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You probably know how good essentials oils smell and that they can lift your mood. But did you know that essential oils can actually improve your brain function?

Those wonderful smells are made up of gazillions of tiny particles that directly affect the limbic part of your brain.

Every time you breathe in the essential oil molecules, they are absorbed through the mucous linings of your nostrils and go straight to the olfactory system, eventually ending up in your olfactory cortex and your limbic area.

The limbic part of your brain regulates emotions, memory, your nervous system, heart rate, and blood pressure. The reason that essential oils can be so effective and beneficial for your brain is due to the characteristics of sesquiterpenes, one of the three compounds that make up essential oils.

Sesquiterpene molecules are so tiny they can pass the blood-brain barrier. They are also oxygen-carrying molecules which means they can help the brain heal, improve concentration and learning, and boost brain energy.

But how do you know which essential oils to choose? The following oils have all been shown to improve cognitive function.

Rosemary is an excellent oil to use if you’re studying, or to help manage dementia, as it has proprieties that can enhance your ability to store and retain information.

Peppermint can help improve concentration, memory, and alertness. It is also good for soothing and relaxing muscles and can be applied directly to the forehead to help headaches.

Basil is an ancient plant long used to increase attention spans and improve memory. Basil can also help calm and de-stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed. As well as helping to reduce anxiety, nervousness, and fatigue, basil will give you an energy boost right when you most need it.

Lavender is not just good for helping you sleep. Research has shown that it can help you focus and improve your mental performance precisely because it helps cut through mental stress and fatigue.

Grapefruit essential oil is associated with increased creativity, energy, and positivity and stimulates the brain to promote alertness and improve focus.

Lemon stimulates the central nervous system, leading to increased attention span, greater focus, and enhanced ability to remember information. One study even showed that exposing workers to lemon essential oil increased work accuracy by more than fifty percent!

Ylang ylang has been shown to have an antidepressant effect, improve mental processing and memory. Ylang ylang is also calming and leads to improved mood.

If you were using your essential oil diffuser to make your environment smell nice, now you know you can do so much more with it. Improve your mood and your cognitive function, all while enjoying refreshing scents!


Not only do essential oils smell great and lift your mood, they can also improve your brain function.

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