A better memory after just one drop of Salvia oil
Students absorb new information better if they use essential oil from the plant Salvia lavandulaefolia, also known as Spanish sage. One drop is enough to make memory function better almost immediately.
In 2003, British psychologists published a small human study in Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior in which they gave two dozen healthy students placebos or capsules containing oil from Salvia lavandulaefolia on separate occasions.
In the hours following the administration, the researchers tested the subjects' memory several times.
The students had to look at a screen on which 15 words appeared in quick succession. Immediately after the performance, the students had to try to write down as many of those words as possible. Twenty minutes later, the researchers asked the subjects to do the same thing again.
Traditional herbalists in Europe and China have been using extracts from plants from the Salvia family for centuries to boost memory function and other cognitive abilities. These plants include Salvia officinalis and Salvia lavandulaefolia [below].
Both plants contain approximately the same bioactive substances. However, Salvia officinalis contains more thujone than Salvia lavandulaefolia.
Because thujone is toxic in high doses and because the researchers wanted to further reduce the [although small] risk that their test subjects would respond incorrectly to supplementation, the researchers opted for Salvia lavandulaefolia.
The oil in the capsules that the researchers gave their subjects consisted of 26 percent 1,8-cineole and 24 percent camphor. In addition, the oil contained alpha-pinene, camphene, beta-pinene, borneol and alpha-terpineol, among others.
The researchers did in vitro research with the oil from Salvia lavandulaefolia and found that it inhibited the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. Because acetylcholinesterase breaks down acetylcholine in the brain, substances with this property can increase the concentration of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter involved in learning processes.
The research was sponsored by Oxford Natural Products. We don't know much about that company, except that it ceased to exist in 2010.
The most effective dose was 50 microliters of Salvia lavandulaefolia oil, the British discovered. That is 0.05 milliliters. At that intake, the subjects were able to remember more words 60-150 minutes after intake.
Click on the table below for a larger version.
Usually, Salvia lavandulaefolia oil comes in dropper bottles. A rule of thumb is that 1 drop of an oil from an herb is about 0.05 milliliters. The optimal dose according to this study is therefore 1 drop of oil.
The researchers suspect that Spanish sage is more than a supplement that helps healthy people learn better. They hope that extracts of Spanish sage will also be of interest to people with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia.
"The primary symptom of Alzheimer's disease is a loss of memory", write the researchers. "The encouraging memory-enhancing properties of Salvia in this acute administration paradigm and the favorable pharmacological profile suggest that Salvia is potentially a novel therapeutic treatment for Alzheimer's disease."
"Placebo-controlled trials in this patient population are indicated as are trials in nondemented elderly and those with mild cognitive impairment."
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Jun;75(3):669-74.
Beta-lactolin, the brain booster in camembert 10.03.2022
Natural nootropic mangiferin increases reaction speed and alertness, improves memory and mood 17.01.2021
Mentha spicata extract fixes lapses in your memory 31.07.2018
Your brain works better after two days of vinpocetine 21.07.2012
Melissa officinalis is a smart drug
Melissa officinalis, better known as lemon balm and available over the counter, is a legal smart drug.
Use ginger, think faster
Thai researchers at Khon Kaen University gave ginger extract supplements to women aged 50-60, and found that these allowed the women to recall data from their memory faster and make decisions more quickly.
Bacopa monnieri, a natural smart drug for intelligent people
Demanding intellectual activity, such as drafting complex reports, writing essays or analyzing complex information, is facilitated by supplementation with Bacopa monnieri.