As wellness experts and fans of aromatherapy and healthy living will attest, essential oil diffusers are all the rage these days. Whether it is recommendations of ways to improve your health, increase your energy or help you sleep better, essential oil diffusers frequently find their way onto such lists. But what exactly are essential oil diffusers and do they really have all the benefits they are touted to have? Read on to find out.
Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants with a wide range of healing properties. Using essential oils for healing purposes is what is commonly known as aromatherapy, which is a holistic treatment seeking to improve physical, mental and emotional health.
Aromatheraphy has a long history in different parts of the world. For more than five thousand years, different cultures have used these plant oils for the treatment of a wide ranging number of health conditions.
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At different points in time, oils have been used by the Jews, Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans as cosmetics, perfumes and for their medicinal purposes.
Some cultures even used oils in their religious and spiritual rituals. And what exactly are essential oils and how are they created before they can be used in oil diffusers? Essential oils are extracted directly from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree.
They are typically created through the process of distillation, which separates the oil and water-based compounds of a plant by steaming. Essential oils are highly concentrated oils with a powerful scent.
Types of essential oil diffusers:
Essential oil diffusers are the best way to incorporate the benefits of aromatherapy into your everyday, healthy lifestyle.
These diffusers combine the principles of aromatherapy with modern scientific innovation to diffuse healthy plant aromatics into the air you breathe, purifying the air around you and creating a pleasant and fragrant atmosphere that can enhance your mood and refresh the home.
There are several different types of oil diffusers in the market, each with their own specifications and their own unique benefits:
- Nebulizing diffusers
Nebulizing diffusers are considered the most powerful diffusers. They don’t require heat or water to diffuse the essential oil into the air – rather, they work by using an atomizer to create fine, airborne particles of essential oils and blowing them in to the air.
The pros of using these types of oil diffusers is that they don’t require a set-up but they can be directly attached to the essential oil bottle and turned on with a switch. They also release strong concentration of essential oils released in to the air, and come with timers to let you control how long it runs which makes it ideal for overnight use.
The cons are that they are louder than other types of diffusers, use up the essential oils more quickly and are slightly more expensive.
- Ultrasonic diffusers
Ultrasonic diffusers work by creating a fine mist to release the essential oils into the air. This cool mist is created by mixing the essential oils with water. For this reason, they can double as air humidifiers which is an added benefit in the winter.
There is also more variety available in these types of diffusers and they are less expensive. Furthermore, since they generate the vapor without any heat, they preserve the integrity of the essential oils to the fullest, as heat is said to have a negative effect on the essential oil.
However, they release less concentrated essential oils and so their effect is slightly more diluted and subtle. Also, they cannot use citrus oils because those oils can cause the parts of these diffusers to erode. Moreover, they need water to operate and occasionally require cleaning.
Benefits of using essential oil diffusers:
Aromatherapy has many health benefits and can be used as a non-invasive treatment for health conditions in combination with other types of therapies. There are many health benefits to using essential oil diffusers in your day-to-day life:
- Relaxation and better sleep
One of the most commonly cited benefits of using essential oil diffusers is their ability to help you destress and unwind at the end of a long and tiring day. While there are many ways of getting the essential oil into your blood, using a diffuser is the easiest, most effective and longest-lasting method.
Keeping a diffuser at work to destress during break, or having one ready and waiting at home is a small but effective way to help you relax. Recommended oils: Lavender, camomile
- Mood enhancement
Oil diffusers can also help you create an energizing mood for when you are feeling down in the dumps and have low energy and motivation to do things. It is also beneficial during social events such as business meetings or holiday parties, in order to help elevate everybody’s mood and keep them excited and in the spirit of things. Recommended oil: jasmine, sweet orange, vanilla
- Prevent Common Illnesses
Oil diffusers can also be used to ward off illnesses such as colds or flus because of their anti-microbial properties. When they come into their air, they react and neutralize airborne pathogens before they can enter your body.
Also, essential oils also boost your immune system, making you less likely to catch whatever nasty illness may be in the air. Thirdly, essential oils act as natural humidifiers, ensuring that your airways are always moist and healthy and therefore less susceptible to microbes. Recommended oils: tea tree, sage, rosemary
- Pain relief
Essential oil diffusers are also excellent for fighting off persistent pain that is caused by headaches, sore muscles and stiff joints. Recommended oils: ginger, chamomile, lavender
- Improve cognitive function
Using essential oil diffusers is a great way to recharge your brain cells. This is due to several different properties of essential oils. Firstly, essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which means that they adapt their effects to your mood.
So if you are stressed, they will soothe you and if you are feeling down, they will energize you. Also, lots of essential oils are known for balancing your hormones, all leading to better cognitive function. Recommended oils: peppermint, lime