Concentration allows you to memorize facts better and increase productivity. Staying concentrated for a long time takes a lot of energy. Aromatherapy has yet again, proven effective at helping you learn. Check out what the best essential oils for concentration and study are, and why.
In this article, you’ll be reading about:
- Definition of terms such as study, attention, concentration and focus. This is meant to help you understand better what they involve and how oils can help.
- The action mechanism of aromatic oils that can help you with memory retention.
- The pros and cons of some of the best proven Aromatherapy oils for memory and concentration. With studies that support their claims and beneficial effects.
- How to use these aromatic oils to get the best and fastest results.
- Blend recipes for a better focus, attention, alertness and concentration. Learn more and faster in the time you’ve got left until your exams and tests.
- A few safety tips for the best use of essential oils for concentration and study.
Best Essential Oils for Studying, Focus and Concentration (Pros & Cons)
Study, focus, attention, concentration. Although they’re all related words, with more or less the same meaning, they’re still different terms.
In different contexts, these words may mean something else. In the process of learning, these activities have one common purpose. That is to assimilate as much information as possible.
I will begin by defining the main terms I will be referring to in this article. These definitions will also help you understand how essential oils can actually help.
Attention = It’s the ability to apply the mind to a specific something. That something is usually a learning task of a skill, new language, etc.
Concentration = Is a natural process in which you direct all your attention to just one single task or object.
Focus = To focus on something means to direct your attention toward that something. That something becomes the center of all your attention and interest.
Study = It describes the whole process of getting knowledge through all mental faculties.
It’s easy to get distracted, especially when everything depends on your mindset. Your mind wanders a lot. You’re probably worried about something else at the time you’re learning. Or you simply don’t feel like learning, though you have to.
Simply being worried about your studying can affect that mindset that would lead to a better learning. Quite a vicious circle here!
Luckily, both mood and memory can be improved naturally. Essential oils and herbal teas have proven to enhance the attention and focus or memory.
Essential oils are not only for students. Today, you can use essential oils for exams, physical tests, and memory retention. But you can also use essential oils to relieve the anxiety before a test.
In other words, the right Aromatherapy oils can help you focus and concentrate better.
The 2 main causes for which you may face difficulty in concentrating on a task can be:
- Cognitive: hyperactivity, dyslexia or dyspraxia. All these disorders can exhaust a person’s emotional and attention resources.
- Psychological: stress, depression, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, frustration, etc.
It’s harder to deal with cognitive problems, but not impossible. Cognitive dysfunction is the central symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. One study concluded that cognitive dysfunction improves after aromatherapy.
However, most people with learning difficulty are usually emotional. That is why Aromatherapy works well for studying.
How Can Essential Oils Help You Concentrate and Study?
To be able to focus better on your tasks, you need a good rest and to eat well. You also need to feel less stressed. There are quite a few studies that show how Aromatherapy can help you sleep.
- Some aromatic oils can lower the blood pressure and heart rhythm, inducing relaxation.
- They can also relieve tension from the muscles, which also helps you relax and sleep.
- Others can relieve anxiety and depression feelings and give your mood a bit of boost.
- They can fight drowsiness and increase your energy level.
- Deal with headaches and migraines during sustained attention.
- Aromatherapy can also help you feel less irritated.
- Some oils have cephalic effects. This means they are better at healing cerebral (brain) conditions or diseases. Thus, they can stimulate the nervous system, soothe headaches and prevent migraines.
Essential oils that help you stay more alert can also make you feel better. This eliminates the vicious circle of feeling stressed because of lack of concentration.
Some of the best (cephalic) essential oils for focus and concentration, and for cognitive problems are:
- Sweet Basil
- Clary Sage
- Juniper Berry
It has been proven that fragrances play an important role in human emotions. They’re also important in recall and recognition. In other words, you can train your mind to associate new aromas with specific activities. Just like it does with childhood scents.
Here’s how essential oils for concentration and study work:
- The volatile constituents of the essence are very small. That allows them to enter the bloodstream through the nose and lungs. This helps the oil molecules reach the affected site and relieve pain, inflammation, etc. While inside the body, essential oil molecules can also give the other organs a boost.
