Rosemary. Rosmarinus officinalis.

Botanical name: 

Related entry: Oil of Rosemary

Rosemary. Rosmarinus. Folia Rosmarini, s. Roris Marini. Folia Anthos. Feuilles de Romarin, Fr. Cod. Rosmarin, Rosmarinblätter, G. Rosmarino, It. Romero, Sp.—" The leaves of Rosmarinus officinalis (Fam. Labiatae)." U. S., 1880. Rosemary is a small evergreen shrub, with an erect stem, divided into many long, slender, ash-colored branches. The leaves are numerous, sessile, opposite, about 2.5 cm. long, rigid, linear, entire, obtuse at the summit, folded backward at the edges, of a firm consistence, smooth and green on the upper surface, whitish, woolly, and glandular beneath. The flowers are axillary, pale blue or white. The plant grows spontaneously in the countries which border on the Mediterranean, and is cultivated in the gardens of Europe and this country. The leaves, which have already been described, have a strong balsamic odor, which is possessed, but in a less degree, by all parts of the plant. Their taste is bitter and camphorous. These properties are imparted partially to water, completely to alcohol, and depend on the volatile oil. (See Oleum Rosmarini.) The tops lose a portion of their sensible properties by drying, and become inodorous by age. Rosemary is gently stimulant, and has been considered emmenagogue. In the practice of this country it is scarcely used; but in Europe, especially on the continent, it enters into the composition of several syrups, tinctures, etc., to which it imparts its agreeable odor and excitant property. It is sometimes added to sternutatory powders, and is used externally in connection with other aromatics in the form of fomentation. In some countries it is employed as a condiment; and its flowers, which are much sought after by the bees, impart their peculiar flavor to the honey of the districts in which the plant abounds.

The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.