Posted on May 24, 2016 by in

Aromatherapy for exam stress – for students and parents alike!

My name is Sarah Ledwidge and I’m a new therapist at The Novara Centre. My therapies are aromatherapy and acupuncture. I have also worked as a Senior Occupational Therapist for the mental health services for over 20 years and so have a lot of experience teaching people about stress and how to cope with it in practical ways. I focus on helping people identify their own particular responses to stress and identify which coping strategies work best for them. This service may be useful with upcoming exams – for teenagers and parents alike!

The use of essential oils in aromatherapy can promote both relaxation and cognitive function at exam time. Rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus are good for helping your concentration, while lavender and sweet marjoram are relaxing. Be careful not to use rosemary too late at night as it might interfere with your sleep!

Use the stimulating oils earlier in the day and gradually change to the relaxing oils in the evening. However if you are very anxious about your exams you are better to stick with the relaxing oils in daytime too as anxiety interferes with cognitive processing. Just place 3 drops of your chosen oil in a bowl of hot water and keep it nearby. Stir it every so often when you need a boost. Throw it out and refresh it after 3 hours.


Make good use of your neuroanatomy. Use a scent while studying and replicate that same scent during your exams. You could sprinkle a mix of the oils onto a tissue and bring it into the exam. Or wear the same perfume/aftershave for both. This works because our olfactory system (the centre of the brain that processes smell) is located very near our limbic system which deals with learning and emotions. This is why a particular scent can trigger very strong memories in an instant.

To book an appointment with Sarah phone the Novara Centre at 01 2761745 or contact Sarah at 086 6071823.