In a few weeks time, students around the country will be gearing up (and stressing out) for mock A level exams. I am sure there are plenty of other countries where exams will be taking place too.
To gain a competitive edge, many of them will turn to a simple yet popular method thought to improve concentration, memory, and focus…
… Smelling peppermint!
Maybe you’ve heard of this phenomenon. Apparently some schools actually gave out peppermint candy before exams to boost student performance (in normal years, anyway). Come to think of it, I do remember the “sweeties” we were allowed to have during exams were specifically a pack of “Polo” or “Extra Strong” Mints. So those teachers must have known something about the peppermint phenomena too!
So thinking about the power of the scent alone of essential oils, what I found confirmed many traditional beliefs that have been around for hundreds of years.
And to answer the million-dollar question of whether or not peppermint makes you smarter…
No, it doesn’t, HOWEVER, a study at the University of Cincinnati claimed experimental subjects who were exposed to the scent of peppermint showed increased performance on tasks requiring sustained focus (Brand & Ydstie, 2007). This happens because the menthol in peppermint stimulates your hippocampus, which is the part of your brain responsible for memory and learning.
The element of menthol in peppermint enhances the oxygen utilization by the brain, which in turn helps in boosting thinking and alertness. Based on a study done by Dr. Victoria Anisman-Reiner’s, the inhalation of peppermint essential oil stimulates and refreshes the mind and it´s fragrance awakens the mind as well as enhancing learning capacity.
Peppermint oil is also known to calm the mind and take the edge off of anxiety. This is why it is one of the essential oils I am using in my “Focus” blend as a top/middle note.
Alongside this I have blended in Rosemary, which university researchers have suggested could enhance memory. A study found that pupils working in a room where Rosemary essential oil was diffused achieved 5% to 7% better results in memory tests. Dr. Mark Moss from Northumbria University in the U.K said that the findings were consistent with the tests on adults and supported the traditional beliefs associated with inhaling Rosemary and memory recall.
To keep you relaxed but focused one of the best “grounding” essential oils is Atlas Cedar Wood. It has a deep earthy aroma and balances beautifully with both the Peppermint and Rosemary. Atlas Cedar essential oil is known to help breathing, whilst keeping you calm and able to perform concentrated tasks.
We have been using “Focus” a lot recently. As we are a family of four, all working and studying at home together for the last 8 months, this blend does not have to be just for exams by any means, we have used it in diffusers and in our roll-ons to enable us to work under sometimes difficult conditions.
If you prefer to have this as an inhaler for a direct hit to the limbic system please do write me a note on the comments section below, as I make them up bespoke and get them sent within hours of blending.
Stay focused and you’ll get there!
|Recently I’ve come across a really interesting article called 6 Amazing Essential Oils for Concentration that I would like to share with you. You can read it by clicking on the link below:|