Botanical Name: Rosmarinus officinalis
Rosemary has wide range of uses in food processing. Fresh tender tops are used for garnishing and flavouring of cold drinks, pickles, soups etc. Dried and powdered leaves are used as condiment. In medicine rosemary is credited as carminative, anti-depressant, anti-spasmodic, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, carcinogen blocker, liver-detoxifier and anti-rheumatic.
Rosemary of commerce comprises dried leaves of evergreen shrub of Rosmarinus Officinalis. This is a dense, evergreen, hardy, perennial, aromatic herb, 90 cm high with small (2-4 cm) pointed, sticky, hairy leaves. The upper surface of the leaf is dark green whereas it is white on the lower side. The leaves are resinous. Branches are rigid with fissured bark and stem is square, woody and brown. Pale blue small flowers appear in cymose inflorescence. It can be grown either as a field crop or as an indoor plant.
Origin and Distribution
Rosemary is the native of Mediterranean region and is cultivated in Europe and California in US. It is also grown in Algeria, China, Middle East, Morocco, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, and to a limited extent in India. Temperate climate is suitable for the cultivation of Rosemary. The soil properties influence the yield and the composition of rosemary oil.