It’s part of the unmistakable “scent-scape” of the holidays. A memory-triggering smell as familiar as pine trees and cinnamon, even if it doesn’t always get the same attention.
Rosemary is a critical ingredient in countless holiday meals. The herb’s aromatic, pine-like scent lends a Christmas flair to chops, rib roasts, turkeys, soups, and stews.
Rosemary even makes an appearance on top of rich, creamy potatoes and hot and flaky bread.
Holiday meals wouldn’t be the same without it. But it turns out this “Christmas herb” isn’t just delicious. It brings some real benefits to the table too.
And once you learn about rosemary’s brain benefits, I’m betting you’ll want to use more of this tasty herb all year round.
Rosemary scent can help you tackle tasks
Here’s the thing about rosemary. You don’t even have to eat it to get some of its benefits.
The herb’s rich pine-like smell ALONE can boost your brainpower.
In one study, researchers randomly divided volunteers into four groups. Everyone sat in a cubicle infused with that delicious scent for 4, 6, 8, or 10 minutes. Then folks were asked to work through a series of challenging math and visual tasks.
The LONGER the volunteers were allowed to breathe in the rosemary scent, the BETTER they performed on the difficult problems.
The folks who sat in the scented cubicles the longest plowed through the tasks at lightning speed and with incredible accuracy.
In a similar study, researchers found spraying a room with rosemary essential oils improved memory in students, allowing them to remember images and numbers more easily.
No professor, I didn’t cheat. I just smelled some ROSEMARY.
Memory recall boosted 15% in just 20 minutes
The benefits aren’t just for the kids, either. Those of us who are a bit longer in the tooth can benefit from rosemary too.
In one study on older adults, a rosemary powder supercharged memory speed. And in another water enhanced with rosemary extract helped some older folks ace memory tests.
The benefits kicked in FAST, too. Both working memory and long-term memory improved by 15 percent… within 20 minutes.
Tests reveal those results aren’t some sort of strange coincidence either. A measurable change can be seen taking place inside the brains of folks taking rosemary.
Here’s how it works: Deep inside the needle-like leaves of the rosemary plant are two potent compounds called 1,8-cineole and rosmarinic acid.
Both of these unique substances appear to boost blood flow to the brain, infusing it with more of the oxygen it needs to convert its favorite fuel source… glucose… into energy.
In other words, rosemary rockets up the energy in your brain, which in turn supercharges your memory. Not bad for a humble herb that costs less than two dollars for a fistful of sprigs.
You can scent your home with some rosemary essential oils. Or even take a supplement. But for my money, nothing beats cooking with it – especially at this time of year.
And as the studies show, rosemary won’t just deliver delicious holiday dishes. It’ll help ensure your meals are MEMORABLE too.