One might say that I grew up surrounded by beautiful fragrant bushes of Rosemary, thriving near the Mediterranean sea, and around my house in Greece.

Rosemary is native there, and grows not just in fertile gardens but on the rocks at the edge of the sea.

Rosemary – Ros Marinus being its scientific name, for ros = spray, and Marinus = sea, does grow on the cliffs descending to the Aegean Sea – a significant portion of the Mediterranean, between Greece and Turkey.

From way back in the ancient times, Rosemary has been a symbol of Fidelity and Memory – as in remaining faithful to one’s love by remembering them forever!

We have already talked about several other herbs that have a direct connection to Memory.  None, however, have so much literature behind them to back up the truth of this fact.

In fact the ancients believed that fidelity – as in forever remembering your beloved – was Rosemary’s distinct and unique characteristic.

The fact is that the plant Rosemary has antioxidants that give it antiseptic and antibacterial properties which slow down the aging in the brain cells, thereby increasing memory.

The very same antioxidants also help preserve meat and other foods by rubbing Rosemary’s fragrant leaves on them, or sprinkling the powdered herb on them.

Rosemary leaves also helped disinfect hospital rooms in the old days before we had disinfectants. I am sure the smell of Rosemary was always much better than any modern disinfectants!

In fact, Rosemary was used a substitute for incense in religious ceremonies.

Rosemary has great culinary uses, and when sprinkled on foods it lends them a pungent, mint-like flavor, so I add it to my soups, pasta dishes and other dressings in general, or to oil and vinegar marinades.

Rosemary also has medicinal uses, promotes digestion, is supposed to work on achy joints (though I have never tried it for this purpose), and supports good circulation, being a great antioxidant.

So, next time you cook meats, or pasta, or even just make a green salad, do add a bit of Rosemary and see what you make of its pungent taste!



If you have questions on any of the above herbs and their use, please contact me:

Ask Charoula about Herbs


All answers are posted on our website, on the following Friday.

Thanks for reading!

Charoula Dontopoulos
Certified Herbalist
Holistic Health Advisor
BC Polarity Therapy Practitioner


Questions and Answers


Q:  It sounds like Rosemary is a plant that grows primarily near the Ocean/Sea, so could I grow it in a pot in my backyard in the Midwest?

A:  Absolutely.  I live in central OH, and have a beautiful pot of Rosemary growing indoors during the harsh Ohio winters, and which I move out to my garden when the weather turns warmer, end of April/beginning May. It does need a good watering at least every 2-3 days, depending on the weather of course. I bring it back in when cold weather returns in October, but try to find a really sunny windowsill for it, as it does like the sun as much as it likes the water! And it needs repotting to a larger pot at least every 2-3 years.

Q:  What exactly does the name Rosemary mean and where does it come from?

A:  Good question! In modern Greece, a lot of names – whether of herbs, flowers, fragrances, spices etc. – come either from ancient Greek or early Christian tradition.
The name of Rosemary in Greek derives from the name of the Virgin Mary—as in “the Rose of Mary”, meaning of course the Virgin Mary. Rosemary is traditionally used in Church ceremonies celebrating the Holy Days dedicated to Mary. It is also used in baptisms and wedding ceremonies. All of which need the special blessing of the Virgin!

Q: What are some of the antioxidants/chemicals contained in Rosemary plants?

A:  Rosmarinic Acid (taking its name directly from the plant name), Camphor, Carnosol, Caffeic Acid, to name just a few.


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I would love to hear your own appreciation of any of these herbs as well!