Essential Oils for Exhaustion, Focus and Concentration
We can be tired from lack of sleep, physically tired from exercise and mentally tired from preparing for an exam or interview. Not to mention all the conditions out there where tiredness is a symptom. Is there any evidence that essential oils can help? And speaking of exams and interviews, can they help with focus and concentration too? It’s difficult to do that when you’re tired too!
In a study on rats, orange, peppermint, rosemary and clove essential oils were blended and inhaled by the rats. This group had a longer time to exhaustion than the control group which suggests that this essential oil mixture “could powerfully relieve exercise induced fatigue".
In a small randomized, controlled, double blind pilot study from 2012, a mixture of peppermint, basil and helichrysum essential oils was used in inhalers to study the effectiveness on mental exhaustion and moderate burnout. The aromatherapy group had a greater reduction in perceived exhaustion/burnout.
In another study published in 2018, rats were sleep deprived and some were subject to an essential oil blend (sandalwood, lemon, benzoin, grapefruit, peppermint, Shi Chang Pu, Rhodiola and tea) by diffusion. The group that received the essential oils by diffusion, behaved significantly better in physical endurance, emotion and cognitive function.
A 2012 study on 20 volunteers was designed to test cognitive performance when inhaling rosemary essential oil. Results showed improved performance at higher concentrations for both speed and accuracy.
So, there’s not a lot of evidence out there yet but let’s see what these essential oils have in common. Many of them contain terpenes, ketones and esters. Terpenes are analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, stimulating, calming and soothing to your nervous system and increase oxygen in your brain. Ketones are analgesic and some are nervous system stimulants. Esters are anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, relaxing and release muscle and nervous tension. Sounds like everything you’d need, right?
Go ahead and put some of these essential oils in your diffuser. Did they work for you?