I believe in the therapeutic properties of herbs, plant extracts and essential oils. I love that I can share my experiences and recipes.
Rosemary Fights Brain Fog and Promotes Mental Focus
When I think of aromatherapy, I always think of essential oils. The "aroma" prefix of "aromatherapeutic" points to how our body senses aromatics, whereas the "therapeutic" part of the word indicates how the mind interprets scent in a beneficial way. Rosemary has always been my favorite scent for focus, concentration, and to relieve brain fog. As I get older, I find that it takes me longer to wake up in the morning. I have a nasal inhaler at my desk loaded with rosemary essential oil to give me a mental kick start every day.
Possible Causes of Brain Fog
I know I have brain fog when I struggle to concentrate, have difficulty making decisions, or become forgetful. I even experience it when I have a headache. A couple of things usually contribute to my cloudy mind.
Perhaps I didn't sleep well or long enough. I could be stressed, or perhaps ate too much sugar. Unfortunately, there are a few things I do not have control over. One of them is a drop in estrogen as I get older.
Sometimes life comes at us at warp speed as environmental and biological influences complicate it further. I turn to aromatherapy as my equalizer.
Research on the Benefits of Rosemary
Have you ever smelled something and suddenly thought of a place or a person? Aromatherapy belongs to a field of study called phytotherapy or plant therapy. It offers us a holistic approach to many of life’s discomforts and stresses. In essence, aromas trigger our olfactory receptors which then activate and stimulate the emotional center of our brains.
Research findings published in The National Library of Medicine suggest that inhaling rosemary oil helps to prevent the breakdown of a brain chemical called acetylcholine. This chemical strengthens our brain’s ability to learn, remember and concentrate.
Another study published in the library suggests that when we smell rosemary, it affects our intellectual and independent mental state.
Simply inhaling rosemary can lower the stress hormone, cortisol in our blood. Cortisol levels in our blood rise when we are stressed or anxious. Research shows that this can lead to serious health conditions such as heart disease.
Brain Fog Fighters
Rosemary is not the only brain fog fighter in the aroma world. If you are not a fan of the rosemary scent on its own, then a combination of fog warriors might be an option for you. Consider any of these blends:
- Basil and rosemary. A contributing factor for brain fog could be stress and anxiety. Basil is calming and promotes mental alertness which helps with any sudden feelings of anxiety.
- Citrus essential oils and rosemary. Any citrus essential oil and rosemary will work but bergamot, grapefruit, lemon and wild orange are my favorites. Citrus oils are uplifting and calming which is an excellent companion to rosemary’s brain fog reducer.
- Lavender and rosemary. If you are a little stressed, lavender will act as a calmative. It’s a wonderful way to start your day with calm and focus.
- Peppermint and rosemary. If I wake up with a headache, peppermint essential oil is a great option to relieve my pain while rosemary slices through my foggy morning brain. Peppermint and Rosemary work well together to keep you alert.
- Eucalyptus and rosemary. I use this blend when I’m a little congested or allergy season assaults my sinuses in the spring.
How Do I Use Rosemary Essential Oil For Focus?
- In a nasal inhaler: add 20 drops of rosemary essential oil or a 50/50 blend with another essential oil.
- In a diffuser: add anywhere from 1 to 6 drops to the diffuser basin. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You need to put a carrier like water, in the bowl of the diffuser before adding the essential oils.
- In a bowl of water: add 1 to 9 drops to a bowl of hot water and place it near your workspace.
- In a humidifier: add 1 to 9 drops to your humidifier.
- In a wax warmer: add 1 to 2 drops to a wax warmer. Make sure that your wax is unscented to avoid any unwanted aroma combinations.
- In a massage oil: add 5 drops of rosemary essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil. Massage the oil into any painful joints or muscles. Rosemary is warming, pain-relieving, and anti-inflammatory and can relieve painful discomforts. You cannot focus if you’re in pain.
- In a spray bottle: add 10 drops of rosemary essential oil to 6 tablespoons (3 fluid ounces or 90 milliliters) of water and 2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce or 30 milliliters) of vodka. You can spray your bedsheets, some silk flowers, or use it as a room spray.
A Short History of Rosemary
The rosemary plant has a rich holistic history. It was burnt at shrines in Ancient Greece. Greek scholars wore a crown of rosemary during their studies and exams to help them concentrate. The Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that it improved memory. In the Middle Ages, people often tucked fresh or dried rosemary under their pillows to ward off negativity.
Safety Precautions With Rosemary Essential Oils
As with any essential oil, moderation is key. Rosemary essential oil has a few risks to consider before use.
- Rosemary essential oil has a high camphor content. Keep rosemary away from infants and children under 10 years, particularly their faces. Their respiratory systems are still too immature to cope with the strong camphor scent.
- It is not safe to use if you suffer from epilepsy.
- Avoid this oil if you are pregnant or if you have high blood pressure.
I depend on Rosemary to boost my morning routine because I know it helps to set my mind on the right track. As research continues, rosemary essential oil benefits grow exponentially. The safety risks are minimal for most people and it is a safe alternative to energy drinks and caffeine. Rosemary is my morning brain’s hero.
Tisserand, Robert, and Young, Robert. 2014. Essential Oil Safety. Second Edition.
Wilson, Celeste. Isla Verde Spa Training Academy Certificate of Aromatherapy Course.
Wilson, Celeste. National Higher Certificate in Beauty Therapy. The Durban University of Technology.
Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. 25th Anniversary Edition.
Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Fragrant Mind
The National Library of Medicine
Intrepid Mental Health
The Herb Society of America
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Celeste Wilson
Celeste Wilson (author) on April 29, 2021:
You are most welcome Vidya.
VIDYA D SAGAR on April 29, 2021:
A very interesting and informative article Celeste. I use Lavender oil. it's very soothing. Now I want to try Rosemary after reading its many benefits. Thanks for sharing.
Celeste Wilson (author) on April 29, 2021:
Thank you Miebakagh
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on April 29, 2021:
This is very interesting and a gold mine of information. Hope it found you online.