Want a quick tip for boosting your memory?
Try the smell of rosemary!
Research shows that rosemary essential oil aids memory in various ways:
- long-term memory – remembering things that have happened
- working memory – assisting our ability to do mental arithmetic
- prospective memory – remembering to do something, like taking medication or returning a library book.
It also helps with keeping our minds alert and focused and with shrugging off mental fatigue.
Further research is needed to see if rosemary essential oil is useful for older adults who have experienced memory decline but a small study has shown that Alzheimer’s patients benefitted cognitively from a month of aromatherapy using rosemary, lemon, lavender and orange essential oils. Read more
Why Rosemary Works
The sense of smell is a strong memory trigger. One reason for this is the way in which the brain processes smells and memories. Smell is analysed in a part of the brain located close to where memory and emotions are processed and as smells often have emotional connections (think about wafting aromas of fresh baking), they serve as particularly strong triggers to memory. Read more
Helpful for students
Students in ancient Greek times purportedly wore garlands of rosemary in their hair to help them with memory and learning.
Modern day students in the UK picked up on rosemary’s benefits when University research into its historical associations with memory confirmed this positive effect. After these research results were released at the British Psychological Society’s 2017 conference, Britain’s largest health food retailer doubled its sales of rosemary essential oil – with sales peaking during exam revision periods!
Rosemary for Remembrance
Throughout literature and folklore, rosemary has represented fidelity and remembrance and is still seen in the lovely tradition of wearing a sprig of rosemary on ANZAC Day out of respect for the Australians and New Zealanders who lost their lives at Gallipoli in WW1.
Thank you to Lynette Mowlem, Researcher for Memory Foundation.
Do you have a comment or story about rosemary or other helpful hints you’d like to share with readers? Please leave your message below.