Scientists at Northumbria University in Newcastle have uncovered an outstanding benefit of an essential oil (and herb that may be in your garden!). While three separate groups are doing different activities over a course of eight weeks to determine the effects on memory, the team decided to do a quick study for faster results.
The scientists had three sets of volunteers in three separate rooms. In one room, lavender essential oil was being diffused. In another, rosemary essential oil, and in the third, no essential oils were being diffused. Subjects may have asked about the aroma in the room, but those leading the tests disregarded their comments, suggesting the scent was leftover from the previous group of people in the room. After a series of memory tests, results showed that Rosemary Essential Oil allowed for better memory!
“It turns out that there are compounds in rosemary oil that may be responsible for changes in memory performance. One of them is called 1,8-cineole … it may act in the same way as the drugs licensed to treat dementia, causing an increase in a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.
The effects were measurable but modest and they give us a clue that further research into some of the chemicals in essential oils may yield therapeutics and contribute to our understanding of memory and brain function.”