Are you looking for an all-natural memory aid to help you focus while studying and do better on your upcoming exams? Research shows that inhaling Rosemary essential oil can help to improve your memory by 75% or more. This does not come as news to some people as Rosemary has been known as a homeopathic trick to boost brain power for centuries.
Scientifically there are three types of memories – past memories, present memories (i.e. short-term memory), and as Dr. Chris Van Tulleken calls it ‘remembering to remember.’ This is knowing what to keep locked in your memory bank as the event is happening. Which can be a challenge for most of us.
Whilst there are numerous examples of people who have honed their powers to commit the order of playing cards, Pi, and even new languages to memory. Remembering to remember is much more complicated and modern medicine has offered some help.
Professor Mark Moss and his team of researchers at Northumbria University in Newcastle, England has been investigating the benefits of using Rosemary essential oils to improve memory. After all, Ophelia immortalized the use of Rosemary for remembrance in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
‘There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray/ Love, remember: and there is pansies. that’s for thoughts… There’s fennel for you, and columbines: there’s rue/ For you; and here’s some for me: we may call it/ Herb-grace o’ Sundays: O you must wear your rue with/ A difference.’ (Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5).
Aromatherapists have relied on Rosemary for years. According to Marc J. Gian, L. of the International Association of Aromatherapists, Rosemary ‘enters the Ying level, the level of self or “I.” This is the place where we can begin working with Emotions, Blood and Internal Qi.’ To prove the effects of Rosemary on memory, Professor Moss recruited 60 volunteers to undertake a series of tests. These included memory games, assembling puzzles, as well as other word games. The results were remarkable. Volunteers in the room with Rosemary infusion performed significantly better than their counterparts.
Further research indicated the use of Rosemary was the main reason behind the volunteer’s increased brain power. It turns out inhalation of Rosemary may be directly responsible for increasing memory. This has to do with the 1.8 cineole, and Professor Moss believe this acts in the same way as dementia drugs by stimulating the neurotransmitters called acetylcholine. Specifically, these cineoles improve the neurotransmitters performance by keeping them from breaking down.
It has long been known that inhalation of essential oils such as Rosemary can help stimulate brain activity. The reason is that therapeutic-grade essential oils are smaller than drug compounds, and thus have more success in crossing the blood-brain barrier. Generally speaking, essential oil nanoparticles are smaller than 50 nm.
However, Professor Moss found something even more surprising – trace elements of the natural compounds found in Rosemary essential oils in the blood. This could have massive implications for boosting brain power as inhalation of Rosemary essential oils not only have an immediate effect, but their presence in the blood stream and the ease at which the compounds found in essential oils can pass through the blood-brain barrier may deliver ongoing memory boosting effects.
Another study published in a 2012 edition of Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology indicated that Rosemary essential oils also helped to improve speed and accuracy when performing mental tasks – such as taking an exam.
These two studies add to the growing mountain evidence that traditional treatments deliver real benefits faster and better than expensive, and often toxic, ‘modern’ treatments such as drugs. Highlighting what Shakespeare and the Ancient Greeks and Romans already knew, but modern medicine forgot.
Furthermore, the stimulation of mental activity helps to battle depression and mental fatigue. The use of Rosemary essential oils can improve your outlook, relieving boredom and helping you to pay closer attention to what is going on around you.
Another study shows the impact of using Rosemary essential oil during exams. This study involved almost 150 test takers who inhaled Rosemary essential oil during an exam. The result was significantly improved brain power, as indicated by the time it took for the participants to take the exam as well as an overall increase in the average test scores of the participants compared to those who did not take Rosemary.
Besides its memory boosting powers, Rosemary essential oils are used in cooking, as a moth repellent, and in many traditional remedies for coughs, sore throats, and even to treat the discomfort of cystitis. However, this is just the beginning. Rosemary essential oils can also treat stomach ailments such as indigestion, cramps and constipation. It is also used for hair care, which helps to stimulate hair follicles and fight hair loss. It can also be used in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and other skin care lotions. As such, Rosemary is useful for its flexibility.
So try some Rosemary and find a quiet place to study. You will find that your focus and mental endurance may improve. If you are about to sit for an exam, inhale some Rosemary just before, or even better bring some with you. It will increase your mental powers including recall and concentration, which may lead to better results.