The Curious Case of Rosemary and Memory

New research shows that rosemary can trigger context-dependent memory

A recent publication in the prestigious British Journal of Psychology has answered some important questions regarding context-dependent memory.  Namely, does the type of aroma used while imprinting information matter when it comes to context-dependent memory?  The short answer is yes and the authors think that aromas which are perceived as more distinct are better than those which are more common.  In the paper, the authors compare the aroma of Rosemary to those of Lemon, Basil, Orange and even Hyssop and find that Rosemary is the best.  They suggest that the reason why Rosemary is the best at helping context-dependent memory is because ” it is both unpleasantness-inducing and distinctive. Odours  that possessed only one of these properties ( i.e.lemon, which is distinctive, and hyssop, which is unpleasantness-inducing) revealed intermediate levels of context reinstatement.”

While I don’t agree that the odor of Rosemary is unpleasant, I do agree that it is very distinct.  Ultimately, this paper is some of the strongest evidence to date supporting the use of Rosemary to help improve memory and information retention.  Luckily, Think Gum® provides this same distinct aroma in a very pleasant tasting piece of gum, and should provide you with the same brain-boosting effects as described in the paper.


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