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Try sniffing some fresh, crushed sage – or a cotton ball with a couple drops of sage essential oil. Research in the UK shows the smell of sage reduces anxiety and improves focus for up to 4 hours. That’s because compounds in the herb help prevent the depletion of brain neurotransmitters that impact mood, memory recall, and attention span – and can improve thinking and short-term memory in as little as 60 minutes. In fact, the researchers believe that regularly smelling the fragrance of sage can help fight off age-related mental decline.