Smelling rosemary helps with memory

Study shows that rosemary essential oil can help enhance memory

A new study shows that sniffing rosemary essential oil can enhance one’s memory. The psychologist conducting the study believe there are applications for treating people with memory impairment.

The researchers presented evidence at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society reporting that smelling rosemary essential oil helped to improve long term memory by as much as 75 percent. Mental arithmetic was also improved as well.

The study consisted of 66 participants randomly divided into 2 rooms, one with rosemary scent and one without. Rosemary was applied by diffusing the essential oil via an aroma stream fan for five minutes before the participants entered the room.

Participants were then asked to perform various memorization tasks. Participants were scored on their ability to perform such tasks without prompting or help. Questionnaires to assess their mood were also filled out.

To determine that memory improvement was linked to rosemary essential oil, blood samples were drawn from the volunteers and measured for 1,8-cineole, a component found in the essential oil.

Previous research had shown that this compound was linked to memory. Participants from the rosemary scented room were shown to have higher blood levels of 1,8-cineole, establishing a link between rosemary essential oil and performance in memory tasks.

Dr. Mark Moss, who presented the findings at the conference, said that the evidence was building up to show the benefits of rosemary aroma.

This particular study focused on prospective memory, the ability to remember future events and to completing tasks at certain times. Examples of these include taking medications at particular times or remembering birthdays.

Source: Reported by

Posted: Jul 24, 2014