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trying lemongrass  to boost concentration when the kids are in tow: “Basil is a known mind stimulant, while lemongrass is uplifting and invigorating.”

essential oils for driving

To stay alert behind the wheel on long road trips, skip the coffee and try sniffing peppermint or cinnamon.

Using aromatherapy oils in the car can be enjoyable and beneficial, but it requires a sensible approach. Remember the golden rule: Avoid any oils that make you feel sleepy or over-stimulated.


Alertness and Energy

To stay alert behind the wheel on long road trips, skip the coffee and try sniffing peppermint or cinnamon. Researchers from West Virginia have found that getting a whiff of pleasant odors periodically while driving increases alertness, reduces fatigue, and even lowers drivers' anxiety and frustration. By stimulating the nervous system, peppermint and cinnamon odors enhance motivation and performance, increase alertness, and decrease fatigue among athletes and clerical office workers. To test the effects of these odors on drivers, researchers had 25 college undergrads sniff peppermint, cinnamon, or a non-odor control for 30 seconds every 15 minutes during simulated driving conditions. In general, prolonged driving led to increased anger and fatigue, and decreased vigor, they report. However, with the peppermint scent, fatigue, anxiety, and driver frustration ratings fell significantly, while driver alertness ratings rose impressively. Smelling cinnamon also made drivers more alert and lowered their levels of frustration. Ratings of "workload" associated with driving also fell with periodic whiffs of cinnamon.

Aromatherapy treatment

In our opinion, aromatherapy can sometimes be helpful in a mild, gentle way in reducing stress, helping with mood, improving alertness, or helping to relax or induce sleep. However, one has to be sensitive to aromatherapy essential oil treatment, and not too many people may be sensitive enough to notice a clear benefit. It appears that lemon odour may improve mood.

A Quick Guide to In-car Oils

Oils to Invigorate Basil, black pepper, cedar wood, eucalyptus, grapefruit, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, rosewood

Oils for car sickness Ginger, orange, peppermint

Oils to cleanse the air Eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree

Oils to calm Bergamot, geranium, rosewood, mandarin

Oils for concentration Cinnamon, lemon, peppermint

Oils to simply enjoy Cinnamon, bergamot, geranium, patchouli, petitgrain

Oils to be wary of Camomile, jasmine, lavender, marjoram and vetiver as these can be sleep-inducing