- They can also penetrate the blood-brain barrier and affect the brain directly. This direct action can be made by acting on enzyme systems or receptor sites. This influences the behavior through the nervous system or the endocrine system. The latter is responsible for hormone production.
- The scent is recognized by the limbic system. This one then sends information to the hypothalamus, which releases neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters will then help you relax or keep you more alert and focused. The message depends on the oil molecule. A molecule, depending on the chemotype of the oil, can have different physiological effects.
The more pleasant the aroma is for you, the better performance you’ll have. (Degel J., Köster E.P. (1999) Odors: implicit memory and performance effects.)
So, what are the best essential oils for concentration and study, right? Which essential oil is best for studying? The answer to these questions is:
I’ve chosen these oils because they’ve been studied more. Thus, there’s more to talk about their beneficial effects on memory and concentration. But there are others, also great aromatic oils that you could use. It’s always great to have options.
Even though the other oils haven’t yet been tested, ancient wisdom points them in the right direction. The three I’ll be talking about are also ancient remedies for focus and concentration. This was what helped scientists choose them for their first tests.
1) Lavender Essential Oil
Botanical name: Lavandula angustifolia.
- Lavender is one of the best essential oils for focus and concentration. How is that possible when you know it by its relaxing and sleep-inducing effects? Apparently, Lavender oil can soothe and calm down the nerves while keeping the mind alert. Studies show that Lavender was able to speed up math calculations (basic arithmetic). On top of this effect, the oil of Lavender also increased the accuracy with which they were performed.
- Another study found Lavender oil effective at keeping the mind alert during peak drowsiness hours. Once the fatigue installs, the inhalation of Lavender oil can prevent a lower performance. Still wondering which essential oils are used for focus and concentration? Well, you can use Lavender oil for that and more.
- Lavender is also great for relieving anxiety and stress symptoms.
- It can also help you sleep better at night. All these little things pile up. In a short time, you’ll be able to assimilate a lot more information than without Aromatherapy.
- Avoid using Lavender essential oil if you have cardiovascular problems. It can dilate the blood vessels and interact with your medication.
- If you have asthma or suffer from allergies, talk to your doctor first.
- In high amounts, Lavender becomes too stimulating. This may cause problems such as insomnias or nervousness.
- There are other types of Lavender oils out there. Choose the right one after its botanical name.
Why I like it:
Lavender oil is just great at everything. It can be used for mental clarity, anxiety and stress and even skin care. It can help the tissue regenerate, without much scar tissue. It’s great for hair care also.
2) Peppermint Essential Oil
Botanical name: Mentha piperita.
- Peppermint oil is a general energizer and tonic. This means that it can boost up all vital activities and keep the mind alert and more focused. Thus, Peppermint is a great essential oil for concentration and study.
- One study concluded that inhaling Peppermint oil can help you stay more vigilant. It helps you do that without the risk of performance errors. Thus, the oil is great for tasks that demand close attention, for long periods of time. Another study, this time on peppermint tea, found that it improves long-term memory. Thus, you can remember more words and pictures than what you think you’ve learned.
- Peppermint essential oil for studying can raise the dopamine level. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that stimulates the nervous system. This leads to an improved attention and focus.
- The scent alone of Peppermint is very pleasant, refreshing and relaxing.
- Peppermint is one of the best essential oils for studying, but it should not be used on long-term.
- High amounts of Peppermint can cause seizures and epilepsy attacks.
- High amounts can also have narcotic effects.
- Ingestion of Peppermint oil can be toxic to the liver and kidneys.
- Avoid using this essential oil for concentration and study if you have heart or kidney problems.
Why I like it:
Peppermint essential oil is perfect for focus and memory. Studies support its effects on the mind and nervous system. Ancient wisdom also supports its beneficial effects, which seals the deal. I like Peppermint as a digestive oil too.
3) Rosemary Essential Oil (ct. cineole)
Botanical name: Rosmarinus officinalis.
