Food

A good sniff for your brain

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Or the story of a cheeky little herb called rosemary which I though could only make justice to a dainty lamb dish casserole. How wrong as I…

A while ago a friend of mine was talking about a plant that he thought it was a powerful tool in boosting concentration and cerebral activity. I happened to forget our little chat until a couple of weeks ago when reading a medical article about some brain treatments using it, I remembered our conversation and was determined to try it out (for two reasons: to either tell my friend off for believing everything he reads or feeding my hope that there is finally a cure for my baby brain (which I thought will be over once pregnancy is over, but one year later, I still forget where I put my keys!). I then decided it’s high time to reorganise my home grown pot selection. I added this beauty from the picture below to my permanent collection. So this is how the sniffing started.  A sniff today, a sniff tomorrow so it carried on until this very moment when I decided to share my experience with you. It’s worth mentioning I even made both my partner and my toddler join in this sniffing madness! They both looked at me suspiciously and gave me the (un)trusting vote. But who’s smarter now ;)? Before though I disclose the outcome, let’s go through a short description of the amazing benefits rosemary can have on you and your family.

My rosemary home grown pot

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – from the Latin ‘row’ and ‘marinus’ – ‘sea dew’, is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae just like the lavender, oregano, basil and thyme. 

  • The herb had been known since ancient times for its medicinal properties, being traditionally used to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system and promote hair growth
  • Great source of iron, calcium and vitamin B6
  • Wild rosemary can be found along the sea cliff along the coast of Italy, Greece, Spain and France
  • Rosemary is also used as an aromatic herb and its extract can be found in tinctures, bath oil, hair rinse, and insect repellent.

Rosemary & your baby – this yummy herb contains properties that can help support the immune system of you and your baby. Its aroma is thought to be helping the symptoms of cold, it’s delicious with a mild scent which makes it perfect for baby’s vegetable and meaty stews. 

Fun facts about rosemary: 

  • During the English Tudor era, Rosemary symbolized fidelity, and brides would give sprigs of Rosemary to bridegroom as a tradition.
  • Rosemary has been named Herb of The Year in 2000 by the International Herb Association which is apparently quite a gathering I’ll definitely enquire more about

So getting back to the part I started with about enhancing memory and concentration by 75% according to the smart ones…(blood levels of a rosemary oil component correlate with improved cognitive performance, according to research in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, published by SAGE). It’s either the fact that I’ve been researching so much on this (a few good hours spent on reading and questioning experts) or just my very efficient autosuggestion yet who am I to question the lab experts so call me nuts, I think this really works. I’ll therefore continue with my rosemary therapy and will let you know how this improves my brain cells. However maybe you may wish to join me in this funny sniffing business and then we can compare results by watching who is getting faster at naming all American presidents in the right order! If you win, at least I can say I’ll have some fresh herb for your veggies in the oven…;) 

Nota bene: if you decide to grow your own rosemary plant pot, don’t forget: overwatering is the biggest enemy (which works great for me as I never water my plants on time! Oh wait, maybe now the sniffing business will make rosemary  the saviour plant as my new brain will remember!)

Now feel free to share your favourite herbs and the secrets they keep. Looking forward to hearing from you all. 

Ally 

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