The Effectiveness of Rosemary to Prevent Cognitive Decline
Rosemary oil is a stimulating essential oil. Known for being a memory booster, rosemary essential oil is used to prevent cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Alzheimer’s is a neurological condition characterized by progressive memory loss and declination of cognitive functions. Nearly 25% of people over the age of 80 have these symptoms. According to recent studies and a work published by Mark MOSS (1), rosemary proves to play an important role in maintaining cognitive functions such as concentration, memory, and attention.
Rosemary: A Remedy That Has Already Proven Itself
Over the ages, Rosmarinus Officinalis has been well-known in Provence, France and in neighboring regions. Even Hippocrates often prescribed rosemary for its effects, and scholars in ancient Greece often put sprigs of rosemary in their hair. William Shakespeare also mentioned that rosemary was helpful for memory (Hamlet -Act 4, Scene V- there’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance).
Recent work suggests that rosemary helps concentration problems and helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases. Studies show that Rosmarinic acid has protective effects on animal cells that were exposed to toxic effects of a beta-amyloid injection.
How does Rosemary Essential Oil Affect Memory?
A clinical study suggests that Rosmarinic acid enhances short and long-term memory. An article published in 2012 in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology (1), shows that inhaling Rosemary essential oils promotes cognitive functions.
The revolutionary research led by Mark Moss (1,2) of the University of Northumbria (Newcastle, England) proved the importance of using Rosemary essential oils to improve cognitive functions. For this study, twenty healthy volunteers were placed in separate rooms and Rosemary essential oils were diffused repeatedly at different concentrations. A strong correlation was found in neuropsychological tests that memory improved with volunteers that had 1.8-cineole in their blood stream, a substance found in Rosemary.
Cognitive performance was also correlated with the amount of 1.8-cineole that is absorbed in the blood. The fact that this substance diffuses volatile compounds with memory-linked properties (of anticholinesterase activity) proves its effectiveness on the body.
Aroma Therapeutics also collaborates with Dr. Mark Moss to identifying brain mechanisms. This work demonstrates the memory correlated activity of diffusing Rosemary essential oils (3).
This information in this article does not replace the instructions of a doctor. Essential oils are not recommended for pregnant women or children under 6.
(1) Plasma 1,8-Cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to rosemary essential oil aroma. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2012 Jun; 2 (3): 103-13. doi: 10.1177 / 2045125312436573
- Int J Neurosci. 2003 Jan; 113 (1): 15-38 Aromas de rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults.
- European Phytotherapy Review, March-April 2013, 6-7