10 Amazing Benefits & Uses of Essential Oil Diffuser
Essential oil diffusers are excellent tools to get beneficial essential oils into the air, where their effects can be felt. While some people use essential oils topically, or even internally, inhaling essential oils during aromatherapy treatments is a particularly popular way to access the powerful health benefits of these oils. An essential oil diffuser brings that same therapeutic value to your home, and allows you to control what oils are dispersed in the air, for how long, and in what concentration. For people who want to take a more active role in their own health, and prefer a natural, proven method with few side effects, purchasing an essential oil diffuser is an excellent choice.
Reasons to Use an Essential Oil Diffuser
Using an essential oil diffuser allows you to access all the benefits of essential oils, unlike heating oils in candle or wax warmers. In fact, applying hear to essential oils can actually denature many of the most important chemicals and compounds, so you are essentially just diffusing the oils for scent, and not for the more beneficial aspects. For this reason, you should always use a diffuser that doesn’t rely on heat to push out the scent. Heat diffusers often rely on heat, and are not as effective as fan diffusers, nebulizing diffusers, evaporative diffusers and ultrasonic diffusers.
These last two varieties can deliver a consistent mist of essential oils to a space that can leave you feeling relaxed, uplifted, confident, energized, creative and motivated, among others, depending on the type of oil you choose! Some of the best reasons to use an essential oil diffuser are listed below.
Promote Good Sleep: Many essential oils can promote neurotransmitter activity in your brain, and stimulate the release of hormones, serotonin and dopamine, leading to restful, uninterrupted sleep. Excellent sleep oils include bergamot, sandalwood and lavender.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Many people diffuse essential oils to reduce anxiety and promote calmness of body and mind, particularly oils like lavender, frankincense, neroli and chamomile.
Immune System: Many essential oils have antibacterial and antiviral effects, which can help protect your immune system once they are inhaled. Immune-boosting oils include lemon, tea tree, peppermint, clove and camphor.
Curb the Appetite: Some essential oils are known for interacting with the limbic system (the emotional side of our brain) and turning off our desire to eat, which can help with weight loss. Some of the best oils for appetite curbing are grapefruit, lavender, orange, ylang ylang and patchouli.
Repel Insects: Many bugs cannot stand the aroma of diffused essential oils, and it can actually be fatal, making these oils great for preventing mosquitoes, gnats and other pesky bugs from disturbing your space. Insect-repellent oils include peppermint, lavender, cinnamon, geranium and cedarwood.
Eliminate Odors: A room or home that smells musty, stale or smoky can easily be remedied by diffusing orange, grapefruit, bergamot or lemongrass oils.
Create a Healthy Environment: Airborne bacteria can be very dangerous, but if you diffuse the right oils, you can create an antiviral and antibacterial environment in your home that keeps you and your family health. The best oils for this are tea tree, lemon, cinnamon and oregano.
Improve Respiratory Health: Inhaling essential oils can improve inflammation in the respiratory tracts, boost immune health, and help eliminate colds and coughs. Excellent oil for respiratory health include lemon, palo santo, lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus.
Increase Energy: If you regularly feel fatigued or lacking energy, certain oils, such as grapefruit, cinnamon, lemon and orange are great for giving you a critical boost to energy and mood.
How Does an Essential Oil Diffuser Work?
Depending on what type of essential oil diffuser you choose, they might work in different ways. As mentioned earlier, there are five main types of essential oil diffusers, each with their own pros and cons, depending on how and where you wish to use them, as well as the effects you hope to achieve.
- Heat Diffuser – A heat diffuser heats the essential oil, causing it to evaporate, releasing the aroma of the oil into the air. While this can give a pleasant smell to the house, this isn’t the ideal choice if you want therapeutic effects from your essential oil use. Many of the chemicals and compounds in a heat diffuser will be denatured and neutralized when heated, so there is very little health benefit delivered.
- Fan Diffuser – A fan diffuser doesn’t rely on heat, but rather moves air across a wick or absorbent surface that contains the essential oil. This moving air will carry breathable molecules into the environment, so therapeutic effects can be transferred, but the area of effect will be relatively small. This is good for a bathroom, a car, or a small bedroom, but in larger spaces, these are less effective.
- Evaporative Diffuser – In a similar way, evaporative diffusers allow the essential oil to be exposed to the air, and thus slowly evaporate. The size of the molecules can be inhaled for therapeutic effects, but again, this will only work in a relatively small or confined space.
- Nebulizing Diffuser – Widely considered the best option for essential oil diffusers, nebulizing diffusers use cold, pressurized air to force essential oil molecules into an atomizer. This breaks the molecules into extremely fine particles that are pumped out into the air, where they hang suspended for hours, rather than settling to the floor as with other diffusers. These ultra-fine particles can be inhaled, will cleanse the room of other toxic particles, or land on your body to be absorbed by the skin. These diffusers tend to be more expensive, but are also praised as the most effective.
- Ultrasonic Diffuser – This type of essential oil diffuser creates small vibrations within a combination of water and essential oil, which causes a fine mist to be released into the air, where it can be inhaled and improve the aroma of a room. While the area of coverage of ultrasonic diffusers can be relatively large, by combining the essential oils with water, some of the therapeutic benefits are compromised. This is generally considered the second-best option for a diffuser after the nebulizing diffuser.
Best Essential Oil to Use in a Diffuser
There are hundreds of essential oils that are well known to deliver measurable health results, but some are better than others when it comes to essential oil diffusers. For example, some oils are better for topical applications, or even internal consumption (although directly consuming many essential oils can be toxic). Some oils, on the other hand, are extremely effective when spread through the air via a diffuser, inhaled in small amounts, and then spread throughout your body. Many of the following essential oils are also commonly combined for even greater effects!
- Wild Orange