For hundreds of years, Rosemary has decorated homes and churches around the world. For instance, in England garlands of rosemary were found wound around church pillars, and sprigs were found on the floors. Branches of rosemary were placed on the altars. There seems to be an affiliation with Christmas also, which may have evolved from a legend of Mother Mary, who was sheltered supposedly by a rosemary bush as she rested on her escape from Egypt. As far as that legend goes, she threw her blue cape on the bush to dry out some. The white flowers then turned to blue. Forever after that, the bush has been called rosemary, "the rose of Mary". I thought that was really interesting to learn.
The Greeks were using rosemary for many things long ago. It was used to relieve mental disorders, as they thought that would help. Scholars used to braid rosemary into their hair, and make garlands for their heads. They thought it would help their memory to be enhanced.
There are many superstitions surrounding the herb rosemary. It was thought to only grow in the gardens of the righteous. They thought that if you put a sprig of rosemary under your pillow, it would help to repel evil spirits and bad dreams. If you laid dried rosemary in your bed linens, it was thought to help ensure faithfulness to one's partner.
Rosemary was thought to be a cure all of sorts... They thought epilepsy, jaundice, nervous disorders, reduction of varicose veins, arthritis and feelings of melancholy could be helped with rosemary.
In the Middle Ages, all elegant weddings utilized rosemary. It is the symbol of remembrance of fidelity. Sprigs of this wonderful herb were often dipped in gold, and tied with a ribbon and given away as wedding gifts to the guests.
As could be expected, Rosemary has a long culinary history. The taste is best used with reserve, as it can be strong. It is probably best known to enhance the flavor of meat.