Since ancient times, many have extolled the virtues of rosemary as a memory enhancer and symbol of remembrance. Even in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia observes, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” It has also long been used as a symbol for remembrance at weddings, and by mourners who adorned their buttonholes with a sprig of rosemary and threw it on coffins as a symbol of remembrance.
Increasingly, science is backing up what our ancestors already so wisely knew. In one of the most recent related trials, researchers from the University of Northumbria, UK, demonstrated that the smell of rosemary can boost your memory by up to 75%, “enhancing one’s ability to remember events and to remember to complete tasks at particular times”. The study’s author Dr Mark Moss said, “We wanted to build on our previous research that indicated rosemary aroma improved long-term memory and mental arithmetic.” The researchers are hopeful that their findings may considerably help pave the way to treating people diagnosed with memory impairments.