The Benefits of Diffusing Essential Oils
If you didn’t know already I’m a self-proclaimed essential oil addict. My collection is staggering. I mean, who really NEEDS over 80 different essential oils in their life? Well, I guess I do! And perhaps you do too 😉
Essential oils can be used for SO MANY different things and each oil has an affinity for specific body systems, ailments, and conditions. Even the way you administer essential oils can drastically change how they affect the body.
One of the most common ways to use essential oils (and one of the most underappreciated!) is by diffusing them into the air. This allows the essential oils to saturate the air in your home with wonderful aromas while they do their work killing airborne bacteria and germs. Not only that, diffusing essential oils improves your mood and overall mindset. Who doesn’t need that in their life?
How to Diffuse Essential Oils
Diffusing essential oils is super simple. All you need is a great diffuser, some distilled water, and the essential oils you want to use.
My favorite type of diffuser is known as a cold water diffuser. These diffusers are the best choice because they don’t harm the essential oils with heat and the oils are dispersed very evenly throughout the air (think Nano particles!). There is also very little waste involved compared to other cold methods which is a huge plus.
The distance the oils can travel through the air and the length of time they’re diffused largely depends on the diffuser you buy.
Here are a few of my favorite diffusers:
The worst diffusers to use therapeutically are wax warmers, soapstone tea light diffusers, or any other diffuser that uses heat as a means to disperse oils throughout the air. I know. I can hear you now but trust me on this one. Applying heat to any pure essential oils is going to harm and degrade the very constituents that make it therapeutic. If you are looking for a scented option only then by all means you can certainly use whatever diffuser you have on hand but if you want the healing effects these oils have to offer then go with a cold water diffuser.
You also want to use very clean water, preferably distilled water. Cold water diffusers can easily get clogged by minerals and other particles found in tap water and even some spring waters. It’s best to avoid them in my experience especially if you have invested in a nice diffuser.
Why Diffuse Essential Oils?
Diffusing essential oils is one of the best ways to experience the many powerful benefits of essential oils especially for both mind and spirit.
If you remember from my last article on how to make an anti-anxiety room and body spray, then you know that the limbic system (the emotional center of the brain) is closely linked to our sense of smell. That’s why certain smells remind you of fond memories like your grandmother’s baking or the scent of your first new car.
Essential oils have the same effect even if you don’t have memories associated with certain smells. For example, lavender is universally calming and instills a sense of peace and calm. Citrusy oils uplift and brighten your mood while energizing your senses. You can even teach your body to respond a certain way to essential oils as well which will enhance their effect. To do this simply think of a phrase and say it in your mind as you smell an oil. I like to do this with rosemary by saying “Help me remember” to help me remember important information.
Here are a few examples of essential oils and their mood enhancing benefits:
• Confidence booster– cypress, grapefruit, jasmine, orange, valor
• Creative- all citrusy oils, bergamot, cardamom, jasmine, frankincense
• Motivating- peppermint, spearmint, rosemary
• Relaxing- clary sage, geranium, lavender, spruce
• Sensual- black pepper, geranium, jasmine, neroli, rose, ylang ylang
• Stress reducing- lavender, lime, frankincense, Melissa, vanilla, vetiver
• Uplifting- all citrus oils, frankincense, sandalwood
Of course there are MANY more essential oils that fit into these categories, these are just a few basic oils that are great for enhancing positive emotions.
More Reasons to Diffuse Essential Oils
Emotions aren’t the only reason to diffuse essential oils. In fact, there are tons of other benefits!
Here are some of the ways I like to use diffusing oils over other methods:
• Changes a negative mindset
• Comforts children and pets
• Entertains guests
• Gets rid of nasty odors
• Improves focus
• Improves memory
• Improves sleep quality
• Promotes quiet time
• Promotes relaxation
• Purifies the air
• Reduces appetite
• Reduces food cravings
• Reduces stress
• Soothes anxious pets and children
• Supports a healthy immune system
How do I Choose an Essential Oil to Diffuse?
This is always a common issue among essential oil newcomers. It can be overwhelming to know what oils to diffuse.
Honestly though? Diffuse what smells good to you! Your nose knows.
If that is still difficult for you then think about what you are trying to accomplish. Are you feeling stressed and need to relax? Are you feeling frustrated or angry? Looking up emotions is a great way to pinpoint the right essential oil you need and there are tons and tons of great resources out there at your disposal.
I really enjoy looking at reference materials like:
Keep in mind too that you don’t need to stick to just one essential oil. You can make amazing blends very easily just by combining a few drops of each oil that smells good to you. One of my favorite blends to use is lavender and lemon for relaxed focus! I loved each so I combined them and made a blend that I just love and it’s so easy.
When you’re first starting out try to stick to 3 or 4 different essential oils at most so that you don’t overwhelm your senses.
Here are a few simple blends I enjoy:
• Cold and flu- rosemary, lemon, clove, lavender
• Energy- lemon, bergamot, sweet orange, cardamom
• Focus- rosemary, lemon, peppermint
• Sleep- lavender, sweet orange, cedarwood
• Stress- lime, lavender, vanilla
Add about 4 drops of each oil to your diffuser and enjoy!
What if I Don’t Have a Diffuser?
Diffusers are a great way to use essential oils but they certainly aren’t the only way to benefit from them. If you don’t have a diffuser you can simply sniff the aroma from essential oils straight from the bottle. I usually do 3-4 deep mindful breaths and think about positive affirmations. You can also apply a drop or two into the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, then cup your nose and mouth while breathing in deeply.
You can also make a room or body spray. These last longer as far as how many uses you get out of the essential oils but not in terms of residual scent. Spritzing essential oils into the air will last a few minutes while diffusing will last about 20-30 minutes.
How do You Clean Your Diffuser?
Sometimes the essential oils themselves can clog up a cold water diffuser over time. If you use tap water you will also notice some scaling or film develop around the ultrasonic disk or around the edges of the diffuser.
When this happens all you need to do is take rubbing alcohol, a cotton ball, and a cotton swab and wipe down the inside of the diffuser. You can also use white vinegar and run the diffuser though it will really smell like vinegar.
Both methods break up residual oil and any mineral deposits very well.
I recommend cleaning your diffuser twice a month but you may need to clean it more often depending on the type of water you use and how resinous your essential oils are.
Be sure to check out my article on how to choose the best essential oils diffuser.
Why do you like diffusing essential oils?
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