If you like the whole concept of aromatherapy, then you might want to stock up rosemary-scented oils; a study showed that this particular scent may enhance the adult brain’s ability to remember impending events, and complete certain tasks in the future.

While previous research has already shown that rosemary may improve long-term memory and mental arithmetic, a study posted at ScienceDaily.com focused more on prospective memory, which is the ability to remember tasks or events that have yet to occur as well as the ability to remember to do certain things at certain times.

Two rooms were used for the trial which involved 66 people. Rosemary-scented oil was diffused into one room five minutes before participants arrived, while the other room had no scent. Once the volunteers were in their respective rooms, tests which involved tasks like remembering where a ball was hidden and having to pass certain objects to researchers at set times were administered. All these had to be done without being prompted. If a participant failed to do a task, the researcher would give small hints or prompts to jog his memory. The more hints given to a participant, the lower the score would be.

Blood samples were also taken and checked for levels of 1,8-cineole, a compound commonly found in rosemary essential oils and linked to memory system prowess. The results showed that participants in the rosemary-scented room scored higher in tests and showed higher levels of 1,8-cineole than those in the room with no scent. This indicated that the compound was the trigger for improved prospective memory.

Aside from rosemary, there are many other scented oils that may help reduce stress and even improve awareness and concentration. Check out our article on how to find out which scent works best for you.

(Photo by geishaboy500 via Flickr Creative Commons)

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