Scientists Find Sniffing Rosemary Can Increase Memory By 75%


Reblogged from http://www.herbs-info.com/blog/scientists-find-sniffing-rosemary-can-increase-memory-by-75/Scientists Find Sniffing Rosemary Can Increase Memory By 75 Percent

Photo – wikipedia.org – licensed under CC 2.0

Rosemary is a wonderful herb with a tradition of use spanning millennia. It has innumerable uses in both the kitchen and in herbal medicine.

Did you know that rosemary has been associated with memory enhancement since ancient times? It is true – and it has even been referred to from the latter part of the Elizabethan Era to the Early Romantic period as the herb of remembrance. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” (Hamlet, iv. 5.) It has also long been used as a symbol for remembrance during weddings, war commemorations and funerals in Europe and Australia. [1] Mourners in old times would wear it as a buttonhole, burn it as incense or throw it into graves as a symbol of remembrance for the dead.

It seems that this tradition of Rosemary may actually far more ancient and have its origins in the Arabic world of medieval times, which was greatly advanced in science: In Henry Lyte’s 1578 “Niewe Herball“, an English version of Rembert Dodoens’ French treatise, it is written “The Arrabians and their successors Physitions, do say that Rosemarie comforteth the brayne, the memory and the inward senses, and that it restoreth speech, especially the conserve made of the flowers, thereof with Sugar, to be received daily.” [2]

Because of this seemingly esoteric association, rosemary has at times been made into a sort of herbal-amulet, where it was placed beneath pillowcases, or simply smelt as a bouquet, and it was believed that using rosemary in these ways could protect the sleeper from nightmares, as well as increase their memory.

What’s fascinating is that several scientific studies have now found remarkable results for rosemary’s effects on memory:

Rosemary essential oil’s role in aromatherapy as an agent that promotes mental clarity was validated by the study of Moss, Cook, Wesnes, and Duckett (2003) in which the inhalation of rosemary essential oil significantly enhanced the performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors of study participants. [3]

More recently, in 2012 a study on 28 older people (average 75 years old) found statistically significant dose-dependent improvements in cognitive performance with doses of dried rosemary leaf powder. [4]

Another study by Mark Moss and Lorraine Oliver at Northumbria University, Newcastle has identified 1,8-cineole (a compound in rosemary) as an agent potentially responsible for cognitive and mood performance.[5]

Further studies by Mark Moss and team have found memory enhancements of up to an amazing 75% from diffusion of rosemary essential oil. [6]

Now if you are asking “How is it even possible that an aroma can enhance memory?” – well, that’s a great question. Here’s a fascinating quote from one of the scientific papers referenced: “Volatile compounds (e.g. terpenes) may enter the blood stream by way of the nasal or lung mucosa. Terpenes are small organic molecules which can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and therefore may have direct effects in the brain by acting on receptor sites or enzyme systems.” [5]

Terpenes are primary components of essential oils and are often strong smelling, responsible for a diverse array of natural aromas. It’s also been found that 1,8-cineole enters the bloodstream of mammals after inhalation or ingestion. [7]

I’m interested to know if anyone uses rosemary as a memory enhancer. Maybe you could take some with you next time you have an examination and see if it helps with recall? One last tidbit to inspire you further:Lavender. In a 1998 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, rosemary was found to increase alertness but lavender was found not only to increase alertness but also to increase accuracy in math tests! [8] The way this is going, I can sense the possibility of a magical custom oil blend for total recall! ;)

Rosemary is very easy to grow in many gardens and will provide an abundant supply – almost too abundant! Just the other day when paying a Christmas visit to my family, I cut a few sprigs from my Dad’s organic rosemary bush (rosemary is an evergreen!), left them on a radiator to dry for a few days and then put the needle-like leaves in a jar, ready for use in the kitchen whenever required. So aromatic… and much better than the store-bought stuff I had before!

