As trendy as they’ve become, did you know that the concept of ‘diffusing’ plant oils is nothing new? Frankincense and Myrrh presented in diffusing vessels were even considered worthy as gifts for Kings dating over 2000 years ago, one well-known King in particular.
From creating a beautiful fresh scent throughout your home to helping a little one settle into sleep, diffusing essential oils is one of the easiest and most effective methods of benefiting from them. It really is as simple as adding a few drops to water and pushing the on button, but let’s explore a bit more together so you’re benefiting most.
A few of the many reasons why you would want to diffuse:
- Emotional Wellness (happy, motivated, focused, mindful, calm, confident etc…)
- Physical Wellness (respiratory, immune, endocrine system support)
- Promotes healthy air quality by purifying & forcing dust to the ground
- Freshens Air & Neutralizes Odor
- Minimize (toss your vaporizer, humidifier, air freshener, room spray & more)
- Switch & Ditch toxic alternatives (Did you know that air freshener sprays, plugins and most candles are loaded with toxic chemicals linked to respiratory issues, cancer and inflammatory disease)?
Now for a few tips on how: This information was mostly gathered from my books written by Certified Aromatherapists and MDs as well as my own personal experience, however, you will find that there are varying opinions, even among the experts, on how to diffuse properly.
A cold water ultrasonic diffuser is most common type of diffuser and therefore the one we will cover in this article. It uses cold water to disperse the oils into the air, therefore, not compromising on their integrity of the plant properties by heating them. A true quality essential oil is extracted from the plant at extremely low distillation temperatures in order to maintain its therapeutic constituents; so if you’re paying the extra money for true quality oils that can benefit your wellness, don’t settle for just a pretty scent by overheating them with a crummy BPA-containing diffuser or oil burner.
MYTH BUSTER: Some say there’s no need to diffuse for more than 15 minutes. This is actually true but when referring to an atomizer, not a cold water diffuser. An atomizer does not dilute the oils with water and therefore have a much more concentrated dispersion. These should be used for no more than 15 minutes consecutively. With a cold water diffuser, oils are dispersed into the air and are able to suspend for hours following as oils are molecularly smaller than air itself!
SYNERGIES: When mixing single oils to create a blend do so before you drop them into the diffuser. Just like perfumes, oils have different ‘notes’. If you drop them straight into the diffuser instead of swirling them together first, you will not get the same benefit or combined scent of the synergy.
WASTING OILS: save your wallet and our planet. If using a quality essential oil, you not need excessive drops for the same scent & benefit. If you consider the environment and the potential impact essential oil production can have if used excessively. For example, it takes 75 lemons to produce one 15 ml bottle of oil and 60,000 roses to produce ¼ cup of Rose oil…. Imagine if the company you are purchasing from is using chemicals in their farming practice and not looking after the farmers, the soil, the plants etc… your oil obsession could then be costing the environment much more than it is worth. This is part of the reason we only use YL oils as I know for certain their practices are ethical.
CLEAN IT! Part of diffusing properly means cleaning it regularly. Most diffusers are best cleaned with rubbing alcohol about once a fortnight (quick wipe out). I use our Thieves Household Cleaner instead of the alcohol. Contrary to many google searches, you should not actually clean it with vinegar – this will void many warranties so make sure to read the manual specific to yours.
Full Cleaning Instructions: *Always read the manual included with your diffuser, as they may vary from these and doing otherwise may impact any warranty it has.
- unplug it
- empty any remaining liquid and rinse with water
- add a splash of rubbing alcohol or a 1/4 capful thieves household cleaner
- use a damp soft cloth and clean all areas
- avoid getting any water in the air intake – if you mistakenly get water into the air filter, turn it upside down and shake out excess then let dry for at least 24 hours before use.
- For diffusers that have harder to reach areas, such as the rainstone, a soft baby bottle brush is handy
Pets: Even among the experts, there are conflicting conclusions about safe diffusing around pets, including fish, birds, dogs, cats etc. and it mainly comes down to the difference in their ability to metabolize the various constituents. There are great resources if this is an area of interest you would like to learn more about, such as The Animal Desk Reference, by Life Science Publishing. The general gist for most domestic pets is when diffusing, make sure that they have a way to leave the area you are diffusing if they feel it’s too much. If you choose to diffuse in rooms that have amphibian or bird cages, then the less is more rule should apply. Citrus oils and other oils high in terpenes and phenols should be used with caution around pets.
Pregnancy: According to Certified Aromatherapist Jen O’Sullivan, “using oils aromatically in a diffuser with 2-3 drops per hour of diffusion is recommended. Diffusing in a cold-water diffuser is the mildest form of essential oil use and is very beneficial during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Steer clear of the ‘do not use’ list: Clary sage, idaho tansy, hyssop, fennel, sage & wintergreen.
Babies & Children: Safe oil use around babies and children varies dramatically among the experts; for conservative safety advice, follow the bottle labels and use a reference guide to determine what oils you feel comfortable diffusing around your little ones. Personally, I’ve diffused oils such as frankincense, lavender & lemon around all my children since they were babies with only 1-2 drops. I’ve also used blends for their respiratory and immune systems as well when needed; I personally prefer to use these blends rather than things like Chest Rubs available from the chemist, which contain eucalyptus and other menthols I know for certain are not as well sourced or good quality as Young Living oils.
Young Living has an amazing range of diffusers, for your car, office, men, kids, varying size rooms etc… if you want to check some different options out, just get in touch!
I hope you are now a confident diffuser user and enjoyed the read. Happy Diffusing!
Some favourite diffuser synergies:
Bedtime: 4 drops Stress Away 2 drops Frankincense 1 drop Bermagot
Study Session: 1-2 drops each: Peppermint Copaiba Lemon Frankincense
Workday Vibes: 2 drops each: Peppermint Lemon Panaway
Fresh Air: 3 drops each Purification Lemon
Sick Days: 3 drops Thieves 2 drops Orange
Breathe Easy: 4 drops RC 2 drops Lavender
Netflix & Chill: 4 drops Stress Away 1 drop Lavender 1 glass of wine