There are compounds in Rosemary oil that help with memory retention: 1,8-cineole found naturally in Rosemary aroma causes an increase in the activity of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.
This is nothing new – scholars in ancient Greece were known to wear wreaths of rosemary around their brow to improve recall while taking exams. Shakespeare’s Ophelia petitions Hamlet with, “There’s rosemary- that’s for remembrance, pray you, love, remember.”
Rosemary aroma is being increasingly researched and implemented with both the young and old, and its use as an all-natural, safe and drug-free cognitive supporter is becoming more accepted and widespread globally.
Journal: Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology
Authors: Mark Moss and Lorraine Oliver
Summary (1min read): Rosemary has positive effects on speed and accuracy of simple arithmetic tasks with twenty healthy volunteers (12women, 8men). The volunteers were tasked to perform ‘serial threes subtraction’ and ‘serial sevens subtraction’ where they subtract 3 from 800 and subtract 7 from 999. Their results show that the number of correct responses is higher and also faster reaction times with no speed-accuracy trade off.
Method: 20 healthy volunteers (12women, 8men), with an average age of 23 years old, performed serial subtraction and visual information processing tasks in a cubicle diffused with rosemary aroma. Mood assessments were done before and after the session while venous blood samples were taken at the end of the session to ascertain concentration of 1,8-cineole (one of the volatile organic compounds in rosemary)
Results: Analysis of the results show that volunteers got 0.47 and 0.43 more serial 3s and serial 7s questions correct and did it in 0.50 seconds and 0.47 seconds faster for serial 3s and serial 7s subtractions.
The article also referenced to other literature which also indicates the positive benefits of rosemary to cognitive performance and mood.