Rosemary benefits and uses and requirements

“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember”
William Shakespeare

Want to increase your memory by 75%? A series of tests have shown this is possible by smelling the essential oil of rosemary daily. Memory improvement is at the top of the list when we discuss Rosemary benefits and uses.
Mental alertness and long-term memory is boosted by sniffing this herb and it is also nowadays used for migraines and digestive issues. The memory benefits have been mentioned as far back as in Hamlet when Ophelia declares: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance: pray, love, remember”.

Rosemary contains an ingredient called carnosic acid, which can fight off damage by free radicals in the brain and 1,8-cineole a compound that has been linked to memory function. ***Please note: Pregnant women and users of chronic medication should always check with their health practitioners before taking any supplements or natural treatments and epilepsy sufferers should take caution with camphor dosages.

Rosemary benefits and uses include: good sources of iron, calcium, vitamin B-6 and is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation, alleviate muscle pain, improve memory as mentioned and even promote hair growth.

Growing requirements:
Well-draining, sandy soil and a sunny spot outside, or a brightly lit indoors space, is ideal for this perennial evergreen. Terracotta pots are perfect as it let excess water out and Rosemary’s do prefer drier conditions above constantly moist roots. Your rosemary plant prefers you to always let the soil dry out in-between thorough watering. Wind or drafts are not loved. Trimming the tips regularly (for cooking or finger-crushing for sniffing) will cause your plant to grow bushier. Always cut above a leaf node and never take more than a 1/3 of the stem.
Propagation through cuttings are easier than most plants. Soft stem cuttings, of about 10cm, that are placed to stand in water, will have roots within 2 weeks.

Evening Primrose Plant Uses and Care

Evening Primrose Plant Uses and Care: Oenothera biennis at a glance: Indigenous to USA; 50cm – 2m
Planting position: Full sun.
Suitable for all growing regions without humidity.
Requires a little watering during ongoing dry spells.
Sandy soil.
Watch out for fungal diseases, snails and aphids.
Propagate from spring-sown (in situ) seed.

Truly a biennial, but treated as an annual this species produces fragrant yellow flowers, which open towards evening, thus the name. These summer flowersare hibiscus-like and its foliage is prominently mid-ribbed.
O. macrocarpa (30cm) is a smaller variety with yellow summer flowers.

This 1 – 2m tall plant lives 2 years, but self-sows and is perfect for dry, open soils in full sun. As Evening Primrose Plant Uses range from edible to medicinal – this plant is a must have, especially in coastal drought-stricken gardens. It does not need a lot of water and needs to be left alone.

Evening Primrose seeds can be sown in sown in autumn or very early spring.

The yellow spring- and summer flowers only appear at night or on overcast days and each flower lasts a single night. These flowers can be smelled from afar as they also have a strong lemon scent. The small seed pods appear at the end of summer and contain many red seeds.

Evening Primrose Plant Uses: food

All of the Evening Primrose is edible.
– The highly nutritius (pre-flowering, early spring) Evening primrose leaves contain tannins, flavonoids, mucilage and sugar, resin and phytosterols. Add them to your diet and menu as you would baby spinach.
– Evening Primrose seeds are high in proteïn, oil and essential amino acids.
– The (young) stems are peeled first and then eaten raw, steamed or fried.
– The fruit, or seed pods make a good flash-fried snack with dip.
– The edible spring and summer flowers are sweet and can be added to deserts, salads or as garnish.
– Treat and eat the roots like any root vegetale. Roots from pre-flowering young plants are best.

Evening Primrose Plant Uses: Medicinal

The flowers and seeds are harvested during summer to be dried for teas or to extract the oils. The entire plant can be dried in autum, after flowering, for herbal use later.

Evening Primrose seeds are known for their amazing oil – which has been used to treat eczema, the Sjögren-syndrome, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopausal symptoms, polyarthritis and multiple sclerosis.

The Native Americans traditionally boiled the entire plant as a tonic tea for energy. They also recommended the roots as an external treatment for piles and boils.

Medicinally, Evening primrose can be consumed as dried – in the case of leaves and flowers – as well as oils – and capsules is the most common form.

Experts advice should always be seeked before self-medicating and recommend dosage amounts should strictly be kept to.

Caution should especially (but not solely) be taken by:
– pregnant and breastfeeding mothers;
– people prone to epilepsy, seizure disorders, schizophrenia or mania;
– patients with bleeding disorders or taking medicine that may increase bleeding as Evening Primrose can increase the risk further.

Evening Primrose Plant Uses: Permaculture
– The night flowers attract night time pollinators
– Considered to be allelopathic to weeds by interfering with  the germination and growth of weeds.

– Because of the above reason, this is an excellent addition for a garden as cover-crop.  Match it with a legume as it needs a bit of nitrogen.

Other Common Names and Synonyms:
Fever plant, great evening-primrose, kings-cure-all, night willow-herb, scabish, scurvish, tee primrose, sun drop, suncups,
Brunyera biennis Bubani,
Oenothera chicaginensis
Oenothera chicagoensis,
Oenothera grandiflora,
Oenothera muricata,
Oenothera pycnocarpa,
Oenothera renneri,
Oenothera rubricaulis,
Oenothera stenopetala,
Oenothera suaveolens,
Onagra biennis,
Onagra muricata