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Essential Oils for Focus

By Jodi Cohen

A woman sitting at a desk using a laptop.

I recently had the opportunity to “road test” our blends for focus.  And I mean that quite literally.

My daughter’s favorite musician was performing in a concert 174 miles away from our Seattle home.  It has been such a rough year that I really wanted to make her happy, so I agreed to drive her and her friends to the concert and back the same evening so they would not miss school the next day.

I am not much of a night owl and was extremely nervous about the drive home, especially as the concert was not likely to end until 10:30 and I am usually asleep by 9:30.  Determined not to disappoint my daughter or endanger anyone on the road (including ourselves), I began experimenting with the best essential oils for focus and energy.

I am pleased to report that Focus™, applied on both temples, not only allowed me to focus on safe driving and stay awake well past my bedtime, but also did not hinder me from falling immediately asleep the moment we were safely home.

Focus™ for the Prefrontal Cortex

The part of our brain that helps us sustain focus is called the prefrontal cortex and is located behind your forehead.  It is your prefrontal cortex that helps balance brain function and improve cognition and processing speed.

Essential Oils for FocusWhen you strengthen your prefrontal cortex, you enhance your brain’s ability to plan, organize, and see the big picture. When the prefrontal cortex is not firing on all cylinders, it loses processing speed,  deficits of inhibition and focus can occur, resulting in poor internal supervision, short attention span, distractability, disorganization, and hyperactivity, impulse control problems, difficulty learning from past errors, lack of forethought, and procrastination.

A decrease in frontal lobe function often lies at the root of behavioral issues like ADD/ADHD and is associated with symptoms from a traumatic brain injury.  Research shows that “children with TBI and children with ADHD showed a pervasive deficit in their inhibitory control processes with respect to inhibition of both pre-potent and on-going responses.”

By way of contrast, strengthening the prefrontal cortex also exerts a moderating influence on the more impulsive and less flexible structures of your limbic system.

Topically apply essential oils for focus to the prefrontal cortex (over your forehead) can help draw energy to and strengthen your prefrontal cortex by increasing blood flow and energy to the area.  Your prefrontal cortex helps balance brain function and improve cognition and processing speed.

In fact, Research shows that increasing blood flow to the prefrontal cortex can prevent the reduction of brain function in elderly people, especially in attention and working memory.

This is because your prefrontal cortex contains several reflex points that can be stimulated with essential oils for focus. Applying essential oils or touching to these reflex points to the forehead can increase cerebral spinal, organ and muscle flow of blood to the area.  It’s hypothesized that when we are under stress, blood goes to the back of our brain, where the past is stored. Placing a hand, or appropriate essential oils, over the forehead, helps shift the energy and blood flow from the more emotional mid‐brain areas to the area just below the forehead known as the prefrontal cortex which is associated with a calmer mind and rational, logical thinking.

Read More about the Pre-frontal cortex HERE.

Essential Oils for Focus

Focus™ is an ideal choice to support any of the following issues:

  • Distractability – including addiction to the distractions of your phone or social media.
  • Mental fatigue – An under active prefrontal cortex makes it difficult to stay focused and concentrating for extended periods of time, such as long drives or sustained mental tasks.
  • Inability to sustain attention – You find it challenging to maintain attention in school, meetings, or long conversations.
  • Impulsiveness – You have difficulty with restraint and controlling impulses or desires.   You may say things before considering consequences.
  • Contentious behavior – Seeking conflict is a way to stimulate an under active prefrontal cortex (the area of your brain that helps you focus).
  • Depression – When the prefrontal cortex is under active, it is unable to moderate your emotional center, known as the limbic area of your brain. That leads to mood-control issues.
  • Disorganization – Your home, work environment, car, or closet are cluttered. A common sign of an underactive prefrontal cortex is disorganized, unfinished paperwork.
  • Difficulty letting go – You may constantly repeat events or thoughts or struggle to get a song out of your head
  • Lack of motivation – You may have low interest, drive or enthusiasm for getting things done.  You may struggle to initiate tasks.
  • Inability to finish tasks – You may start a project and move on to the next before finishing it or tend to get bored easily.
  • Trouble listening – You lack the sustained attention required to listen to the person speaking. This leads to a lack of empathy.
  • Poor executive function – An underactive prefrontal cortex contributes to an inability to organize sequence or plan projects, and oversee the details while maintaining a vision of the whole.  You might also struggle with analytical thought or have difficulty making decisions

How Focus™ Works

Focus™ contains a proprietary formulation of organic Rosemary, Basil, Peppermint and Cardamom

Basil (Ocimum basilicum): Is one of the best nerve tonics. It clears your head and helps relieve intellectual fatigue, which gives the mind added strength and clarity.   Basil has a high linalool content, making it an ideal to help sharpen your memory, improve concentration and promote a sense of focus when applied to the temples and back of the neck

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum): Helps lift the mood and alleviate mental fatigue and nervous strain. Improves mental clarity and memory.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita): High stimulating, Peppermint helps to boost your focus and your energy level both mentally and physically.  This makes Peppermint an ideal oil for treating energy related conditions like issues like chronic fatigue syndrome, fatigue, nervous stress, and jet lag.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis):  Helps your brain and your memory work at top form, . In addition to helping you focus, it may also help you relieve nervous exhaustion and stress-related illness. It helps relieve chronic fatigue syndrome.

To help enhance your focus, apply 2- 3 drops of Focus™ over your temples 2-3 times daily or as needed during moments where additional focus is needed.  You can also put a few drops on a tissue or cotton ball and hold it where you can smell it.


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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.