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Rosemary Boosts Brain Power

Have you added rosemary to any dishes lately? This delicious herb not only helps make your food taste fresher, but also has some incredible health properties.

Studies have shown that taking rosemary can stimulate your immune system, increase blood circulation throughout your body, and even improve digestion. Now, a new study suggests that even just smelling rosemary can boost your brain function.

Small, but Promising Study

Scientists placed 20 healthy participants with no prior medical conditions in a space where rosemary essential oil was being diffused. After inhaling the scent, each participant was given a series of tests that measured mental speed, mood, and accuracy. As a final metric, blood samples were taken from each participant. What the scientists found was that the rosemary essential oil known as 1,8-cineole was present, and higher levels of 1,8-cineole correlated with better performance on the cognitive tests.

The detection of 1,8-cineole is crucial, since this is the first study of its kind that measured what is considered a key component and adds credibility to the entire aromatherapy industry. It shows that compounds in the air can make their way into your system, penetrate through your sinus, lungs, and blood stream, and provide measureable benefits.

Why Does Rosemary Improve Memory Function?

It is believed that the compounds in rosemary and other herbs such as lavender, sage, eucalyptus, and lemon balm are related. These compounds inhibit an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine levels in the brain. Interestingly, acetylcholine is linked directly to memory and cognition; preventing acetylcholine from being broken down will keep your mind and memory sharp.

While the results look promising, more research is undoubtedly needed. Future studies may include more people, or perhaps the cineol compound will be isolated and be able to be ingested in capsule form. Until then, including rosemary more often in your dishes may be a great way to improve your mind.

In the accompanying audio segment, Dr. Mike shares how rosemary can boost your brain and why you should always have it handy in your kitchen.

Alonso is a long-time health and wellness advocate who loves to write about it. His writing spans the scope of blogs, educational magazines, and books, both on and offline.