Essential oils have been used for their physical and mental therapeutic properties, as far back as the 12th century. Not only do they deliver great health benefits, their fragrant aromas make them a pleasure to use in daily life.
Distilled from raw plant matter, essential oils are still as relevant and effective today for treating respiratory ailments like asthma and chesty coughs; skin conditions such as eczema and sunburn; relieving stress and anxiety; and giving our homes a fragrant and inviting ambience.
Essential oils can be used for their health benefits in many ways but one of the most common is diffusion. Diffusion is the release of essential oil particles into the air where they can be inhaled and absorbed.
To enjoy their powerful benefits it is important to understand how to diffuse essential oils in the most effective way possible. These are my favorite ways to diffuse essential oils to make the most of their healing properties.
Terracotta Diffuser Pendants
These delicate, uniquely designed conversation starters can be either worn around your neck for close inhalation, or hung in small spaces—such as the car or bathroom. The tiny pores in the terracotta absorb the oil, allowing it to slowly evaporate into the air.
Simply add one to three drops of your favourite essential oil to the top surface of your pendant—the side not in contact with your skin or clothes—and enjoy the immediate benefits of its healing, soothing properties. For the strongest diffusion, top up daily.
If you want to change the scent on your pendant, wait two to three days for the old scent to completely fade.
One of the best ways to diffuse essential oils in a room is with a fan diffuser. Fan diffusers blow cool air through a cartridge that has had essential oils applied to it.
They come in a number of sizes ranging from larger room diffusers down to battery-powered, mobile versions best suited for travelling or in the car. What is really great about smaller fan diffusers is their portability. This lets you enjoy your essential oils anywhere you go.
Most cold fan diffusers come with a few spare cartridges that can be used multiple times and refills are easily purchased in bulk for most models. The fans are quiet enough to be almost unnoticeable and create a calming ambience to your routine.
A question I am often asked is how to diffuse essential oils and humidify the air. The perfect solution for this effect is an ultrasonic diffuser. These diffusers are filled with water and essential oils are added, which then naturally cling to the surface. Without using heat, the diffuser uses ultrasonic vibrations to agitate the water and release a fine mist into the air that is easily inhaled. They also effectively fill the room with your favourite essential oil scent.
This is the best way to diffuse essential oils overnight, especially when the air is particularly dry and also when you have a cough or are congested. Ultrasonic diffusers come in various sizes and are easy to clean and top up with tap water and essential oils as required. They are also the best essential oil diffuser for large space and rooms.
Some ultrasonic diffusers come with adjustable coloured light patterns; a great option to add a calming mood to the room or comfort a sick child while they enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the mist.
As for diffusing essential oils when you need them most, only a nebulizer completely preserves the chemical composition of essential oils without dilution. This means you can benefit from the maximum healing qualities they possess.
Nebulizers use an air pump to push compressed, room-temperature air across an essential oils reservoir and then outwards into the room. They require more frequent refreshing with higher doses of essential oils as their powerful pumps create the highest saturation of molecules in the air.
While they are less mobile than some of the other cold diffusion options I’ve listed, the nebulizer’s ability to provide swift therapeutic relief to you and your family is more than worth it.
The best way to diffuse essential oils will depend on the size of the room or space you want to fill. Some are more practical if you are on the go, or need portability (terracotta or fan diffusers), while others are more suited to large spaces (ultrasonic and nebulisers).
You will also need to consider whether you prioritise the therapeutic properties of the essential oils over their fragrance, or whether convenience and ease of cleaning and reapplication is more important to you.
In any given situation, essential oils in their purest form—diffused using the non-heat methods I’ve listed—will enhance the health and wellbeing of your family whilst creating an inviting, pleasant atmosphere in your home