Rosemary aroma may help older adults to improve memory

| Saturday, April 30, 2016 - 11:45
First Published |

Being in a rosemary-scented room could improve memory by 15 per cent

Washington: A new study has shown that sniffing the aroma of rosemary essential oil could help elderly people to improve their brain power about remember things. Researchers at Northumbria University have found that merely being in a rosemary-scented room could improve memory by 15% among older people.

Postgraduate student Lauren Bussey said that the study focused on prospective memory involves the ability to remember events that will occur in the future and to remember to complete tasks at particular times.

A total of 150 people aged over 65 took part in the study and were randomly allocated to either the rosemary or lavender-scented room or another room with no scent.

Once the senior participants entered their respective rooms, they undertook tests designed to assess their prospective memory functions. They were then asked to pass on a message at a given time during the procedure, and to swap tasks at a specific time, to test their memory.

After analysing the collected data, the academics found that elderly people in the rosemary room performed far better on the memory tests than their counterparts in other two rooms.

Participants also completed mood assessment before and after undertaking tests in the scented or non-scented rooms.

Analysis of the results also showed that the rosemary aroma significantly increased alertness and lavender markedly increased calmness and contentedness in seniors, compared to those in the non-scented rooms.

Bussey noted that further investigation is required to understand the potential benefits of these aromas throughout the life span.

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