Rosemary Might Be The Herb For You

Got stress in your life? Most anyone will tell us they can relate to strain, pressure and heavy load at some point.

GET CLOSE UP TO ROSEMARY

An occasional close-up to a rosemary plant just might help you deal more effectively with being uptight. There are times when stress and a so-called case of “nerves” can take hold. It can be brought on by anything from household duties and job demands in the workforce to fast-paced lifestyle, family farm obligations, finances and bad weather such as too much rain. When it comes right down to it, the list is endless. Stress can place quite a strain on physical and emotional well-being. If you’ve been there or are anywhere near that now, then read on.

ROSEMARY JUST MIGHT BE

…the herb to calm your nerves, relax muscles and compliment cooking skills. Dee Garrioch finds “rosemary-scented bath oil very relaxing after a day’s work and the fragrance is just beautiful.” In the kitchen, Dee uses rosemary in stews, seafood, casseroles and poultry recipes. For cooking purposes, she recommends placing rosemary and other herbs such as a bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns in a small bag made of gauze, or buy a metal sachet available at kitchen appliance stores. Get into the habit of adding a smidgen of fresh-chopped or minced rosemary to salads, baked potatoes, devilled eggs and soups.

REMEMBER THE SONG “SCARBOROUGH FAIR?”

Dee Garrioch certainly does! It was a popular melancholy love song from the ’60s by Simon and Garfunkel that asks:

Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, Remember me to one, who lives there, She once was a true love of mine.

MORE ATTRIBUTES OF ROSEMARY

A compound in rosemary called camosic acid has been found to stimulate nerve growth. This is a protein that’s vital to growth, health and maintenance of nerve tissue. In simple terms, rosemary helps build and repair the nervous system so it’s better able to handle stressful situations. This compound in rosemary is so effective that a company has patented a derivative of it for use with Alzheimer’s patients. Rosemary appears to boost blood flow to the brain and helps us think more clearly, while improving memory. Other research has found that camosic acid offers brain protection from agricultural pesticides and Parkinson’s disease.

MAKING ROSEMARY TEA

Fresh herbs are more potent than dried. Snip off an eight-cm (three-inch) section of fresh rosemary and let it brew for a couple of minutes in hot water. Strain and stir in a touch of honey or stevia leaf powder to make it more palatable. I’ve taken rosemary tea many times myself and like it best on the weaker side. The longer it brews, the stronger it gets.

Two cups of weak tea daily is more than adequate for me, since rosemary is a powerful antioxidant with potent medicinal and healing properties. Rosemary might be beneficial to you or a loved one. However, expectant or nursing mothers should only take rosemary gradually in minimal quantity, or not at all. It’s always wise to consult with a nutritionist, your health-care provider or naturopathic doctor, when dealing with serious health issues.

HAIRCUTS AND FIRST FROST

I love studying moonlore. Here’s a Ted Tip for what it’s worth. I practise this myself. For five centuries Russian folk medicine claimed: “To promote the growth of hair and prevent thinning, hair must never be cut during the waning (reducing light) of the moon.” From October 8 through until October 22 during increasing light of the moon is a good time to get your hair cut. After that, moonlight begins receding until the following new moon on November 6. As for first frost, seems there’s a greater chance of getting widespread, heavy or killing frost at or near full moon, than during other times of the lunar cycle.

WHETHER IT’S COLD, OR WHETHER IT’S HOT

…we’re gonna have weather, whether or not! Think back to very early last spring. Do you remember ice crystals, hoarfrost, fog, mist, drizzle and rain under grey and dreary skies during the tail end of February and well into March 2010? Such was the order of the weather for much of the Prairies during that time frame and kind of sums up in general terms the sort of weather that spread over much of Western Canada. A lot of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta have certainly been deluged with too much rain this year. There are variables of course with some areas and tiny troughs being spared.

ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN WET WEATHER

I refer back to a letter dated March 4 of this year. Carol Hayduk of Calmar, Alta., shared the following with me. She wondered whether I have any faith in an old weather adage: “It will rain six months after the fog. Considering all the fog we had near Edmonton, August 2010 should be pretty soggy out here,” and Carol was correct.

Six months later (early this September) I asked Carol what the weather’s been doing in her part of the country. She mentioned “it kind of depends where you are.” She says, “There’s been a lot of rain in eastern Alberta and Edmonton has received plenty too.” Close nearby Calmar where Carol lives “there’s been a fair amount of rain 10 kilometres to the west where farm people don’t have their first cut of hay off.”

Carol also mentioned that her mother-in-law was a great foreteller and watcher of weather and kept a close eye on it. What she always said was: “the weather that you receive on the moon, both full and new moon, gives the general pattern for the two weeks until the next moon.” For example: If it rained a lot on either the new or full moon then she’d say: “Oh dear, for the next two weeks we will have a fair amount of rain. There won’t be many sunny days.” Such predictions were usually pretty stable and consistent, according to Carol.

I join with Carol in hoping things improve for all farmers everywhere in this land who’ve been impacted by wet weather. As our conversation drew to a close, Carol reminded me, “The farmer has to be the greatest risk taker that there is because they’re always hopeful and sure that next year is going to be better.”

WHAT ABOUT WHERE YOU LIVE?

Did you have persistent fog in your area this past February into March? If yes — then calculate from when it began and then advance six months later for your approximate time when the rainy period began.

This has nothing to do with global warming. It is hand-me-down folklore and not scientific by any means, but folklorists consider it accurate within reason, nine times out of 10. There are rain dances to attract rain. I haven’t yet discovered whether folklore knows of a “stop-the-rain” dance.

TOO MUCH MONEY

…in our back pockets can create lower back pain. What? Who’s got too much cash? I figured that might catch your attention. A chiropractor passed this tip along to one of his clients and explained it this way. Did you know that carrying a wallet in your back pocket can substantially increase your chances of receiving an unwanted visitor known as chronic lower back pain? According to the chiropractor, it can and has happened. Seems that sitting down with one side of your pelvis slightly elevated due to a wallet in the back pocket can create instability in your pelvic joints, leading to intermittent lower back strain and pain. The solution is as simple as finding another spot to carry your wallet. I used to like giving my wallet to my wife and she’d put it in her purse.

ThisisTedMeseytontheSingingGardener andGrow-ItPoetfromPortagelaPrairie,Man. Thankssomuchforwalkingwithmealong theGrainewsgardenpath.Rosemaryonone sideandreminiscingaboutweatherandother thingsontheothersidehasmadeforgood dialogue.Let’smeethereagainnexttimefor anotherstroll.Ourforefatherscouldrunafarm withlessmachinerythanwerequiremaintaining alawnandgardentoday.Myemail addressis [email protected]

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CORRECTION

The photograph in Joan Airey’s September article “A dream come true” should have been credited to Dan Loran courtesy photo. We regret the omission.

About the author

Columnist

Ted Meseyton

This is Ted Meseyton the Singing Gardener and Grow-It Poet from Portage la Prairie, Man. I salute all gardeners and farmers who help make our world a little safer and more ecologically balanced, and who toil to provide health-giving produce to others who cannot produce their own. It takes all sorts to make a world. One half of the world doesn’t know how the other half lives. The best physicians are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet and Dr. Merryman.

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