(Rosmarinus οfficinalis L.)
Rosemary in ancient Greece was dedicated to the goddess Venus or Aphrodite, since it was wrapped around her when she emerged from the sea. In ancient and modern Greece it was burned as incense for ceremonial purposes in the temples of the gods and churches. Hippocrates said that if you burned it outdoors it purified the air. Ancient Greeks also believed that it stimulated the mind and aided memory so the students used to wear it around their necks and weave it in their hair.
Rosemary is one of the basic ingredients of Greek and Mediterranean kitchen. It can be used in a wide variety of dishes since we can season with it roasts such as fish, lamb, poultry, rabbits, pork, beef and potatoes. Rosemary due to its needlelike leaves should be finely chopped or broken with a mortar and pestle so it won’t bother us while eating it. Rosemary should be used from the beginning of cooking, especially in roasts, so it has enough time to release its aroma.
Traditionally rosemary is used since antiquity as a tea in order to improve our memory and concentration. It helps with digestion, against flatulence and anorexia. Because it is a stimulator of the circulatory system, it is used against lassitude and exhaustion. Finally due to its antibacterial qualities it helps against the common cold, coughing and bronchitis.
It should not be used during pregnancy because it could cause a miscarriage. In the country side it was used as an abortive.