I knew there’s a reason why I love walking by a hedge of rosemary, and why I adore roasted potatoes with rosemary! Scientists in the U.K. have uncovered evidence that rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) oil can sharpen your mental abilities. (Shakespeare was right!) Hey, who couldn’t use a little sharpening in that department? I say, if it can help me remember where I put my keys every day then “Gimme some rosemary right now!
According to legend, it was draped around the Greek goddess Aphrodite when she rose from the sea, born of Uranus‘s semen. (Now, that’s a plant with some history!) It’s part of the mint family, and it’s used in gardens, cooking and medicinally. I love a few drops of essential oil in my bath!
While the scientists aren’t sure if it’s the actual “aroma” of the rosemary that helps your brain or if it’s some particle of the plant that enters your bloodstream via your nasal passages when you inhale the invigorating scent, they are sure that rosemary has a positive effect on your cognitive (i.e. brain) function.*
There’s many ways to boost your brain power with this aromatic herb. Of course, you can always buy a bottle of Rosemary Essential Oil, carry it in your purse, and take a big whiff when you’re feeling sluggish. But if you have access to a rosemary bush (go ahead, steal a branch or two from your neighbor!), here are some ways to perk yourself up and sharpen your mind.
4 New Ways to Boost Your Brain Power with Rosemary:
1. Add a few rosemary branches to a bottle of witch hazel. The rosemary will infuse the astringent with a refreshing aroma that you will absolutely LOVE in the morning!
2. Pull the needles off 2 rosemary stalks, chop them, and add them to 2 cups of water. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Whenever you’re tired or have a headache, take one ice cube out and rub it all over your forehead and temples. This will revive you and take your headache away, I promise!
3. Make rosemary-infused salt by adding a sprig or two into some sea salt (I like Maldon Salt) and allow it to infuse the salt over a few days. You don’t need to remove the sprig. Use the salt over an omelet in the morning. Instant delicious wake-up.
4. Grab a few rosemary branches and put them up by your car’s defrost ventilator (which is up near the windshield). Your car will smell heavenly and your morning drive will wake you up.
So there you go! Grab a bunch of rosemary & INHALE today!
*Researchers Mark Moss and Lorraine Oliver at Northumbria University (UK) in 2012.
For more info: Moss M, Oliver L 2012 Plasma 1,8-cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to rosemary essential oil aroma. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology doi: 10.1177/2045125312436573
Moss M, Cook J, Wesnes K et al 2003 Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. International Journal of Neuroscience 113:15-38