Essential Oils for Focus & Concentration

Author: Jillian Foster   Date Posted:12 March 2019 

Struggling to focus at work? Instead of reaching for a caffeine fix, try diffusing some essential oils to boost focus and concentration. These can also be used by students to help get them through a study session or if you just need to some help overcoming fatigue.



This invigorating and uplifting citrus oil can enhance positive mood and aid concentration and learning. A study conducted in 2008 found evidence that lemon oil reliably enhances positive mood compared to water.[i] There are also a number of small studies showing inhalation of lemon oil can show cognitive benefits.[ii] [iii] Additionally, Lemon oil has been shown to help reduce stress and mild anxiety.



Produced from the leaves of the bitter orange, petitgrain has a sweet, floral smell. It is often recommended for stress-related conditions as it is uplifting and refreshing. It also has a stabilising effect on the nervous system. Some qualities associated with petitgrain are revitalising, balancing, restoring and clarifying.[iv].




A well-known culinary herb, rosemary has a very distinct aroma that has a wonderful stimulating effect on the mind, for this reason rosemary has become known as a symbol of remembrance. In one study participants reported that an aromatherapy massage with rosemary oil lead them to feeling more attentive, more alert, more vigorous, and more cheerful.[v] Another study conducted with teenage students found rosemary improved their short-term memory of both images and numbers.[vi] Overall, rosemary is a great essential oil for both young and old.



As an essential oil, basil has a sweet-spicy aroma with a woody undertone. It is considered one of the finest remedies for the brain and is believed to clear the head, relieve mental fatigue and give strength and clarity to the mind.[vii] It is often recommended to help lift the spirit and for those who have become physically and mentally exhausted.



Niaouli is reminiscent of eucalyptus with a strong, fresh and sweet aroma. It is this aroma that makes it a great stimulant essential oil to diffuse for focus and concentration. It can help clear respiratory congestion and ‘clear the head’.


How can you use these essential oils?

The best way to use essential oils for focus and concentration is to diffuse them; however you can also combine them with a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil and apply the oil to your pressure points such as the wrists, temple, soles of the feet, behind the knees or the nape of the neck.

Next time you are feeling a little foggy in the head, consider using essential oils to lift your spirit and stimulate your mind.


We recommend patch testing essential oils before use and discontinuing if sensitivity occurs. Avoid eye area. If pregnant consult your doctor before use. Do not ingest essential oils. Keep out of reach of children and pets.


[i] Kiecolt-Glaser JK. Graham JE. et. al. 2008. Olfactory influences on mood and autonomic, endocrine, and immune function. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2008 Apr;33(3):328-39 <Sponsor unknown>

[ii] Falls N. Singh D. Anwar F. Verma A. Kumar V. 2018. Amelioration of neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment by Lemon oil in experimental model of stressed mice. Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Oct;106:575-583 <Sponsor unknown>

[iii] Jimbo D. Kimura Y. Taniquchi M. Inoue M. Urakami K. 2009. Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Psychogeriatrics. 2009 Dec;9(4):173-9.<Sponsor unknown>

[iv] Battaglia S. 2005. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition. The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Brisbane Australia

[v] Hongratanaworakut T. 2009. Simultaneous Aromatherapy Massage with Rosemary Oil on Humans. Sci. Pharm. 2009, 77(2), 375-388. Sponsored by Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand

[vi] Filiptsove O.V. Gazzavi-Rogozinea L.V. 2017. The essential oil of rosemary and its effect on the human image and numerical short-term memory. Egyptian J. Basic and Applied Sci. Vol 4. Iss 2. June 2017. pp 107-111. Sponsored by Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

[vii] Battaglia S. 2005. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition. The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Brisbane Australia


Written by Jillian Foster

Jillian (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified naturopath who believes through a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle, we have the power to influence our health and the health of future generations. With a passion for herbal medicine, Jillian loves helping people find the right solution for their health needs and educating people on how they can lead a healthy and happy life. 

Jillian enjoys keeping active with her two young children and baking them delicious and healthy treats.

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