Scientists Discover Herb that Increases Memory by 75%

Nature Oils

A study has shown that certain herbs can increase memory.  While this study may have only had 66 participants, it did take place over a ten-year period and had achieved some remarkable results. I understand that this may be one of the only long-term studies we have on memory and herbs.  This study was initially carried out to look at Dementia, but I am looking at it regarding Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD’s).

This study has shown that the simple herb, Rosemary, which is well known to most people who have a kitchen or own a cottage garden, that sniffing rosemary can increase the memory by up to a whopping 75%.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I certainly could have done with that help in my exams, and if I had children taking them, I would certainly want to give them an edge too, so I believe this study should be taken very seriously.

The scientists used, the herb rosemary, which many of us know is used, not just for cooking but medicinal uses too.  This herb was used throughout history, and the ancient Greeks often wore rosemary sprigs in their hair for their exams (you can see statues showing this).  Now, okay, I hear you say, my son, daughter, won’t go that far, and I have to agree with you there, but they obviously don’t have to do that.  What they can do though, is what many of our parents did years ago if you couldn’t sleep or were anxious, is get (or make) a small lavender bag and put rosemary in it instead, and put it in their top pocket.  Or, put some essential oil in a roller perfume ball, and they can put it on them a couple of times a day.  If they resist, just remind them that if it increases the memory by 75%, then that’s worth quite a few extra points, so I’d put anything on if it were me!  Anyway, if it was good enough for Shakespeare, (he mentions the benefits of rosemary in ‘Hamlet’) then it should be good enough for them!

The study was carried out by [i]Dr. Mark Moss, and his team of researchers and conducted at Northumbria University, Newcastle between 2003 and 2013.  It involved 66 people who were separated into two rooms; one room had rosemary-scent in, and the other room was ‘scent free.’  The people participated in lots of different tasks which would determine later whether if you were in the place with the rosemary, you would score better.  The tests involved, many complicated tasks, including; processing information, subtraction exercises, remembering events, recalling information and many more complex tasks.

The results were outstanding – all participants in the room with the rosemary significantly incOils used in massagereased their memory scores by up to 60 to 75% over the other participants.

It appears that smelling rosemary led to the participants performing better on the tasks and improving their cognitive-boosting abilities, thus improving the quality of their overall memory.

The team noticed another remarkable thing that was not present in previous trials; when blood samples were analysed from all the participants, the ones that had been in the rosemary-scented room had detectable levels of a compound which is in rosemary. The levels mean that the chemicals in rosemary had been absorbed into the bloodstream, via the nerve in the nose, which could have effects on brain functioning.

There are many ways to use Rosemary

Plants – I use rosemary every day at home, I have a plant in the kitchen, which my husband uses in cooking.  However, now, after reading this, I am going to get another one for the study (it might help me remember things a little better).  I must ask my two grown-up children if they would like one as well!

Essential Oil – You need a good quality essential oil.  Make sure you buy from a reputable dealer.  It may be a little dearer, but you know where it comes from and as you only use a few drops and it lasts for ages and ages, it doesn’t really cost that much at the end of the day.  When you have got your oil, you will need a:

Diffuser – I also use rosemary in an essential oil diffuser in the lounge, because it makes the room smell quite lovely. I have to admit, I usually use Lavender oil in it more than rosemary, because I like the smell better for the lounge and that also helps with memory – gosh you would think I would be ‘Brain or Britain’, wouldn’t you?

Perfume Roll-On – You can buy an empty ‘Perfume Roll-On’ tube on Ebay, (or use one that you have finished), make a mix up of a carrier oil, (such as, jojoba or coconut oil) and Rosemary oil.  You can find one on Pinterest or similar advising what strength to make up.  Never use pure essential oil and be extra careful with young children.

Decorative Tin – Again, as the ‘Roll-On’ above, buy spare tins and make your mix.  You cannot use plastic containers for essential oils unless it explicitly says so.


[i] Dr. Mark Moss, Northumbria University, November 30, 2016


Sources: 16 October 2016

Good Morning Center November 2016

Further information is available on various media or YouTube.