Rosemary for Improved Memory, Focus and “Calm”

rosemaryRosemary is one of my favorite spices to use in spicing a slow-cooked roast, chicken, or potatoes.  It lends a savory flavor, and it is undeniably pleasant to smell that scent wafting from your oven or stove top while it’s flavoring your food.  But what about the health benefits of rosemary?

We use rosemary essential oil in our natural shine enhancing shampoo for its powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, which make it excellent for battling dandruff, itchy scalp, and buildup of oils, fungal growth and bacteria that can cause eczema and dandruff.  It is also known as a hair growth agent.

Rosemary Benefits Your Mood, Brain Function and Memory

There is compelling proof that rosemary is beneficial not only a valuable topical remedy for skin, hair and scalp, but also this moderately priced and abundantly available spice can have pretty amazing effects on brain activity.  Recent studies over the past several years have shown that inhaling the scent of rosemary is correlated with a significant increase in correlative memory.

Study subjects in a group that was exposed to rosemary scent retained significantly more information given during a memory test than those that were not exposed to the scent.  The thought is that either the distinct scent itself helped reinforce the object or piece of information the subject was trying to remember by way of stimulation, or a specific chemical released by rosemary actually stimulated certain parts of the brain related to memory.

It could also be a combination of both.

Rosemary Mental Health Benefits : Anxiety Reduction and Rosemary

Studies have shown that the presence of rosemary scent, when inhaled by the subject, can reduce the levels of cortisol in the blood. Cortisol is the hormone released when we are under stress. Of course, some of this hormone is necessary if we are to productive, and its natural for humans to feel stress every once in a while, but it can also be destructive and counterproductive when it is at high concentrations for a sustained period of time.

Test subjects that were exposed to a combination of lavender and rosemary before taking a high stress and high stakes test reported lower levels of anxiety and showed these lower levels of the stress hormone.

The relationship of rosemary to a reduction in stress response may also explain its ability to help subjects memorize things better.  If you think about the correlation between a relaxed state of mind and the ability to focus, concentrate and memorize in your own experience, I’m sure you can conclude that a more relaxed mind is a more effective and efficient mind as well.




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