Conflicting interpretations of rosemary oil study

In summary, the journal in question is reputable and the critique brings up important points. However, as the critique points out, the science is not completely solid and further research is needed.
  • #1
nomadreid
Gold Member
1,674
209
TL;DR Summary
A study in a peer-reviewed journal gives some indication that rosemary oil may contribute in some cases to a slight improvement in memory; a critique of this finding in an article holds that the study was not rigorous enough. I include the two links. On one side, the journal in question has higher standing than the article source, on the other hand it does sound a little like folk medicine. I include the two links.
The journal in question is the International Journal of Neuroscience, which appears to be a respectable peer-reviewed journal. I give a link to a reproduction in a secondary source, with a note that I am not addressing the more subjective "mood" part of the paper: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/10808709_Aromas_of_rosemary_and_lavender_essential_oils_differentially_affect_cognition_and_mood_in_healthy_adults

The critique, admittedly not in a peer-reviewed journal but nonetheless appearing to bring up points which may be of importance (or not: I am not a biologist), is here:
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/sniffing-rosemary/

I am not qualified to judge where the golden mean here lies. I am always wary of ideas that support folk medicine, but on the other hand, it would be silly to reject something only because it agrees with folk medicine. So I will be grateful for a more qualified judgment.
 
Biology news on Phys.org
  • #2
I agree with your "folklore" interpretation. The science seems a bit hand-wavy to me. Researchgate has a lot of papers that have not been peer reviewed. Some are. That does not mean that a well designed study will or will not support the findings. It is an open question.
 
  • Like
Likes nomadreid
  • #3
Thank you very much, jim mcnamara.

One aspect that throws me off is that, although I cited Researchgate (which I know is not a peer-reviewed source), my understanding was that it was reproducing an article exactly as it appeared in a peer-reviewed journal (International Journal of Neuroscience).

Of course I understand that even peer-reviewed journals publish some hand-wavy stuff, but it is every time a disappointment...
 
  • #4
I'm not sure if the critique's interpretation of Shakespeare is correct, so the critique itself may be hand wavy. :oldbiggrin:

Looking at the paper, they do many statistical comparisons, and consider p<0.05 to be significant. As we already know, one gets a p<0.05 by chance every now and then. mfb mentions this in a different area of study in this post https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/what-is-supersymmetry.999708/post-6464033. An adjustment for multiple comparisons correction can help https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_comparisons_problem. They could also try to confirm the hypotheses by collecting more data.
 
  • Like
Likes jim mcnamara and nomadreid

Related to Conflicting interpretations of rosemary oil study

1. What are the conflicting interpretations of the rosemary oil study?

The main conflicting interpretations of the rosemary oil study are whether or not it has a significant effect on memory and cognitive function. Some studies have shown positive results, while others have found no significant difference.

2. What factors could contribute to the conflicting interpretations of the study?

Factors that could contribute to the conflicting interpretations include differences in study design, sample size, and the specific methods used to measure memory and cognitive function. Additionally, the quality and purity of the rosemary oil used in the studies could also play a role in the results.

3. Is there any consensus among scientists regarding the effects of rosemary oil on memory?

No, there is currently no consensus among scientists regarding the effects of rosemary oil on memory. Some studies have shown positive results, while others have found no significant difference. More research is needed to clarify the potential benefits and limitations of rosemary oil for memory and cognitive function.

4. Are there any potential risks or side effects associated with using rosemary oil for memory enhancement?

While rosemary oil is generally considered safe, there are some potential risks and side effects associated with its use. It may interact with certain medications, and some individuals may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal supplements.

5. What are the implications of the conflicting interpretations of the study for future research and practical use of rosemary oil?

The conflicting interpretations of the study highlight the need for further research on the effects of rosemary oil on memory and cognitive function. It also suggests that the potential benefits and limitations of rosemary oil may vary depending on individual factors, such as age, health status, and dosage. More rigorous and standardized studies are needed to fully understand the potential uses and risks of rosemary oil for memory enhancement.

Similar threads

  • Quantum Physics
Replies
4
Views
1K
  • MATLAB, Maple, Mathematica, LaTeX
Replies
12
Views
1K
Replies
4
Views
3K
  • General Discussion
Replies
21
Views
6K
  • Biology and Medical
Replies
2
Views
11K
  • General Discussion
Replies
21
Views
5K
Replies
705
Views
133K
  • Feedback and Announcements
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Sticky
  • Feedback and Announcements
Replies
2
Views
495K
Back
Top