THE PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF ROSEMARY ON CONCENTRATION
Van De Hey, Dana
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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The use of essential oils has recently been gaining in popularity due its inexpensive costs and the research-based claims that they have the ability to cause beneficial physiological and cognitive effects on their users. It has been proposed that exposure to essential oils can alter one’s physical state and improve cognitive ability. This study examines the physiological and cognitive effects that may arise from the use of one of the most popular essential oils: Rosmarinus officinalis L., or more commonly known as rosemary. Previous research holds that exposure to rosemary may cause increased sympathetic nervous system activity. It has also been demonstrated that increased physiological activity leads to increased cognition. These seemingly unrelated studies led to the hypothesis that rosemary will produce an increase in sympathetic activity and ultimately yield an increase in concentration. An experiment was conducted on the students of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The participants were exposed to water or rosemary while taking a concentration test. Their heart rate, skin conductance, and respiratory rate were recorded. The results of our experiment were statistically insignificant, and did not support findings described in previous studies.
ElectroDermal Activity (EDA)
Sympathetic Nervous System