Backpack Essentials for Students

Parents typically want to do all they can to help their children succeed in school. Whether your child is going down the street to the local elementary school or across the country to college, there are some great ways that essential oils can help your student achieve his or her greatest potential in school.

Passing the Test

Nothing is worse during a test than seeing a question and knowing that you studied the answer, but it just won’t come to you. Essential oils may be able to help with that problem. According to one source, “A university in Japan experimented with diffusing different essential oils in the office. When they diffused lemon there were 54% fewer errors, with jasmine there were 33% fewer errors, and with lavender there were 20% fewer errors. When essential oils are diffused while studying and smelled during a test via a hanky or cotton ball, test scores may increase by as much as 50%. Different essential oils should be used for different tests, but the same essential oil should be used during the test as was used while studying for that particular test. The smell of the essential oil may help bring back the memory of what was studied.” Another study indicated that subjects who learned a list of 24 words while exposed to a certain aroma had an easier time re-learning the list when exposed to the same aroma than those who were exposed to a different aroma while trying to re-learn the list.1 Further studies have indicated that rosemary2 and peppermint3 aromas were found to enhance memory during clinical tests.

Whispi_GirlA couple ways you can have the aroma of an essential oil with you while you study and while you take your test is to put the essential oil(s) in personal diffuser such as a nasal inhaler, Whispi™ diffuser, or aromatherapy jewelry. The Slap-on Scents Bracelet is perfect for young students that have small wrists. AromaTools® carries a large variety of aromatherapy jewelry with styles accommodating all—boys and girls alike.

Calming the Stress

For many students, school means stress. Whether the stress is brought about by tests, homework, trying to fit in extracurricular activities or jobs, or from trying to create and maintain good friendships with others, essential oils can be a great aid to de-stressing after a stressful day. According to author Marlene Erickson in Healing with Aromatherapy, “EEG tests of the brain’s rhythm patterns found that neroli, jasmine, and rose induced delta rhythms, with some inducing a combination of delta and theta rhythms. Delta and theta rhythms are associated with reducing mental chatter and allowing for more intuitive thought processes” (p. 65). Marcel Lavabre also recommends chamomile, neroli, marjoram, lavender, and ylang ylang oils to help deal with stress in his Aromatherapy Workbook (p. 49). Research studies have found evidence that lavender,4,5 lemon,6 and ylang ylang7 oils may help reduce stress.

As mentioned above, you can take a personal diffuser with you to school with the aroma of these essential oils. You can also rub these oils on your feet at night or in the morning as needed to help reduce stress.

Fighting the Bugs

When lots of students congregate in classrooms, lunchrooms, locker rooms, or dormitories, there are abundant opportunities for germs to spread. Essential oils are a great natural way to help keep those germs at bay. According to the book
Modern Essentials, essential oils such as melaleuca, thyme, cinnamon, peppermint, oregano, and blends containing these oils, such as Protective Blend, have been shown in multiple studies to exhibit antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral properties (pp. 257–63).  A great way to stop the spread of germs is to keep your hands clean. This hand sanitizer can be useful when soap and water are not readily available. Another hand sanitizer recipe and cute gift idea can be found here.
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Getting the Energy

Between late-night study sessions, after-school activities, sports, jobs, and the many other activities students are involved in, sometimes it can be hard to find the energy needed to be awake and alert during the school day. According to several authors, some essential oils can be naturally stimulating. Marlene Erickson writes, “Stimulant essential oils are used for conditions of mental fatigue, poor memory, and difficulty concentrating. Stimulants are useful when you’re feeling tired or sluggish and need to boost your mental activity. EEG tests used to evaluate stimulant essential oils such as black pepper, cardamom, and rosemary indicated that they induced beta brain rhythms. Beta rhythms correlate with aroused attention and alertness” (Healing with Aromatherapy, p. 66). In addition to these oils, Modern Essentials also lists peppermint, Joyful Blend, eucalyptus, orange, ginger, grapefruit, rose, rosemary, and basil as other stimulating essential oils (p. 370).

These oils can be used in a personal diffuser or applied to feet or wrists. Roll-on bottles are useful for applying essential oils while at school.

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Essential Tip: Keep essential oils close at hand for your student by placing the oils in small 1/4 dram or 5/8 dram vials and labeling each vial with a circle or rectangle label so it can be easily identified. Place up to 8 different oils or blends in a handy Aroma Ready™ Key Chain Oil Case. Place this small case in a the pocket of a backpack or book bag along with a copy of “An Introduction to Modern Essentials,” and your student will have quick access to the oils and information on how to use them anytime there is a need!

Want some essential oil blends to diffuse or inhale while you study or take a test? Check out these 7 Back-to-School Diffuser Blends!

