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Essential Oils And Memory - How To Enhance Your Memory By Using Essential Oils

Kathryn Caywood

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Essential oils to improve memory? It depends on the oil, because some are much better for memory than others. Which oils are best and how does one use them optimally?

Which oils?

1. Rosemary

In ancient Greece, students are said to weave garlands of rosemary into their hair. Why? Because they believed that it (a) strengthened the brain and (b) enhanced memory. Modern research has confirmed that rosemary essential oil contains compounds which benefit the brain.

2. Cedarwood

This is my new favorite! When I've finished using a bottle of cedarwood for other purposes, I keep the empty one at my desk or my reading chair. Out of all the essential oils in the world, cedarwood contains the highest percentage of sesquiterpenes. These are the compounds in the oil that support clear thinking by carrying more oxygen to the brain.

3. Sage

In a 2003 study, young adults were given capsules containing either sage essential oil or a placebo. The one receiving the sage oil performed significantly better on recall tests!

4. Four More Single Oils

The essential oils of lemon, jasmine, peppermint, and lavender have also been studied for the memory-enhancing qualities. In studies, diffusing the essential oil of lemon resulted in a 54% improvement; jasmine, 33%, peppermint, 28%; and lavender, 28%.

5. Two of My Favorite Blends

I keep two memory-enhancing essential oil blends at my desk. When I want sheer brain power, I inhale a combination of cedarwood, sandalwood, frankincense, blue cypress, helichrysum, lavender, and melissa. When I suspect that my need for greater brain clarity is due in part to emotional issues, I inhale a blend of basil, bergamot, cardamom, geranium, jasmine, lemon, palmarosa, peeppermint, Roman chamomille, rosemary, rosewood, and ylang ylang.

Some people even make their own blends.

Three Ways to Use Brain-Building Oils

1. Inhale

The easiest way is to inhale from the bottle. Diffusing is also fun, and if you don't have a cold-air diffuser, you can put 4-8 drops of the oil on a cotton ball and place on the vents. Another way is to put a drop on a corner of a handkerchief.

2. Apply Topically

Some people prefer to put the memory-enhancing oils on the edge of their ears, on the back of the neck, on the forehead, on the wrists, or on the big toe. Why the big toe? Because in reflexology, this corresponds to the brain! The Essential Oils Desk Reference recommends diluting with a high-quality vegetable oil. Some people follow this guidance and others don't.

3. Ingest

Some people prefer to put a drop of a memory-enhancing oil in a glass of water at their desk, and others enjoy boiling some water, adding a drop of the oil, and having a cup of tea.

The bottom line?

For memory enhancement, which oil to use and how to use it is often a matter of personal choice. My only caution is to be sure to use therapeutic grade essential oils, because I doubt that you want the chemicals of synthetic oils going to your brain. For optimizing the efficacy of your chosen oils or oils, I recommend consulting with the Essential Oils Desk Reference.

For more tips and tools on using essential oils at work, at home, while traveling, or while just out and about, I invite you to visit If you would like to receive my free bi-weekly essential oils newsletter, simply click on the CONTACT navigation button and put NEWSLETTER in the text box that crops up.

Please note that this article is written with the assumption that you are using only therapeutic grade essential oils and that you are using them in accordance with the Essential Oils Desk Reference.

If you're ready to shop for some of these essential oils, I invite you to visit and click on ESSENTIAL OILS.

If you have questions, feel free to email me at either site above.

People of all ages - children, parents, grandparents - are using essential oil for memory benefits. If you are considering this idea for an elderly person in your life, you might consider getting a timer to go with the diffuser.

Here's to optimizing our memory!


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