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8 Powerful Essential Oils for Brain Health

Discover 8 essential oils for brain health. These oils will help with focus, memory, alertness and more!

Essential oils for brain health: lavender, frankincense, vetiver, peppermint, lemon balm, sandalwood, cedarwood, rosemary,

Essential Oils Are Powerful…

If you haven’t noticed essential oils are all the rage right now and there is a good reason why. Unlike oral supplements that have to be processed through the digestive system. These little oils pack a powerful medicinal punch by being used topically. Anything that gets placed on the skin will then be absorbed into the bloodstream. It makes you think twice when you rub chemically laden lotion all over your body. That stuff is going into your blood!

Essential oils have also been used for centuries for their aromatherapy. I recent article from Yale Scientific states, “Mie University School of Medicine found that patients with depression needed smaller doses of antidepressant medications after citrus fragrance treatment. Another study from the University of Vienna demonstrated that when the scent of orange oil was used in dental clinics, female patients exhibited decreased anxiety. These studies suggest that some fragrances may have a clinically quantifiable effect on mood.” (1)

I recently wrote on 13 hair loss oils to help regrow your hair , since it’s such a big topic for me personally and for a lot of others. This time around I wanted to touch on the topic of essential oils for brain health. It is vital for living an awesome life!

Watching my dad suffer from dementia and my nephew with autism has really shown me how important it is that we take care of our brain. We can do that with diet, supplements, and oils.

These oils can be used for numerous health reasons beyond the brain, but we will be focusing on they help us mentally. It doesn’t matter if you are looking at these oils to help you focus during a test, or clear up mental fog, or help with some mild memory loss. These oils will all help in some way.

Essential Oils for Brain Health

The human brain is a wonderful organ. It starts to work as soon as you are born and doesn’t stop until you get up to deliver a speech. – George Jessel


Lavender has been traditionally used for its calming abilities. It has shown effective to reduce anxiety related to work or school. Lavender caused students to have better recall during tests. In addition, it has been used to increase alertness and boost stamina and energy. Rubbing 2-3 drops of lavender oil on your palms, and breathing in the scent can help you become calmer.


Various brain injuries are slow to heal, but frankincense oil can aid greatly in this process. Frankincense works by aiding oxygenation of blood going to the brain. This, in turn, will aid in oxygen absorption. When oxygen is absorbed effectively, it allows the brain to process and retain information, heal, and function correctly.

Frankincense is the essential oil of choice for any kind of brain disorder. Frankincense has a molecular makeup that includes sesquiterpenes, that are able to cross the blood/brain barrier. These sesquiterpenes stimulate the limbic system of the brain and other glands within the brain, promoting memory and releasing emotions. (2)


My family and I have been using vetiver for a couple of years now. The aroma is unique and for us, it took a little while to get used too. I use it when I am trying to study or feeling a little mental fog going on.

A recent study showed vetiver oil can be used to help children with ADHD and ADD.

The study found that the relaxing and calming properties of vetiver oil helped the children combat their ADHD and ADD symptoms, which typically include difficulty in concentrating, diminished focus, being easily distracted, difficulty with organization and following directions, impatience, and fidgety behavior. The research that is being done to support vetiver oil, and other essential oils, as an effective natural remedy for ADHD, is an exciting and much-needed prospect. (3)


Peppermint is perhaps one of the most versatile of all essential oils in the world. It is perfect for children with autism, ADHD, and ADD because it gives a cooling sensation and has a calming effect on the body. It is also known to help improve mental focus. (4)

Lemon Balm (Melissa)

Lemon Bam extract also contains rosmarinic acid which has been found to inhibit GABA transaminase. This enzyme works to remove GABA when it is released by your neurons at the synaptic cleft. By inhibiting the transaminase enzyme, Lemon Balm an effectively increase GABA activity in the brain.

GABA is one of the inhibitory neurotransmitters, used by your brain to prevent over-excitement and attain balance. It is responsible for ensuring that we are not overly stressed and plays a role in sleep cycles. (5)


Sandalwood oil helps improve memory and stimulates concentration. It keeps your brain cool and relaxed and saves you from unnecessary stress and anxiety. (6)


The scent of cedarwood essential oil encourages the release of serotonin, which is converted into melatonin in the brain. Melatonin induces restorative sleep and leaves you feeling calm. (7)


Researchers from Northumbria University in the United Kingdom found that the amount of 1,8-cineole, the main chemical in rosemary oil, in the blood is linked with brain performance. Their work was published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology.

The finding “opens up the doorway for us to explore other odors and how they affect people,” Dr. Alan Hirsch, director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, who was not involved in the study, told WebMD.

The researchers exposed 20 people to different levels of rosemary oil aroma, and then took blood samples to see how much of the 1,8-cineole each person absorbed. Then, the participants took speed, accuracy and mood tests to see if the rosemary oil had any effects.

They found that the more 1,8-cineole in the bloodstream of the person, the better the person’s performance on both the speed and accuracy tests. Researchers also noted a small effect on mood. (8)

Important reminder for essential oils…

Remember to never use essential oils straight onto your skin. Essential oils are extremely strong and can cause irritation to the skin. It’s always a good idea to mix it with a carrier oil, such as coconut, almond, jojoba or olive oil.

I hope these 8 essential oils for brain health are helpful in your search for better mental clarity, focus, memory and everything else that involves your beautiful brain!

Drop me a comment below and share with me your thoughts about essential oils and how they have helped you! Also, don’t forget to check out these other posts on essential oils and natural health.

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Essential oils for brain health

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Sunday 15th of March 2020

HI! Do you need to use a carrier oil when using the oils for mental improvement? Where do you apply them? Thank you so much!

Melissa Tumino

Thursday 29th of April 2021

It depends on the essential oil. Some need a carrier oil and some don't. I recommend looking it up and seeing if it does. I find applying it at the back of the neck, behind the ears, on the forehead to be good.


Friday 16th of November 2018

Hello, I enjoyed reading your information about essential oils. What essential oil brand do you think is the best to use? Thank you!


Thursday 21st of September 2017

I really appreciate the info and ideas. I love your blog!