Another thought that springs to mind from this – here we have yet another example of an ancient herbal lore that has been validated by modern experiments. This happens again and again – and yet still the remarkable herbals, lost treasures of the ancient world are considered spurious by modern medicine. If an herb has been in use for a thousand years for a condition, it should be considered probable that there is something to it. When are we going to catch up with ancient knowledge? Let’s hope soon – while there is still some untarnished, un-GMO-ed nature left…

This scientific discovery was brought to our attention by the remarkable Robert Tisserand, whose work on essential oils is considered by many to be among the very finest. Check out his original pages reporting on the memory effects of Rosemary here http://roberttisserand.com/2013/04/new-rosemary-memory-research/ – and here http://roberttisserand.com/2012/03/rosemary-boosts-brain-power/

References:

[1] Henry Lyte “Niewe Herball”, 1578, p.264 http://books.google.com/books?id=ifxNAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA264

[2] http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/customs/rosemary.asp

[3] Moss M., Cook J., Wesnes K., & Duckett P. (2003). Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. International Journal of Neuroscience, 113(1): 15-38. Retrieved 24 March 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12690999

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21877951

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736918/

[6] http://roberttisserand.com/2013/04/new-rosemary-memory-research

[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3671550

[8] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10069621/

A gentle death…


A gentle death, when comfort, caring, and presence are priorities, is invariable a death at home or in the peaceful surroundings of a Hospice In-Patient Unit. The opportunity to have your loved one drift away peacefully, in the comfort of their own home, in their favourite bed or in your arms, with their loved ones there at their side, is truly a gift of immeasurable worth.

Too often doctors keep treating the actively dying person aggressively. The ill person accepts the aggressive treatments doctors keep piling on them even though there is no benefit to be derived from it. At this stage of the terminally ill patient their medical care controls their lives. Pain, NG tubes, stomach tubing, IV tubing, catheters…. They remain hooked up to all sorts of beeping, pumping devices until the bitter end. We are conditioned to accept aggressive life-prolonging treatment that often destroys our family’s financial stability and quality of life.

2007

This is what the medical profession is trained to do. To heal…

It is so hard to die with all the medical technology and treatments available. People no longer die of heart attacks. People go onto preventative cholesterol and blood pressure treatments. They become old enough to develop Alzheimers…

What changes have occurred which mean we are now living longer than previous generations?

During the twentieth century, life expectancy rose dramatically amongst the world’s wealthiest populations from around 50 to over 75 years. This increase can be attributed to a number of factors including improvements in public health, nutrition and medicine. Vaccinations and antibiotics greatly reduced deaths in childhood, health and safety in manual workplaces improved and fewer people smoked. As a result of this – coupled with a decline in the fertility rate – many major industrial countries are facing an ageing population.

According to UN statistics for the period 2005 – 2010, Japan has the world’s highest life of expectancy of 82.6 years followed by Hong Kong 82.2 years and Iceland 81.8 year). The world average is 67.2 years and the UK average is 79.4 years. The average South African is expected to live to at least 60 years, an increased figure when compared with the 2005 figure of 53 years. .

During the Roman Empire, Romans had an approximate life expectancy of 22 to 25 years. In 1900, the world life expectancy was approximately 30 years, and in 1985 it was about 62 years, just five years short of today’s life expectancy.

Why are we living longer? Well in South Africa or even Africa it is because of revised HIV Anti Retro Vital policies. HIV has become a chronic illness. It is no longer a life-threatening illness. As long as you take your ARV’s you will be fine!

Improved food packaging and an increased awareness of the nutritional value of food have led to healthier lifestyles. Increased fitness levels and the reduction of smoking have also paid a major contribution in increasing life expectancy world-wide.

Adverts on buses and tubes inform us of the importance of washing our hands and covering our mouths when we cough or sneeze in order to reduce the spread of illnesses and diseases. Health and safety legislation provides strict regulations for hygiene in restaurants, hospitals and factories.

This is great but we have an increasing older population suffering from diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinson’s. I don’t believe that it is the environment or lifestyle that has led to this. Years ago people simply died younger… Our grandparents were OLD at the age of 60. Now 70 year olds have knee replacements and still play sport.

Vic was diagnosed at the age of 18 months with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. At the time it was a death sentence. I remember the professor telling us that she would not live to the age of 12.

We celebrated her 12th birthday, her 16th, 18th, 21 and 30th birthdays…We celebrated her 38th birthday. Every birthday from her 27th birthday became more difficult. The doctors and I fought to keep her alive.

Keeping her alive came at a price. Eight one (81) abdominal surgeries, literally years in hospitals, pipes and tubes in every orifice of my child’s little body, prodding and prying by strangers hands. She was stripped of her dignity. At times litres of faecal matter poured out of her intestines into bags and bottles….She had to drink revolting liquids, tablets crushed and vomit until she fractured vertebrae.

Why did we not allow her to die with dignity? Why did we fight for her life? Why did we sentence this poor child a violent life filled with suffering and pain? Because I was selfish. I drilled fighting and survival into her little brain from the age of 18 months. Vic did not know how to not fight.

