There’s a reference to rosemary in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, when Ophelia declares: ‘There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance: pray, love, remember.’
Research has found rosemary to contain carnosic acid, which fights off free radical damage to the brain. The natural acids in rosemary aid in protecting the body`s cells and DNA from free radical damage.
The compounds in rosemary are known to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical that induces the brain cells that are responsible for communication and memory.
Several tests were done with rosemary essential oil, and they found that the oil increased the chances of remembering future tasks by 60 – 75%, when compared to people who weren’t exposed to the oil.
The Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology published a study that suggested that the chemical compound 1,8-cineole is the reason why rosemary could improve our memory function. The study included subjects that inhaled rosemary extract before performing certain tasks, while the researchers tested their stress levels, mood, speed and accuracy. The more 1,8-cineole they absorbed in their bloodstream, the more positive their results were.
Rosemary has been linked to memory for a long time, with the most famous literary reference found in Shakespeare’s Hamlet when Ophelia declares: ‘
There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance: pray, love, remember.’ Modern-day herbal medicine uses it as a mild painkiller, and for migraines and digestive problems.