Rosemary Can Boost Memory
Rosemary was celebrated as the “herb of remembrance,” from the Elizabethan era to the Early Romantic period. In studies conducted in 2003 (England) and 2012 (Chicago), it was found to be of use with regards to cognitive function. According to the study, smelling this essential oil enhances memory functions and mental clarity. While they found that this was useful for everyone, it was found to be particularly beneficial to those who suffered from impaired memory, due to dementia…but it’s beneficial for students as well. The studies showed that there was a 60-75% improvement in long-term memory in those who were exposed to this oil in a diffuser. A small study that involved Alzheimer’s patients found that one month of aromatherapy using rosemary, lemon, lavender and orange essential oils helped enhance cognitive function in all participants, but especially those suffering from this particular form of dementia.
So, how does rosemary work?
When you take a whiff, volatile molecules stimulate the olfactory nerve in your nose and are absorbed into the bloodstream. From there, memory-enhancing components of the essential oil travel via the bloodstream to the brain, where they act on memory systems. Isn’t that amazing?
There are many different ways to start boosting memory with rosemary. Place three to four drops of essential oil on a tissue and enjoy as the smell wafts through the air. For a longer lasting aroma, add 10 drops of the oil to 2 cups of boiled water, or purchase an aromatherapy diffuser. You can also snip a few fresh sprigs of rosemary and keep them near you or wear them while you’re studying or reading for retention.
Rosemary improves memory and mental clarity, but it also alleviates pain, soothes migraines, aids digestion, calms itchy scalps, enhances hair growth, and eases muscle aches…just to name a few of its attributes. It was said to be a favorite of German-Swiss physician and botanist, Paracelsus. And it was mentioned in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, when Ophelia asks her brother Laertes to reflect on their father’s murder with the gentle nudge that, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.”