According to recent research, the average adult attention span is 20 minutes. That’s a decrease of 12 minutes over the past decade. Our increasing reliance on the internet and mobile devices are most likely to blame along with our busy always on the go lifestyles. Also, many of us will experience some degree of age-related memory loss as we get older.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re doomed to get serious disorders like Alzheimer’s, most of us probably won’t, but it does mean we may have put a little more info into preserving our memory and focus. Fortunately, there are essential oils that can help.

Essential Oils for Memory

A variety of essential oils for focus are available. Choose the ones that best fit your needs. Is your focus off? Does your attention span need improvement? Are you a bit more forgetful than you’d like? Are you struggling with concentration? Motivation?

The answers will help you chose the right oil or oil blend for you. Many oils that are highly beneficial for memory and focus also offer other benefits like lower blood pressure, more energy or healthier skin.

The most commonly used and popular essential oil for focus is rosemary. Rosemary has a very sharp and pungent scent and is known for its positive effects on proscriptive memory, which is our ability to remember events that will be occurring in the future.

If you are having trouble remembering appointments and commitments scheduled for weeks from now, this is the oil for you. You can add a few drops to your bath or diffuser or rub a little into your palms and breathe in.

Here’s a look at some other popular essential oils for focus and memory.


Peppermint oil is an excellent oil for quick pick me ups and for clearing morning brain fog. It’s cool, the sharp scent is good for an instant wake up call. Not only does it improve memory and focus, but it’s also great for headaches. If you are wanting to cut back on caffeine, peppermint can help. Add a few drops to your diffuser, or massage a few diluted drops into your temples.


Lavender is one of the most popular oils for relaxation and stress reduction, and those effects, in turn, increase focus and concentration.  Lavender oil is thought to have positive effects on the part of the brain that controls emotion and focus. Lavender can be added to a warm bath, a diffuser, or used as a linen or room spray.


Sage oil is a brain power essential oil. It is thought to have a positive effect on neurotransmitters and help with memory disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia. It also contains valuable antioxidants that can help protect against memory loss and other age-related ailments. It’s also a stimulant that helps with alertness and focus.

Rub a drop or two thoroughly into your palms and then inhale deeply. That’s all you have to do to enjoy its benefits. Pregnant and nursing women should not use this oil.


Lemon is invigorating and stimulating and promotes energy and purification. Clinical studies have proven that lemon oil increases focus, reduces stress and increases the feeling of overall well-being. It is also thought to boost the immune system. Simply add a few drops to your diffuser, or add to water for a simple room spray. Do not apply oil directly to the skin.


This subtle evergreen scent increases concentration and focus without being overpowering like some oils. Add it to your diffuser in the morning or whenever you need a quick boost. Pregnant women should refrain from using this oil.

Black Pepper

Black pepper oil is sharp, pungent and spicy. It will definitely heighten your alertness and sharpen your concentration, but use sparingly in the diffuser, a little goes a very long way with this oil.  It goes without saying that it should be kept away from your nose and eyes. If irritation does occur, it is harmless and short-lasting.


This sweet woodsy oil is thought to improve mental clarity and awareness. Make sure it is the Indian version though. Australian sandalwood provides no benefits, and Hawaiian sandalwood is overpriced.  Add one or two drops to a carrier oil like coconut or almond and rub into the back of the neck for best results.


Patchouli has been around since the 60s at least and it one of those things where you either love it or hate it. There’s no in between. If you like it, you’ll enjoy benefits such as reducing blood pressure, improving dopamine and serotonin levels.

Increasing focus and an overall sense of well-being, and more. You can add a few drops to a warm bath or add to a carrier oil and massage into temples.  Since many people find the scent objectionable, use with care.

A Note About Essential Oils

No essential oil is a cure-all. While most have benefits, they aren’t guaranteed to work the same for everyone.  If you do not see any improvement in your focus or memory after taking oils for a while, try a different one.

Don’t be afraid to try out different ones or create blends for even more benefits. Just remember to keep out of reach of pets and children, and stop using oils at once if you experience any discomfort. Don’t ingest oils or put them directly on your skin unless they are mixed with a carrier oil, and remember that citrus oils if used on the skin will increase your risk of sunburn.

Essential oils for focus can be very beneficial. They can improve focus, attention span and our overall sense of wellbeing. Blending different ones can bring even more benefits but remember for some oils, less is more and use sparingly.

Memory loss and lack of focus can be stressful and frightening, but essential oils can help. There are many that have positive effects on concentration, mood, and stress. Instead of turning to caffeine or just struggling along, try the oils mentioned above and see if they make a difference for you.

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