Rosemary

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Scientific name: Rosmarinus officinalis

Family: Labiatae

Common name: Rosemary

General Information

Rosemary is a native plant in the Mediterranean, grows in different regions of southern Europe and cultivated worldwide. It is an evergreen shrubby aromatic plant that grows to a height of 1 to 2 m, with a slight perfume odor of camphor. The erect stems are divided into many long, thin branches of a gray color with scaly bark. The branches bear shiny thick leathery leaves, dark green on the upper surface and fluffy leaves on the lower surface. The flowers are small, with pale to deep blue color. Many of the volatile essential oils are located in the plant’s calyxes. The essential oils are produced from the leaves along with the stems and the flowers.
The oil of rosemary distilled from flowers, according to the instructions of the British Pharmaceutics’ industry, is superior to the oil obtained solely from the stems and leaves. Almost all essential oils in the market are derived from distillation of the stems and leaves of the plant before flowering, when the smell of camphor is intense.

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Rosemary is a resistant plant that can withstand frost. It grows well at day temperatures of 20-25 ºC and is very adaptable. It can perform successfully in well-drained sandy soils to clay loamy soil with ideal ph values of 5.5 – 8. The distances between the plants should be 1.2 m on the same line and 40-50 cm between the lines. The best time to harvest is the period at the beginning of flowering, when the content of the leaf essential oil is the largest. Immediately after harvest, the leaves are getting dried so that their green color is not altered. The cultivation reaches the maximum production in the 3rd year and maintained for 15-20 years. The harvesting of rosemary is done mechanically usually 1-2 times a year. The procedure of harvesting rosemary to produce essential oil is different. Plants should be harvested when they are in bloom and the flowers will only be collected for distillation. At that stage when the essential oil is distilled from the flowers it has an intense refreshing herbal fragrance. The average yield of rosemary per acre ranges from 250 to 400 kg per acre with an income of about 800 € per acre.

Rosemary Varieties :

• Benenden Blue

• Flora Rosa

• Tuscan Blue

• Majorca Pink

• Arp, Albiflorus

• Hundington Carpet

• McConnels Blue

• Irene

• Holly Hyde Hill Hurdy

For commercial purposes, we distinguish three main types:

• Camphora-Borneol (Spain)
• 1,8 Cineol (Tunisia)
• Verbenone (France)

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The 1,8 Cineole and Verbenone are two of the most promising types, essential oils of which promise to have major commercial impact on the future markets.

Essential Oils Market

Europe is the main producer of essential oils and in recent years the interest from other regions is continuously growing. The high consumption of natural products, due to the new consciousness of the general public for a balanced diet and a good physical health, has dramatically increased the promotional opportunities of Essential Oils. In recent years in all international markets, the demand for natural products is constantly growing.

Health Benefits

The consumption of the rosemary essential oil has major benefits for the brain by strengthening the memory. It can be used as a tonic drink, it relaxes the body and it reduces nervous tension. It can also be used against muscle spasms, headaches, migraines, neuralgia, mental fatigue and nervous exhaustion. Its antiseptic action is particularly useful for intestinal infections diarrhea, colitis, liver disorders, and jaundice.
It is effective in respiratory system combating asthma, bronchitis, and pertussis. It is used against skin acne, dermatitis and heals eczema .
The diuretic properties of rosemary are useful against fluid retention during menstruation and acts against obesity and cellulite.
Due to the astringent action of the oil of rosemary may be effective for skin sagging while encouraging hair growth combating disorders of the hair.
Rosemary is widely used to treat rheumatism and wounds. It has been used in cancer therapy and as a tonic for the kidneys.

Uses

Rosemary is astringent, expectorant, stomach stimulant, soothing and stimulus. The leaves of rosemary are beneficial to the circulatory system, liver, gall bladder and can also reduce headaches, help the digestive process, and have antifungal and antibacterial properties. It can also be used as mouth antiseptic for sore throats and wounds.