The Rosemary Series – #1 Memory

Do you have trouble remembering everything you read about an herb? There’s so much to learn about Rosemary. I was just about to write a long article on it when I stumbled across a brilliant suggestion – serve up little bite-sized nuggets instead. So much easier to write, and to remember!

So we’re going to try this out. I’ll post regular short memory nuggets about Rosemary. If you follow along you’ll probably learn a lot more than by eating the whole meal at once. Just try to digest one nugget at a time! I’ll also add a photo that can easily be shared containing the main points. Please let me know if you like this idea and share your own thoughts and experiences to round it out a bit more.

Rosemary Memory (1)

Long known as an aid to memory, researchers have started conducting clinical trials to find out if its true. The short answer is, yes, it’s true. Not only does it aid memory but is considered a potential therapeutic agent to prevent and treat dementia. It helps with focus and improves both short and long term memory while lifting the spirit (an added flavor).

One randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, repeated-measures crossover study titled, Short-term study on the effects of rosemary on cognitive function in an elderly population , with men over age 75  doses of dried Rosemary leaf that approximated what would be taken as part of the diet at near normal levels (750 mg) improved speed of memory but high doses impaired memory! So the take home is, if you skip a day of using the herb in cuisine, a cup of Rosemary tea or standard doses of tincture would keep the old brain cells lively.

An animal study sheds some light on the biochemistry behind Rosemary’s effects and concludes;

Rosemary, as part of a diet and medication can be a valuable proposal for the prevention and treatment of dementia…

The study suggests that RE [Rosemary Extract] led to improved long-term memory in rats, which can be partially explained by its inhibition of AChE activity in rat brain.




So we’ve seen positive results with Rosemary leaf and the extract, what about the essential oil?

This study compared Lavender and Rosemary essential oils. Both oils produced objective effects on mood and cognition. While Lavender improved mood, it flunked in the tests for improving working memory and it impaired reaction times for both memory and attention based tasks. Rosemary, on the other hand, “produced a significant enhancement of performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors.” In this study speed of memory for the Rosemary group wasn’t as good as for the controls. If you want to experiment with this make yourself a Rosemary Memory Stick. Put some rock salt in a very small bottle that’s comfortable to hold up to your nose. Add about 20 drops of therapeutic grade Rosemary essential oil to it. Shake it. When you need a mental boost, inhale the aroma from this special bottle for about 3 minutes. Let us know how it works for you!


About dcoda

An herbalist for over 40 years, ten years spent alone in the Ozark Hurricane Creek Wilderness Preserve, working with its brilliant botanicals. I'm an instructor and co-founder of the Ozark Herbal Academy which offers training in medicinal and edible plants through hands-on workshops and online courses.

Posted on November 8, 2014, in Various Useful Plants and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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