For more information on this topic, see any of the books listed above or the sources below. You can also read the other post in this series: “Backpack Essentials for Teachers”.

1. David G. Smith, Lionel Standing, and Anton de Man, “Verbal Memory Elicited by Ambient Odor,” Perceptual and Motor Skills 74, no. 2 (April 1992): 339–43.

2. Mark Moss, Jenny Cook, Keith Wesnes, and Paul Duckett, “Aromas of Rosemary and Lavender Essential Oils Differentially Affect Cognition and Mood in Healthy Adults,” International Journal of Neuroscience 113, no. 1 (January 2003): 15–38.

3. Mark Moss, Steven Hewitt, Lucy Moss, and Keith Wesnes, “Modulation of Cognitive Performance and Mood by Aromas of Peppermint and Ylang Ylang,” International Journal of Neuroscience 118, no. 1 (January 2008): 59–77.

4. Erin Pemberton and Patricia G. Turpin, “The Effect of Essential Oils on Work-Related Stress in Intensive Care Unit Nurses,” Holistic Nursing Practice 22, no. 2 (2008): 97–102.

5. Naoyasu Motomura, Akihiro Sakurai, and Yukiko Yotsuya, “Reduction of Mental Stress with Lavender Odorant,” Perceptual and Motor Skills 93, no. 3 (December 2001): 713–18.

6. Migiwa Komiya, Takashi Takeuchi, and Etsumori Harada, “Lemon Oil Vapor Causes an Anti-Stress Effect via Modulating the 5-HT and DA Activities in Mice,” Behavioural Brain Research 172, no. 2 (September 2006): 240–49.

7. Tapanee Hongratanaworakit and Gerhard Buchbauer, “Relaxing Effect of Ylang Ylang Oil on Humans after Transdermal Absorption,” Phytotherapy Research 20, no. 9 (September 2006): 758–63.

The Perfect Solution for Detangling Unruly Hair!

Would you like a more natural hair detangler than you can find commercially? Look no further—we have the perfect solution for detangling unruly hair that is easy to make and contains all-natural ingredients! Spraying this on your hair will help the comb separate the hair strands easily and without pain. Not only do these oils smell nice together, but lavender and rosemary essential oils are often used to help stimulate hair growth; repair dry, fragile hair; and, with melaleuca, may help dandruff.

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All-Natural Essential Oil Hair Detangler

  • Servings: Yield=4 oz. (120 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Pour the glycerin and essential oils in the 4 oz. spray bottle. Screw the spray top on, and shake to combine.
  2. Remove spray top, and fill the rest of the bottle up with water. Screw the spray top on again, and give it another few good shakes.
  3. Allow it to sit overnight, then shake again before using.
  4. To use, shake a little, then spray lightly over hair; brush hair until smooth.

Keep Your Kids Entertained with This Fun Craft!

Make your own beeswax yarn strips for a fun sensory activity for your children. These strips are fun to bend into shapes to create a picture or sculpture. They also make a great quiet activity to take with you on the go.

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Flexible Beeswax Yarn Art

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 cups (144 g) beeswax pellets
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) jojoba oil
  • Crock pot
  • Colored yarn

Instructions:

  1. Melt the beeswax in a small crock pot or double boiler.
  2. Once the wax is melted, add the jojoba oil.
  3. Cut your yarn to the desired length (9 inches [23 cm] is a good starting point).
  4. Add the yarn to the melted beeswax-jojoba mixture.
  5. Once the yarn is completely covered in wax, remove the yarn from the crock pot using a toothpick or bamboo skewer, and lay out in individual strips to dry. (We laid our strips on a plastic grocery bag.)
  6. Once the wax dries, have fun creating pictures and sculptures with your waxed yarn strips!

Extra Idea:

If desired, you can add essential oil to the wax mixture for an additional sensory experience. Start with 2–4 drops, and then add more depending on your preference for scent.

EO Life Hack: Bubblegum in Hair?

Kids will be kids and sometimes that means bubblegum doesn’t stay in the mouth. What do you do if your child gets bubblegum in their hair? Use essential oils! Simply rub a few drops of lemon oil on bubblegum to dissolve the gum and make it easier to remove.

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Salt Painting with Essential Oils

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This fun art project is not only helpful for keeping kids entertained, but it also helps build fine motor skills as kids learn how to draw up the colored water using a pipette and release the liquid onto their salt image. Get creative, and have fun while enjoying the wonderful scents of essential oils!

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Beautiful, Scented Fall Leaves

Don’t you love the colors of fall leaves? This is probably one of the best things about the seasons changing! So why not use them for decoration? Dipping the leaves in beeswax actually preserves their color so they can last through the season. We decided to try taking this idea to the next level by adding essential oils! Now you can experience the colors AND scents of fall at the same time!

