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Rosemary and peppermint tea shown to boost memory in adults, reports new study


(NaturalNews) Rosemary has been prized for its medicinal benefits since ancient times. The herb was traditionally used to help ease muscle pain, enhance the immune system and boost memory. Evidence for the health benefits of rosemary isn't limited to ancient wisdom, however. In a recent study, scientists demonstrated that rosemary really is associated with a better memory.

The researchers found that the smell of rosemary helped improve the memory of older adults. In particular, the team discovered that just being in a room with the aroma of rosemary increased memory test scores by 15 percent. The research was presented at the British Psychology Society's annual conference in Nottingham.

While this boost in memory might not seem significant, researchers from the University of Northumbria claim it could mean the difference between remembering and forgetting to take a life-saving drug at a specific time.


As reported by the UK's Telegraph, Dr. Mark Moss, head of the department of psychology at Northumbria, said: "I think that received wisdom through the ages is based on naturalistic observations of behaviour.

"We once had herbalists in every village who would have handed out lavender to sleep or chamomile to calm and their effects would have been documented over centuries and millennia. So I think people in the past did realise that rosemary had an effect on memory.

"My working hypothesis is that when you inhale rosemary its compounds are absorbed in the blood through the lungs and then are sent to the brain where they can actually act on your brain chemistry."

The researchers recruited 150 people over the age of 65 and placed them in a room with either the scent of rosemary or lavender or no smell. Once the participants were inside the room, they were asked to conduct a series of memory tests. These included remembering to pass a message at a particular time and to switch tasks at a specific time.

These tasks helped the researchers gauge the time-based memory and event-based memory of the participants. Time-based memory consists of remembering to do a task at a specific time, such as watching a television program, whereas event-based memory consists of remembering do to something when cued by the appropriate information, such as remembering one needs to return a book upon passing a library.

Participants in the rosemary room performed significantly better on the memory tasks than participants in the other two rooms. According to Lauren Bussey, a post-graduate student at Northumbria University, "This is the first time that similar effects have been demonstrated in the healthy over 65's. Further investigation is required to understand the potential benefits of these aromas throughout the life span."

Putting the pep in peppermint

The researchers also investigated the impact that peppermint tea had on memory in a separate experiment. The team recruited 180 participants who were randomly assigned a drink of either peppermint tea, chamomile tea or hot water.

Following 20 minutes of rest, the participants completed various tests that gauged their memory and other cognitive abilities. Prior to drinking the tea, the participants completed another questionnaire pertaining to their temperament.

The results of the study showed that peppermint tea significantly improved long-term memory, working memory and alertness in comparison to both chamomile and hot water. Chamomile tea, on the other hand, was shown to slow down memory and attention speed, making it an excellent drink to consume before bedtime.

Commenting on the results of the study, Dr. Moss said, "It's interesting to see the contrasting effects on mood and cognition of the two different herbal teas.

"The enhancing and arousing effects of peppermint and the calming/sedative effects of chamomile observed in this study are in keeping with the claimed properties of these herbs and suggest beneficial effects can be drawn from their use."

If you want to learn more about how you can naturally improve your health and quality of life, be sure to check out the Natural Medicine, Healing & Wellness Summit!

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