Awakening to the Aroma of Rosemary
Written by: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, RA (ARC), Licensed Massage Therapist, Professional AIA and NAHA Member, AIA Texas State Representative
I was recently invited into my friend’s yard to get a clipping from her rosemary plant. It was delightful to see her healthy herb, with hundreds of tiny purple blossoms. I had an ingrained automatic response to bend down and smell the leaves.
In that moment of inhalation, something amazing happened! It’s like my soul awakened, and my senses became acute. I was thoughtfully aware of the magic around me.
I noticed the delicate sound of a bee’s buzzing. I was dazzled by the brilliant red hue of a nearby rosebush. And I felt a gentle breeze caressing my skin.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that rosemary essential oil can boost mood.
- In a study with 35 volunteers, rosemary oil diluted in sweet almond oil had a stimulating effect. Participants showed autonomic arousal and reported feeling more attentive and cheerful. The oil was applied topically to the skin (1).
- Another study included 27 infants and 39 adults. Inhaling rosemary and lavender had a stimulating effect on brain activity. The EEG activity was associated with greater approach behavior and a less depressed affect (2).
- Twenty healthy volunteers inhaled the aroma of rosemary. It had a stimulant effect. Further, the scent improved mood and brain clarity (3).
Can the aroma of rosemary improve brain function?
Several scientific studies have shown that rosemary aroma can improve thinking.
- In a random study with 144 healthy adults, the group who inhaled rosemary showed improved memory. They were also more alert. In addition, they scored better on a cognitive test with nine tasks (4).
- Forty adults were given 3 minutes of either aroma of lavender or aroma of rosemary. The aroma of rosemary stimulated mood and reduced anxiety. In addition, it made participants faster and more accurate in test taking (5).
- In a study with 28 elderly patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, 28 days of aromatherapy improved cognitive function. Participants received the aroma of rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning. Then, they received lavender and orange essential oils in the evening (6).
In summary, studies show rosemary can help boost mood and brain activity! Try blending rosemary with other stimulating aromas, like black pepper, juniper, or lemon. Dilute in a carrier oil for topical use, apply to essential oil jewelry or enjoy in an aromatherapy diffuser.
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