Peppermint tea may help boost mood and improve long and short-term memory, a new study has found.
More specifically, researchers from Northumbria University found that drinking peppermint tea increases alertness, especially in older adults.
The team studied the effects of various types of herbs and in one of the investigations, they asked 180 participants to drink either peppermint or chamomile tea and examined their cognitive skills and mood before and after the experiment. They also created a control group, who were asked to drink hot water for comparison.
Peppermint vs. Chamomile
The results of the study showed that peppermint tea heightened the mood and enhanced the cognition of the subjects, aiding long-term memory, alertness and working memory. Meanwhile, chamomile exhibited opposite outcomes with its calming effects.
"Peppermint has a reputation for being psychologically or mentally alerting," says study author Mark Moss. He adds that the herb lifts people up and make them feel more radiant. To confirm this, they performed computerized tests involving another herb with the opposite effect, which is chamomile.
More specifically, the subjects who drank peppermint were able to recall more words and images during the test, while those who consumed chamomile were rather lagging in responding to the tasks.
Also included in the study are investigations about the effects of rosemary and lavender scents on memory. The team found that those who spent time in a rosemary-scented room had 15 percent higher scores on memory tests than those who had been to a room with no aroma.
People who stayed in a lavender-scented room showed more calmness, but also decreased their abilities to remember things that they need to do at a specific time.
Moss says it is interesting to know the contrasting impacts of varied herbs on memory and mood. Their work was able to present that both have advantageous effects, especially in older adults. This means that healthy people may have more chances to have enhanced memory.
The results of the research was presented at the 2016 British Psychological Society Conference.
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