Does Rosemary Actually Improve Your Memory and Cognition?

A word about Rosemary

Rosemary that also goes by the name Salvia Rosmarinus is a medicinal shrub containing a soothing scent. The plant has a pointed leaf structure similar to that of needles and its flowers can be seen in colors like blue, pink, and purple. Rosemary is also known as ‘anthos’ due to its derivation that comes from a Greek word that literally means flower. It is famous due to its use in various fields like culinary, aromatherapy, hair care products, etc. It can improve various health-related conditions like hair loss, joint pain, indigestion, and memory loss. Many studies were and are still being conducted to find out the benefits that rosemary has to offer.


Rosemary and its Link with Memory and Cognitive Function

Rosemary can be used in various forms to enhance your brainpower as well as to improve your cognitive function. Some people believe that intake of rosemary powder in moderation can help you with your memory. It can enable a person to recall memories easily and quickly as compared to those who did not consume rosemary in any form. A study was also conducted by based on this belief and the study also showed positive results. It was seen that people who ate powder of dried rosemary plants were able to recall faster. However, it is to be noted that consumption is to be done in moderation as a high dose can do more harm than good. Overconsumption can result in problems like intestinal irritation and vomiting. The daily dose of rosemary powder should not be more than 4 grams and should be discontinued after a month for a while.

It is also said that rosemary can remarkably improve mental alertness enabling a person to concentrate for a longer time. This helps the person to perform more effectively without spending too much time on their work.

Another popular way of using rosemary for memory is its essential oil. Rosemary essential oil has been used in aromatherapy for a long time due to its pain-relieving as well as its memory-enhancing properties. Studies were conducted to understand how the aroma of rosemary influences cognitive function. Under a study, an office room was infused with the aroma of rosemary, and workers were asked to carry on with their work as usual. Later that day while analyzing the workers’ performances it was found that they had performed better and were able to complete their work on time. Another study was conducted on school students where some of the students were asked to sit in a room infused with rosemary aroma while others were asked to sit in a normal room. Later on, it was noticed that students who sat in the room with rosemary aroma performed better as compared to the other one. Although these studies highlight the memory-enhancing properties of rosemary aroma however they are not enough to reach a strong conclusion as the studies involved only a few people and are not backed by science.

One published study found that when rosemary oil is used in aromatherapy for people suffering from brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, the properties of rosemary can help them in reducing the symptoms and preventing the disease.

Rosemary oil is a great stress buster for people going through stressful situations as chronic stress can also affect your mental health adversely. Hence, the use of rosemary oil can help you in preventing such situations. The topical application of rosemary oil on the neck region and the sides of the head can help you to feel relaxed and refreshed at the same time. One can also inhale the scent from the bottle to boost their mind. Since rosemary is used in various forms to enhance your memory and cognition. People also experimented with rosemary water. One study was conducted where some people drank around 300 milliliters of rosemary water while others had drinking water. Later on, it was found that people who had rosemary water performed a little better in their cognitive tasks. However, not much improvement was noticed.

Why Rosemary might be Beneficial for the Brain

Although science has little to offer regarding the link between rosemary and the brain, however, the studies conducted so far have shown mostly positive results. Rosemary is high in antioxidants and also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can heal the damage done by the free radicals. This can help in stimulating the brain and enhancing its memory. It also helps with stress and anxiety by managing the levels of stress hormones. To maintain good mental health it is vital to manage stress and anxiety. A diffuser or a spray can be used to spread the aroma around to relax and calm your mind. Some ingredients of rosemary are said to influence brain performance in a way similar to that of medications used to treat brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It helps in increasing the main neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine that is necessary for various body functions. Inhalation is considered to be the best way to consume medicine to make sure it reaches the brain. As, if the medicine is swallowed it goes through the digestion process under which there are chances of it not being able to reach the brain as the medicine might be consumed by the gut. Hence, inhalation is given more preference. In a study, it was seen that when rosemary oil was inhaled there were more chances of it reaching the brain. To prove the same researchers took the blood samples of the people and confirmed that compounds present in rosemary oil were also found in the blood samples. Though this research alone is not sufficient to conclude that inhalation of rosemary oil can help with memory, however, it can be considered as a breakthrough as it may help in the development of medicines that can treat brain diseases like dementia. It can also contribute to an improved understanding of rosemary and its effects on memory and cognitive functions.

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