After many years of thinking about it, this spring I finally planted a kitchen garden. It’s mostly herbs, with some arugula, lettuce, kale, green onions and blueberries mixed in.
Each nascent leaf is a source of joy and wonder. Like the Captain in “Wall-E” who exclaimed, “Humans would put seeds in the ground, pour water on them, and they’d grow food!” I look at every bit of new growth and think, Earth is amazing.
Also remarkable are each plant’s infinite variety of uses. Mint repels biting insects. Chamomile soothes an upset stomach. Basil’s anti-inflammatory properties ease arthritis pain. And on and on.
I find rosemary especially delightful. This woody perennial has been used to treat everything from heartburn and headaches to hair loss. It’s hardy and drought-tolerant too, making it an excellent choice in water-starved regions like Southern California. What’s more, it attracts pollinators, it’s an essential ingredient in Thanksgiving stuffing, and it’s wonderfully aromatic. What’s not to love?
For a little something different, try a cup of rosemary tea. It’s a simple, soothing way to enjoy the herb’s many benefits: It aids digestion, and with its antioxidant properties, it fights free radicals that contribute to heart disease and cancer.
Steep 1 to 1 1/2 tsp rosemary needles—or a whole sprig—in hot water.
For sweetness, add honey. (Raw is best.)
For a more savory flavor, try adding a few cilantro leaves (just a few, since cilantro is powerful).
Rosemary is even said to fight memory loss.
In Shakespeare’s immortal words: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray you, love, remember.”