Peppermint Essential Oil for Memory

A Brief Guide to Peppermint Essential Oil for Memory

There are few fragrances that are more familiar than peppermint. Its sweet, spicy aroma can bring about fond memories of holiday treats and festivities.

Many people today use peppermint essential oil to improve their health and quality of life. Its fragrance is invigorating, with studies suggesting that it can help to enhance memory and feelings of alertness while stimulating the brain.1

Peppermint is a versatile oil that can provide certain benefits depending on how it is taken. When applied topically, peppermint oil may help relieve headache pain. It is well-known for its ability to soothe the stomach and aid in digestion when taken orally. When used aromatically, the methanol heightens the senses and increases alertness.

essential oil bottle and peppermint

Nootropic Uses of Peppermint Essential Oil

When it comes to using peppermint oil as a nootropic, the main benefits revolve around pain relief, memory, and attention.

Relieves Headaches

Peppermint essential oil is one of the most commonly used natural remedies to relieve tension. It can be used by diluting it in a carrier oil and applying it directly to your temples.

In one study, topical application of peppermint oil in those suffering from tension headaches lead to a significant analgesic effect and a reduction in irritability, likely because of the headache relief.2

man focused on computer

Increases Attention

One reason so many individuals struggle with concentrating is due to mental fatigue. Hours on end of any cognitive task can be tiring for the brain, leading to lapses in attention, focus, and concentration.

One study was designed to measure the effects of olfactory stimulation with peppermint essential oil on visual attention and stress. Researchers found that participants experienced greater attention during a computerized sustained visual attention task when using peppermint essential oil as compared to the placebo.3

The researchers used visual attention as a measure of vigilance, suggesting that inhalation of peppermint essential oil may help to improve the ability to pay attention for extended periods of time.

Enhances Memory

With an increase in vigilance, it’s not unreasonable to think that peppermint essential oil may help enhance memory as well.

When researchers set out to examine the association between cognitive performance and inhalation of peppermint essential oil, they found that peppermint oil inhalation both five minutes before and during cognitive testing was associated with improved performance when compared to the control group, which had no aroma.4

More research is needed to determine what, if any, effect peppermint oil fragrance has on memory, though the initial results look promising.

Increases Alertness

One immediate effect of peppermint essential oil is having increased energy or alertness. Depending on the variety, there can be between 50-85% menthol of peppermint essential oil, which is responsible for the characteristic scent of peppermint.5 See for yourself by breathing its fragrance and you too will likely agree that you feel more awake.

In one study, volunteers who breathed in peppermint essential oil were found to experience increases in subjective feelings of alertness.6 This study, along with countless user experiences, suggests that peppermint essential oil can help boost energy levels and perceived alertness.

peppermint leaves in a bowl


Given its wide range of cognitive-enhancing benefits, peppermint essential oil is a great choice to add to your all-natural, essential oil-based nootropic stack. Try using MONQ’s personal diffusers Forest, Mountain, or Ocean, which contains peppermint essential oil.

Photo credits:  5PH/, mavo/, OxanaDenezhkina/, NataliyaArzamasova/


By Maddy Jenner

Maddy is a researcher and an essential oil advocate and loves learning about the intersection of these categories. She loves hiking, camping, exploring and being outside

Favorite MONQ blend: Happy

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers. MONQ blends should not be inhaled into the lungs.

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