In a study published just last month, researchers found that diffusing essential oils at night for older patients (65-80) improved their cognitive and neural functioning by 226% compared to a similar control group. The study took place over 6 months, but how would simply diffusing essential oils have such a powerful impact on cognitive and neural functioning? Aromatherapy consisted of the use of rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange in the evening.

What is Aromatherapy and How Does it Work?

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Essential oils, which are highly concentrated plant extracts, are commonly used in aromatherapy. When these essential oils are inhaled, they stimulate the olfactory system, which is connected to the brain's limbic system. The limbic system plays a crucial role in emotions, memory, and learning. By activating the limbic system, essential oils can have a direct impact on cognitive and neural functioning.

Why Diffusing Essential Oils at Night?

Diffusing essential oils at night is particularly beneficial for older patients because it takes advantage of the brain's natural restorative processes during sleep. During sleep, the brain consolidates memories, repairs neural connections, and flushes out toxins. By diffusing essential oils that have been specifically chosen for their cognitive-enhancing properties, the brain can optimize these restorative processes and improve overall cognitive and neural functioning.

The Power of Rosemary and Lemon in the Morning

Rosemary and lemon essential oils are known for their stimulating and invigorating properties. When diffused in the morning, these oils can help jumpstart the brain and enhance cognitive performance throughout the day. Rosemary has been shown to improve memory and concentration, while lemon has uplifting and energizing effects. Together, they create a powerful combination that can enhance cognitive function and promote mental clarity.

The Calming Effects of Lavender and Orange in the Evening

Lavender and orange essential oils are renowned for their calming and relaxing properties. Diffusing these oils in the evening can help older patients unwind, reduce stress, and prepare for a restful night's sleep. Lavender has been shown to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, while orange has mood-lifting and anxiety-reducing effects. By creating a peaceful and soothing environment, these oils can support optimal cognitive and neural functioning during sleep.


The study's findings highlight the significant impact that diffusing essential oils at night can have on cognitive and neural functioning for older patients. Aromatherapy with rosemary and lemon in the morning and lavender and orange in the evening provides a natural and effective way to enhance cognitive performance, improve memory, reduce stress, and promote overall brain health. By harnessing the power of essential oils, older individuals can experience improved cognitive and neural functioning, leading to a better quality of life.

If you are interested in reading more studies, click this link

Susann Ottesen