The scent of rosemary sharpens memory in children, study finds
The scent of rosemary oil can improve working memory in children, a new study found.
Researchers Mark Moss and Victoria Earle of Northumbria University tested 40 children aged 10 to 11 on mental tasks. Children were randomly assigned to a room that had either rosemary oil diffused in it for 10 minutes or a room with no scent.
Children in the aroma room received significantly higher scores on a test to recall words than those in the non-scented room.
“Why and how rosemary has this effect is still up for debate,” Moss said. “I could be that aromas affect electrical activity in the brain or that pharmacologically active compounds can be absorbed when adults are exposed.”
A previous study demonstrated that the smell of rosemary cognition in adults, prompting the new study on children.
“We do know that poor working memory is related to poor academic performance and these findings offer a possible cost effective and simple intervention to improve academic performance in children, Moss said. “The time is ripe for large-scale trials of aroma application in education settings.”
The study is scheduled to be presented Thursday at the British Psychological Society annual Conference in Brighton, United Kingdom.
Source: British Psychological Society