Essential oils, incense, perfumes, and the new fragrant “plug-ins” are hugely popular. The desire to create an inviting-smelling space, or to cover up unpleasant odors, is a huge market, with hundreds of scented products now available, from edibly-flavored candles to bath salts to the classic, potpourri.

Given the number of yummy smells available, what is the benefit of diffusing therapeutic essential oils?

Real Essential Oils Provide Real Therapeutic Benefit

Quality essential oils are much more than a pleasing smell – they can be medicinal in value and their impact on health and emotional/mental well-being is increasingly documented by medical studies.

Essential oils can be diffused into the air to help soothe emotional distress, treat a cough or a sore throat, support the immune system, eliminate pet odors or mold, kill airborne bacteria, or simply to set a mood.

How Much Oil Does It Take?

Depending on the type of diffuser used, it may take anywhere from 20 drops upward to fill a space with the smell and healing properties of an essential oil. 20 drops will usually do a medium sized room in under an hour; more oil is needed to saturate a larger space or to address toxic mold, respiratory viruses, or other problems by leaving the diffuser running for longer.

What Kind of Diffuser Should I Use?

There are two basic types of diffuser models, heat diffusers (typically using a candle) or cold air diffusers. Heat diffusers are more cost-effective, but there are some issues with safety and health implications of heating good quality oils. The best diffusers are the high end cold air diffusers that work without heat.

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Which Essential Oils Should I Use?

When diffusing, it’s usually recommended to begin with either a ready-made blend that you like or a combination of two or three single oils. Combining blends is not recommended, but you may want to add more of a single oil to a blend to enhance one aspect of the fragrance or the blend’s health benefits.

Thieves is a very popular blend for diffusing, particularly during the winter, when its immune-boosting effects are most needed. Thieves blend contains cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary and has been laboratory tested with a 99.98% kill rate on airborne bacteria. It is also used to kill toxic mold in homes and buildings.

Essential oils like lemon, lavender, frankincense, ylang ylang or geranium set a tone and help create a peaceful mood. Inhaling essential oils has been shown to alter brain signals and positively affect mood, emotional issues, and sleep patterns.

Diffusing pine, spruce, and spice oils during the holidays can make a nice touch at any winter celebration.

Citronella, lemongrass, and eucalyptus are good choices for removing pet odors or neutralizing chemical smells like paint fumes in the home or office.

Advice for Novice Aromatherapists

Thicker or less viscous oils (such as myrrh, patchouli, and onycha) will take longer to diffuse, and should be watched carefully, as they can clog some cold air diffusers. In general, essential oils that look more liquid and that pour fast will diffuse more easily and quickly.

It’s always a good idea, as well, to be sure that any oils you diffuse or use on your body are safe, therapeutic grade oils.

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