Many people suffer from environmentally-related chronic illness. Among these maladies are chronic pain, respiratory illness, asthma, allergies, and even depression. Coping daily can be a burden and often involves the use of potentially harmful prescription drugs.
What can you do if you do not have access to medical assistance or simply do not want to risk becoming dependent on prescription medications? Luckily, there are many natural treatments you can turn to, and a combination of effective, sensible natural remedies will usually reap better results than the use of powerful chemicals.
One such natural approach to overall health, wellness, and well-being is aromatherapy with the use of essential oils. There are many ways to use these potent oils, but one of the easiest and most effective is with an aromatherapy essential oil diffuser.
In this article, we will describe the types of aroma diffusers on the market today for pure essential oils and provide good advice to help you select just the right model to suit your needs. Read on to learn more.
What Is An Essential Oil Diffuser?
These devices are especially designed for dispensing essential oil blends into the air you breathe. This provides pleasant fragrance along with powerful therapeutic benefits. The best essential oil diffusers use no heat, so the oils are delivered unaltered and at maximum potency. [source]
There are five different types of diffusers for essential oils, but an atomizing, cool air diffuser is the best because it breaks down the oils into the finest particles while retaining all the strength and value of these volatile oils. Other types of diffusers that heat the oil are alright for simply spreading a pleasant scent, but they detract from any therapeutic benefits you might reap from these valuable oils. [source]
What Is Diffusing?
Diffusing is the act of causing a substance (i.e. volatile essential oil) to evaporate into the air. This type of device does not have to be mechanical. Some simply work through natural evaporation.
Here is a rundown on the five types of commercial diffusers available on the market today.
Cool Air Atomizing Diffuser
This type of diffuser dispenses oils into the air quickly and efficiently. Atomizing technology makes use of a jet pump and cold air to force drops of essential oil through an atomizer. This process renders the oil into extremely fine particles without damaging the chemical makeup or the healing properties of the oil.
The oil is dispersed into the air and remains present for many hours. These powerful micro-particles of full strength essential oil can effectively address threats such as bacteria, viruses, mold, pests, and unpleasant odors. Oils with antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties can help purify the air and prevent the spread of illness.
The therapeutic value of these pure oils is unparalleled. As you breathe in the fine particles, your body absorbs the benefits of the healing oils through the tissues of your respiratory system.
Aromatherapy with a cool air diffuser and a carefully selected oil can be very powerful. The scent and the chemical structure of the oil prompts your nervous system to send signals to your limbic system (housed in the brain). This is the area of the brain where memory and emotion dwell.
The oil absorbed by your limbic system can prompt your brain to release hormones, trigger pain relief, alter your mood, and more. It is easy to see that a solid knowledge of the uses of essential oils is extremely helpful in successful use of a diffuser.
Cool air atomizers cover the most square footage of any type of diffuser. Typically, you will set up a schedule for diffusing (perhaps 10-15 minutes per hour). The ultra-fine mist will remain suspended in the air for as long as three hours at a time, so you can reap a great deal of benefits from a very small amount of oil.
Even better, unlike diffusers that dispense oils in heated water or in larger particles, the micro-fine particles emitted by a cold air diffuser evaporate rather than settling on surfaces. This means you will not have to clean up a potentially grimy residue after extended use of your diffuser.
This quality also makes care of a cool air atomizing diffuser very simple. There is very little oil buildup within the unit, so cleanup is minor or even nonexistent.
The one downside some users have mentioned is slight noise when operating. Additionally, you may balk at the initial cost of a cool air atomizing diffuser, but you simply must remember that you get what you pay for. This type of diffuser is just the best. You will get the most value for your money and the most benefit from your costly oils with a high-quality, cool air atomizing essential oil diffuser.
Check out our essential oil diffuser reviews for your reference.
Other Types Of Diffusers
Humidifying or Vaporizing Ultrasonic Diffuser
This type of diffuser works by sending electronic frequencies and vibrations through water to create a vapor that contains essential oils. This type of device also provides humidity to the air.
For scenting the air and making it more comfortable and pleasant to breathe, this is a nice choice. It provides a spa-like environment and diffuses oils in a heat and chemical-free manner.
Vaporizing diffusers are quiet and aesthetically pleasing. They often include some special features such as multiple timers, colorful lighting, and pleasant sounds.
If your goal is just to create an aesthetically pleasing environment, this may be a good choice for you. Vaporizing diffusers are less expensive to purchase than atomizing models. Just understand that mixing your oils with water will dilute them, and lack of atomization means larger particles of oils.
These particles are not as easily absorbed by your system, and they do not linger in the air as long. Furthermore, extended use will eventually lead to a grimy buildup on surfaces surrounding the machine. The unit, itself, will also need frequent cleaning.
