Memory Tea and Diffuser Recipes

eye health

ginkgo tea

Pictured – Ginkgo Tea

By: Kathy Sadowski, Master of Science Degree in Aromatherapy, Registered Aromatherapist, LMT, RYT

Memory feeling foggy?  Need to give your cognitive abilities a jump start?  Try drinking this memory tea while running a diffuser with the essential oils listed below.

Memory Tea Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp of dried ginkgo leaves
  • 2 tsp of dried gotu kola leaves
  • 2 tsp of dried lavender leaves and tops
  • About  2 cups of hot water

Instructions – Steep the herbs in hot water for about 10 minutes.  Strain and drink.  Add honey to taste.

Avoid got kola during pregnancy, while taking CNS depressive drugs, and do not take in excess.

Diffuser Ingredients:

Diffuse the oils intermittently to help improve concentration.

Memory Research

  • Lavender was an effective adjunctive therapy in alleviating agitated behaviors in Chinese patients with dementia. From:  Lin, P. W. K., Chan, W. C., Ng, B. F. L., & Lam, L. C. W. (2007). Efficacy of aromatherapy (Lavandula angustifolia) as an intervention for agitated behaviours in Chinese older persons with dementia: a cross‐over randomized trial. International journal of geriatric psychiatry22(5), 405-410.
  • Lavender aromatherapy may help with dementia symptoms in the elderly.  From;  Fujiil, M., Hatakeyamaz, R., Fukuokaz, Y., Yamamotol, T., Sasakil, R., Moriya, M., … & Sasaki, H. (2008). Lavender aromatherapy for behavioral and psychological symptoms in dementia patients. Geriatr Gerontol Int8, 136-138.
  • Lavender aromatherapy showed modest efficacy in reducing agitated behaviour in patients with severe dementia.  From:  Holmes, C., Hopkins, V., Hensford, C., MacLaughlin, V., Wilkinson, D., & Rosenvinge, H. (2002). Lavender oil as a treatment for agitated behaviour in severe dementia: a placebo controlled study. International journal of geriatric psychiatry17(4), 305-308.
  • Ginkgo biloba showed to be promoising for those with Alzheimer’s in this systematic review.  More research is necessary. From: Janßen, I. M., Sturtz, S., Skipka, G., Zentner, A., Garrido, M. V., & Busse, R. (2010). Ginkgo biloba in Alzheimer’s disease: a systematic review Ginkgo biloba bei Alzheimer Demenz: eine systematische Übersicht. Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift, 160(21-22), 539-546.
  • A double blind, placebo controlled, 14 week, parallel group, repeated assessment, multi-centre trial study of 256 healthy middle aged volunteers who took an extract of Ginkgo biloba and Panax ginseng demonstrated improved memory.  From: Wesnes, K. A., Ward, T., McGinty, A., & Petrini, O. (2000). The memory enhancing effects of a Ginkgo biloba/Panax ginseng combination in healthy middle-aged volunteers. Psychopharmacology, 152(4), 353-361.
  • A total of 188 middle aged volunteers took Ginkgo biloba extract for six weeks and demonstated improved memory recall.  From: Kaschel, R. (2011). Specific memory effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 in middle-aged healthy volunteers. Phytomedicine, 18(14), 1202-1207.
  • In this double blind placebo controlled parallel group study of 31 patients over 50 years old and with a mild to moderate memory impairment, taking a gingko biloba extract over 6 months showed beneficial results in their cognitive function.  From:  Rai, G. S., Shovlin, C., & Wesnes, K. A. (1991). A double-blind, placebo controlled study of Ginkgo biloba extract (‘tanakan’) in elderly outpatients with mild to moderate memory impairment. Current medical research and opinion, 12(6), 350-355.
  • Peppermint odor improved task performance in clerical work.  From:  Barker, S., Grayhem, P., Koon, J., Perkins, J., Whalen, A., & Raudenbush, B. (2003). Improved performance on clerical tasks associated with administration of peppermint odor. Perceptual and Motor Skills97(3), 1007-1010
  • Peppermint enhanced memory whereas ylang-ylang impaired it, and peppermint increased alertness while ylang-ylang decreased it, but significantly increased calmness. From:  Moss, M., Hewitt, S., Moss, L., & Wesnes, K. (2008). Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang. International Journal of Neuroscience118(1), 59-77.  Link:
  • Inhaling peppermint, basil, and helichrysum reduced the level of mental fatigue.  From:  Varney, E., & Buckle, J. (2013). Effect of inhaled essential oils on mental exhaustion and moderate burnout: a small pilot study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine19(1), 69-71.
  • The potent aroma of rosemary strongly improved environmental context dependent memory in humans.  From:  Ball, L. J., Shoker, J., & Miles, J. N. (2010). Odour‐based context reinstatement effects with indirect measures of memory: The curious case of rosemary. British Journal of Psychology101(4), 655-678. 
  • Rosemary and lavender scents lowered fatigue while lavender also lowered tension (anxiety / confusion) in human participants.  From:  Burnett, K. M., Solterbeck, L. A., & Strapp, C. M. (2004). Scent and mood state following an anxiety-provoking task. Psychological reports95(2), 707-722. 
  • Rosemary inhalation improved cognitive assessment in healthy adults.  From:  Moss, M., Cook, J., Wesnes, K., & Duckett, P. (2003). Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. International Journal of Neuroscience113(1), 15-38.  Link: 
  • Ingestion of dried rosemary improved cognitive function in the elderly.  From:  Pengelly, A., Snow, J., Mills, S. Y., Scholey, A., Wesnes, K., & Butler, L. R. (2012). Short-term study on the effects of rosemary on cognitive function in an elderly population. Journal of medicinal food15(1), 10-17. 
  • Inhalation of rosemary had a stimulant effect, improved mood, and brain clarity in participants.  From:  Sayorwan, W., Ruangrungsi, N., Piriyapunyporn, T., Hongratanaworakit, T., Kotchabhakdi, N., & Siripornpanich, V. (2012). Effects of inhaled rosemary oil on subjective feelings and activities of the nervous system. Scientia pharmaceutica81(2), 531-542. 
  • The study determines the molecular mechanism of gotu kola on neuro-protection and memory enhancement in rats.  From:  Xu, Y., Cao, Z., Khan, I., & Luo, Y. (2008). Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) extract enhances phosphorylation of cyclic AMP response element binding protein in neuroblastoma cells expressing amyloid beta peptide. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease13(3), 341-349. 
  • Gotu kola improved memory in 28 healthy elderly participants.  From:  Wattanathorn, J., Mator, L., Muchimapura, S., Tongun, T., Pasuriwong, O., Piyawatkul, N., … & Singkhoraard, J. (2008). Positive modulation of cognition and mood in the healthy elderly volunteer following the administration of Centella asiatica. Journal of ethnopharmacology116(2), 325-332. 
  • A study of 41 healthy middle aged adults showed significantly improved  cognitive performance as measured using the Woodcock-Johnson Cognitive Abilities Test III.  From:  Dev, R. D. O. (2009). Comparison on cognitive effects of Centella asiatica in healthy middle age female and male volunteers. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism55, 709. 
  • In a six month study of 60 elderly, gotu kola given twice a day improved cognition measured by the Mini Mental State Examination.  From;  Tiwari, S., Singh, S., Patwardhan, K., Gehlot, S., & Gambhir, I. S. (2008). Effect of Centella asiatica on mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and other common age-related clinical problems. Digest Journal of Nanomaterials and Biostructures3(4), 215-220. 

Some Interesting Links:

…more info on gingko at: University of Maryland Medical Center

…more info on gotu kola at: Be Brain Fit