Want to be smarter? Get a good whiff of rosemary
People are always looking for ways to improve their brains, whether it's with vitamins, exotic potions, or homeopathic herbal concoctions. However, studies have shown that all one needs to do to be smarter is sniff a bit of rosemary.
Rosemary does have several therapeutic properties, but researchers at the University of Northumbria in the UK have shown that the oil that gives the herb its trademark scent actually can make you smarter.
reports that the oil contains 1.8-cineole, the main component of the plant's oil. It is responsible for improved mental speed and accuracy. Researchers had test subjects complete a series of reasoning tests before and after being exposed to the oil. Afterwards, the levels of 1.8-cineole was measured in each subject, and higher levels of the chemical coincided with higher test scores.
The full test results were published in Therapeutic Advances of Psychopharmacology
interviewed Alan Hirsch, MD, the director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago about the new findings. Dr. Hirsch said that the study will take aromatherapy to new levels, claiming, “This opens up the doorway for us to explore other odors and how they affect people."
Dr. Hirsch also suggested that people might want to keep some rosemary on or near their work desk.
is a perennial herb commonly found in the Mediterranean region. Its name is derived from the Latin rosemarinus
, which means "dew of the sea," as rosemary needs only the humidity carried by sea winds to survive.