Rosemary is a traditional herb with wide spectrum of medicinal uses, however it even offers more only with its smell. Namely, a group of scientists has revealed that sniffing rosemary can increase the memory by remarkable 75%.
This incredible herb has been utilized for enhancing long-term memory and alertness for centuries. Ancient Greeks wore rosemary sprigs in the hair while studying for their exams. Shakespeare mentions the fantastic benefits of the rosemary in “Hamlet”.
According to a performed study at the Northumbria University, Newcastle in 2003 showed that smelling rosemary is linked to “an enhancement of performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors”.
The cognitive-boosting abilities of the herb were scientifically explained in 2013, by a team of experts. Scientists observed 20 people as they did subtraction exercises and visual information processing tasks and other tests. The mood of the participants was evaluated before and after the exposure to the rosemary scent, and for even more trustworthy results blood samples were taken.
All in all the study included 66 participants which were assigned at random order to the rosemary-scented room and to the other room free of the rosemary scent.
The results were astonishing because the rosemary smell substantially boosted increased memory in the involved study participants. The participants in the rosemary-scented room did better by 60 to 75% on memorizing events to completing tasks, and recalled things much better than the other participants.
In addition to this, the taken blood samples revealed that the blood of the participants exposed to the rosemary-scented room had detectable levels of 1, 8-cineole. Cineole is an active compound in rosemary, meaning that this compound was absorbed into the bloodstream. As a result of this, higher the levels of cineole the better results gave the participants.
The lead researcher of this study was Dr. Mark Moss who gave an official statement:
“This compound is present in rosemary but has not previously been demonstrated to be absorbed into blood plasma in humans.
It is our view that the aroma, therefore, acts like a therapeutic drug, rather than any effects being a result of the more sensory properties of the aroma. The chemicals are also believed to have directly stimulated the olfactory nerve in the nose, which could have effects on brain functioning.”
Thanks to the carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid content, which have the ability to fight free radical damage, prevent beta-amyloid-induced neurodegeneration in the hippocampus, thereby impede development of cancer cells, and prevent Alzheimer’s since rosemary drastically promotes brain health.
Jemma McCready was another researcher of this study who gave a comment regarding this matter, quote:
“We deliberately set them a lot of tasks, so it’s possible that people who multi-task could function better after sniffing rosemary oil. And, there was no link between the participants’ mood and memory. This suggests performance is not influenced as a consequence of changes in alertness or arousal.”
On the other hand, Dr. Mark Moss who is very optimistic and very much thrilled in the real-life impacts of the study, stated:
“We are focused on prospective memory, which involves the ability to remember events that will occur in the future and to remember to complete tasks at particular times.
This is critical for everyday functioning, for example when someone needs to remember to post a birthday card or to take medication at a particular time.
Plants are very complex organisms and contain many different active compounds and these vary in concentration from plant to plant and even within the same plant over the course of a day.
The accumulation of knowledge regarding possible impacts of plant aromas and extracts could potentially lead to an identification of the best combination to promote specific effects.”
Furthermore, Dr. Alan Hirsch, director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, who participated in the expert team, agrees and states that the findings of this study offer another perspective for exploration the effects of this amazing natural herb.
Use of Rosemary
In order to inhale this amazing herb you will need a diffuser where you will put few drops of high-quality organic essential rosemary oil, and in that way you will easily enjoy the benefits of this herb.
The other solution would be to place rosemary plant by the desk in the office or somewhere in the house. If you want to keep your brain sharp most of the time, you can mix a drop of rosemary oil in a teaspoon of coconut oil. Place this mixture in a cosmetic tin and carry it in your bag, so that whenever you feel the need simply rub a bit of it on your wrists.