Need a Quick Brain Boost? Science Says Do This
Yes, just smelling rosemary might do the trick.
Healthy volunteers who took a sniff of 1,8-cineole — one of the main chemical components of rosemary — scored better on an arithmetic test than people who didn’t. In fact, the higher the participants’ blood levels of 1,8-cineole, the better their speed and accuracy on the tests.
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Interestingly, the study participants didn’t know that the smell of rosemary had anything to do with the study — they were told the smell was “left over” from the previous research conducted in the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre at Northumbria University in the UK.
If you want to try out rosemary for more brain power, how long should you sniff? Well, the cubicles where the study was conducted were infused with rosemary, so you may want to use an aromatherapy diffuser. The participants smelled the scent for either 4, 6, 8 or 10 minutes before the test; and, as pointed out earlier, the higher their blood levels, the better they did.
A researcher commenting on the study noted that 1,8-cineole has the power to inhibit an enzyme that plays a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Even better is that not only did the rosemary make some of the participants smarter, it also made them feel more content. The intriguing possibility: “Positive mood can improve performance, whereas aroused mood cannot,” said one of the researchers.
As I’ve always said, when you feel good, you’re more likely to do good!
“Plasma 1,8-cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to rosemary essential oil aroma,” Moss, M, Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, Published online before print February 24, 2012.
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Dr. Teitelbaum is the Medical Director of the National Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and author of the best-selling books, From Fatigued to Fantastic!, Beat Sugar Addiction Now! and Pain Free 1-2-3. He has also authored several landmark scientific studies. Dr. Teitelbaum has firsthand experience with CFS and Fibromyalgia — he battled the condition when he was in medical school and had to drop out for a year to recover. Since then, he has dedicated his career to developing effective strategies to treat these conditions and educating the millions of people who need help.
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