Essential oils are all the rage these days. A mentality of “there’s an oil for that!” pervades holistic health circles, and essential oils have been proven to be hugely beneficial in treating a range of ailments, combating stresses,promoting better sleep and more.
BUT, are you using them safely? Which type of diffuser should you be using? How long should you be burning them for? How the hell do you work out which ones you should be using?
Here’s everything you need to know about diffusing oils safely and for maximum health benefits.
Know your carrier oils from your essential oils
Carrier oils are what are used in order to dilute the diffusing of essential oils. They’re usually extracted from the seeds, kernels or nuts of plants and are typically fairly neutral. A lot of essential oils are too potent to use on their own, which makes your selection of carrier oil almost as important as the essential oil itself. Pairing your essential oils with the right carrier can be extremely beneficial in realising the full benefits of what you are trying to achieve. The best picks include coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil and organ oil. If you’re applying topically to the skin or pulse points for relaxation, diluting essential oils with a carrier oil is well, essential. Oils like jojoba and sweet almond make great carriers for tea tree oil as an acne-fighting, anti-bacterial topical remedy!
Combining oils maximises their impact
Sure, it takes some in-depth research, but if you’re gettin’ serious about your oils, it will be well worth it in the long run. Creating essential oil tonics is the best way to reap a multitude of benefits at once. For example, a blend of lavender, orange and frankincense will promote stress-reduction, an improved attitude and relaxation. The perfect alternative to using just one! Mix together in equal parts and pop a a few drops in a warm bath, or combine with a carrier oil and massage onto pulse points.
You get what you pay for
Basically, cheap isn’t good. Ensuring the quality of your oils is essential to their efficacy, so make sure you’re buying from a reputable source that doesn’t just throw you a tonne of gimmicky claims. Essential oils can be expensive, so be prepared to pay for quality. Brands like Perfect Potion, doTERRA and Mountain Rose Herbs should be your go-tos.
The most common types of diffuser are ultrasonic diffusers and ceramic diffusers that typically use a tea light to diffuse the oils. Ultrasonic diffusers like the Virtuvi Diffuser make a space look chic-as-hell and is crafted from high-quality porcelain which allows the integrity of the oils to remain intact. (As with most things these days-avoid plastic at all costs!). Ceramic ones are a more cost-effective option, and you get the warm, soothing glow of a candle to boot. To use, simply pour water into the dish, add a few drops of your essential oil and light the tealight and bask in the beautiful scent of your aromatherapy creation.
It’s been proven that the effectiveness of essential oils reaches maximum capacity at around 30-45 minutes, then declines after that. Basically, you don’t need to be burning the things all day; short and sweet is best. If you keep them burning, their therapeutic benefit will wane until it’s at a big fat zero.