human white blood cells revealed that BOTH mulberry leaf extract and tea lowered DNA damage from stress
The leaves used as a poultice or wash over the eyes is a traditional cure for pink eye.
Mulberry can inhibit the proliferation of human gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells, inducing cell apoptosis and autophagy.
Mulberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, and one cup provides close to the daily recommended intake.
My daughter has requested that I choose Rosemary as the Herb of the Month for April because it's blooming all over our gardens right now, so stay tuned to learn much about it!
The photo in this news letter is of my latest tea- AntiquiTea which contains the beautiful Mulberry Fruit and Leaf -
A blend that I’ve been trying to build for months has finally come together. I’ve been called to create a tea with lotus flowers since October of last year and no matter how many times, I tried nothing ever tasted or felt right. Finally, I came up with this and I think it was well worth the wait.
This tea is a combination of flowers and herbs renown throughout history as healing and holy plants. The base is a white tea that gives a subtle taste and just the tiniest amount of caffeine. It’s really the foundation of the blend especially since it’s packed with polyphenols which work to reduce the damage done by chronic inflammation, they relax the blood vessels and keep them pliable making then less likely to burst or become oxidized. These same polyphenols help us stabilize blood sugar and suppress cancer cell growth. Some studies even point to White tea as a way to promote bone growth and lower the risk of osteoporosis. White tea leaves are the same leaves as green or black tea but they haven’t been oxidized. It’s closer to it’s natural state and more delicate but that’s why the other herbs work so well here, this is a blend of the subtle and slight but so powerful.
Jasmine Flower is as healing as it is beautiful and it adds more anti inflammatory agents to the tea and works it’s magic as a mild relaxant. I like to think of Jasmine as a gentle herb that soothes away the pain whether physical or emotional.
Chrysanthemum is also delicate but it’s focus is on purification, healing and protection. It’s mildly anti inflammatory but it’s protects against anxiety and that particular inflaming that happens in the body with prolonged stress or trauma. It is cooling and tonic for the heart but more for the furnace that happens in the liver and kidneys. Mums are flowers that go to the deepest injuries and soothe.
Mulberries, as you might know are my newest favorite ally for stress and burnout, that feeling of just being singed and overworked. They cool and wash away the ash but bring such a sweetness so we aren’t left bitter about it all.
Last but NEVER least, Lotus Flower. It’s been revered in all ancient Eastern cultures for being divinely feminine and bringing all the good energy, prosperity and health. It’s a plant to help us “open up” whether that’s to the healing elements, minerals and vitamins or the healing attitudes and adjustments that we need, it’s here for us. Many esoteric healers believe there can be no bad energy or curses where the lotus is and medicinally it definitely helps to bring circulation to any atrophy or disease. It is a beautiful plant to enjoy as often as you can or will.
This is lovely hot or cold but interestingly I prefer it BEST, luke warm.
Wife, Mom, herbalist and friend. Feel free to change the order of the description to fit your needs, I do several times a day.