When selecting a vaporizing device, quality is important. There are several cheap choices in vaporizers available, but attempting to save money with a cheap purchase will end up costing you in terms of wasted oils, leaks, and other problems down the road.
These are typically simple gadgets that are only good for providing a pleasant scent. Some examples include ceramic rings intended to be used with light bulbs or candles. There are also electric devices intended to heat the oil on its own or mixed with water to produce scented steam.
These types of diffusers should be avoided. Heating essential oil alters its chemical makeup and damages its therapeutic capabilities. While the scent may be pleasant, you may find that breathing in the fumes of heated oils irritates your nasal passages.
Diffusers that use a small fan to evaporate and disperse particles of essential oil are quite cheap and do not damage the chemical composition of the oil. For a very small space (e.g. your office cubicle), this might be a nice idea.
This type of diffuser is quiet to run and provides a pleasant scent and limited therapeutic benefits. Remember that the molecules of oil dispersed are not micro-fine, so your system will not absorb them as readily or as completely as those created by an atomizing diffuser.
This is an easy method of diffusing oil that requires no power source. It involves simply placing drops of essential oil on a porous surface and allowing them to evaporate naturally.
For example, a hanky with a few drops of essential oil sprinkled on it becomes an evaporative diffuser when you hold it to your nose and breathe. Other materials that can be used to create a simple evaporative diffuser include:
- Cotton balls
- Porous pendants
- Clay beads
- Coarse Salts
This method of diffusing can be handy as a take-along. You can put a few drops of oil on a handkerchief, tissue, or cotton balls to carry in a plastic bag in your purse or pocket and occasionally enjoy your own personal aromatherapy.
Alternately, you can enjoy the scent and benefits of the oils of your choice on an ongoing basis using a porous item of jewelry such as a pendant or clay beads.
Reed oil diffusers can also be handy for small spaces. This type of evaporative diffuser is made using a small container filled with essential oil. Reeds or other porous sticks are placed in the oil to draw it up so that it can evaporate into the air. This is a subtle, and not especially effective, way of dispersing essential oils.
You may also wish to experiment with making your own “smelling salts” using Epsom salts, sea salt, and essential oils mixed in a small vial or bottle. This is a fun, Victorian way to reap the benefits of aromatherapy on a limited basis. [source]
Here are the top-rated diffusers of essential oil in the market according to many reviews.
What To Consider When Choosing The Perfect Essential Oil Diffuser?
It’s easy to see that to get the most bang for your buck, a cool air atomizing essential oil diffuser is the obvious choice. Except for the heat diffuser, the other types may have limited application and may be good choices for very specific settings. [source]
Here are four questions you should ask yourself when making your selection:
How Does It Look?
Your diffuser will probably be a central part of your living area. Obviously, you should not choose a hideous plastic monstrosity. Luckily, these days there are lots of very attractive, artistic choices available. Wood grain finished diffusers are especially lovely to look at. There are also models available with bamboo housing. Some are even shaped like river rocks for a low profile and a discreet appearance.
Is It Portable?
If you want diffusing abilities at work or simply at your side throughout your day, this is important. For your home, you may not need a portable unit, but you will want to determine whether you could easily move it from one room to another. Alternately, you may wish to simply supply each of your living areas with its own diffuser.
Does The Unit Have Auto-Shut Off Capability?
You do not want to run any type of diffuser on a continuous, nonstop basis. Ideally, you should be able to set your diffuser to run at specified times and in specific increments (e.g. 10 minutes per hour from bedtime to dawn).
How Much Does It Cost?
With both atomizing and ultrasonic diffusers, you really do get what you pay for. If you spring for a high-quality unit with a solid warranty, you will never regret it. You’ll get good service from the device, and you’ll save money on oils in the long run.
Ventilating and evaporative devices are simple with few or no moving parts. Therapeutic value is limited with these to begin with, and these really tend to be more for fun than function, so by all means, go cheap! Just don’t skimp on the quality of oils you use.[source]
Aromatherapy Is Real Therapy
Every day we learn more about the true value of aromatherapy for treating a variety of conditions. Using a cool air diffuser and the right essential oils, you can establish the perfect environment for study, discussion, meditation, relaxation, sleep, or even romance.
Make no mistake, oil diffusers do more than just create a pleasant environment. Pure, top-quality essential oil dispersed into the air is absorbed by your body to help mitigate problems caused by pain, chemical imbalance, and illness.
Diffused oils can also help deal with problems in the environment such as mold and mildew, dust, viruses and bacteria, pet dander, and even insect pests. It’s just a matter of knowing which oils to dispense for the results you seek.
The quality and effectiveness of your aromatherapy is in direct proportion with the quality of your essential oils and your method of dispersion. The study of essential oils is interesting and valuable. When you know about the benefits of these oils, you can enrich your life and save yourself a great deal of money in terms of over-the-counter and prescription treatments. [source]