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Rosemary for memory, stress

Annette Maynard-Watson

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The Crop Over festivities are in full swing here. Many are earnestly preparing for Grand Kadooment 2011. Key people in Crop Over always include the field workers. These confident, hardworking and committed citizens continue to till the earth to ensure that we have fresh ground provisions and other silent doctors. I salute them and urge them to continue to “let spirit run free”.   
Today the spotlight is on”silent doctor” rosemary.
In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia says to Laertes, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” – Act IV, Scene 5  
Our calypsonians can therefore consider using rosemary to assist them in remembering their words as they parade before the crowds and judges.
Dr Mark Moss undertook a study in Britain which supported the claim that rosemary enhances memory capacity. The study was conducted on 144 people and revealed that the research group displayed significantly improved reaction times and working memory along with increased alertness levels.
Rosemary or Rosmarinus officinalis, known to some as “old man”, was used in ancient Egypt. Historically, rosemary was associated with witches and power, weddings, magic, Queen Elizabeth, burials, and the Virgin Mary.
Stress reliever
Research shows that rosemary can relieve stress, headaches, depression and mental tension, and also treat gum and mouth problems. It can be used as a digestive aid or a tonic, as a promoter of menstrual flow and as an expectorant.
Externally, its essential oil treats eczema, rheumatism, sores and wounds. It stimulates hair growth and treats balding and thinning. In fact, I have noted that including rosemary oil in my hair oils has left me with a head of beautiful, thick, long hair.  
Investigations revealed that rosemary is a safe and natural alternative to some conventional hormonal replacements. Research also shows that in women, an imbalance of oestrogen hormones can contribute to breast cancer.
Inactivates oestrogen
Dr Zhu and colleagues from the Department of Chemical Biology, State University of New Jersey, United States, found that a two per cent concentration of rosemary extract administered for three weeks significantly inactivates excess oestrogen.
Researchers also revealed that they believe it works by stimulating liver enzymes, which inactivate oestrogen hormones like oestrone and oestradiol.
Finally, as many party to the popular Jones And Wuk-Up by Li’l Rick, remember that a cup of warm rosemary tea can add a spark of natural stamina as you party.  
• Next week, read more about rosemary.
• Annette Maynard-Watson, a teacher and herbal educator, may be contacted via [email protected] or by telephone 250-6450.
DISCLAIMER: It is not our intention to prescribe or make specific claims for any products. Any attempts to diagnose or treat real illness should come under the direction of your health care provider.