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A team of scientists from the University of Northumbria, UK, has discovered that one of the oils which gives rosemary its pungent scent improves speed and accuracy when performing certain mental tasks. Which means you definitely want to start cooking more herb-crusted lamb right about now.
To work that out, subjects were asked to complete numerical reasoning tests before and after being exposed to the scent of rosemary oil. The researchers then measured the levels of 1, 8-cineole, the main chemical constituent in rosemary's oil, after the experiments and compared it to the test scores. The higher the levels of 1, 8-cineole, the higher the score test. The research is reported in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology.