A "meme" now circulating on Facebook claims that

Scientists Find Sniffing Rosemary Can Increase memory by 75%

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The credited web site, www.herbs-info.com has this article on the topic, which in turn references a study in this article. But the final article doesn't have any references, and only offers a slightly more specific version of the claim:

Researchers have found for the first time that essential oil from the herb when sniffed in advance enables people to remember to do things.

It could help patients take their medication on time, it is claimed, or even help the forgetful to post a birthday card.

In a series of tests rosemary essential oil from the herb increased the chances of remembering to do things in the future, by 60-75 per cent compared with people who had not been exposed to the oil.

Are there any studies to show that smelling rosemary improves memory?

  • Here is the main article which links to other articles on the subject and it seems like a real research program. news.discovery.com/human/life/…
    – user21940
    Aug 30, 2014 at 0:45

1 Answer 1


See this article for more information on this. The study showed that memory is improved (irrespective of mood and arousal levels) when completing memory tasks with the smell of rosemary essential oils present.

The study was completed by Dr Jemma McCready and Dr Mark Moss from the University of Northumbria, England and concludes that:

The results showed that participants in the rosemary-scented room performed better on the prospective memory tasks than the participants in the room with no scent. This was the case for remembering events and remembering to complete tasks at particular times.

“There was no link between the participants’ mood and memory. This suggests performance is not influenced as a consequence of changes in alertness or arousal,” Dr McCready said.

This would indicate that there is at least some validity to the claim.

  • 8
    The study was presented at a conference but was never submitted for peer-review. Since the methodology is not available for scrutiny, one would be justified in questioning the validity of the study until further information is presented.
    – user23143
    Dec 4, 2014 at 17:00

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