The greatest gift I ever gave Vic was to respect her wishes and allow her to die. It was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do… Retreat and not fight!

July 2012

St. Francis of Assisi portrays death as “kind and gentle” in the hymn “All Creatures of our God and King”. This is certainly a minority view in our culture and faith. It speaks of a familiarity with death that seems to have been more prevalent in previous generations than it is today. Society sanitizes death. In a culture devoted to the avoidance of suffering, a culture that lives as if this life were all there is, it’s not surprising that we relegate death to the morticians. Morticians do the final honour. They wash and prepare our dead for the last time…

We avoid the sick and funerals. We relegate our dying to a noisy hospital room with beeping machines and staff on a schedule. No gentle music and candles – just harsh hospital lights and a lot of noise 24 hours a day. Hospitals are not trained in palliative care – only curing.

 When someone is dying, everyone has to wait. It takes time. All of us have a different timetable. Some wait mere hours. Some drag on for days, others, weeks. It is a lesson in patience. And it is a time when “being” edges ahead of “doing”, and just being present your loved one’s bedside is seen as the ultimate act of service.

We must allow our dying and infirm to die a gentle death. We must HEAR what they are asking! Are they ASKING for more invasive treatment or the right to die a gentle death?

 

Vic 15.1.2013
Vic 15.1.2013

Five months and 7 and a half hours ago I allowed my most precious child to die a gentle death. If I had not ignored her wishes her suffering would have ended many years ago. I have to live with this.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela


How we forget things… even great things!

The brain is a marvellous thing.  Let me rephrase that – my brain is a marvellous thing!  It shuts out bad memories…

Photo Credit:  http://sadderbutwiser.wordpress.com/
Photo Credit:

http://sadderbutwiser.wordpress.com/

I am starting to forget Vic’s pain, the relentless nausea, intestinal obstructions, cramping.  I have blocked all the excursions to doctors, Radiology and Pathology Departments…the countless “Bad News” meeting with doctors.  I now focus on my longing for her.  The good and funny times…

I am unable to remain angry for a long time.  Well, at least with people I love.  I forgive easily.  Life is too short, and negative energy drains me.  Danie, my husband, believes I have a split personality.  If, or rather when we have an argument, I will say what I want to say.  I play the ball and not the man.  I don’t get personal nor do I generalise.  Within minutes of the argument I would have forgotten I am angry and start chatting again as if nothing ever happened.  Danie will sulk and stay angry for days…

When I have been harmed by malicious people, I forget.  They no longer “exist” in my life, but I don’t walk around with anger in me.  I will remain civil.  I just don’t care anymore.

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The bad thing about this wonderful brain of mine is that it also blocks out the good parts of bad memories…  As I no longer have a daughter to cure I Googled my own “symptoms” and found the following information  http://io9.com/5952297/two-ways-to-forget-bad-memories-according-to-a-new-scientific-study “One mechanism, direct suppression, disengages episodic retrieval through the systemic inhibition of hippocampal processing that originates from right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). The opposite mechanism, thought substitution, instead engages retrieval processes to occupy the limited focus of awareness with a substitute memory. It is mediated by interactions between left caudal and midventrolateral PFC that support the selective retrieval of substitutes in the context of prepotent, unwanted memories.”

Specifically, individuals could remember what caused the event, but were able to forget what happened and how it made them feel.  Co-author Professor MacLeod said: ‘The capacity to engage in this kind of intentional forgetting may be critical to our ability to maintain coherent images about who we are and what we are like.’

The research, which was funded by the British Academy, is published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and CognitionHttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2162606/People-trained-forget-bad-memories-potential-breakthrough-emotional-disorders.html#ixzz2USqbrFM2

In one of my posts, https://tersiaburger.com/2013/05/25/most-influential-blogger-award/, I wrote that I would like to meet Nelson Mandela.  A blogger friend commented on it and it triggered something in my mind.  I HAVE met Nelson Mandela.  I should have articulated it differently – I should have said I would like to talk to him.

It was a horrible time of our lives when Vic started going to the Pain Clinic.  Her pain was out of control – or so I thought.  It was actually just “preparation school” for what was yet to come….  I was mortified that she was on 600 mg of morphine, a week…. When Hospice accepted Vic onto the program, she was already on 600mg of morphine, twice per day.

I digress.

