Researchers from Northumbria University have discovered a substance that dramatically slows the onset of Alzheimer’s. The really cool part? You’ve probably got this substance on your herb rack.
Even skeptics from the mainstream medical industry are calling this discovery remarkable – and it’s not hard to see why. The Northumbria study is the first to prove that rosemary can slow Alzheimer’s development and markedly improve even healthy patients’ memory.
Researchers recruited 60 elderly volunteers and split them into 3 groups. One section participated in rosemary aromatherapy while the second inhaled lavender. The final group didn’t participate in aromatherapy at all.
Scientists gave members of each group distracting word puzzles. Simultaneously, the researchers would sporadically ask participants to engage in complex memory-testing activities.
For example, they would say, ‘In seven minutes, can you hand me this book?’
Interestingly, participants in the lavender group performed the worst. Those who didn’t participate in aromatherapy fared averagely, while the rosemary group saw a ‘statistically significant’ increase in memory function.
How ‘statistically significant?’ Their memory increased by 75%. That’s how statistically significant.
The Alzheimer’s Connection
It turns out that compounds in rosemary actually interact with the brain in a way similar to conventional Alzheimer’s medications. One of these compounds is called 1,8-cineole.
1,8-cineole works by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase – an enzyme that breaks down a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. For an Alzheimer’s patient, this inhibition has the effect of slowing memory loss drastically.
Indeed, researchers from another study noted the following about 1,8-cineole:
All patients showed significant improvement in… cognitive function. In particular, patients with Alzheimer’s showed significant improvement in total scores.
Aromatherapy happens to be a great way to ingest medicinal substances. When you swallow a pill, any beneficial molecules in it have to travel through your liver. A lot of those molecules simply get filtered out.
With aromatherapy, on the other hand, those molecules easily pass into the bloodstream and make their way to the brain.
That’s why, when the Northumbria University researchers studied blood samples from study participants, they noted traces of rosemary oil.
Conventional Alzheimer’s medications carry a whole host of side effects, including:
- Appetite loss
What’s more, as Dr. Chris Van Tulleken shares, these conventional medications – as with many pharmaceuticals – can leave patients feeling disempowered.
Alternative treatments like rosemary, on the other hand, carry much fewer side effects and can help patients feel more involved in their treatment.
The important thing now is that researchers continue to study alternative Alzheimer’s treatments like rosemary to figure out how they might be integrated with modern medical knowledge to help patients.