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When picking leaves for this project, keep in mind that the leaves need to be dead and somewhat dry. Don’t pick them off the tree because they still contain a fair amount of moisture that will cause the leaf to turn brown rather than be preserved in its beautiful color. If you have leaves that are fairly moist (let’s face it—the leaves on the trees are prettier!), then you can dry them by placing them between pages of a book for a couple days before dipping them in beeswax.

Also, if you are doing this project with kids, keep in mind that melted beeswax can be hot and this project can get a little messy; so keep your work area covered in newspaper or wax paper for easier cleanup. One idea for working with children is for an adult to dip the leaves and hand them to the child to shake off the excess beeswax and lay on the wax paper to dry. Children can also help string up the leaves and create garlands.

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For easiest cleanup, allow the beeswax to dry completely; then scrape/peel as much as you can off your dishes and either save for another project (leftover scented beeswax would make a great candle!) or throw in the trash can. Use really hot water to melt the remaining beeswax and wash dishes with soap.

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Scented Fall Leaves

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Beeswax
  • Essential oils (Some great fall scents include cinnamon, clove, cassia, orange, ginger, cardamom, cedarwood, patchouli, and frankincense)
  • Fall leaves
  • Wax paper
  • String

Instructions:

  1. Melt the beeswax in a double boiler, saucepan, slow cooker, paraffin wax bath, or microwave-safe dish. You will want enough beeswax to be at least 1 inch deep. (We used a 2 cup glass measuring cup with 1/3 cup of beeswax placed in a small pot with water to create a double boiler. This amount worked well for the 20–30 small leaves we waxed.)
  2. Once the beeswax is melted, add essential oils to create your desired scent. (We used 2 drops of clove, 2 drops of orange, and 2 drops of cassia for the 1/3 cup of beeswax, and it smelled great!)
  3. Hold the leaves by the stems, and dip them into the beeswax. Make sure to cover the whole leaf.
  4. Gently shake off the excess beeswax, and let the leaf dry for 15–30 seconds before placing on a sheet of wax paper to finish drying.
  5. Note: If the beeswax starts to cool (you’ll notice it gives the leaf a thicker coating when this happens), reheat the beeswax for a minute before continuing. Leaving the beeswax on a low heat source is easiest, but use caution if children are helping.
  6. Once finished with all of your leaves, string them up by tying a little knot around each leaf along a piece of string, or use them in any of your favorite fall decoration ideas.

Extra Idea:

Introducing Modern Essentials™ Living

We are so excited about the newest addition to the Modern Essentials™ family: Modern Essentials™ Living! This new book contains cooking recipes, craft ideas, cleaning recipes, body care product recipes, class ideas, diffuser blends, and a chart listing common uses for many essential oils and blends. Modern Essentials™ Living introduces essential oils in a way that is completely marketing compliant, so it is a safe resource to use in any setting!

This book makes a fantastic gift for anyone interested in essential oils! Modern Essentials™ Living is also the perfect tool for introducing others to the world of essential oils and can be used in any setting to teach others how essential oils can be used every day! It can even be used in marketing meetings, classes, parties, trade shows, or as an enrollment reward.

Even if you don’t plan on giving this book away, you’ll want to have this beautiful, yet resourceful, book in your library! Click here to see how to purchase it.

Here is a sneak peek of some of what is inside!

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Are you as excited about this book as we are? Let us know in the comments below!

Aromatherapy Cloud Dough

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Kids greatly benefit from sensory experiences, especially when they include the aroma of essential oils! Give your kids a fun time with this Aromatherapy Cloud Dough. Adults, too, can enjoy this activity and maybe even relieve a little stress at the same time! Feel free to double or triple this recipe to suit the number of kids playing or the size of your bin.

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Aromatherapy Cloud Dough

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or other cooking oil)
  • 5 drops essential oil
  • 6–8 drops food coloring (optional)
  • 4 cups flour

Instructions:

  1. In a glass bowl, mix vegetable oil, essential oil, and food coloring together until the color is distinct or until thoroughly combined.
  2. Place flour in playing bin, and add oil mixture. Mix together until combined. You may need to use your hands.
  3. You can store your Cloud Dough in an airtight container for up to a week.

Note: Some essential oils that would work well in this recipe and are safe to use with children are lavender, peppermint, ylang ylang, or Roman chamomile.

 

Essential Oil–Scented Finger Paint

These scented finger paints are easy to make and are a lot of fun to play with. Kids of all ages will love discovering the different scents of these paints as they create beautiful pictures and designs. Using finger paints is also a great way to help develop creativity, motor skills, and hand-eye coordination in younger children.

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Fruity Popsicles

Beat the heat this summer with a delicious, cold, and refreshing fruity popsicle! These popsicles are a cinch to make, use real fruits, and incorporate the benefits of pure essential oil.

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