Whether you’re in need of an afternoon pick me up to focus on studying, or you just need to concentrate and get some work done, essential oils are a safe and effective way to aid concentration, focus, and memory throughout the day. Depending on the chosen oil or blend, oils can help with energy, alertness, confidence, and concentration - everything you require to complete the tasks at hand.
Supporting Memory and Cognitive Function
The demands of modern life can sometimes leave us feeling stressed, distracted, and even a little absent minded. If you find yourself reaching for a sugar or caffeine hit to get you through the afternoon, it might surprise you to know that refined carbohydrates can give you a quick boost of energy but causes a drop in blood sugar levels just as quickly, often leading to listlessness, fatigue, and amplifying the classic “afternoon brain fatigue”1. It’s important to eat a balanced diet high in essential fatty acids, which are proven to help with brain function, and a diet rich in protein and complex carbohydrates for energy.
Along with diet, we are surrounded by air conditioning, synthetic carpets and furniture, pollutants in the air (including output from computers and electrical equipment), all of which increase the positive ion effect in the air and have been known to cause irritability, poor concentration, and fatigue. Negative air ionisation is still under review, but research suggests that it may assist with stress, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and mild depression2.
Instead of jumping straight to sugary treats and coffee to get you through the day and get focused, make sure to stay hydrated, perhaps invest in a salt lamp for negative ions, and pop some essential oils in an essential oil diffuser or on an aroma bracelet. Here are some of our favourite essential oils to help with concentration, memory, focus, and energy levels.
7 Essential Oils for Focus and Concentration
There are many great essential oils that can aid concentration and focus, and here are seven of our favourites!
Alternatively, if you prefer your oils pre-blended, we would recommend our “Study & Focus Kit”. It is a combination of three of our most popular and useful Lifestyle Essential Oil Blends to assist with focus, concentration and maintaining balance.
Basil is renowned for its ability to assist with improving clarity and focus. It stimulates the brain, helps the intellect and improves concentration3. The vibrant aroma will awaken the senses and help with study and focus.
Some people can find Basil a bit overpowering and herbal on it’s own, so we’ve included it in our Mental Clarity Lifestyle Blend, along with Bergamot, Kunzea, Lemon, and Grapefruit. This blend can help to slow racing thoughts and clarify the mind.
While it may be similar to Peppermint, Spearmint Essential Oil has a more subtle aroma and is great when focus and alertness are needed. It invigorates on all levels - emotionally, physically and spiritually - and I particularly love blending spearmint with Lime to clear the atmosphere, energetically.
Spearmint blends beautifully with most essential oils and adds that extra zing to your blend.
3. May Chang
May Chang (also known as Litsea) is revitalising and uplifting and can lift your spirits to help focus and remain on track whilst working or studying. It resembles a mix of Lemongrass, Lemon Myrtle, and Lemon Ironbark and is the oil of choice for when you want to remain calm but switched on4.
May Chang is also a great essential oil for evoking positivity and happiness and can be a great support if you’re feeling a bit depleted or emotionally down. Although no scientific evidence exists, some aged care workers who have repeatedly purchased May Chang believe they have witnessed an improvement in cognitive function in some elderly residents.
Bergamot is the perfect choice if you need some support to feel grounded and present. With its fresh, citrus aroma, Bergamot helps lift the spirit and aids concentration1. Pilot studies suggest that even brief exposure to Bergamot may have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing5. A more cheerful disposition can lead to more energy diverted to the optimistic sunny side of ourselves helping with focus and direction.
Cedarwood is known for its support to relieve mental strain and stress, clearing the mind to help with study and concentration. Its deep, woody aroma helps to calm a busy mind, to aid clear thinking and achieve more with clarity and awareness.
Cedarwood is an oil for courage, willpower, and persistence to help you achieve the best outcome. It’s great to help you get through those assignments or a workload that seems never ending. Cedarwood enables you to take control and responsibility for your life6.
Inflammation in the body can lead to lethargy and brain fog, making our signature oil, Kunzea, another great oil for improving focus and energy. Kunzea’s fresh, clean, invigorating aroma is also uplifting emotionally, making work more pleasurable and less of a burden. It can be used on its own but is great blended with May Chang for an added dose of happiness and inspiration.
7. White Cypress Leaf
White Cypress has a woody, balsamic aroma and is the oil of choice for improving any nervous tension that might contribute to a lack of focus. A relatively new player in the essential oil world, White Cypress can help remove blocks in order to move forward with confidence. A refreshingly beautiful aroma that blends well with the citrus oils and woods.
Suggested Blends For Focus and Concentration
Diffusing essential oils in your home office, travel and small personal spaces can be challenging. Our diffuser of choice for work and study is the Aroma Mod. The USB power cord is perfect to use through a computer or laptop - anytime or anywhere!
Here are some DIY Diffuser Blends that you may like to try in your aroma diffuser at home:
Clarity of Mind
More often than not, feeling distracted and unfocused can come from trying to do too many things at once, getting lost in our thoughts and emotions, or overwhelming external stimulus. Diffusing essential oils can be a quick and effective way to stimulate the brain via our sense of smell and bring clarity and focus. Next time you’re looking for a bit of extra energy or focus, instead of reaching for a sugary pick-me-up, pop some of our suggested oils in your diffuser and see how they go for you.
About the Author - Michelle Brass ND
With over 25 years of experience in the natural health industry, Michelle has dedicated her life to helping others embrace the therapeutic benefits of nature. Throughout her time as a health practitioner, she has used and recommended countless traditional and conventional treatments to her clients - as she believes an integrative approach to health and wellness is very important. Michelle is passionate about using and promoting essential oils and, in particular, Kunzea Oil, as she has seen them help thousands of people over the years. She knows that using essential oils in your daily life can help bring balance to the mind, body and soul. She is constantly trialling and testing new products with her loyal clients.
All content by Australian Kunzea Pty Ltd, including, text, images, audio, or other formats, were created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. To read our full medical disclaimer, click here.
- Davis P. Aromatherapy An A-Z: The most comprehensive guide to aromatherapy ever published. Vermilion - Mass Market; 2005.
- Westrin, AS & Lam, R. Seasonal Affective Disorder: A Clinical Update. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry. 2007.
- Purchon, N. Aromatherapy. Grange Books Ltd. 1997.
- Princi-Jones P. A Scented Life: Aromatherapy reimagined. Hardie Grant Books; 2020.
- Han, X. Gibson, J. et al. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) Essential Oil Inhalation Improves Positive Feelings in the Waiting Room of a Mental Health Treatment Center: A Pilot Study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5434918/ Accessed 18 October 2020.
- Jefferies J, Webb D. Essential Man Essential Woman: A Guide to Using Aromatherapy for Men and Women. Living Energy Natural Therapies; 2004.