Rosemary is an evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean and a popular culinary spice, which beside its good taste and fragrance abounds in incredible health benefits as well. This popular herb has been used since ancient times to improve immunity and circulation, reduce muscle pain, promote hair growth and boost memory. These and many other uses and benefits have helped seal rosemary’s glowing reputation as an outstanding, healing herb, but, recent scientific discovery may help this herb to “climb up the ladder” even higher. Rosemary has been shown to be effective in the treatment of memory loss and the onset of mental slowing associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, which is why patients with these diseases will be most glad to receive the big news.
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance: pray you, love, remember.”
(William Shakespeare, Hamlet: Act 4, Scene 5)
Although the research carried out to investigate rosemary’s effects on cognition and memory is relatively small, the results are undoubtedly amazing, as stated in Bliss’s review of this herb’s potential:
“Studies have shown that using rosemary can increase the memory by up to 75%. This includes remembering certain tasks, important dates, such as birthdays and anniversaries, as well as remembering names and information someone told you. Rosemary may also become useful in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease in the near future. Researchers have discovered that certain phytochemicals in the herb prevent the degradation of acetylcholine, an important brain chemical needed for normal neurotransmission. A deficiency of this chemical is commonly seen in Alzheimer’s patients.” (Bliss, S. (2014). Alzheimer’s – Rosemary Improves Memory)
Mark Moss and Lorraine Oliver, along with their scientific team, from the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Center at Northumbria University in the UK made a research on the effects that rosemary essential oil scent had on the brain. Their findings were incredible and the result of their experiment was published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology.
The correlation between rosemary scent and improved cognitive function, more specifically memory retention, was evidently positive. A simple whiff of rosemary helped the test subjects to improve their scores on a variety of assigned recall and visualization tasks.
Furthermore, there was yet another study whose aim was to find out if rosemary aromatherapy could in any way be beneficial to patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. Fortunately, there was a positive correlation with improved cognitive function in these patients as well.
“All patients showed significant improvement in…. cognitive function on both [tests] after therapy. In particular, patients with Alzheimer’s showed significant improvement in total scores.”
These researches spark our hopes for a natural treatment of diseases and conditions that affect memory. Therefore, whenever you feel absent-minded or forgetful, just sniff some rosemary and you’ll be good!
Watch the video below to learn more about this incredible herb!