Typically associated with savoury meat seasonings, rosemary also makes a delicious and healthy tea
The health benefits of rosemary
Rosemary has long been associated with memory. Some studies have suggested that consumption of rosemary may have a positive effect on memory and alertness and a protective role for the brain, partly by inhibiting the destruction of acetylcholine, an essential brain chemical that is reduced in those who suffer from Alzheimer's disease.
It turns out that rosemary has quite a few potential health benefits, including:
- It may fight cancer as well as Alzheimer's
- It contains vitamins A, B, C and E
- It is especially rich in B-complex vitamins such as folate and riboflavin
- It has nutrients such as iron, calcium, copper and magnesium
How to brew rosemary tea
You can make rosemary tea with fresh or dried rosemary. I prefer a fresh sprig from my rosemary bush steeped in a teapot for three to five minutes. A longer steep of up to 10 minutes will draw out more of the healthy oils and nutrients, but also results in a stronger, more bitter taste.
If you use a fresh sprig, leaving the rosemary needles on the stem will save you having to filter the tea. If you use dried rosemary, the rule of thumb is one teaspoon per cup of boiling water.
Precautions with rosemary
The constituents of rosemary, while naturally produced, can be powerful, so take these precautions:
- Never eat or drink rosemary oil, as it can be toxic when ingested orally.
- Consult a doctor before you consume a lot of rosemary.
- Very large amounts of rosemary can cause miscarriage or may interfere with medications you are taking, especially blood thinners or drugs to control high blood pressure or diabetes.