Sniffing Rosemary Can Increase Memory by 75%, Study Finds

Some people go to great lengths to help themselves remember important tasks or information, whether it’s memory-training drills, memory-enhancing drugs, or mountains of calendars and to-do lists. While technology has given us many tools to rely on, most of these don’t actually train your brain to remember better. Instead, it makes it easier to forget, knowing very well that these tools will store information without having to use our brains to do the work.

And yet, there is a better solution, and it starts within your pantry.

Rosemary For Remembrance

Rosemary has been used for millennia to increase alertness and enhance long-term memory. In fact, there are accounts of its use in the Universities of Ancient Greece. Even Shakespeare refers to its abilities in his play “Hamlet”.

Back in 2003, Researchers at Northumbria University, Newcastle showed that smelling rosemary is linked with “an enhancement of performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors”.

Fast forward to 2012, the researchers are finally able to scientifically explain the cognitive-boosting abilities of the herb. This is what they discovered…

The new study followed twenty people as they performed subtraction exercises as well as visual information processing tasks and other tests. Their mood was also assessed before and after being exposed to the scent of rosemary in their workstations and blood samples were drawn.

Altogether, 66 people took part in the study and were randomly assigned to either the rosemary-scented room or another room with no scent.

The results showed that participants in the rosemary-scented room performed 60-75% better on remembering events completing tasks at particular times as well as recalling things faster than the participants in the room with no scent.  So it definitely demonstrates an increased memory for many people.

Traces of Rosemary Compound Found In Blood

Researchers also found that the blood of participants exposed to the rosemary-scented room had detectable levels of 1,8-cineole, an active compound found in rosemary. The more 1,8-cineole they absorbed in their bloodstream, the more positive their results were.


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