Rosemary Benefits for Brain Function In Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5, Ophelia notes that rosemary is a memorable an idea that dates back at least a few thousand years, to the time of the ancient Greeks who claimed that rosemary soothes the brain, sharpens understanding, restores memory loss and wakes the mind.
After all, plants can be considered small chemical plants, that produce all kinds of ingredients, which may have neuroprotective benefits. So, let’s eliminate processed foods, to eat a lot of phytonutrient rich whole plant foods, including, perhaps, a variety of herbs. Even the smell of some herbs can affect how our brains work.
Unfortunately, I found that much of the literature on aromatherapy is scientifically unsatisfactory with studies like this, which offers subjective impressions; and so, well, inhaling from an herbal sachet it’s really easy, cheap and safe, but is it effective?
They did not compare the results of the study or something. Even when there is a control group, where researchers made people do a series of experiments in a room that smells like rosemary, lavender or nothing and even when comparing the results, the lavender seemed to amuse them; impaired their performance, while the rosemary group seems to be doing better.
But maybe it’s just because of the mood effect. Maybe the rosemary group did better just because the smell somehow lifted them? And it doesn’t have to be a positive direction, can it somehow be overstimulated in some cases?
Now, there are studies that measure people’s brain waves and could relate the results of the electroencephalogram with mood and performance changes, along with objective changes in levels of stress hormones, but is it all just because good smells improve people’s mood? Like if you create an aroma of artificial rosemary with a bunch of chemicals that have nothing to do with the rosemary plant, will it have the same effect again?
We didn’t know until now. Aromatic herbs do have volatile ingredients, which can theoretically enter the bloodstream through the mucous membrane of the nose or lungs and then eventually get into the brain and have direct consequences, but here is the first study to test this.
Made people solve math problems in one cabin, filled with the aroma of rosemary. So, yes, they got the same productivity improvement, but for the first time, that how much better they performed is related to quantity rosemary that came to their blood, only while in the room. So, not only did it show that it was absorbed, but also that such natural aromatic plant compounds they may play a direct role in changes in brain activity.
If this is only achieved by smelling, what about eating rosemary? We have vigilance and recognition studies and reduced levels of stress hormones by inhalation of rosemary. However, there have been no clinical studies on cognitive performance after ingestion of rosemary – so far.
Older people, average age 75, are given two glasses of tomato juice, or with nothing in it, or half a teaspoon of rosemary powder, which is something that a person would use in a typical recipe, or one teaspoonful, two teaspoons or more than one tablespoon dried rosemary and even gave them placebo pills together to eliminate possible placebo effects.
Memory speed may be useful as an indicator of cognitive function in aging and what they found was that small dose has the beneficial effect of speeding up the processing speed of memory, but the highest dose impairs the processing speed, maybe because half a teaspoon improves alertness, while a dose of 4 teaspoons reduce alertness.
So rosemary powder in a dose close to normal for culinary consumption has a positive effect on memory speed: the unchanging message is that no longer necessarily means better, do not take high doses of herbal supplements / extracts / tinctures, just cooking with spices is enough.
No, doubt for the pleasure of the spice company that sponsored this study. No side effects have been reported, but that doesn’t mean that you can eat the whole bush. This poor man swallowed a sprig of rosemary, that punctured his stomach and went into his liver, causing an abscess from which 2 cups of pus were removed and a 5 cm twig. These are all rosemary benefits.
So, use herbs and spices in your cooking only. Leave the branches; do not use them.
As found on Youtube