Drinking rosemary-infused water boosts your memory and ‘turbo charges’ the brain, new research has revealed.
Scientists tested the effects of drinking a small glass of Rosemary Water.
They found the herb, which can be bought in supermarkets, improves a person’s ability to recall the past by up to 15 per cent.
The herb contains essential oils that are thought to boost blood flow through the brain, according to researchers at Northumbria University.
Dr Mark Moss, lead author, said: ‘I’d say that the drink acts like a turbo charger for the brain.’
‘The results of this research show there are statistically reliable improvements in memory function thanks to the ingestion of Rosemary Water.’
For the research, 80 healthy volunteers drank either 250ml of No1 Rosemary Water or plain water.
No1 Rosemary Water contains aromas and extracts of the herb. Its manufacturers sponsored the study.
Twenty minutes after consuming their respective drinks, the participants completed a series of cognitive tasks.
These included them being shown 15 words on a screen in as many seconds before being asked to recall as many as they could in one minute.
Brain images were also taken to measure the amount of oxygen in the participants’ blood.
This was used to assess how efficiently the participants used up the energy required for the tasks.
Rosemary water was found to be as good at helping participants recall words as smelling the herb’s aroma, which was tested in previous studies.
However, it is not as effective as taking a combination of sage, rosemary and lemon balm, the scientists added.
Results further showed the participants’ blood oxygen levels decreased after they drank rosemary water.
This is thought to be due to cognitive tasks increasing the demand for ‘fuel’.
The study was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
Rosemary is thought to boost a person’s memory due to it containing the compound eucalyptol, found in many plant essential oils.
Eucalyptol may increase levels of nitric oxide, which boosts blood flow through the brain.
Smelling rosemary likely enhances a person’s memory much more than consuming it by avoiding digestion.
Shakespeare wrote that rosemary helps remembrance in Hamlet. But the author wasn’t the only one who knew of its benefits.
Students in ancient Greece reportedly wore garlands of the herb around their heads during exams to enhance their memories.
The British botanist Nicholas Culpeper also described the herb as ‘an admirable cure-all remedy of all kinds of cold, loss of memory, headache, coma’ in his 1826 book Complete Herbal.