Rosemary oil is extracted from Rosmarinus officinalis, originally from Asia, but now cultivated in Mediterranean countries, in particular Spain (30-35 tonnes), Morocco (30 tonnes) and Tunisia (70 tonnes).
Rosemary has tiny pale blue blossoms from December through spring, and it can grow to close to 2 metres in height. During this time the plant is harvested and dried before distillation.
Rosemary is very popular in the Mediterranean region as a culinary herb. Many dishes are cooked with rosemary oil and freshly plucked rosemary leaves. Rosemary essential oil is mostly extracted from the leaves.
Besides its culinary uses, rosemary oil is one of the most popular essential oils for its wide range of health benefits. The many benefits are thought to include, stimulate hair growth, boost mental activity, relieve respiratory problems and reduce pain.
May to November is the ideal harvesting season for rosemary. Each year the bustle commences in May but before that things are rather quiet. The tenders open in April and there are five to seven lots as opposed to the thirty or thirty five that used to be launched earlier. The yield from biomass to leaves is around 25%-33% depending on the time of the harvest. The demand for rosemary leaf continues to escalate due to antioxidants extraction since most of the essential oil production is carried out on the “waste” resulting from sifting the biomass.
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