Does peppermint affect memory and stress levels of Test-takers?
Julia Maio
Alpha Secondary
Floor Location : M 025 H

Scientific studies have shows that peppermint oil, which can be found in peppermint candies, can enhance cognitive functioning. Menthol in the peppermint oil, releases the strong and cooling scent of peppermints, which is shown to relax, and stimulate the brain. Peppermint candies also contain sugar, which is used as a primary, but temporary, source of fuel for the brain. I was curious to see how peppermint would affect the brain, after performing a short-term memory test, because I could use these results in the future, if the peppermint did make a difference. I approached 20 ninth-grade students, and asked them if they would like to volunteer to participate in an experiment about peppermint candies. If they said yes, I would give them a peppermint (to half of the participants.) I tell them to consume it, and then give them the memory test: containing 20 words which were somewhat easy because I wanted to include students who might not have English as their first language. After a timer was set for one minute, I would give them the list. When the timer was up, I would take the test away from them, then record their test results, as they recite as many words as they can from the paper. I calculated statistical significance using exel, as well as the mean, to see if consuming a peppermint before or after a test would show a positive difference of the words remembered on the test. The results showed that consuming a peppermint before taking my memory test, was significant by a p value of 0.22%, which is significant in a statistical way, however in order for higher accuracy, this test would have to be taken by more people.