There are so many different types of diffusers out there. It is really hard to know which one is right for you and your family. Lets start out with the basics:
Diffusing can be a wonderful way to set the environment in the home to be the most productive. Whether you are looking for a more restful bed time or an energizing morning, essential oils can really help! No matter which diffuser you purchase you should know these safety tips. It is always important to remember essential oils are fantastic things! With that being said, it is important you respect them and their abilities. Like I said in the essential oil 101 post- essential oils are like raisins...when used correctly they are both great! Raisins are nutritional fruit that taste good and give the body nutrients BUT a massive amount of raisins can over stimulate your body and you will develop a negative side effect- an unexpected tummy issue that involves many bathroom trips. Another great analogy I have heard is essential oils are like your sharp kitchen knife- it can be the greatest tool in the room but if used incorrectly it can lead to really bad side effects.
1.) Please, please, PLEASE make sure you are using a reputable company for your essential oils. I promise if you are diffusing tainted, fake, or synthetic oils you will cause yourself more harm than good and diffusing synthetics CAN CAUSE CANCER!! Most tainted or fake oils will say on the label that they are "essential oils" . They do contain essential oils but once further tested, the studies found carrier oils, pesticide residue, and synthetics substances in most of the cheaper bottles titled as essential oils. The easiest way and best way to know if your oils are fake or not is honestly their price. IF you go to a big chain store that sells "essential oils" and they are $5 per bottle- do not buy these! There is a reason companies like doterra and young living (to name a couple) have essential oils that are much more expensive- it is because they are actually pure oils. Take a moment to let this sink in: would you go to walmart and purchase a purse that said "genuine Italian leather purse" (you know, the kind that cost $400+) and the price tag say $5.00...you may buy it but you would immediately know it was fake leather due to its price. Essential oils are exactly the same. Be smart.. You WILL get what you pay for.
2.)ALWAYS use a diffuser in a well ventilated area. Do not put a diffuser beside your child's bed and close their door- this can be very dangerous. Same thing with pets- do not put a diffuser next to a kennel and then lock the dog in it at night. Same with cats- do NOT put a diffuser in the cat closet to "neutralize odors and sanitize the air"- essential oils can be lethal to cats as they are more sensitive. Although the oil is diluted with water (if you are using an ultrasonic diffuser- which by the way is the only one I recommend using with children/pets) it is still a very concentrated amount that the brain has to process. Absorbing too much essential oil at a time can agitate the body and will not result in the great outcome you are looking for. It actually can lead to negative side effects.
3.) Only use essential oils that are safe for your child's age or your pet. Eucalyptus and rosemary are wonderful to use to clear airways for sinus issues in adults BUT they are very strong oils and can have negative side effects on young children and pets. There are many other oils out there that are NOT recommended for children and pets- just do your research before you diffuse.
4.) If using the nebulizer type of diffuser (the ones that only use pure essential oil- no water) it is not recommended to run these constantly due to the oil potency it puts into the air. The oil potency released by this type of diffuser is much stronger than the ultrasonic diffusers, so it is best to only diffuse for 15-20 minutes at a time.
Next topic: The ugly truth about diffusers:
Diffusers release essential oil into the air- we all know that. What they do not tell you is that:
1.) If the diffuser is right up against a wall or a curtain you may end up with an oil stain. The oils CAN stain walls if the oil soaks into the paint (most commonly flat paint- no shine at all) and can be really diffucult to clean off. Same thing with curtains. So proper placement away from walls and windows is key. I put mine on my kitchen island.
2.) Even if you have your oils out from a wall or curtain it will still dispense oil into the air...and some of that oil WILL fall back down leaving a film around your diffuser. It will wipe off easily from most surfaces but before you go diffuser crazy and put one in each room test the area you are wanting to diffuse at- if the surface doesn't wipe well I wouldn't put a diffuser there.
3.) When you diffuse, make sure that you dust your fans regularly. When dust collects on top of your fans it is prone to absorb the essential oil when the oils dispence through the air. If the oily dust falls onto your couch or carpet and you go to pick it up then you are very likely to be left with a streak of a dusty oil stain that is really hard to get out of your carpet or couch. So don't let the top of your fans end up looking like the lint that came out of the dryer. I'm super guilty of this...learned this lesson the hard way spring cleaning lol :)
Next topic: Which diffuser is best for me?
First we have to know there are three main types of diffusers.
1.) Ultrasonic: these are the ones you add water too and about 4 drops of oil. There is a small disc inside that vibrates at such a high rate it actually throws oil and water up and out of the diffuser and into the air. Because you use water with this one it is diluted down and is safe to use around the clock. I keep a citrus energy blend in my living space diffuser (living room, kitchen, dining room- I use one diffuser) and a restful blend in my bedroom. I run the energy blend in the day and turn that diffuser off at night, then turn on the restful diffuser blends in our bedroom at night only. These kinds come for use in the car too!
2.) Nebulizer: this type of diffuser does not take water at all. For these you put about 30-40 drops of pure essential oil in and run these for 15-20 minute intervals when you need them. They are super potent as pure essential oil is being dispenced. Because they are so potent, I have one of these and love it, especially around tax time, but mine does not have an interval button and I'm easily distracted so I forget to turn mine off after 15 minutes. Because of this I only run this one in my office away from my kids and pets to make sure that they aren't being harmed from over exposure.
3.) Inhalers: these are the types you carry with you as the scent sticks, diffuser necklaces, or diffuser brackets. These kinds are used by dropping a few drops of oil onto a pad or cotton stick and breathing them in through out the day. These are the easiest to use and is what I recommend starting with.
**DOES DIFFUSING REALLY HELP ANYTHING??
How aromatherapy/diffusing works:
When you smell a flower the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) being emmited from the flower enter the nasal canal and dissolve into the mucous membrane on the top of your nasal cavity. From there the molecules stimulate receptors. The neurons carry the signals to your brain which at that point your brain begins to filter and process the signals of the scent and will recognize it as lavender (or whatever you may be smelling). This is why if you baked apple pies with your grandmother as a child, every time you smell apple pie you think of her. The signals of the plant are carried to the limbic system which controls the mood, emotion, and memory. So since your mood, emotion, and memory can be tapped into with scents, we can use scents to adjust our mood, emotion, and memory. In short, diffusing essential oils correctly really can help you and your family.
How using onguard and other immune boosters work:
Same method as above with a few exceptions. The immune boosters have a blend that combats bacteria. These oils actually "clean" your air so when you breath in you are not breathing in germ infested air. When you walk around a essential oil particle filled room the oils will land on your skin and will be absorbed. Your body takes in the immune boosters and will cycle them through your body to help keep your immune system strong. So yes, diffusing immune boosters during flu season can help you and your family.
My best tip when diffusing is just play with it. Every one's body is different so what works well for me may not work well for you. Just find a blend that works for you and your family and have fun diffusing!
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