Essential oils are a curiosity to many folks – they smell nice, but they're just not sure what to do with them, never mind how to get the most from aromatherapy's science-proven benefits (like antiviral, antibacterial and stress-reducing actions ). So where to start ?! Inhale! Breathe them in! By using a diffuser to accelerate the evaporation of oils in the air around you, not only does your place smell great, but its the best way to use the most thought-after uses of aromatherapy: immune system and emotional support. We'll start with a quick review of the potential benefits of diffusing essential oils for your family, with specific notes for children, then look at the best diffusers for each use.
Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Essential Oils
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 supporting 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.
Diffusers For Antiviral / Antimicrobial Action & Immune Support
For disinfecting the air in your environment, you need to evaporate a reliably high concentration of essential oils. The only way to do this effectively, while preserving the oils to keep costs to a minimum is to use a “nebulizing” diffuser in conjunction with a timer system. While these diffusers will have a somewhat higher initial cost, they're the only diffusers that will output “therapeutic” doses of essential oils for every possible application. These diffusers “nebulize” the oils, making them into a fine, quickly evaporating mist. This is also the diffuser that will diffuse aroma in the larger area; so even if you're only wanting a pleasant aroma in your home, for over 800 square feet, this is the diffuser of choice.
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
For simple aromatic use – where oils are used for uplifting your spirits, calming or helping your children sleep, or just making your environment smell fantastic, a “fan” or “warming” diffuser is totally appropriate. The fan diffusers work by blowing air from a small fan over a pad that has been decorated with essential oils – the warm diffusers work the same way, but with a little bit of heat (they do not get so hot as to burn anyone , and are safe to use around kids). The fan units will emit a quiet hum when on, the warm units will be silent – and the fan units will generally emit aroma into a moderately-sized space, while the less-expensive warm units are suited for a single room.
Use Oils Efficiently with a Timer
The best way to use the least amount of essential oil for your needs is to use a timer – either built-in to the diffuser or a readily-available appliance timer. For ANY application, whether simple aromatic use or medicinal needs, one need only be exposed to the diffused oils for a few minutes at a time. Aromatically, your “smell scent” will soon become accustom to the aroma, and you'll start to think the diffuser is not working anymore. Running the diffuser for only a few minutes every half an hour lets your nose “forget” the oils are in the air. The same principal works for disinfecting the air and immune-system support – there's no need to over-saturate the air with essential oils. They are so potent that there's no need to continuously diffuse a high concentration for these results.
Choosing Oils For Your Purpose
All essential oils have naturally different chemical make-ups. That's what gives them their individual aromas and their individual therapeutic actions. For an uplifting, pleasant atmosphere, the “evergreen” oils are very nice: Fir Needle, Spruce, and Juniper Berry. These are excellent antidepressant aromatics too, along with the citrus oils: Bergamot, Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit and the like, plus Rose and other uplifting flower-scents. For calming and better rest, Lavender is the first choice; when folks are not a fan of this popular floral oil, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang are great choices. For all the purposes, its important to use oils you or your family actually like the smell of! There are MANY oils to choose from, and by sampling a few, you're sure to find something everyone enjoys.
For immune support and air-cleaning, there are many oils that are highly regarded for their antimicrobial actions. Bay laurel is very nice, and scientifically shown to be an effective anti-viral. “Plain” Lemon and Rosemary oils are excellent antibacterials, as is Lemon Tea Tree (very potent), Lemongrass, and Eucalyptus Radiata (shown specifically to help our white blood cells function better). Most oils that are sharper and brighter will be effective, but be careful as there are some herb-oils that are too strong to diffuse, like Oregano and Thyme, along with the spice oil Cinnamon. In any case, use your judgment with the aromas: if they seem to intense, they are – and either switch to a different oil or turn down the diffuser output. Also be aware that children are MUCH more sensitive to essential oils than adults – adjust your use as necessary, and consult a reputable guide to using essential oils with children.
Conclusion: Diffuse Your Oils for Best Results!
Diffusing essential oils is easy to do, and gives the best results for certain aroma-therapeutical applications – specifically those to do with preventing colds and flu, supporting emotions and bringing calm to a family environment. There are many diffusers to choose from – generally the more expensive units will offer the greatest potential for the therapeutic uses, but they're definitely not necessary to get started. The lowest-cost warming diffusers are only about $ 12, simply to use, and are very durable. This, and several essential oils samples is a great way to get started using the therapeutic aspects of essential oils and aromatherapy.