First I want to thank one of my readers over at the Welcoming House Facebook Page for giving me the idea of starting with Rosemary today. I had just watched the presidential debates, and for those of you that know me, it got my wheels spinning, and my heart racing, and my thoughts all cally-wampus when here I was supposed to be blogging afterwards.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for responding, Dina.
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For those of you who look forward to Wednesdays, and seeing pics of my family and what is happening here at The Welcoming House in real life, dont fret. The first Wednesday of every month I will still be posting those pictures and updates.
But as the blog has grown, and I have continued to write, it is easy to get pulled away from sharing things I really think are important for us to have knowledge about.
Herbs, and how to use them, are one of those things.
Back in April I did a great (and actually incredibly popular) series on “Growing Your Own Medicine”. I talked about a bunch of different herbs that I had learned how to use, and how to use them, not just in cooking and baking, but also in teas, and tinctures, compresses, etc, to help the body heal naturally.
To date, a couple of those posts have had ENORMOUS response, some of them having had over 11,000 hits since they were orignally written.
Natural health and healing, and using what God has given us, to help with that, has been a passion of mine for many years.
The first year that I started a garden with herbs in it I quickly realized that the potential behind that knowledge is so important, so critical for a nation that relies on drugs, and doctors to tell us what is wrong with us.
We feed our bodies horrible foods, but then wonder why we are not healthy.
Rather than trying to understand why we are ill, we just medicate ourselves so we can continue pursuing whatever we feel is important at the time.
In short, we have lost touch with the things that our grandparents and great grandparents used to know just as well as they knew how to cook, and make do for themselves with what they had.
I want to be clear, I am not, in any way,
 advocating anything but balance.
Doctors are important, and many medications that we have today are important.
I believe they should go hand in hand with herbal healing when they can, but I will also always choose what God has already provided first, before turning to a man-made alternative.
I am not a licensed herbalist, just a wife, mommy, and blogger, who loves her herb garden, who has spent hours upon hours in research on it, and treated her own family.
So everything you read from me has been carefully researched, carefully, implemented, and I am not going to tell you something I have not tried out on my own family or myself.
All that being said, however, YOU are responsible for YOU.
If YOU choose to read this and try it out,
 YOU are responsible for how and what happens.
You see, everyone’s body is different. Herbs are not like a bottle of Tylenol that any person can take and have the exact same, or similar effect.
I may be able to take Sage tea in large quantities, and my friend may have a bad reaction to it, and it is not a herb that works well with her body.
SO, if you want to try it, do me a huge favor before you go gungho reading all this and running to the bulk herb store to buy 40 lbs of it and make it into everything.
Take a small amount of the herb.
Make a tea with it (2 tsp of herb in 1 cup of water should be enough).
Rub a small amount on the inside of your elbow.
Do all this before bed, and dont wash your arm.
If you wake up in the morning with no reaction whatsoever, no red skin, no irritation, nothing, then you should be okay to try things in moderation. Any of the above listed reactions, and you need to stay away from that herb.
Enough information on that for today? Good.
 Plan on reading it every Wednesday, albeit in a smaller paragraph. 🙂
Let’s Talk About Rosemary………
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You know, I have asked myself many times why I love rosemary as much as I do. I dont know if it is how much it reminds me of pine branches, reaching up to the sky like the pines in my home state of Colorado. I dont know if it is how fragrant it is, and how it just makes me think of colder months when you roast a chicken, and have rosemary in the stuffing.
I am not really sure, but rosemary is one of my favorite plants to grow, harvest and use.
It grows tall, a three year old plant getting about waist high on me (I am 5’3″), with arching branches, and a large bush-like habit, that mostly grows upright, reaching to the heavens.
If you brush it while weeding, the scent is strong, and when it flowers, the bees come in droves.
The oil, though, will get on your hands and make it almost impossible to come off, pine-tar-ish in a way.
Sage does much the same thing, but rosemary oil is very potent, and can cause a quick reaction if you leave it on.
