Aromatherapy and essential oils are cornerstones of the wellness and alternative health movement. Have a cough? There’s an essential oil for that. Feeling down? There’s an essential oil for that, too.
I’ve had my oil diffuser for a few years now, but I’ll admit I was skeptical about the whole thing before I tried it myself.
If you’re still on the fence about oil diffusers, here’s why and when you should use them.
Why You Should Use an Oil Diffuser
If you’ve done any kind of research on oil diffusers, you’ve probably heard a lot of claims:
- Aromatherapy cured me of my anxiety.
- I don’t get sick anymore now that I have a diffuser in my house.
- I have more energy than my teenager now that I use my diffuser every day.
Just like anything else in the health and wellness sphere, you have to take these claims with a grain of salt. This is a business after all – a $6 billion one at that, according to Grand View Research.
With that said, there is reason to use an oil diffuser; a few good reasons, in fact. Many oils actually do have therapeutic properties, and there’s science to back up these claims.
Antibacterial and Antibiotic Properties
A report from The Atlantic shows that there’s evidence that some essential oils have antibacterial and antibiotic properties. One 2014 study published in the Poultry Science journal found that chickens who ate a diet with oregano essential oil had a 59% lower death rate from ascites, a very common infection in poultry.
Various other studies have also proven to be effective in preventing infection in livestock, which means these oils may one day replace antibiotics in big-ag.
For human use, there’s evidence that essential oils, particularly tea tree oil, have antibacterial properties. When used in a diffuser, they may kill bacteria in the air.
We often use tea tree and eucalyptus oil in our diffusers when the family gets sick. The eucalyptus provides us with relief from runny noses and coughs, while the tea tree oil helps us get over whatever it is we have much quicker than just letting nature take its course.
Anxiety, Stress and Depression Relief
Aromatherapy is probably best known for its ability to relax, de-stress and uplift. A study found on NCBI shows that lavender oil helps people sleep. Another study on Science Direct showed that it helped relieve anxiety in the waiting room of a dentist’s office.
A separate study found that clary sage has antidepressant properties.
Keep the Bugs Away
When the summer heats up, mosquitos and other bugs can make the outdoors unbearable. An oil diffuser can keep these pests away.
Lemongrass, clove, citronella, rosemary and cedarwood are all used to keep bugs away. And they work, too. In fact, citronella oil is used in many commercial bug sprays. I’m sure you’ve also seen those big citronella candles in home improvement and big box stores,
What if you’re not interested in the therapeutic benefits of essential oils or keeping bugs away? There’s still a reason to use an oil diffuser: To keep your home fresh.
Essential oils can make your home smell great without the toxic chemicals found in scented candles, sprays and plug-ins.
In the video below, you’ll find a few great essential oil recipes to make your home smell great.
When to Use an Oil Diffuser
You know why you should use an oil diffuser, but when is the best time to use it?
An oil diffuser can be used:
- When you have trouble sleeping.
- When you’re feeling down.
- When you want your home to smell fresh.
- When you’re sick and want some relief from your symptoms.
- When you’re being swarmed by mosquitoes, flies and other pesky bugs.
Anytime is a good time to use an oil diffuser. The only exception, of course, is if people in the room are allergic or just don’t like strong scents.
They’re often used in spas and during spa treatments to promote relaxation and stress-relief.
If you do happen to use your diffuser at night, make sure there’s an automatic shut-off feature or a timer. Extensive exposure to certain essential oils can be harmful or even toxic, depending on how potent the blend or how long you’re exposed.
There are essential oils that can help with just about any complaint you can think of. While they’re a natural product, it’s important to remember that these oils are extremely potent. Be sure to follow the directions on your diffuser and use only as many drops of the oil as recommended. Otherwise, the oils may do more harm than good.
Don’t let this little warning scare you off. We use our diffuser daily to help make the home smell great and relax after a long day of work.