Rosemary sales surge during quiz season – BBC News

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A High Street health food chain tells it has had to order extra stocks of rosemary after research claimed the perfume of the herb could improve the memory of students rewriting for exams.

Holland& Barrett says there has been a 187% increase in sales of rosemary essential petroleum compared to the previous year.

A Northumbria University study proved pupils in a room scented with rosemary performed better in memory tests.

It supported the traditional links between rosemary and memory.

A spokeswoman for Holland& Barrett used to say after the research about rosemary was published “we ensure a sharp rise in customer demand”.

“As the quiz season continues, we have increased provision in store to meet demand, ” she said.

Highly sensitive

The rush for rosemary envisage almost a doubling in sales compared with the same time last year and a trebling compared with the previous week.

Hundreds of thousands of pupils are rewriting and taking GCSEs and -Alevels – with the suggestion that the spike in rosemary sales has been driven by anxious mothers trying to find a way to help their children.

The research from Northumbria University, presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual meeting, backed up historical associations between rosemary and memory.

It suggested that pupils who worked in a classroom with the perfume of rosemary petroleum attained 5% to 7% better results in memory tests.

Researcher Mark Moss said the human sense of smell was highly sensitive and sent messages to the brain, setting off reactions and responses.

“It could be that aromas affect electrical activity in the brain or that pharmacologically active compounds can be absorbed, ” he said.

Rosemary has been was linked to memory for centuries.

In ancient Greece, students wore garlands of rosemary in quizs and in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia tells: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.”

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