In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet’s lover Ophelia becomes unhinged. When she makes her final appearance of the play, she hands her brother Laertes sprigs of fresh rosemary, saying, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray, love, remember.”
Rosemary has long been thought to have memory-boosting properties, and now modern science is backing up this theory. In a study presented recently to the British Psychological Society, researchers found that children in a room scented with rosemary did significantly better on memory tasks than those who didn’t get a whiff of the herb. These findings line up with an earlier study the team did that found when adults were exposed to higher concentrations of rosemary aroma, they performed better on cognitive tests. Scientists think a compound called 1,8-cineole found in the plant might help boost an important neurotransmitter in the brain.
If you want to see if you benefit from this aromatic herb, you can make rosemary oil by adding a sprig of rosemary to a bottle of olive oil. Use on salads and chicken. Or grow a houseplant or outdoor bush and enjoy the fragrance. Or get an aromatherapy diffuser and use only an essential oil (no phthalates, please). However, pure rosemary essential oil should be used carefully on or in you. If applying topically, first dilute in a carrier oil to avoid skin irritation. Pregnant and breastfeeding? No essential rosemary oil for you. And never ingest it! Dr. Mike’s Wellness Center at the Cleveland Clinic says: “Although its common use as an herb suggests low toxicity, rosemary has not undergone comprehensive safety testing. The essential oil can be toxic if taken internally, even at low doses…”
Republished with permission from Drs. Oz and Roizen -- the YOU! Docs