What is Essential Oils Diffusing?
Before I start discussing the benefits of diffusing, defining this term may be helpful for those who are new to the world of essential oils.
Diffusing is a means of dispersing essential oils into the environment. It is an incredibly effective way for the whole household to enjoy all the health promoting properties of aromatherapy through inhalation. In fact, for infants it is one of the safest methods. Our animals can gain from it as well!
I’ve written in various blogs about this application of essential oils. Below is a summary of all the benefits and I’ve also provided some additional tools to help you create the perfect diffuser haven for your home.
The Eight Benefits of Diffusing
(1) The aroma benefits
First of all, just the aroma of essential oils can produce powerful physiological, memory, and mood-enhancing responses which were discussed here.
(2) Non-toxic air fresheners
Beyond their pleasant odors, essential oils are natural. They won’t cause the damage to the body that “air fresheners” can. It’s been found that toxicants can enter our system through our noses, causing potential neurological damage! Let’s use something that promotes brain health instead!
(3) The power of secondary plant metabolites
Essential oils are powerful plant secondary metabolites, they can support our bodies’ wellness in a variety of ways…even if one’s sniffer is “broken.”
You get the benefits of topical and internal applications of essential oils, without having to take off your clothes or swallow pills. Although this has its caveat. Clinically, I have found alternating all three methods the most useful for myself and my clients.
(5) Purify the air
Several studies have shown that essential oils dispersed in the air can inhibit unwanted microorganism growth, including bacteria and mold. They also have the potential of protecting us from the negative health effects of air pollution, both directly and by supporting our immune health. (See my database under “Essential Oils & Immune Uses”)
(6) STRESS relieving and Nervous System Balancing
Long-term, chronic stress is damaging to our whole body, if left un-checked. Essential oils have been shown to mitigate stress.
A recent study demonstrated this and other benefits of diffusion in the workplace. The researchers analyzed how aromatherapy would affect work performance and stress in 42 administrative university workers.
The study compared the diffusion of petitgrain essential oil (bitter orange) vs. almond oil in controls. They assessed the participants’ speed of completion of a computer task, how the scent effected anxiety and mood, and heart-rate variability (HRV). (HRV analyzes nervous system regulation.) The authors concluded:
Aromatherapy (inhaling petitgrain essential oil) can improve performance in the workplace. These results could be explained by an autonomic balance on the sympathetic/parasympathetic system through a combined action of the petitgrain main components (linalyl acetate, linalool, and myrcene). The final effect could be an improvement of the mental and emotional condition by a combination of reducing the stress level and increasing the arousal level of the participants in terms of attentiveness and alertness. (doi:10.1089/acm.2016.0061.)
(7) The benefits of the great outdoors
It’s been found that pine and conifer trees emit phytoncides (volatile compounds) into the air. These are the constituents found in essential oils that promote the stress-releiving effects of a walk outdoors, or “forest bathing.” These compounds were also found to have immune promoting properties, microbe inhibiting effects, and more. You can read all about phytoncides here.
(8) Erasing the environmental strain on the nerves
This diffusion guide discusses using essential oils based on the ion composition in the air. I haven’t found studies on this, but it makes sense since various essential oils have different effects on the nervous system. For example, it was found in one study that black pepper, fennel, and grapefruit were stimulating and rose and patchouli was calming.
This guide also provides various diffusing recipes for balancing ions in the atmosphere
Next week, I’ll be discussing more on the “how-tos” of diffusing and other creative ways to make your home a “diffuser haven.”
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
[…] week I discussed diffusing essential oils on my homepage. I described eight specific benefits of dispersing these secondary metabolites into the air. I also provided resources for creating your […]