OK, you don't actually have to shove rosemary all the way up into your nose, but a new study has found that smelling it improves your cognitive performance. British researchers exposed 20 volunteers to different levels of rosemary aromas, then assessed their cognitive performance and mood. They also did blood tests to measure the amount of 1,8-cineole (a component of rosemary oil) that the volunteers had absorbed. They found that the higher a person's concentration of 1,8-cineole was, the better they performed on speed and accuracy tests.
There is a downside, however, to sniffing a bunch of rosemary—besides the fact that it doesn't look or sound cool to do it. The higher a person's concentration of 1,8-cineole was, the less content they were. If you're looking for a brain boost (and want to feel a little less content), but can't stand the smell of rosemary, you might try other plants, like eucalyptus, bay, wormwood, and sage, which all have the same substance in them.
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