Friday, January 18, 2008

Have you smelled your rosemary today?

My mom has Alzheimer's.
Her mother had also had some type of dementia, so naturally I'm more than a little concerned that I may end up on that path as well.

Thankfully there has been a lot of attention lately to the many proactive things we can do to minimize our chances of experiencing Alzheimer's, such as exercising our bodies as well as our brains, and eating things such as blueberries, nuts, foods with a high anti-oxidant content, etc.

This morning I found myself on Real Age, reading an article about supplements that may help your brain to remain stronger, when I came across something that made me laugh.

Apparently research suggests "that inhaling the aromas or rosemary, mint, or rose at the time of learning a new task can enhance recall when you’re exposed to the scent at a later time."
How ridiculous.

Or is it?
I've alway been fascinated by the way that certain odors can suddenly and swiftly transport us back to another place in time, as if we were actually there - for a moment. Each and every time I smell fresh basil, I think of summer - it actually is summer for an instant. Whenever I smell percolating coffee (in one of those "old fashioned" coffee pots, not the automated coffee makers that sit on your counter) I am back in my grandma's kitchen in bare feet, and can temporarily recall every detail of it.

Maybe there is something to this. The rosemary I brought in last fall is still clinging to life on my kitchen windowsill... so maybe I'll put it to good use.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, my heart goes out to you and your mother. My uncle had Alzheimer's, and a close friend is caring for her dad, who has it, too.
Yes, certain scents do carry us back. For me, it's lilac.

What a beautiful blog you have here.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

macromoments - thank you.


10:40 PM  

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