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Essential Oils for Memory Improvement and Alzheimer's Disease

Do you sometimes feel forgetful or absentminded? Consider using essential oils for memory. Research suggests spicy essential oils may increase the production of beta waves, which the brain produces when it's alert and active.

String Around Finger | Aromatherapy for Memory

Recommended essential oils for memory include:

  • Basil
  • Black pepper
  • Cistus
  • Cypress
  • Frankincense
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary

 Use the oils as needed:

  • Diffuse for 15 minutes every 2 hours.
  • Inhale directly 2 to 4 times a day using an aromatherapy inhaler.
  • Apply 1 to 2 drops of an oil (diluted as desired) on your temples and/or back of your neck.

Skip to information about Alzheimer's disease.

Essential Oils for Memory Blends

Most of these blends include rosemary because it's one of the most recommended essential oils for memory recall. To use a blend:

  • Diffuse in an aromatherapy diffuser according to your diffuser's instructions.
  • Put 2 or 3 drops on a tissue or handkerchief or 5 to 10 drops in an aromatherapy inhaler and sniff periodically throughout the day.
  • Dilute with carrier oil for a massage.

Essential Oil Blend #1

  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drop rosemary essential oil
  • 3 drops sage essential oil
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil

Blend #2

  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops basil essential oil
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops helichrysum essential oil

Blend #3

  • 10 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 5 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 10 drops cypress essential oil

Blend #4

  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1 drop lemon essential oil

Blend #5

  • 4 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop clary sage essential oil

Blend #6

  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop sweet basil essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil


Stock Blend

To make a stock blend for inhaler or diffuser use, add the following essential oils to a 5-ml glass dropper bottle:

  • 30 drops basil
  • 30 drops rosemary
  • 18 drops lemon
  • 18 drops black pepper

Source: 150 Ways to Use Essential Oils

Aromatherapy for Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Can essential oils and aromatherapy for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia be helpful? Research seems to indicate yes.

Dementia is a decline in memory and thinking that impairs a person's ability to function in daily life. Alzheimer's disease is the most common, but not the only form of dementia, and affects half of people over the age of 85, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The study, Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer's disease, found that aromatherapy is an effective non-drug therapy for dementia. The study used lemon and rosemary essential oils in the morning and orange and lavender in the evening for 28 days. All patients had significant improvement in personal orientation related to cognitive function. The authors concluded that aromatherapy may potentially improve cognitive function, especially in people with Alzheimer's disease. 

Essential oils that may stimulate the brain include:

  • Cedarwood
  • Frankincense
  • German chamomile
  • Ginger
  • Myrrh
  • Nutmeg
  • Patchouli
  • Sandalwood
  • Spikenard

For more advice about using essential oils for the elderly in general and for dementia in particular, I recommend the chapter on "Care of the elderly, with particular reference to dementia" in Shirley Price's Aromatherapy for Health Professionals.

Other studies:

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