April 18, 2011

Earthly Delight Monday - Featuring Ingredients That Make Handmade Soap Special

Rosemary – (Rosemary officinalis ) - a woody stemmed, perennial herb, with evergreen needle type leaves. Rosemary grows abundantly in the Mediterranean region flourishing on the coastal areas where the olive trees thrive. Rosemary is a member of the mint family.

 Rosemary officinalis has needle type leaves

Rosemary is derived from the Latin name rosmarinus with ros meaning “dew” and marinus meaning (sea) or “dew of the sea” aptly named this because; the rosemary plant needs little water and is in fact able to sustain itself from the mist of the sea.

Rosemary Lore
In researching rosemary, I came across some interesting mythological tidbits relating to rosemary – it is said that Aphrodite wore a draping of Rosemary when she rose from the sea ; The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her cloak over a white blossomed Rosemary bush turning the blooms a beautiful shade of blue ( a color most associated with Mary.)

Rosemary (Rosemary officinalis) with it's beautiful blue blooms

Rosemary has a reputation for improving memory and has been used a symbol for remembrance; mourners threw rosemary into graves to as a symbol of remembrance for the dead.

Rosemary sprigs also symbolize the remembrance of love, in the mid century brides and those attending the wedding would wear sprigs of rosemary as a symbol of love. The newlywed couple would then plant a sprig of rosemary; if the branch grew it was a good omen of their growing love.
 Source; wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosemary