Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds which are obtained by distilling different plants. These compounds have been used for thousands for various medicinal benefits.
One of the most beneficial uses for essential oils is to improve cognitive function.
Research has demonstrated that some essential oils can improve mental accuracy and problem solving. This article will examine how these oils affect your cognition and which ones are the most powerful.
How Essential Oils Improve Cognitive Function
Researchers have found that when subjects where exposed to certain essential oils, the level of specific organic compounds increased in their bloodstream. One of those compounds was eucalyptol, which is expressed in various forms including 1,8cineol, 1,8cineole, cajeputol, and 1,8epoxypmenthane.<
During animal testing, researchers noticed an increase in locomotor activity as the compounds entered the bloodstream. Researchers then discovered that eucalyptol based compounds suppress certain enzymes in the brain. The suppression of those enzymes, namely acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), led to increased synapse activity.
The following essential oils have been demonstrated to be useful in improving cognitive performance:
Rosemary is perhaps the most effective essential oil for improving cognitive performance because of the extremely high levels of eucalyptol it contains. This essential oil can improve accuracy, increase efficiency and improve mathematical ability. This particular essential oil does not improve alertness or attention span, so is often used in conjunction with other oils.
Besides being a delicious addition to your pasta, Basil actually has a number of useful properties as an essential oil. Basil has been reported to clear the mind and help with focus. It is also a nerve stimulant which can help with alertness, useful for longer study sessions.
Besides being able to help with indigestion, peppermint is fantastic for boosting mental awareness and alertness. Peppermint combines well with rosemary, eucalyptus and juniper.
Bay Laurel (Laurel Leaf Oil)
This essential oil is also very high in eucalyptol, so has similar benefits to rosemary. Bay Laurel can improve focus and help you narrow in on a specific problem. Some people also use this essential oil when combating a cold.
Juniper is a coniferous tree with essential oil that is particularly effective at ridding the body of toxins. It also has the effect of calming your nerves and lowering anxiety. When combined with other essential oils it can help a person remain relaxed, alert and learning efficiently without anxiety.
Derived from the clary sage plant (Salvia Sclarea), this essential oil is fantastic at boosting confidence and mental strength. Clary Sage is often used to help prevent vision loss, so is fantasticfor helping people who are staring at computer screens for long periods. This oil is extremely powerful and should be used sparingly.
Frankincense Essential Oil is high in an organic compound called sesquiterpenes. Sesquiterpenes can help oxygenate the limbic system of the brain, which helps you relax and remain calm.
Combining Oils For a Cognition Boost
Some experimenting is usually required to find a combination of essential oils that boost your cognition and smell great. A good place to start is by combining one of the oils heavy in eucalyptol with some of the oils that help alertness and calmness. For example, a combination of 2 parts rosemary, 3 parts basil and 2 parts frankincense would lift your mood and improve cognition.
It is also useful to record details of the combinations of oils you try, how they were consumed and how they affected you. Some oil blends may be too strong for some people.
You should try burning oils, using them on your skin and evaporating oils to see which method you prefer.
With a little planning you could improve your academic performance greatly with essential oils!