Also known as Rosmarinus officinalis, rosemary is a shrub of the Lamiaceae family and has been known since antiquity for its aromatic and therapeutic properties. Its name comes from Latin and means, literally, sea dew. The plant, coming from the Mediterranean countries, develops spontaneously especially along the coasts, but also on the hills and even along the cliffs. The leaves of the rosemary are coriacee, lanceolate and dark green, while the flowers are usually between purple and indigo, sometimes blue or white. The shrub also has highly resistant roots and light brown stems and branches. The fruits are dark, smooth and elongated. Because of its pleasing appearance, rosemary is sometimes used as an ornamental plant.
For its size, rosemary can be cultivated in small gardens and even at home, within a suitable pot. The ideal soil for this plant is light, fresh, slightly alkaline and characterized by good drainage: it is necessary to avoid necessarily water stagnation, which could cause unpleasant problems such as rotting roots and the onset of fungal diseases . It may be useful to place on the bottom of the pot of terracotta or expanded clay pots, materials that can drain the overflowing water. It is also important to carefully choose the size of the container as the rosemary can grow up to about three meters: the size of the stalk should be kept by selecting a non-large pot. As regards watering, the operation must be carried out regularly, but at the same time in moderation, in order to avoid water spills mentioned above. Better use of lukewarm water and free of limestone, to be administered to the plant only when the soil is completely dry. If rosemary is grown in pots, it is important to place it in bright places, possibly next to a window or balcony. However, it is advisable to avoid prolonged exposure in the sun, especially during the hottest months of the year.
There are numerous beneficial effects of rosemary. This plant is frequently used in the culinary field to flavor the foods and is highly appreciated for its medicinal properties. The shrub in question, in fact, is able to stimulate appetite and digestion and help the gallbladder, the nervous system and the liver. According to some, it even contributes to cure asthma. Rosemary, moreover, can be used for the production of ointments and excellent macerates to relieve rheumatic and arthritic pain. In addition, essential oils are obtained from this shrub with emollient, purifying and toning effect for the skin. In some cases, rosemary infusions are used for gargarism.
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