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Ahhh, is there anything sweeter than the woodsy scent of rosemary? Aside from being a favorite seasoning for roast chicken, rosemary is also a staple in homesteaders’ medicine cabinets.

A popular medicinal herb since ancient Greece, rosemary’s potent power lies in its evergreen leaves. Rosemary contains some of the highest antioxidant levels found in common herbs. Oils are extracted from the leaves to make potent medicines.

If you’ve never used rosemary for healing, now’s the time to start! Here are a few of my favorite rosemary cures.

Skin healing

Rosemary’s antioxidants help heal skin more quickly. Use it as an anti-ager to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, or even to heal blemishes. It’s also a fantastic herb for getting a healthy shine back to your complexion.

Hair growth

Studies suggest that rosemary promotes hair growth. When massaged into the scalp, rosemary oil increases blood flow and circulation. It’s even been known to prevent baldness and treat dry, itchy scalps.

Muscle stiffness

Are your feet aching after working on the homestead all week? Don’t fret! Massage rosemary oil onto the soles of sore feet or any other sore muscle. Rosemary speeds up the healing process by increasing circulation, getting you back on your feet in no time.

Germ buster

If you find your home overrun with sniffles, guard your immune system with a daily cup of rosemary tea. Use the dried rosemary leaves to make a zesty tea with a hit of lemon. Rosemary helps boost your immune system and can even be used to speed up recovery times if you come down with a bug.

Stress reduction

There’s something soothing about the scent of rosemary. If you’re prone to stress or anxiety, diffuse rosemary oil for a soothing scent. In a pinch, you can also rub rosemary oil on your wrists for quick relief.
Some people report that they feel more relaxed after drinking a tea made of rosemary leaves. So sit down, enjoy the aroma, and have yourself a nice, hot cup of tea.

The bottom line

Rosemary is good for way more than seasoning chicken. This wonder of an herb is good for nearly anything that ails you. Remember to go to your doctor for recurring or more serious maladies. But if you suffer from minor ailments, give rosemary a try!

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Yucca: A Garden Plant with a Sharp Surprise

The yucca plant, native to Central and North America, has bcome popular in gardens around the world for its architectural beauty, but Australian gardeners have discovered a downside. Over a five-year period, Melbourne's Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital has treated 28 Australians for injuries from the fashionable plant.

The culprit is the long spikey leaf of the yucca, with its sharp end resembling an arrowhead. In a report published by the UK Journal Clinical Otolaryngology, an alarming one in seven of the injuries caused permanent deafness.

All the injuries occurred while gardeners were attending the plants. The yucca has surged in popularity outside America, becoming a fixture in public gardens as well as on private land. It certainly looks striking, but little is known about it outside of its native terrain. Those who suffered injury were working around the plants, unaware that the spikey leaves could enter the ear quite easily if they got too close.

Usually, the spikey leaves just perforate the eardrum, the report said, which can be remedied. But the shape and angle of the leaf mean it can also go much deeper into the inner ear, which is the cause of significant and permanent injury to hearing.

Most people who come into contact with the yucca plant are well aware of the potential for injury to the eyes and avoid getting stabbed, but few associate the plant with loss of hearing. Anyone who suspects they been injured in the ear or who experience dizziness after working with a yucca plant should consult an ENT surgeon as soon as possible.

But prevention is better than cure, and that is the wisest course in this case. While working with a yucca plant be aware of the danger and cover your ears with headphones, so you avoid injury and enjoy music at the same time. It is also wise to wear thick gardening gloves and a hard hat or thick scarf. Those arrowheads can cause nasty wounds to the head and hands as well.

Yucca belongs to the asparagaceae family and is often confused with yuca, which is better known as cassava. Cassava is used as a food and a medicine by Native Americans, while yucca is regarded outside the Americas as a more ornamental plant. Its stately beauty is a pleasure to grow, so there is no need to rip up your yucca plants. Just be aware of its spiky nature and protect yourself when getting up close.

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