- There are many studies on Rosemary (herb and essential oil). All those studies make Rosemary a great memory booster and tonic. People who inhaled Rosemary oil had a significantly enhanced long-term memory. Those people had higher results (15% more) than those who did not inhale any aroma. They also felt more alert. The molecule responsible for all these beneficial effects is called 1, 8 cineole.
- Rosemary can also speed up math computations, just like Lavender.
- It was also tested on older people (aged 65). Scientists noticed that they remembered to do things after inhaling Rosemary essential oil.
- The oil of Rosemary can also protect from viral infections. While doing that, it can also relieve respiratory problems.
- If you suffer from asthma, you should consult a doctor before using Rosemary oil for studying.
- It is also not recommended for epileptic people.
- Rosemary has cortisone-like effects and can be toxic to the liver. It can be toxic if used in high amounts, for long periods of time.
Why I like it:
What essential oils are good for attention? Rosemary is a good essential oil for attention and memory retention. It is also uplifting and fresh and can be used in skin care and hair care too. It is especially good for hair growth and maintaining the color on.
What other good essential oils for concentration and study are there? We have:
- Sage – Studies show that Sage essential oil and herb can affect cognition and mood.
- Patchouli – This essential oil can be used to increase brain capacity and focus. The effect is even better in combination with Peppermint oil.
- Black Spruce – The oil of Black Spruce can be helpful in times of general fatigue. It can stimulate the whole body by increasing the production of cortisone.
- Cypress – Is an oil that induces good, positive thoughts. Cypress is great for those with a scattered mind.
- Lemon – This oil is great at dealing with fatigue and lack of focus. With its uplifting and fresh scent, it can stimulate the whole body, not just the mind.
- Palo Santo – Can help you feel more energized and balance the nervous system.
- Thyme – Is a great stimulant and energizer. It can help muscles relax, but it can also improve memory and concentration.
- Bay Laurel – Is another one of the best essential oils for concentration and study. It can also relieve stress symptoms and support the body during intense mental activity.
- Vetiver – The oil of Vetiver is one of the best for attention disorders like ADHD. it improves brain activity and maintains it alert. Its scent is stimulant and refreshing.
- Sweet Basil – Can also help you remember things and focus better on your tasks. Basil is a tonic for the mind and body.
Are you a doTERRA fan? I bet you’re wondering what doTERRA oil is good for concentration. The good news is that they too sell the oils I mentioned in this article.
Good essential oils for studying from doTERRA are, of course, Rosemary, Peppermint, and Lavender.
Or, you could go for the doTERRA proprietary blend for studying and memory: InTune. It contains many of the oils with effects on the nervous system. For example, Patchouli and Ylang Ylang. The latter is known to reduce blood pressure and induce peace.
But what about Young Living? What Young Living oil is good for focus? This company also sells the oils I talked about here. Therefore, you can buy their YL Lavender, Rosemary, and Peppermint. You can also go for the Lemon, Sweet Basil, Vetiver, etc.
Blends and Recipes with Essential Oils for Concentration and Study
It can be very stressful and demanding to have to stay focused for a long period of time. Though important, the interest may fade away quite fast. You’ll then have to continue assimilating a big load of information.
What do you do when this happens? Well, obviously you inhale some Aromatherapy oils for studying. To do it safely and avoid an overdose, you must know how to use your oils.
How to Use Essential Oils for Concentration and Study
The way you use Aromatherapy oils is very important. There are many ways in which their molecules can enter the body, some with faster results.
Inhalation (also diffusion) is the best way of enjoying the benefits of the oils in a fast manner. It takes seconds until the molecules reach the nasal mucosa and then the brain. Also, through inhalation, the oil concentration is higher (50 – 70%).
Thus, you can use your Aromatherapy oils for study, focus, and attention by choosing any of the following methods:
- Spray. Mix some floral water or distilled water with some essential oils and spray the mixture into the air. You can use it several times an hour. The diffusion will be similar to that of an ultrasonic diffuser.
- Direct inhalation (from the bottle). Careful though, some oils may irritate the eyes and nose.
- Cotton pads. Pour a few drops on a cotton pad and place it close by while studying.
