via Adobe Stock A smell has the power to transport us through time: cookies baking reminds us of our childhood, peppermint immediately brings up memories of the holidays, and pumpkin spice makes us yearn for fall. Aromas are so powerful they can even help us enhance our memory and lighten our mood. This is where the latest craze comes in: essential oils. They have become a part of mainstream culture popping up in booths at events, being sold through Facebook groups online, and even being manufactured for pets. They are everywhere. If you’re like me, you might have been skeptical about this ‘next best thing.’ I know there are some hardcore herbalists that have been using aroma therapy forever, but now it seems like everyone has some sort of diffuser in their house to be on trend. I decided to get in on this whole essential oil thing when I heard that they could ward off unwanted pests, which for me, namely, are spiders. I soon found that as I sprayed my own personal mixture of lavender, I felt more relaxed. Before I knew it, I had purchased a diffuser and spent my nights snuggled up with a good book relaxing with lavender. My obsession began to grow, and I started trying out new and different essential oils, and in doing so, I discovered that these oils each have their own special ‘powers.’ One oil in particular has caught my attention – rosemary. via Adobe Stock Rosemary has been used since before man started writing things down to improve memory and even lighten one’s mood. These effects have been
proved by a recent study conducted in the International Journal of Neuroscience in which scientists conducted an experiment where some rooms had rosemary infused into the air and others didn’t. Scientists then asked questions of the study participants to gauge their memory, and, after participants had finished, blood was drawn to measure markers in the blood that signify what I like to call ‘happiness indicators.’ All of this proved that the group which smelled rosemary had improved memory and felt better after the test was over (Moss, et. al., 2003). Another study built on top of the aforementioned results and gave us a definitive number about this: by sniffing some rosemary, you can increase your memory by 75% (Tisserand, 2013). That’s right, next time you have a big test coming up or you are giving a presentation at work, all you need to do is smell a little rosemary for an instant mood boost and reminder. via Adobe Stock Of course, this can be especially useful for women when on their period. Let’s be honest, we could all use a mood boost during that time of the month. However, did you know that some women suffer from what has been termed ‘period brain fog’? They feel slower, a bit off, and tend to be extra forgetful. Of course, according to statistics only about 10% of women experience this (Heaney, 2018), but no doctor or researcher can definitively figure out why some women feel this way.
A major study conducted in 2017 tested three different areas of a woman’s memory during two of her cycles. While there were tiny, miniscule differences between the cycles, these differences were not enough to prove that hormones affect a woman’s memory during her period (Leeners, et. al., 2017). There is still that 10%, though, that say they experience memory issues during that time of the month. Some have suggested that they have more painful periods than others so their memory is affected by that instead of hormones while still others suggest that estrogen is kind of a crazy hormone and each woman’s body actually reacts to it in a unique way (Heaney, 2018).
While these studies prove that no one can really say what causes it, we’ve all experienced a little forgetfulness during our periods as well as feeling just down right icky. So next time you’re on your period, need a mood boost, or need some help keeping track of the millions of things going on in your life, grab a diffuser and toss in a few drops of rosemary essential oil. No worries, so long as you have some rosemary, you got this girl.
Heaney, Katie. (2018). Science of Us. The Cut. The Hazy Science of ‘Period Brain’. https://www.thecut.com/2018/06/the-hazy-science-of-period-brain.html
Leeners Brigitte, Kruger Tillmann H. C., Geraedts Kirsten, Tronci Enrico, Mancini Toni, Ille Fabian, Egli Marcel, Röblitz Susanna, Saleh Lanja, Spanaus Katharina, Schippert Cordula, Zhang Yuangyuang, Hengartner Michael P. (2017). Lack of Associations between Female Hormone Levels and Visuospatial Working Memory, Divided Attention and Cognitive Bias across Two Consecutive Menstrual Cycles. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 11. 120. 10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00120
Moss, Mark & Cook, Jenny & Wesnes, Keith & Duckett, Paul. (2003). Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. The International journal of neuroscience. 113. 15-38. 10.1080/00207450390161903.
Tisserand, Robert. (2013). Roberttisserand.com. New Rosemary Memory Research. https://roberttisserand.com/2013/04/new-rosemary-memory-research/
My PMS Kits:
Every girl knows the feeling when she starts her period. The whole world comes to a sudden stop and thoughts of what the next several days will contain. Everything from mood swings, bloating, cramps, fatigue, and the fear of sneezing or laughing a little too hard and feeling the rush of the red waterfall. All of this inspired the creation of My PMS Kits. Our goal is to give every women the tools, advice and treats she needs to make that week flow a little smoother. Using this kit will help protect everyone from shark week.