Researchers have discovered that herbs such as spearmint and rosemary may be able to improve learning and memory, especially in older adults.

In a recent report on Science Daily, Dr. Susan Farr and her colleagues from Saint Louis University introduced antioxidant-based compounds derived from spearmint and rosemary to mice with cognitive decline.

The results revealed that a higher dose of the rosemary compound improved the subjects' memory and performance in three behavioral tests, while a lower dose of rosemary extract and spearmint extract improved their performance in two. Levels of oxidative stress, a sign of age-related cognitive decline, also decreased.

“This probably means eating spearmint and rosemary is good for you,” Farr says. “However, our experiments were in an animal model and I don't know how much—or if any amount—of these herbs people would have to consume for learning and memory to improve.”

Still, it probably won’t hurt to add these herbs to your meals, as spearmint has been known to help with digestive disorders and respiratory ailments, while rosemary has been proven to prevent brain aging and enhance concentration.

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(Photo by craigles75 via Flickr Creative Commons)

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