- Diffusion. Depending on the type of aroma diffuser you have, you can diffuse a few drops, every 2 hours. It’s not recommended to diffuse for more than 30 minutes, to avoid air saturation. The latter can cause headaches and/or nausea. Always keep the room well ventilated.
- Steam baths. Add a few drops of essential oils for concentration and study over some boiled water. The steam will disperse the oil molecules throughout the room.
- Aromatic baths. Mix 10 – 20 drops of EO with a cup of salt and add it to a bathtub of hot water. Inhale deeply and prepare for a new reading session.
- Diffuser jewelry. You can wear aroma necklaces or bracelets infused with essential oils. In contact with body heat, they will gently disperse into the air.
- Massage. You can make yourself a roll-on blend of essential oils for memory retention and carrier oil. Apply small amounts on the temples, wrists, and back of the hands during the study.
The best frequency would be 2 – 3 times a day, for 5 days. You should take a break in between and always ventilate the room/house to avoid air saturation. Oil molecules can linger on for a very long time.
Essential Oil Blends for Study, Focus and Memory, and Concentration
The fun part is here! Let’s mix and match these aromatic essences to help you prepare better for tests and exams. While you’re at it, these blends can also help you control that stress and anxiety.
Essential Oil Memory Boost Roll-on Recipe
- Peppermint essential oil: 10 drops
- Lavender essential oil: 10 drops
- Rosemary (ct. cineole) essential oil: 10 drops
- Sweet Almond oil
The carrier can be any neutral smelling oil. Add the essential oils into the bottle, and then add the carrier to fill the roll-on. Apply on pulse points and back of the hands and inhale deeply.
Essential Oil for Focus and Concentration Diffuser Recipe
- Peppermint essential oil: 15 drops
- Rosemary essential oil: 15 drops
- Vetiver essential oil: 10 drops
Mix these oils into an empty dark glass bottle. Add 5 – 15 drops in your Aromatherapy diffuser, depending on how large the area is and the device you use. Nebulizers need less oil and can cover very large areas.
Essential Oils Diffuser Recipe for Exams and Anxiety
- Lemon essential oil: 20 drops
- Peppermint essential oil: 10 drops
- Sage essential oil: 10 drops
Add a few drops in your Aroma diffuser and keep it on for up to 30 minutes, in a well-ventilated room. You can repeat every at least 2 hours, no more than 3 times a day.
Keep Focused & Pay Attention Diffuser Blend Recipe
- Bay Laurel essential oil: 20 drops
- Peppermint essential oil: 20 drops
- Black Spruce essential oil: 20 drops
- Vetiver essential oil: 20 drops
Mix these oils together and use only a few drops at a time. Use a diffuser, cotton pad or spray to disperse the ingredients where you’re studying.
They are natural plant extracts, but they’re not without risks. It’s true that they don’t have as many side effects as medicines do.
That is where their popularity as natural remedies comes from too. Here are a few things to consider before using any essential oil for studying:
- Talk to a doctor first if you suffer from diabetes, cancer, heart failure and other serious diseases.
- Also, seek medical approval for Aromatherapy use on children. Some oils may be too powerful for them and cause health complications. E.g.: Peppermint oil can cause respiratory problems for children.
- Take into account your pets. Dogs are not as sensitive as cats to essential oils, but they can too be affected. You can read this article for more details on Aromatherapy for cats.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also talk to their doctors first.
- Always test your oils for allergic reactions. You can mix a drop with some carrier oil and apply on the inside of the forearm. If nothing happens in a few hours – a day, the oil should be safe to use.
A good research about the essence you like can help you use it safely. That is why I gave you the pros and cons of the top best researched essential oils for memory and attention.
Who doesn’t like a stress-free learning session? Most people get anxious, especially in front of a big load of information or before an exam. Luckily, you can trust your favorite Aromatherapy oils to help you manage that aspect.
It’s easy to pick some good essential oils for concentration and study. It’s also important to like their scents to make the learning process more enjoyable. Some oils benefit from the support of science too, but it doesn’t mean that the others can’t help.
Have you ever tried Aromatherapy for studying? Did you feel like you could concentrate better on your tasks after inhaling essential oils?