The Incredible Diverse Benefits From Aromatherapy Diffusers

Posted on Monday 10 January 2011

Essential oils are fast becoming recognized as something more than just natural perfumes. Some of their proven major therapeutic actions include direct eradication of bacteria and viruses, boosting immune system function, and acting to reduce stress, uplift spirits and improve rest. The reason these effects are mentioned specifically is that they’re very easy to produce in your own home using one simple device, an “essential oil diffuser.” A diffuser disperses essential oils in the air in your home or office, allowing you and your family to easily inhale the oils (for immune boosting, stress relief, etc.) AND naturally, effectively disinfecting the air.

The Data Is In: The Science of Aroma Medicine

The big interests in home use of essential oils is twofold: 1) They can bring calm to overexcited youngsters while acting as antidepressants for everyone. 2) They have proven antibacterial and antiviral actions; they are able to destroy these microbes in the air, while simultaneously support the strength of our immune system. There’s a good bit of scientific data backing both these claims available for free viewing at PubMed.Gov — start by simply searching for “essential oil” and see where it takes you. Again, the easiest way to reap these benefits of essential oils is to use a diffuser to release the oils into the air in your environment. A diffuser simply evaporates oils faster than they would naturally, getting a therapeutic concentration into your living or office space — but there are many diffuser styles — we’ll help you find the one best suited to your needs.

The Best Diffuser For Protection From Infectious Illness

In order to best disinfect the air in your surroundings, you can imagine you’d need a little bit more essential oil than what evaporates from an aromatherapy candle. To get this amount of output requires a “nebulizing” diffuser. To “nebulize” an essential oil means to make a very fine mist, which quickly and easily evaporates. Some diffuser manufacturers claim their diffusers make smaller droplets of mist than others, but the truth is they all will work. The droplets all “disappear” completely upon leaving the diffuser, without any residue around the machine. To best conserve your oils while still creating these therapeutic effects, you’ll want a timer system too — some come with them built-in, though the most versatile will be external, fully-programmable timers you can find online or in a hardware store.

The nebulizers come in two styles: “cold air” and “ultrasonic”. The cold air units use only air pressure to diffuse the oils, and output the highest concentration of any diffuser type. The ultrasonic is essentially a small water-humidification unit, where oils are mixed with water and then evaporated. Both styles typically have output controls, so you can turn up or down the amount of oil being diffused. They are also both exceptionally quiet.

Diffusers for “Aroma”therapy: Anti-Stress and Emotional Support

Other styles of diffusers either gently warm the oils or use a fan to blow over the oils to evaporate them. Their intention is to get the oils in the air so you can enjoy their aromas — and while this sounds simple, its actually therapeutically meaningful: The “smell sense” is the only one of the five senses directly wired to the control center of the brain (signals from the other senses travel through “switching stations” first). The result is that the body reacts to a smell without us thinking about it. Certain smells can lower blood pressure, slow heart rate, and help us sleep more deeply. Some users report feeling happier or calmer when inhaling particular scents, and other scents make the mind sharper — improving test scores, reducing errors at work, and improving the efficiency of studying for school. A fan diffuser will blow air and evaporate oil from a cotton pad, and warming diffusers will safely (i.e. ok to use around children) and gently use heat to also evaporate oils from a pad. Both these styles are good choices for smaller areas, like a bedroom or living room.

Use Oils Efficiently with a Timer

It’s a known fact that if you smell the same aroma for hours on end, eventually you won’t notice it any longer. Also, once your environment has enough oil evaporated in the air, no more is needed for the disinfecting effect until the oil naturally dissipates. A timer helps conserve your essential oils by only evaporating your oils during the “on” cycle. The “off” cycle in effect lets your nose forget the oils are in the room. Therapeutic timing cycles are around 5 minutes “on”, 25 minutes “off” — this is completely flexible depending on the diffuser, the room, and your desired “aroma strength”. Some diffusers come with timers “built-in”, but for those that don’t, a common appliance or lamp timer will do the job. The better timers will be infinitely adjustable, allowing you to set the diffuser cycles precisely — these timer units are called “digital, programmable” timers.

Selecting The Best Oils For Your Needs

Each essential oil has a unique chemistry; the unique chemistry of each oil gives it its aroma and its therapeutic action. For emotional support — oils that make you happy — consider the “Needle” oils. Oils distilled from Spruce, Fir, and Pine needles are very popular to give your home the scent of being deep in the forest. You can imagine how pleasant that may be! Other anti-depressant oils include the citrus oils (virtually all the oils pressed from the peels of citrus fruit are considered very uplifting) and some folks really enjoy the florals: Rose Geranium, Rose, and Neroli. Lavender essential oil is THE most studied oil for calming and rest. There are many resources on the internet to help you find the oils you enjoy smelling, with the psychological energetic profile you’re interested in. Most oils in this category are safe for all ages — only Peppermint, used for invigorating mental activity, is not recommended for use with younger children.

For disinfecting your surroundings and boosting your immune system, there are many highly regarded oils to choose from. Lauris Nobilis (Laurel Leaf) was recently noted to have direct effects against the virus causing SARS, and due to its very complex chemical nature, will likely have this effect against many other viruses. Narrow-leaf Eucalyptus is very popular, and is called the “aromatherapist’s designer oil” for its broad range of actions. These include antiviral and immune-supportive effects, as well as a nice “pick me up” aroma. A little online research will help you find more oils in this category, and even diffuser blends formulated for this purpose. As the antimicrobial oils are often very potent, it is important to research whether your oils of choice can be safely used with children — it is likely that they are ok, but its best to be sure. A few oils that are too strong for diffusing are Cinnamon Bark and Oregano (these are excellent antimicrobial oils, but inhaling them can irritate the mucus membranes). Eucalyptus, Laurel Leaf, Rosalina and Lavender are great immune supportive oils for the whole family.

In Conclusion: Diffusers Make Aroma-Therapy Simple

Getting started reaping the many proven benefits of essential oils is exceptionally easy to do with a diffuser. One machine, a few oils and away you go! Not only will you be supporting your family’s health and happiness, but you’ll soon have friends and neighbors commenting on how great you smell (the oils tend to very pleasantly linger around you for awhile, and you’ll be surprised at all the great reactions you’ll get). The start-up costs are very low; just be sure not to skimp on the oils themselves. Only true essential oils will have the important medicinal benefits — and these oils do smell the best. Use your intuition in your selections, and you’re sure to make the most of your venture into aroma-therapeutics.

More information on essential oil news and research is available through Ananda Aromatherapy – an online source for therapeutic grade essential oils.

categories: aromatherapy,essential oil,immune system,illness,disease,depression,family,children,home,women,alternative health,wellness,health

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