Herbs are such a great way to add flavour to dishes without packing on calories. One of my favourite herbs is rosemary. Roasted rosemary chicken, rosemary and garlic lamb chops, rosemary beef roast, rosemary potatoes, rosemary bread… indeed, rosemary adds a distinct and complex flavour that is surprisingly versatile. That’s why it’s a staple herb that can be found in spice racks and pantries everywhere. But did you know that rosemary can do more than just add some delicious aroma to dishes? Apparently, rosemary is one of nature’s remedies to dementia.
Rosemary has long been used as a symbol of remembrance. In ancient Egypt, rosemary sprigs were placed on coffins and tombstones. It was even mentioned in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “there’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” As it turns out, scientists have discovered that there is indeed a link between rosemary and memory.
A scientific study conducted by Moss, Cook, Wesnes, and Duckett tested the cognitve abilities of 75-year-olds after they had been exposed to the scent of dried rosemary powder. Those who were exposed to rosemary found that their cognitive abilities had improved significantly. Apparently, rosemary contains a remarkable compound called 1,8-cineole that can enhance mood and recall abilities. The team went on to show that memory had been enhanced by as much as 75% after smelling diffused rosemary oil!
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