Vic needed to consult with an anaesthetist, specialising in pain control, on a monthly basis to examined, her pain evaluated and to get a new prescription for the morphine.  It was one of those dreadful experimental phases of her life.  But, bad things lead to great things…

The Pain Clinic was in an élite part of our city.  It was a schlep to get to it and took hours out of a day.

This particular day Vic was in terrible pain, and it was difficult moving her from the car into the wheelchair.  Her beautiful eyes were dark from pain and filled with tears. I remember thinking “How tiny and sad she looks”…

We stood at the elevator for what felt like a lifetime.  All I wanted to do was get Vic into the consulting rooms so she could get an injection for pain… I was getting quite impatient with the delay of the lift when it started moving down.  I noticed quite a build-up of people on the outer periphery but did not pay too much attention to it.

The door opened.  Two tall men, wearing sunglasses, walked out.  There was an audible gasp in the hall.  The greatest statesman in the world, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, stood behind them.  He was so tall!

In total awe I moved Vic’s wheelchair back clearing the way for this amazing man.

He walked out of the lift and came towards us.  He stood in front of Vic, stuck out his hand, and said “Hello my dear.  How are you?”

“I am fine thank you Mr President,” Vic said

“I hope you feel better soon,” he said in his beautiful, raspy yet gentle voice.

He greeted me, still holding her hand.  I will never forget his gentle eyes.  He had an aura of greatness.  Two great warriors were locked in a moment of kinship.

“Goodbye” he said and walked away.

Death is however closing in on this amazing man.  This year, by the Grace of God, our country and the rest of the world will celebrate this great man’s 95th birthday.  Given his poor health and advanced age, it is to be expected that he will die not too far in the future.  It will be a sad day for South Africa and the rest of the world.

I know that he will meet Vic again in Heaven.  I believe that the two brave souls will recognise one another.  This time there will be enough time for them to linger and chat.  The people they are- it will be about their loved ones, the grace they experienced in their lives… I know they will not discuss the hardship, pain or suffering.

Two incredible people… Nelson Rohihlahla Mandela and Vicky Bruce.  Hero’s of many… two people who have made a difference, lead by example.

Photo Credit:  http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/02/01/mpr_news_presents

"Oh Mr President, my mom is your biggest fan ever..."
“Oh Mr President, my mom is your biggest fan ever…”

Christmas’ Past…


Frozen turkeys to be cooked and carved!
Frozen turkeys to be cooked and carved!

Many years ago we started a project, where on Christmas Day, we would feed the under privileged.  The first year we fed approximately 300 people.  The last year (2008) that we ran the project, we fed 1500 people on Christmas Day.  We had three feeding points in different squatter camps and we also handed out little gifts of face cloths, soap, toothpaste and tooth brushes at a TB Clinic.

My late father, who suffered from Alzheimers, came to live with us in 2009, and since then I have not had the time, energy or finances to continue running the project.  The community has however started running a similar project, and they now fundraise themselves.  For many years I cooked up to 50 turkeys, made salad and cooked rice…  (I cannot handle the smell of turkey and my husband becomes nauseous when he has to carve turkey…)  I suppose we are all turkeyed out….

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One of the feeding points. The children are so patient and well-behaved!
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There is no greater joy than giving
Vic and her friend Lee and a community member sharing a happy moment!

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” ― Amy Wilson-Carmichael

We also visited the TB Clinic and gave the children in the Pediatric Section gifts.  Young Elizabeth, an 11 year old girl, died two weeks later.  She never let go of her Christmas Teddy Bear…

Elizabeth and her Christmas Teddybear
Elizabeth and her Christmas Teddybear

“Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not the merits of who receives them.”
― Carlos Ruiz ZafónThe Shadow of the Wind

A rare treat - a piece of cake for a TB patient on Christmas Day
A rare treat – a piece of cake for a TB patient on Christmas Day

“Give yourself entirely to those around you. Be generous with your blessings. A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
― Steve MaraboliLife, the Truth, and Being Free

When my dad came to live with us I had to stop many of my community projects.  It broke my heart but I knew that it was my “family’s time”  In the words of Mother THeresa – “Let us make one point, that we meet each other with a smile, when it is difficult to smile. Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family.”

2012 will be a Christmas of making time for my family.

A couple of days ago Vic wistfully said “This is my last Christmas Mommy”  I hope she is well enough to have a Christmas that her boys will treasure and remember for the rest of their lives.  This may well be our last Christmas.

Christmas Eve 2009 - (L to R) Lee, Vic, My Dad and I
Christmas Eve 2009 – (L to R) Lee, Vic, My Dad and I

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa

Sunshine award!


