Rosemary For Our Brain Health

Rosemary is well-known for its culinary and aromatic uses. It is a popular evergreen shrub that is high in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial compounds that may give potential health benefits to our body (1). Its leaves can be eaten fresh or dried, and it is popularly consumed as tea or infused oil.

Studies About Rosemary And Brain Health

Rosemary contains a beneficial ingredient called carnosic acid, which can fight off damage by free radicals in the brain. There are even studies suggesting that the herb may help prevent brain aging, may improve a person’s concentration, performance, speed, and accuracy, and, to a lesser extent, their mood (2).

Moreover, it was found that rosemary extract may improve mood by promoting a healthy balance of gut bacteria and reducing inflammation in the hippocampus, the part of our brain associated with learning, emotions, and memories (1,3).

In a study, participants performed visual processing tasks and serial subtraction tasks while exposed to the aroma of rosemary.  Results showed that higher amounts of the rosemary aroma increased both their speed and accuracy in the task (4).

Furthermore, experts performed a study involving 53 students who were between 13 and 15 years old. At the end of the study, they found out that the students’ memory of images and numbers improved when the essential oil of rosemary was sprayed in the room (5).

In a study participated by 80 adults, results demonstrated that those who drank 250 milliliters of rosemary water demonstrated a small improvement in cognitive functioning as compared to those who consumed mineral water (6).

What’s more? Experts have found that there was a significantly improved memory in older adults who consumed a low dose, but not a higher dose, of dried rosemary powder (7).

How we can include more rosemary in your diet? Here are some of the few ideas we can follow (8):

  1. Sprinkle sprigs of rosemary over chicken, beef, or pork dishes.
  2. Boil fresh rosemary leaves with water to make rosemary tea.
  3. Add rosemary to roasted vegetables while cooking.
  4. Use fresh or dried rosemary as a pairing with pasta dishes.
  5. Mix rosemary into your butter and spread it over bread.
  6. Add sprigs of rosemary to lemonade for a refreshing take on a classic beverage.

Sources:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rosemary-tea
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266370
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3700080/
  4. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2045125312436573
  5. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1016/j.ejbas.2017.04.002
  6. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0269881118798339
  7. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jmf.2011.0005
  8. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-rosemary

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