Herbs -Garden and Wild
Rosemary
Rosemary is valued first and foremost as an edible herb; however, it does
have medicinal qualities, and as with any herb, when used for those must be
used with caution, especially when a person is on other prescription
medications. Any herb when used medicinally can react badly to a
prescription, and advice should be sought from a doctor or pharmacist.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis, family Lamaiaceae) has a rich history in
ancient times. Brides carried it for a sign of fidelity, and bundles of the
decorated herb were given at weddings to symbolize love and faithfulness.

The Latin name means 'sea-dew', because of its roots of growing next to the
sea, and the fact that the flowers, when seen from a distance resemble dew.

The flowers range from white to blue and light purple, and the herb is very
tasty dried and fresh on various dishes, most notably fish and lamb. There
are many subspecies, but all rosemary is a hardy plant, and can grow large
enough to form a good sized shrub. These can even be used as a hedgerow,
and are very pretty in the early spring to summer when they bloom.

The plant to the left is a few weeks old, and was planted at the end of April
- it will come back year after year, and in truth will probably never go away
completely as North Carolina does not get much extended frost weather.

When planting from seed, start the seeds indoors in a heated tray at 85-90
degrees. Allow to grow the first year, re potting at the end of summer, and
let it grow indoors through the winter. Plant outside at the beginning of the
second year.

If planted near carrots, Rosemary will help keep the carrot fly at bay. It is
also useful to put this beautiful, useful plant near sage if you have any of that.

This is a very useful plant, and more information will be added to this profile
in the coming week.

Check back, and think about planting this great, easy growing herb!
One thing should be understood about Herbs,
both naturally growing and raised indoors or in
the garden - many of them contain chemicals
and substances which are pharmaceutical in
nature. This is widely understood. What many
people do not know is that many of the herbs
the normal person associates only with
potpourri or cooking can also contain powerful
pharmaceutical ingredients as part of their
makeup.

Take our first herb we are doing a profile on -
Rosemary. It is considered by most people as
simply a culinary plant, and one that smells
wonderful - yet taken in large enough
quantities it can be deadly, like most medicinal
herbs.
ALWAYS USE CAUTION WHEN DEALING WITH HERBS
AS MEDICINE - ALWAYS CHECK MULTIPLE
SOURCES BEFORE TRYING ANY TYPE OF HERBAL
REMEDIES, AND GET THE ADVICE OF
PROFESSIONALS - HERBALISTS,
HOLISTIC/HOMEOPATHIC HEALERS, AND WHEN YOU
ARE ON ANY ACTUAL PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS,
SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR DOCTOR AND
PHARMACIST!
Greek Oregano
Origanum Vulgare
Family: Lamiaceae
Oregano is another Mediterranean herb that is very easy to grow, and
which will love the hot, dry summers of North Carolina. In fact, Oregano
(also known as various strains of Marjoram, more on that later), does not
reach it's full potency of flavor in cooler climes.

It does have medicinal purposes, but it's main use is, of course, as a spice. It
can be used in nearly any dish to help flavor, and the fresh leaves are not
even comparable to the dried spice in the grocery store.

You can grow this plant from seeds, but a small, ready to go plant from a
local nursery does the trick, and the Oregano plant will re-propagate itself
year by year, just as the Rosemary does.

The plant' leaves can be picked at any time, and it can be grown easily in
the garden or in a container. Try crushing the Oregano and Rosemary
leaves, especially with a bit of Mint, and then boiling the fresh, hand
crushed leaves in an open pot of water - it will give the house a healing,
refreshed odor that will seem to linger far after the smell is gone.

Its original Greek name means, literally, Joy of the Mountain, and it has
proven disinfectant capabilities.

Try out this easy to grow plant, and try it on any dish you make - you
might be surprised what it goes with!