London, May 3 (IANS) Is your child struggling to remember his lessons at school? Expose him or her to the aroma of rosemary essential oil as it can significantly enhance working memory in children, researchers say.
"We do know that poor working memory is related to poor academic performance and these findings offer a possible cost-effective and simple intervention to improve academic performance in children," said Mark Moss of Northumbria University in Britain.
It was previously known that the aroma of rosemary essential oil could enhance cognition in healthy adults.
In the study, a total of 40 children aged 10 to 11 were randomly assigned to a room that had either rosemary oil diffused in it for ten minutes or a room with no scent.
They then took part in a class-based test on different mental tasks.
The analysis revealed that the children in the aroma room received significantly higher scores than the non-scented room.
The test to recall words demonstrated the greatest difference in scores, the researchers said.
"It could be that aromas affect electrical activity in the brain or that pharmacologically active compounds can be absorbed when people are exposed," Moss said.
The findings were presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Brighton.
Rosemary oil is often used for indigestion, relieving flatulence, stomach cramps, constipation, and bloating. It is also thought to relieve symptoms of dyspepsia and is an appetite stimulant.