Do you keep forgetting where your car keys are? Needing to set more reminders for yourself, because you’ll forget important dates and errands? You’re not alone.
A poor memory is usually a condition that is associated with those aged 65 and older, but a new study from the University of California, Los Angeles shows that memory loss and forgetfulness is becoming more prevalent in younger generations. Of 18,552 individuals polled, 14% of younger adults and 22% of middle-aged adults all had memory complaints.
Since prescription medications for memory and attention deficit can cause a wide range of negative side effects including nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, headaches and sleep issues, a more natural approach is desperately needed.
And that’s where rosemary comes in.
Rosemary is more than that wonderful herb you use to flavor your favorite soups. In fact, traditional medicine has been using its leaves for hundreds of years. Scholars in ancient Greece believed rosemary could improve their memory and would wear a wreath of rosemary above their brow while studying for exams.
And now, science based research exists to prove the ancient Greeks right. A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience showed that, compared to a control group, subjects that were exposed to rosemary essential oil experienced a 60-75% increases in their ability to remember future tasks.
But how does this happen? A study published in the Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology found that the chemical compound 1,8-cineole is the reason behind rosemary’s amazing memory improving abilities. The subjects were asked to perform mathematical exercises and how quickly they were able to process new information was recorded both before and after they smelled rosemary essential oil. The researchers also measured their blood levels of 1,8-cineole, the main component of rosemary, after the experiment.
The results showed that the more 1,8-cineole that was present in their blood, the better they performed. Speed, accuracy, mood and stress levels also improved.
Rosemary was also found to help improve context-dependent memory, a specific brain recall used to remember things like where you put your keys or phone. The best example of this is when you “retrace your steps” to find an item after you’ve mistakenly put it somewhere it doesn’t belong.
A study published in the British Journal of Psychology found that smelling rosemary helped promote positive effects on context-dependent memory, helping improve memory, learning and testing.
So, should you start smelling rosemary to improve your cognitive abilities?
Absolutely! Besides improving memory, smelling rosemary essential oil can also be used for headache relief, stress relief and pain relief if massaged into the affected area.
Try it for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments below!
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