Just Add Oils to Your Back-to-School Tools (Including 7 Diffuser Blends)

Summer is almost over, and the school year is about to start. As you start gathering your pencils, notebooks, textbooks, and other school supplies, consider gathering some aromatherapy supplies as well. Essential oils can be very beneficial for students and teachers and can enhance the learning experience. In fact, studies have shown that essential oils can help increase memory, enhance concentration, promote calmness, boost energy, and fight bugs.
Even just smelling the scent of an essential oil can affect emotions and improve mental clarity. One study showed that “when essential oils are diffused while studying and smelled during a test, 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.”

Modern Essentials lists the following oils to help with memory: rosemary, peppermint, frankincense, basil, clove, lemon, juniper berry, cedarwood, ginger, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, rose, dill, lavender, lemongrass, and petitgrain.

Want to give it a try? Here’s how: pick a single oil or an oil blend to inhale while you are studying for your test or attending class. You could even label the oil(s) you choose with a class subject. Every time you study that subject, diffuse those oils or place them in a nasal inhaler and periodically breathe in the scent as you study. During the test, pull out the nasal inhaler again and breathe the scent again when you need a little memory boost.
Nasal inhalers make it easy to take the scent of oils with you wherever you go. They even allow you to breathe in the scent without making others around you smell the oil as well. We’ve created 7 essential oil diffuser blends that can also be used in nasal inhalers. Simply drop the oils on the wick; then insert the wick into the inhaler, and push the base in to close it. Place the inhaler close to your nose, and inhale the aroma.

Each of the following diffuser blend recipes can be doubled and placed in a nasal inhaler:

Morning Sunshine:
2 drops orange
2 drops peppermint
2 drops lime
Calm Down:
4 drops lavender
2 drops Roman chamomile
2 drops cedarwood
Afternoon Energy Boost:
3 drops peppermint
2 drops rosemary
2 drops grapefruit
Anxiety Helper:
4 drops lavender
2 drops lemon
2 drops ylang ylang
Mental Clarity:
3 drops lemon
1 drop basil
1 drop rosemary
1 drop frankincense
Smarty Pants:
3 drops peppermint
2 drops basil
Study and Testing Time:
3 drops peppermint
3 drops rosemary
2 drops lemon

Another alternative to nasal inhalers are Whispi® diffusers. You can also make the above blends in a small bottle, then put 1–2 drops of the blend on aromatherapy jewelry. A key chain case is a great way to store and transport your oils—it even has a carabiner to attach to your backpack.

Want to learn more? We’ve put together several other posts on how essential oils can be useful at school. Follow the links below to see these helpful hints:
Backpack Essentials for Students
Backpack Essentials for Teachers
Back to School Tip #1: Stinky Locker?
Back to School Tip #2: School Lunch?
Back to School Tip #3: Multiple Choice?
Back to School Tip #4: First-Period Chemistry?
Better Focus Diffuser Blend

How do you use essential oils at school? What essential oil tools do you use to enhance learning? We’d love to hear your experiences!

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.
AT_CitrusMintHandSanitizer_hands

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.

AT_BackpackEssentials_Studying

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.