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"Rosemary's name comes from the Latin ros marinus meaning 'dew of the sea'?
In flower lore, rosemary means remembrance and in ancient Greece students
wore garlands of rosemary on their heads while studying.

A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, Volume 113,
Issue 1 January 2003 , pages 15 - 38 by Mark Moss; Jenny Cook; Keith Wesnes;
Paul Duckett; looked at how the aroma of Rosemary essential oil and Lavender
essential oil might differently affect cognition and mood in healthy adults.

This study was designed to assess the olfactory impact of the essential oils
of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and rosemary (Rosmarlnus officinalis)
on cognitive performance and mood in healthy volunteers. One hundred and
forty-four participants were randomly assigned to one of three independent
groups, and subsequently performed the Cognitive Drug Research (CDR)
computerized cognitive assessment battery in a cubicle containing either one
of the two odors or no odor (control). Visual analogue mood questionnaires
were completed prior to exposure to the odor, and subsequently after
completion of the test battery. The participants were deceived as to the
genuine aim of the study until the completion of testing to prevent
expectancy effects from possibly influencing the data. The outcome variables
from the nine tasks that constitute the CDR core battery feed into six
factors that represent different aspects of cognitive functioning. Analysis
of performance revealed that lavender produced a significant decrement in
performance of working memory, and impaired reaction times for both memory
and attention based tasks compared to controls. In contrast, rosemary
produced a significant enhancement of performance for overall quality of
memory and secondary memory factors, but also produced an impairment of
speed of memory compared to controls. With regard to mood, comparisons of
the change in ratings from baseline to post-test revealed that following the
completion of the cognitive assessment battery, both the control and
lavender groups were significantly less alert than the rosemary condition;
however, the control group was significantly less content than both rosemary
and lavender conditions. These findings indicate that the olfactory
properties of these essential oils can produce objective effects on
cognitive performance, as well as subjective effects on mood.

This certainly supports the traditional use of lavender for relaxation and
rosemary for memory and stimulation."

Beverley Hawkins

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