Essential oils support brain function on many levels from oils that stimulate the brain, calm the nervous system to relieve the fight or flight response, to oils that help reduce inflammation throughout the the body which can also lead to brain fog.
The Powerful Sense of Smell
Essential Oils directly access the brain through the olfactory bulb which is strongly linked to emotional state and memory function. The olfactory system is connected to the hippocampus, brain stem, auditory cortex and many other areas of the amygdala. This means that through our sense of smell we are able to positively influence thought processing. Going beyond the scent of Lavender reminding you of your Grandma it will also help to calm the brain stem and assist with auditory learning.
Crossing the Barrier
Another way that essential oils assist with brain health is through the blood-brain barrier. The brain has a unique built-in protective system that prevents toxins and harmful substances from affecting the brain. The blood vessels are lined with endothelial cells that create a barrier between the blood system of the brain and the rest of the body. Many drugs are not able to cross this barrier to help heal the brain. Essential Oils have this ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and act quickly to reduce inflammation and assist cellular regeneration.
My top 10 Essential Oils for Brain Fog to keep the brain healthy, reduce stress and focus better. Mix and match these essential oils together to create a brain and focus blend to use in your diffuser and roller-bottles with the oils you have in your cupboard. Don’t use oils internally unless they are CSPG Certified such as Doterra Oils.
Top 10 Essential Oils for Brain Fog
1. Peppermint – Invigorating and Stimulating
Peppermint is a versatile oil that helps with everything from indigestion, bug repellent, and improved athletic performance. It’s most widely known though for its ability to perk us up and keep you alert. Spritz peppermint on your child’s shirt, sip it in water or inhale from the palms of your hands with a drop of wild orange and frankincense to improve mental clarity and focus.
2. Rosemary – Refreshing and Clearing
Used in ancient times by scholars to increase focus but wearing rosemary leaves around the neck. Rosemary contains the chemical carnosol which reduces inflammation and helps nerve tissue growth. Apply diluted rosemary to the back of the neck or bottoms of the feet to boost memory and brain function. Or diffuse with frankincense and peppermint and while studying.
3. Vetiver – Exotic and Grounding
This grass root harvested in Haiti is known for its ability to ground and soothe emotions. Diffuse or apply topically with Lavender to the feet, spine or back of the neck to improve focus and concentration. Combine with Melissa and diffuse or apply to pulse points to decrease anxiety and severe stress.
4. Basil – Soothing and Restoring
Basil promotes mental alertness and lessens occasional anxious feelings. Diffuse Basil to promote a sense of focus while studying, reading, or completing other tasks that require mental clarity.
5. Frankincense – Peace and Wellness
One of the most valued essential oils for the extensive list of health benefits. Often considered the “when in doubt use Frankincense” oil. Diffuse or apply to the bottoms of the feet or the back of the neck to ease tension and bring focus to your thoughts. Frankincense assists with cellular repair and thus works to keep the brain and neural system healthy.
6. Wild Orange – Uplifting and Invigorating
This oil works both spectrums of stimulating energy and positive thoughts and calming the nervous system. Diffuse, apply topically to your pulse points or over the heart, or inhale from your palms with a drop of peppermint oil to to boost energy and concentration.
7. Lemon – Cleansing and Uplifting
Known for its cleansing properties around the house and used to clean the kitchen, polish furniture and removing sticky residues. This economical oil also helps to clear your thoughts, lift your mood and give you energy. Take internally in water or diffuse with Rosemary to boost concentration and increase energy.
8. White Fir – Stimulating and Clearing
The tree oils all provide a grounding and clearing influence, think of how good you feel after a walk in the woods. Dilute and apply to the temples or back of the neck or diffuse to relax, ground and release mental fog.
9. Thyme – Resolving and Powerful
Known as the oil of courage. Diffuse with Wild Orange and Douglas Fir to increase alertness and promote memory. Thyme is one of the strongest antioxidants supporting the immune, respiratory, digestive and nervous systems in the body. Add thyme to your cooking to get the overall health benefits- a couple drops will replace dried thyme in your favourite recipes.
10. Lavender – Calming and Relaxing
This is the go-to oil for all things calm. Diffuse or apply topically to the temples, back of the neck or the bottoms of the feet to calm the nervous system and relieve stress so you can think clearly again. Mixes will with Vetiver and Frankincense. Used on its own to promote sleep and relaxation, mixed with more invigorating oils it will soothe the nerves so you can focus on what needs to get done in the moment.
Almost all the essential oils will help boost your brain power in one form or another from helping you sleep to boosting your mood. These 10 power house essential oils for mental clarity will just get the job done quicker.
Note that all essential oils are not derived “naturally” so take care to choose high quality essential oils that have been harvested and extracted without chemical additives that may alter the beneficial effects they can provide.
Have fun exploring how these natural oils can help you and your family tune in and focus better together.
Share in the comments below your favourite blends to help you focus and concentrate!