I thought I'd just give a quick overview of why diffusers are such a great way to get the benefits of essential oils and whether they are worth the initial investment.
1. They are easy to use and work quickly. The diffusers we sell currently are ultrasonic diffusers, so you can simply fill them up with water according to the manufacturers instructions and add a few drops of oil. And although you aren't applying the oils directly on to your skin, the oils are still able to get into your bloodstream by being inhaled into your nostrils and from there they cross the membrane into the blood capillaries and go straight into the blood stream.
how they work ... With an ultrasonic diffuser, tiny vibrations move through the water. These vibrations rise upwards toward the essential oil which is floating on top, which is then vaporised into steam. This steam is what distributes the scent throughout the space.
2. They are safe to use. These are a far safer than the original diffusers which involved tea lights under a water bath into which you used to put your drops of essential oil or even an aromatherapy candle which you need to remember to blow out. Not to mention the concern that heat from the candle could change the chemical structure of the oil and thus impair its therapeutic effect. Plus what happens if you fall asleep? This type of Diffuser switches off automatically once all the water has diffused so if you happen to have fallen asleep its no problem.
3. You can control the volume of mist. If you have children and you want to slow down the rate of mist you can. There is an intermittent setting on most modern diffusers.
4. The Diffusers looks great. Many (especially the ones I sell) act as a light. This is my personal favourite - The Pearl which I have in our sitting room which as you can see looks gorgeous at night and during the day the daylight catches on the mosaic tiles and looks beautiful - an interior designers dream!
5. They are safe to use around children. My twins have the Kharis diffuser in their bedroom and mostly they use it as a night light. They enjoy the colours changing after lights out and find it relaxing to watch. However, I do put essential oils in when they are feeling under the weather, and also when they are having trouble sleeping ... when they are tired they both suffer from night terrors and diffusing calming oils really seems to help.
6. The ultrasonic diffusers are also mini humidifiers, air purifiers and ionisers! Phew what a list. Apparently an ultrasonic diffuser produces negative ions, which help to freshen the air by removing dust particles. These negative ions bind to dust particles, making them heavier and dropping them to the ground, which leaves your air feeling refreshed.
So let's get down to the nitty gritty. Are they worth the expense? They've come along way since they were first on the scene. With prices ranging from £31.99 for the Kharis diffuser to £65 for the beautiful Pearl diffuser and several other options in between, there is something for everyone. Plus any purchase from Freya Natural Therapy comes with a year long guarantee.
Which essential oils to use?
So onto the essential oils themselves. You could obviously use fragrance oils however they don't offer the same ability to improve your psychological and physical wellbeing. As I've said before I believe essential oils to be Mother Nature's rescue remedies. Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids containing volatile chemicals that naturally occur in plants – ie the life force of plants… Extensive research has been done on these chemical components and they have proven therapeutic (emotional and physical) benefits.
If you don't fancy the hassle of working out what oils to choose then you could take the easy option and go for a blend and choose according to mood. Have a look at some of the essential oil blends I offer. The ones we tend to use in our house the most ... not surprisingly are Destress Yourself and Total Relaxation. And when I'm working I often have the Focus and Study going in my office as I really really enjoy the smell of Basil oil. And when its back to school time and colds appear the trusty Immune System Boost is a winner ...although I would also point out that it is very important to give your children's immune system a chance to develop so it learns to recognise and react to pathogens and create necessary memory cells that help children fight off recurrent attacks.
A question I get asked a lot is how many drops should be used in a diffuser? This is a really important question. Essential oils are so concentrated that you really don't need much for them to be effective. If you are diffusing for an adult - in a small diffuser a guide would be between 4 and 6 drops, a large diffuser between 6-10 drops would be plenty but always check the manufacturers recommendations. However If you have a baby - I would say 1 drop and do not diffuse for long - say 15 minutes or so. .....again for children under 5 I would say try with just 2-3 drops of oil for 15 minute intervals and ensure the room is well ventilated. If the child is asleep turn the diffuser off and also never diffuse near the face.
Another common sense guide is if you develop headaches whilst diffusing, then that is a sign to reduce the amount of oil or reduce the length of time you are diffusing for. Our brains become accustomed to an aroma after about 15 minutes.
There are important safety guidelines when it comes to which oils should be avoided when diffusing for babies and young children these are: Eucalyptus*, Peppermint, Cardamom, Ginger, Rosemary, Spike Lavender, Thyme (ct thymol), Anise, Clove, Cinnamon, Tarragon, Fennel, and Lemongrass*
Also please be careful when diffusing around pets. Best advice is to ensure they are not trapped in the room where the oils are. Dogs have over 278 million olfactory receptors compared to humans that have around 50 million! Always make sure that they can leave the room if they don't like the oil or its too much for them.
So, what oils are best for diffusers? Good question. Oils that are considered top notes e.g. citruses are diffused into the air faster than heavier oils. So are considered the better oils for diffusion.
While both ultrasonic and cold-air diffusion are effective means of scenting, there are some pros and cons associated with each. For example, when you use an ultrasonic diffuser, it can double as a humidifier due to the steam-producing process. However, this method of diffusion is not as concentrated as with cold-air diffusers and therefore not as effective in scenting a larger room or outdoor space.
Cold-air diffusers are the best when it comes to producing highly concentrated scents which can last for hours in a large space or over several rooms. While they may not be as advantageous in small spaces (ie slightly overpowering), or in areas where you wish to humidify as well as scent, they still provide you with control over the amount and duration of scenting you desire.
Freya Natural Therapy will be stocking cold air/nebulising type diffusers in 2022.
*Essential oils high in 1.8 cineole can cause CNS and breathing problems in young children - do not apply to or use near the face of infants or children under 10 years of age. (Tisserand and Young).