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Aromatherapy 4 Learning, Studying, Tests & Exams

Aromatherapy 4 Learning, Studying, Tests & Exams

A teacher wrote in and asked about using aromatherapy in school with children in class, to aid learning, lessen stress, and in tests and exam situations, which essential oils work best and which blends.

Here are my recommendations for using aromatherapy in learning and remembering for children; and also an additional article on which essential oils to use for mature students to improve studying, learning, memory and recall of the studied materials for tests and exams, and even, later on in life should they ever need to remember beyond the exam.


Aromatherapy 4 Learning, Tests & Studying:

Aromatherapy 4 Children In School

Mary writes: I am a teacher and I have experimented with some aromatherapy in the classroom.  I am interested to know what essential oils or blends to use as room spray or diffusers for students to benefit the most from. Both for focus during daily routine learning and studying as well for calm focus during test taking.  Thank you for your time and knowledge!

Dear Mary,

Traditionally, Rosemary and Basil are advised for studying.

I'd say it depends what you're studying!

Put it simply, if you're studying Religion, Frankincense seems a good idea, but if you're studying physics, you want something more like Eucalyptus, if you know what I mean.

For kids in general, you have to balance if they actually *like* the scent of the essential oil with the benefits on studying and learning as well. Something like Valerian, Wintergreen or God forbid, Garlic, will just result in yells of "Pooh! Pong! Yuck!" which is very counterproductive.

Something that is a good, safe, all round calmer and clarifyer for children is Litsea Citrata. They like the "lemon sherbet" scent, it's light and breezy, uplifting and calming at the same time, with a tingle of positive good humour attached.

The other lemon/orange oils are also good - mandarin, sweet orange, lemon grass, and the like. Particular favourite in that department is lime. Very uplifting indeed.

These aromatherapy essential oils are also cheap which is a good bonus.

Lemon Eucalyptus or plain Eucalyptus is a good "wake up call" but you can't do that all day long because it will wear you out.

Tea Tree is a good antiseptic - if the room is very stale, something bad has just happened, negative energy swirling around, it can take that out and bring back peace and a fresh start.

Lavender is beautiful and one of my particular favourites Elemi is something you can use all the time. Blends fabulously with Lime.

I personally find Cardamom and Hyssop very refreshing, especially in summer; in the winter, something warming like Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Sandalwood might be more appropriate to create the perfect ambience for relaxed learning and studying, or test taking.

What I would do if I had a bunch of kids is to bring in some oils and judge their reactions to them, perhaps engage them in trying out some different blends for themselves, ask them what the scent reminds them of, how it makes them feel. For example, a lot of people think highly of Peppermint but it just reminds me of cheap chewing gum and I get nowhere with it, or perhaps even change state to being annoyed by Peppermint.

Being flexible with the subjects matched to the essential oil, and using the essential oils with regards of what is going on in the classroom, to lift it, to calm it, to wake it up or slow it down is probably going to be much more effective to produce stunning results.

If the students engage from their end, using aromatherapy to aid studying, learning and exam taking is 1000% more effective than if its just there, prescribed by teach, which tends to produce resistance.

You could have a lot of fun with this, and write up your results and experiences with aromatherapy in the classroom. I bet a lot of people would find that most interesting.

Good luck!


Silvia Hartmann


Aromatherapy Essential Oils For Learning, Studying & Test Taking

Tips for adults/mature students

Although the above is perfectly correct, as an adult or mature student you can do a lot more with aromatherapy essential oils because you're only dealing with you.

In the above article, I've left out the outrageously expensive oils, and those which are challenging to the noses of children in school, but which many adults come to love and drink in with extreme delight. Must be the blue cheese factor, somehow adults develop a sense of taste and smell that is distinctly different from young children ...

If you want to use aromatherapy essential oils for better concentration, better learning and studying, but also importantly, for better recall of the studied material in the test situation, I would advise you firstly to ask yourself what do you need to do better.

Are you stressed and afraid of failure?

Then you need to start with something soothing, something to release the stress and make you feel loved and comforted.

My favourites for this are any of the big trees - pine, sandalwood, rosewood, cedar, bay.

Use those FIRST and before you even open your books or turn on your computer to put you into a better mood, take your stress down and let you breathe more freely.

Now, you want to apply something uplifting and awakening - something bright and clear, like eucalyptus, myrtle, rosemary and the like.

That should get you going.

Now, for each subject you study, or each core part of each subject, find one particular scent that will be related directly to that subject, and which, when taken into the test environment on a handkerchief, will help you to re-call the studied material.

What does a law book smell like? Sandalwood? And if you're studying a sub-section of corporate law, what should we add to make it unique? Something sharp and cutting, like wintergreen or pennyroyal?

As you go down the tree of subsections you are studying, add an oil to identify each one. That gives you a totally unique scent anchor that will SIGNIFICANTLY improve your recall in the test situation when you breathe that exact scent in again (make a note of what you used if what you're learning about is very complicated and has many sub-sections for later use, including in the hard, should you ever actually really need to USE the knowledge gained in your studies, many years later!).

If you are unsure, why not visit an aromatherapist for a consultation; they have lots of oils and you can try many different kinds out until you have the combinations you need for your course of study. This is very powerful stuff; scent is the only sense directly routed to the reptilian brain and if you anchor scent to learning, facts and topics, I can guarantee you you will remember more and be much, MUCH less stressed in the exam room.

During studying and learning, if your attention starts to wander, go back to the uplifting menthol scents, but don't abuse this. People who try to "cram" always do themselves more harm than good. When you get mentally tired, stop and do something else for a time, rest, eat, drink, sleep, watch TV, learn in pulses at your best which is what gives you the best retention and the best results, much, MUCH better results that keep driving yourself crazy over extended periods of time. Learn SMART, not with a sledge hammer, our brains despise that!

The neat thing about using aromatherapy for learning, studying and under test conditions is that you don't have to believe in it. YOU don't have to do anything once you've chosen your essential oils and blends that you use all the time other than BREATHE DEEPLY and in through the nose, and out through the mouth.

The stress relief alone is priceless, and you'll be amazed how it affects your abilities to learn faster, and remember better, and even, to see the bigger picture of what you're studying, rather than drowning in a sea of details you're trying to remember like a hopeless parrot!

As always, aromatherapy essential oils and how they affect us is totally fascinating, priceless, a gift for life, and that's a fact!

Here's to your success in your studying and learning, and your test taking,

Silvia x

Silvia Hartmann



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