There is no doubt Rosemary is one of the most popular herbs used both in cooking and in herbal medicine. In fact, this herb has a long tradition of thousands of years in culinary practices and natural medicine worldwide.
In the period between the Elizabethan era and early Romantic period period, rosemary was considered as the grass of memory. In addition, it has long been used as a symbol for remembrance during weddings, war commemorations and funerals in Europe and Australia.
One of the first associations with rosemary is its unique smell due to which, this herb is often done in a kind of herbal-amulet, then placed under the pillow, or used in bouquets. In the past it was believed that the use of rosemary in these forms not only protects against bad dreams, but also the increased memory.
effects of rosemary in memory even have been scientifically proven. A 2003 study by Moss, Cook, Wesnes and Duckett found that inhaling rosemary essential oil significantly improves the primary and secondary memory in study participants.
A 2012 study examining the effects of rosemary in memory function included 28 elderly (mean 75 years). The study confirmed that powdered dried rosemary leaves improved cognitive performance in participants.
A separate study by Mark Moss and Lorraine Oliver at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle revealed that 1,8-cineole, a compound found in rosemary, is the substance that triggers cognitive and mood improvements. Other studies by the same group of researchers found that the diffusion of rosemary essential oil could lead to improvements in memory of up to 75%.
This is how scientists explain the relationship between the scent of rosemary and improved memory: “ volatile compounds (eg, terpenes) can enter the bloodstream through the nasal mucosa or lung. the terpenes are small organic molecules that can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and therefore may have direct effects on the brain, acting on the receptor sites or enzyme systems . “
Terpenes are strong odor substances of essential oils that provide a range of different natural flavors. Studies have found that 1,8-cineol enters the bloodstream after inhalation or ingestion.
On the positive side, rosemary is very easy to grow and provides an abundant supply throughout the year (rosemary is evergreen!). Therefore, plant some in a pot or two and enjoy the scent of rosemary all around your home. Or you can plant a few bushes of rosemary in her garden and cut springs from time to time for the incredible health benefits.