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Essential Oil Diffusers: What Are They?

Updated on October 6, 2014

How Oil Diffusers Work

The method of vaporizing essential oils is one of the fastest growing methods used in aromatherapy. This is due to the convenience and effectiveness of using these devices for acquiring the properties of the essential oil. However, those who are new to this device or method of aromatherapy application are particularly interested about how to use it and why it is considered as one of the most efficient methods to use.

The idea behind diffusing essential oils is to break down the essential oil components into molecular properties that are easily dispersed into the air. Once the oil components are in a molecular size, it is more readily absorbed by the body and travel easily into your internal system for faster effect. When the essential oil properties are also distributed into the air, it makes it easier to inhale the aroma. And depending on the essential oil used, it readily produces the desired effect on your body.

Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Diffusers

Aromatherapy Diffuser

Types of Diffusers

There is a wide range of essential oil diffusers that aromatherapy users can choose from. When choosing, you can take into consideration different factors that will enable you to pick the most efficient type around. Below are some of the more common ones used in aromatherapy.

Steam Diffuser

When it comes to buying essential oil diffusers, this type is one of the most common and preferred by users. This is due to the simplicity of using the device. All you have to do is to add 2 cups of water and wait for it to boil. Once the water is boiled, pour it into a separate bowl container and start adding the essential oil. The presence of the steam will stimulate the properties inside the essential oil and allowing it to release its own aromatic essences along with the steam. After some time of being exposed to the steam, the oil would have released enough amount of vapor to completely fill the room with its aroma.

The ease and efficiency of using the steam diffuser to vaporize essential oils are two top reasons why aromatherapy users prefer it. However, the use of heat element exposes the oil and its constituents from being destroyed and lose its quality in the process. Therefore, you need to keep an eye on the oil while diffusing it. Moreover, the aroma you are able to produce is not long-lasting either.

Aromatherapy Candles

Candle Diffuser

Next to steam diffuser, candle diffuser is the second most popular choice of diffusion method in aromatherapy. And just like the one above, using it proves very simple. You will begin by lighting the candle wick and allow it to burn for 5 minutes or so. Then, you can extinguish the fire and pour into a few drops of essential oil into the burnt wax. Avoid adding the oil into the wick since it is highly flammable and could be dangerous when you re-lit the wick. Once the oil has been added, light the candle again to gradually release the vapor and aroma of the essential oil all over the room.

One major advantage to using the candle diffuser is its portability, such that you can carry it around with you wherever you go. However, like the steam diffuser, the aroma quickly dissipates and the use of heat can potentially destroy some of its important constituents.

Electric Heat Diffuser

Electric-powered diffusers are widely available in the market for diffusing aroma oils. In a modern world, this model design provides a lot of convenience. Simply plug the device and turn it on, the electricity will then produce the heat and generate a fanning action that will quickly disperse the oil's aroma throughout the entire room.

Not only are electric heat diffusers preferred due to its convenience and ease of use, but they are also useful in dispersing essential oil fragrances in a large area. Of course, it will depend on the size of the device but there are several size choices out in the market, which will depend on your intended use.

Fan Diffuser

As the issue about the use of a heat source in aromatherapy diffusers continue, a new type of diffuser is made available in the market – fan diffuser. This is best suited for those who are concerned about depleting the therapeutic value of a specific oil due to the presence of heat element. Like all the others, you will place the essential oil in a tray or bowl. Then, the fanning device is turned on to slowly but gradually fan the oil until its aroma is released in the air.

One convenience with using a fan diffuser is its ability to fan a large or small room. Consequently, it will depend on the size of fan diffuser you use. However, knowing that it does not utilize heat to release the aroma of the oil gives aromatherapy users the confidence that it has preserved the therapeutic properties of the oil. One common complaint that users have with a fan diffuser though is the level of noise it produces when the device is on.

Clay Pot Diffuser

This particular aromatherapy diffuser comes in different sizes and styles. To use this device, simply pour in the essential oil into the clay pot. It comes with an opening that you must seal with a cork-style cap. Eventually, the aroma from the oil will be released and permeate through the opening.

Although quite new, many are already using clay pot diffuser due to the convenience and since it is inexpensive as compared to other types of diffuser. To achieve the right strength in aroma, you can simply adjust the amount of essential oil to use. One disadvantage with the clay pot diffuser is that the scent is not long lasting.

Aromatherapy Scented Candles

This is another prevalent form of aromatherapy diffuser, which is common in homes and offices. This is somewhat similar to the candle diffuser method with the only difference being the essential oils are mixed with the wax in the actual recipe for making the candle. Therefore, as the heat continues to burn through the wax, it gradually releases the vapors from the oil into the air for you to inhale in. There are a few essential oils commonly used in making aromatherapy candles, such as rose, lavender, neroli, among others. Lighting the aromatherapy candle is a great way to de-stress anytime during the day wherein the aroma from the oil creates a relaxing and calming effect on the body.


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