Study Better at School with Natural Fragrances

Monday, 12. October 2015

Study Better at School with Natural Fragrances

Students in classroom environments that were subtly scented with citrus essential oils learn better and have less conflicts. Even the number of days of absence due to illness decreases. This has been revealed by a research study conducted in Bavaria, Germany. During the study, the classrooms were scented with natural essential oils for a set period of time. In addition, teachers and pupils were asked for their assessment of the climate both at the beginning and at the end of the project. In this case, both sides agreed that the students learned better because the essential oils provided a more relaxed classroom atmosphere.

The study revealed that the number of students who were able to concentrate well in class doubled from 18 to over 40 percent. These numbers were taken from the project's questionnaires, which reported that after the study, only a third of the class community often felt "tired and unmotivated", where this number was initially 45 percent. The class climate improved especially well at the elementary schools. The social atmosphere of the class, which originally was reported "bad" by 18 percent of the students, sank to zero by the end of the study. Teachers also noticed a more relaxed atmosphere. The study contributed positively to both the learning and the teaching situation. A similar result was found at secondary schools. In particular, the study concentrated on the improvement noticed by students and teachers. The concentrative and calming effects of the pure natural citrus oils could therefore be proven by the scientific study.

Six schools from Franconia (two elementary, middle and secondary schools) participated in the study. For this purpose, school management, parents and teachers were all fully informed about the project in advance and were also involved in the test run. "The demand to participate in this pioneering project was very big on the part of the schools.", reports Elke Inspruckner, the initiator of the project. Inspruckner has worked as a school counselor, aromatherapist and healer for many years. "In order to ensure professional care, I confined myself to six schools. All parties were informed about the ingredients of the natural fragrance mixture used, but they were not informed about the positive effects of the fragrance. So nobody was biased."

Depending on the task at hand in the classroom, Inspruckner mixed individual formulations of essential oils together. For these mixtures, she referenced her deep knowledge as an aromatherapist. For the schools, she chose the all-natural blend "Study Better" by the company Primavera, the leading supplier of high quality essential oils. Synthetically produced fragrances were not eligible for Inspruckner's study because they have no health benefits. Additionally, using synthetic fragrances often leads to intolerances and overdoses. "It was important that the ingredients have been studied in regard to their effects. Even the smell should be sniffed by as many people as possible. The "Study Better" meets these criteria and makes the application very easy to use," said Inspruckner.

Study More Easily with Help From Mother Nature

Before they started adding scents to the classrooms, questionnaires were handed out. These questionnaires were used to determine the mood in the classroom. The survey included questions regarding the air quality in the room, the mood in the class community and the ability to concentrate in the classroom. Then, two students were trained per class in the proper use of electric diffusers and in using the right dosage. The location of the diffuser was decided by the students as a class. Since the size of the classroom is crucial for the dosage, the correct operation of the atomizer was particularly important for Elke Inspruckner. "As a principle, the rule to go by is that 'less is more '," said the expert.

In March 2015, the fragrance was introduced in the classrooms. The study was extended to 5-6 weeks after the Easter holidays due to the general wishes of all schools. The positive results were not surprising for Inspruckner. For many years she has known the value of essential oils as well as the effect of high-quality essential oils in creating better air quality, reducing stress and creating a good atmosphere in schools. "The project confirms my experience. The right scent helps set things in motion because a pleasant atmosphere is conducive to better learning. Aromatherapy can assist students by helping them concentrate better, helping them to be less stressed and ultimately helping them to enjoy school more. "

Better Concentration and More Motivation through Aromatherapy

Many studies have proven the positive effects that citrus essential oils have on concentration. The following all-natural oils are included in the "Study Better" mixture, which was developed especially to support concentration,:

  • Lemon: this oil activates the powers of concentration and also helps one to think clearly. Lemon is always a front runner when it comes to fragrance preferences. 

  • Grapefruit: this oil lifts the spirits and activates the body's endorphins. It is cheerful and is also effective against tension and irritability.

  • Orange: this fragrance makes for a better mood and calms the nerves. In addition, it helps to reduce stress and anxiety.

Beate Kern, who works as a lecturer at the Leibniz Universität in Hannover, also uses all-natural fragrances to enhance the attention span of her seminar participants. "Our brain is always learning, and likes nothing better than to do just that". Kern uses her knowledge from neuroscience to design working and learning environments. "Lemon makes for a fresh and lively mood and supports brainwork," she continues.

The strong decline in absences due to illness during the school project lead aromatherapy experts back to the clarifying effect of the essential oils on the room's air. Natural scents can reduce exposure to bacteria, viruses and fungi, a fact that has been scientifically proven since the 60s. So naturally this also reduces the risk of infection and illness. Fragrances can even help to consolidate newly acquired information overnight. This fact was successfully demonstrated by a Lübeck brain researcher at the sleep laboratory a few years ago.