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Essential Oils: How aromatherapy oils can help struggling learners

Essential oils in bottled containers.

I love essential oils. Essential oils have so many health benefits and can be used to help alter moods and decrease stress. My late mother swore by essential oils. You would often "smell" her before actually "seeing" her. She would have various scents with her most common fragrance being a mixture of garlic and frankincense. I'm not sure why that was her go-to combination, but she said it worked!

I first realized that essential oils worked for my students when I brought a diffuser to class to go along with a literature study we were doing. It was around Christmas time and we were comparing the book The Polar Express, to the movie. I decorated my classroom with a Christmas theme and had peppermint candy canes, hot chocolate, popcorn, and peppermint essential oils fuming up out of the diffuser, creating a smoky environment that my students found to be fascinating. Mind you, I did this very same thing two years in a row before this time, and my students were so rowdy we could barely finish the movie. The only thing I did differently the last time was bring in essential oils.

There have been numerous studies done that link essential oils to students' success rates. Whether students need help with concentration, have test anxiety, or struggle with memory retention, there is likely an essential oil that can help.

Some essential oils known to help with concentration and memory are peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, and sage. Eucalyptus has been proven to help students perform better on cognitive tests! To combat anxiety and stress try using ylang-ylang. lavender, sandalwood, and citrus.

There are so many essential oils out there. The ones I use the most in my classroom are peppermint and lavender. They work great when my students need to concentrate (peppermint) or when they need to calm down (lavender).

Disclaimer: I am in no way claiming that essential oils should be used in place of prescribed medicines. I am not a doctor and am not claiming that essential oils can cure any illness. Contact your doctor before using essential oils.

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