This is a wonderful herb with a tradition of use spanning back to ancient times. It has innumerable uses in both the kitchen and in herbal medicine.
Did you know that rosemary has been associated with memory enhancement since long ago? The truth is that it has even been referred to from the latter part of the Elizabethan Era to the Early Romantic period as the “herb of remembrance”.
In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” It has also long been used as a symbol for remembrance during weddings, war commemorations and funerals in Europe and Australia. Mourners in old times would wear it as a buttonhole, burn it as incense or throw it into graves as a symbol of remembrance for the dead.
Because of this seemingly esoteric association, rosemary has at times been made into a sort of herbal-amulet, where it was placed beneath pillowcases, or simply smelt as a bouquet, and it was believed that using rosemary in these ways could protect the sleeper from nightmares, as well as increase their memory.
What’s fascinating is that several scientific studies have now found remarkable results for rosemary’s effects on memory: