I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Juliette de Bairacli Levy at a Women Herb Conference several years ago. I was assigned to be her assistant if needed when it was her turn to lecture. For several years prior to this meeting I showed a film of her extraordinary life to my university students. Each time I viewed the film I was inspired. She devoted her life to animals and the plants that serve us. Though well educated she chose the life of a gypsy helping animals and people in her wanderings. There is a scene of her in one of her last homes where she points out her rosemary bush. This was one of the plants she put in her gardens where ever she lived. One of my student’s assignments was to write about how she inspired them if at all. Several wrote beautiful thoughts about this simple wanderer. I collected them and gave them to her at that conference. Her face lit up. She read everyone and I knew her heart was touched. She has touched the lives of so many in the herbal community. Though she has passed away, her memory lives on in her books and in our hearts.
Rosemary: Rosmarinus officinalis
Where Found: another evergreen shrub; perennial; native to the Mediterranean; often found on rock outcrops its name means “dew of the sea”.
Parts Used: Herb, root
Uses: In ancient times rosemary had a reputation for strengthening the memory. As such it was woven in bridal head wreaths or gilded and presented to the wedding couple for fidelity.
It was also used in churches and sick rooms, burned as incense or as a room disinfectant.
Rich in history, rosemary finds its way into our gardens, once again brought to this land by the early settlers. Today rosemary is commonly found in hair and skin care products.
David Hoffman, in the Holistic Herbal, also suggests that rosemary tea is toning and calming to the digestion especially if tension is present.
Nutrition: rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium also Vitamin C. It is also valued for its high antioxidant activity.
Herb oils: any culinary herb can be placed in oil and used as a condiment, mixed with vinegars to make a salad dressing; a simple and easy way to preserve herbs for winter use.
Herbs can be used fresh or dried:
1.Place herbs in glass jar ( mason jars work really well) about 2/3 full or less depending on the strength of taste and flavor you desire
2. Cover with cooking oil of choice: olive oil is a favorite as it does not need to be kept refrigerated.
3. Let sit on window sill in sunny place for 2-4 weeks
4. Strain; keep oil in glass jar, store is a cool dry place, and use when needed.
“Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme . . .”
Culinary delights, rich in historical uses, valued in the kitchen and the medicine chest. I hope you will gather these friends and use them. They are here for us. Enjoy. Judith