Essential Oils – How They Work in AromatherapyMarch 27, 2023
Before I explain to you how essential oils work in aromatherapy, let me first explain to you what essential oils are and what is needed to derive the numerous benefits of essential oils through aromatherapy.
Essential oils are the natural oils found in plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers. Plants naturally create these oils to defend themselves against disease and insects. Essential oils are extracted from plants via a steam distillation process and the result is highly concentrated oil that not only smells good, but can be used for numerous medicinal purposes. Many people choose to apply Essential Oil Manufacturers topically (directly to the skin) to treat ailments, infections, and wounds. For example, emu oil has several pain relieving benefits and uses which include: relief from sore muscles, aching joints, pain or inflammation, carpal tunnel syndrome, gout, shin splints, bedsores, hemorrhoids, insect bites, earaches, eye irritation, and frost bite. However, the numerous cognitive benefits, for some, are a more compelling reason to begin using essential oils in aromatherapy.
What is aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is a widely used term to describe an alternative medicine and range of therapies that use a plant material, known as essential oils, and other aromatic plant compounds for the purpose of altering a person’s mind, mood, and cognitive health. Lavender oil and rosemary oil are two noteworthy oils that are used quite often in aromatherapy. Lavender oil is used in aromatherapy to treat insomnia, provide pain relief, and in dementia related treatment. Rosemary Oil is used extensively in aromatherapy due to its versatility as a pleasant smelling aroma and when combined with other popular essential oil combinations. Lavender oil and rosemary oil blends well with one another and with other oils such a frankincense, cedarwood, basil, thyme, citronella, lemongrass, elemi, geranium, chamomile, peppermint, and cardamom. When the oil is inhaled, the aroma can boost mental energy and clear the respiratory tract.
Aromatherapy has been around for quite a long time and is used all over the world. In France, and in other Western European countries aromatherapy is incorporated into mainstream medicine as an antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial, much more so than in the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada.
To get the most out of aromatherapy you will need a diffuser (also called an aromatherapy diffuser). There are four different categories of diffusers available which include: nebulizing diffusers; ultrasonic or humidifying diffusers; evaporative diffusers; and heat diffusers. Each of these types of diffusers differs in the way that it puts essential oils into the air, and each has different benefits and drawbacks.
A nebulizing diffuser works the same way a perfume atomizer works. A jet of air blowing across a small tube creates a vacuum that pulls a liquid at the bottom of the tube to the top of the tube. The air flow blowing across the surface of the oil at the top of the tube blows the oil away in a fine spray or mist. With a constant air supply source, this type of diffusion can quickly put a large amount of oil into the air. Because this type of diffusion works to put the whole oil into the air in the form of tiny droplets, it is often considered the best type of diffusion.
Like nebulizing diffusers, ultrasonic diffusers also create a fine mist, but the method by which this is accomplished is much different. An ultrasonic diffuser utilizes electronic frequencies to cause a small disk under the surface of a liquid (usually water) to vibrate at a very fast rate. These ultrasonic vibrations break the essential oil into tiny micro particles, dispersing the oil in a fine mist. These tiny particles are more easily absorbed by the lungs for a greater therapeutic effect on the body, mind, and spirit.
While this type of diffusion creates a lovely mist that helps to humidify the air and features the gentle sound of trickling water, only a small fraction of the mist is actually essential oil. For those who desire only a small amount of oil to be diffused in a room, this type of diffuser not only works well but can be very beautiful as well.
Evaporative diffusers are pretty basic in how they operate. A fan blows air from the room through some sort of pad or filter that has essential oils dropped onto it. The air blowing through the pad causes the oils to evaporate more quickly than normal. While this fractioning of the oil may diminish any therapeutic properties that the whole oil had possessed, evaporative diffusion is still a good and relatively quiet means of getting the aroma of the essential oil throughout the room.
Like evaporative diffusers, heat diffusers also cause the essential oils to evaporate quicker than normal but use heat instead of blowing air to accomplish diffusion. While some heat diffusers use high levels of heat to produce stronger smells, the best heat diffusers will only use very low levels of heat that produce more subtle aromas. This difference is important because high levels of heat can actually alter the chemical constituents of the oils.
Although heat diffusers do share the same drawback of any diffuser that relies on evaporation, heat diffusers are a very economical and totally silent method of putting the oil’s aroma into the air.