Can sniffing essential oil from rosemary help to improve your memory? Apparently yes, according to a research conducted by the University of Northumbria.
In 2012, a research published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology described a study, which involves 20 people that suggested the scent of rosemary oil may help improve accuracy and speed when performing certain mental tasks.
Another research in 2013, conducted by Northumbria researchers explained how by putting the smell of rosemary in the air, helped people with memory tests. For the experiment, drops of rosemary essential oil were wafted around a room before the study participants came in.
A total of sixty-six healthy adults took part and were randomly sent to the rosemary room and a room with no scent. Then both groups were given memory tests, that includes finding objects they have seen being hidden earlier.
They were assessed base on how much prompting or help they needed to finish the tasks. The people who’d been in the rosemary scented room did better in the memory tests and were tested to see if they remember to carry out tasks on time. Questionnaires were also given to assess their mood.
There was no link between the participant’s memory and mood test ability, which the researchers suggest means their performance was not influenced by changes in arousal or alertness.
How it Works
As per the research, rosemary contains carnosic acid, which helps fight off free radical damage to the brain. The natural acids that are present in rosemary, helps in protecting the body’s DNA and cells from free radical damage.
The compounds found in rosemary are known to help prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical that induces the brain cells, which are responsible for communication and memory.
Aside from using the scent of rosemary to help improve memory, it is also used as an ingredient in cooking and as a moth repellent. Also it is used as an ingredient in some herbal remedies, including to help with sore throat, coughs, as a mild painkiller and for digestive problems.