Contributor: Aisha Jamaloodeen
Diffusing essential oils provides a natural, green alternative to artificial air fresheners and fragrance candles for deodorising a small space – but did you know that there is more to diffusers than just eliminating odours?
Aromatherapy and Essential oils
Aromatherapy has long been used as complementary medicine and essential oils have been mixed in baths, inhaled, mixed into carrier oils and massaged into the skin, or vaporised via diffusers.
Diffusing essential oils can provide some great health benefits, as is well known in the aromatherapy world. Diffusers come in all shapes and sizes; they release essential oils in the air via different methods, including heating, vaporising and nebulising. The best ones do not heat up the essential oil, as heating destroys certain compounds present in the oil, thus reducing the overall effectiveness of the essential oil.
Relaxation and Sleep
The right blend of oils can be effective in calming down emotions and helping you wind down for a good night’s sleep. To help combat insomnia, you can diffuse a few drops of any of those oils: chamomile roman, marjoram sweet, frankincense, sandalwood, ylang ylang, clary sage, bergamot and lavender. I’m not a fan of heady scents, so I tend to go citrusy and light flowery ones. My favourite blend for relaxing is Bergamot and Lavender. I always use a total of 5 drops of oil in my diffuser which will last for 3-4 hours, for examples 3 drops bergamot and 2 drops lavender. Another blend to try is Rose, Geranium and Mandarin. Mandarin can be used with children over 2 years old, to calm them down. It blends well with lavender which also suitable for children. If you’re new at blending, I would recommend using only 2 or 3 oils to begin with.
Boosting the Immune System
I have noticed a significant difference in my overall health since I’ve started using essential oils. I always used to catch the dreaded winter bug every year and stayed bed ridden for days, but since I’ve started diffusing essential oils, I am now much more resistant to flu and although I still catch the odd cold it never lasts more than a day or two without taking any medicine – I should mention that I’m the kind of person who would rather stay poorly for days than swallow any medicine!
Some essential oils stimulate our immune system by increasing the amount of white blood cells in our body which are needed to fight off bugs, while others are anti viral and anti bacterial. Ward off colds and clear your sinuses using blends of lavender, cinnamon, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea-tree, lemon, ginger or neroli.
Humidifier and Air Purifier
Ultrasonic diffusers release water in the form of a cool mist and do not heat the water and oil. They are great to use during winter to put moisture back in the air when prolonged use of central heating decreases humidity. Add in a few drops of eucalyptus, cinnamon, lemon and or tea tree to remove airborne toxins.
Diffuse a few drops of citronella, clove, lemongrass or peppermint to repel mosquitoes and other insects. Peppermint is also effective in repelling spiders.
Increase Cognitive Function
Have an important project at work or an exam coming up? Diffusing oils such as Lemon, Peppermint or Rosemary help to focus your mind on the task at hand.
A word of caution
Diffusing essential oils for an hour or less is generally a safe way to benefit from the oils, but nonetheless they are potent and should be used with caution, especially if you have small children and pets. Although essential oils are natural and promote good health when used correctly, they may have a harmful effect people who are allergic to the ingredients.
Mandarin, Lavender, chamomile roman are generally safe for children and pets, however please consult a certified aromatherapist if you are unsure of usage and blending.
Now that you know of the benefits of diffusers, why not treat yourself to one? There are different types of diffusers available in my online shop, including lightweight portable ones to take with you during travels, please check them out at my online shop. If you’re unsure about which one would be more suitable for you, please drop me a line.
Essential oils are widely available in aromatherapy shops and online. Always buy from trusted brands to ensure that they are genuine undiluted essential oils to reap maximum health benefits. Go to my online shop to view the selection of Neal’s Yard Remedies organic essential oils, including pre-made blends.
My favourite ones are “Cleanse” which I find to be really good at clearing my sinus, “Night time” to help me relax before bedtime, and “Focus” which I diffuse whenever I need to work long days. During winter, I also diffuse the “Organic Defence” blend to ensure that I don’t catch any nasty winter bugs. Do not use it just before bedtime though, as it’ll keep you awake most of the night due to its stimulating effect!