Whoopee!!!!  I have been nominated for a Sunshine Award by brave Katie Mitchell whose blog I follow slavishly!  Katie suffers from a Connective Tissue Disorder, Marfan’s Disease.  I have learned so much of this talented young person’s journey with pain and how it has affected her life.  Katie’s mother also suffers from chronic pain so she knows both sides of the pain story…  Thank you Katie for the nomination and for sharing your journey with us!

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When I started my blog is was because I needed an outlet for all my pent-up emotions.  It is difficult for me to articulate my emotions because I am scared that if I started crying I would not stop.  It also bears my soul to the world so it was difficult at first.  Every time, before I  linked my post to FB, I would sit for a long time and wonder if I should allow family, friends and acquaintances to see my soul or whether I should remain anonymous in WordPress….  I am now comfortable with my FB link as it that I have received the most amazing support from old school friends, family and strangers.  I have a new network of people, that care, that surrounds me.

I no longer feel embarrassed about posting – people have the choice to read my blog or ignore it.  Thank you for your caring and support!  This blog has become a dear friend and confidant!

But allow me to be brutally honest – I am thrilled about this nomination.  I don’t know how it works but I mailed Katie and she gave me instructions…Thank you again brave Katie!

So according to Katie – here are the rules:

If you are nominated you must include the link in a blog, linking to the person/blog that nominated you.
You must answer some questions and nominate 10 fellow bloggers and link their blogs in your post.
Let the people you have nominated know that you have nominated them!

Here are the questions:

1. Who is your favorite philosopher?

Confucius without a shadow of a doubt!

2. What is your favorite number?

9 – I believe in the science of numerology the qualities of the number 9 are those of leadership, the ability to see clearly, integration, personal integrity, unity, truth, perfection and concord.

9 represents wisdom and responsibility, and the ultimate goal of the number 9 is to serve humanity.

9 represents human’s ‘earthly lesson’, which is ‘forgiveness’.  Number 9 learns selflessness and compassion.  People with the 9 energy work without motive.  Their purpose is for the greatest good of all.  They have a protective energy and they have great power and love in their soul.  They will grow and learn throughout their lifetime tolerance, compassion, selflessness and generosity.  There is a great strength of character within the 9 person, as well as wisdom, intuition and high idealism.  There is also a great deal of warmth of feeling and love of home, family and friends.

3. What is your favorite animal?

Eagles!

Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks?

The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, the eagle sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it.

The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm.

We are all faced with the winds of the storm that bring sickness, tragedy, failure, and disappointment in our lives. It is not the burdens of life that weigh us down, it is how we handle them.

The Bible says:  “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles.” Isaiah 40;31.

4. What are your facebook and twitter ?
https://www.facebook.com/tersia.m.burger

Twitter @Tersia912

5. What is your favorite time of day?

I am a night owl.  I am not a morning person!

6. What was your favorite vacation (or ‘holiday’ as we say where I’m from)?

My honeymoon in Switserland and Germany in 1990.  Everything was so magical.

7. What is your favorite physical activity?

Walking barefoot on the beach.

8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Tea!  I must have 15 cups of tea a day!

9. What is your favorite flower?                                                                                                             For the life of me I cannot remember the name of my favorite flowers.  

10. What is your passion?

My family,  my work and the downtrodden.

My Ten Nominees:

I actually don’t know if I can only nominate 10 bloggers.  All these bloggers have meant a lot to me.  I have learnt from them.  Some of them have given me great insight into Vic’s journey and http://ourlonggoodbye.wordpress.com transports me into an Assisted Living Facility and brings back memories of my Dad’s Alzheimers journey….  Trazy of ohwhatpain has given me great insight in pain.  Here goes!

  1. http://connectivetissuedisorders.wordpress.com
  2. http://ohwhatapain.wordpress.com
  3. http://thedrsays.org
  4. http://ourlonggoodbye.wordpress.com
  5. http://ramblinsofagrievingmom.wordpress.com/
  6. http://made4victory.wordpress.com/
  7. http://smilescavenger.wordpress.com
  8. http://onewomansperspective02.wordpress.com/
  9. http://allthatmakesyou.wordpress.com/
  10. http://walkingthroughpain.wordpress.com

If you click on any of the links above, you will enter a different world that will enrich your life.  Thank you to everyone who reads my blogs and puts up with my rambling, self centred emosions.

Who is taking care of the caregiver? 5.7.2012


Who is taking care of the caregiver? 5.7.2012.