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Rosemary is the plant that I think of when I think of de-toxifying, or cleaning up my body. It has astringent qualities to it that cleanse the blood, cleaning up those free radicals that we all hear about over and over as the cause or markers of cancer cells. It stimulates your liver, pancreas and kidneys to work at peak efficiency, so if you have been ill, or struggling with physical issues, rosemary may be a good tea to take for you to boost your body’s ability to get rid of the yuck.
One of the things that makes it easier to take when you have been ill, that it is also calming to the intestinal tract. A simple tea made from rosemary will settle an upset stomach, calm stomach cramps, and ease low abdomen cramps.
 Because of its strength, though, rosemary tea should be saved for someone who is through and over the illness, so that it does not tax their body more than is needed. It is a stimulant, and while it calms that intestinal tract, it also causes your body to work a little harder to get rid of things. That is wonderful when someone is no longer in the midst of an illness, but could be hard on the body still fighting something off.
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Topically, or on the skin, rosemary works great for clearing up acne and dandruff. It has properties that can help you focus, so if you are working on something where you need to concentrate, or a student who requires focus to study, then rosemary essential oil is a wonderful oil to have on hand for that. Rosemary also has pain reliving properties when applied topically, so I have done research on how athletes will use a combination of cooked oatmeal and rosemary herb or oil on sore and aching joints. This combination wrapped in a warm, cotton cloth, is called a poultice. I have used that before on my bad knee from a ski accident when I was a kid, and it really helps.
I grabbed an extract from the Growing Your Own Medicine series to end this post on Rosemary. I want you to know that one of my favorite combos is chamomile, rosemary, and mint tea right now. Somehow those seem to really blend together well, and it is a great tea to sip from while I am blogging, or working on the next book. I decided to go ahead and compile all my herbal information and put it into book format for you all. You can be looking for that one in a couple weeks.
Here is what I had to say a couple months ago during the other herbal series:
    “Due to its high oil content, just as with Sage, you must be careful using it. In high doses it can cause convulsions, accelerated heart rate, and even death. When making a tea, use no more than 2 tsp at a time, and only drink up to 3 cups in one day.
   On a nice note, Rosemary is just a lovely herb to grow. It is stately, aromatic, and when it blooms, absolutely beautiful. This is one herb that does triple duty—it draws attention in the garden, seasons food in the kitchen, and makes for some wonderful tea during a break in the day.
   The only cooking I do with Rosemary is with roasted chicken or in chicken pot pie, so if someone has a good idea for how else to use it, I would love to hear it!

   Growing it is not hard. It also likes drier soil, and loves the sun. I did not know until researching more for this article that most rosemary plants do not need water and thrive on the moisture in the air since they are native to sea coasts in the Mediterranean. Isn’t that neat information? However, I am pretty sure most of you are not located there, so be sure to water your rosemary herb. It can get really leggy  and tall (some varieties can grow up to ten feet tall!!) but on average it is about 4 to 4 1/2 feet tall, so place it towards the back of your garden. Anywhere you put it, it will draw attention because of its beauty.Rosemary really helps the brassicas of the veggie garden: cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and even cabbage as it deters the worms that like to feed on those. To dry you can cut the herb stalks at any time and just hang upside down to dry ( or use your dehydrator). The carefully run your hands down the stalks and collect only the leaves. We do this over a large metal bowl, and it still makes a mess since the leaves are so small! However, a little goes a long way, so this is a good herb to grow and share with friends and family.”

I still think it is neat that some varieties can grow that tall, and survive without ever being watered, but am thankful my little rosemary plants only grow waist high. Otherwise, I would never be able to collect all of it, and my yard would smell like the floor cleaner I use that uses rosemary, thyme and orange oil. I think I like the smell of the entire herb garden much better than that would be. 🙂
I hope that you have a wonderful day, and if you are looking for the link to the Ebook, please click the picture up on the top right of the page.
Many Blessings to you and yours,