Essential Oils Guide
Hello, Maggie here once again. Today I am focusing on essential oils and everything that pertains to them. In this reference guide I have separated the content in to three broad sections: the oils themselves; the technique of aromatherapy; and little bit on diffusing machines.
In these three sections I will cover everything that we at the Health Base view as important when it comes to understanding this topic.
If you’d rather not read this whole guide, and instead are looking for something in specific, then please use the Table of Contents provided below to locate exactly what you seek. Or, if you've already made up your mind that you want to give these natural essences and aromatherapy a go then feel free to take a look at our articles on starter kits and/or diffusing machines.
IMPORTANT NOTE: As you’ll see throughout this guide, I’ll switch between the terms “essential oils”, "EOs", "natural essences" and “aromatherapy oils” – they mean the same thing in the context of this piece. I chose to use these terms because in the health and beauty industry different brands and companies sometime use one or both of these descriptions. Therefore, it’s handy for you to be familiar with both!
Let’s get to it!
What are EOs?
To begin, let me first explain what exactly these substances are and how we use them in modern society. To begin, they are certainly not new or a breakthrough product with regards to the niches of health and beauty. In fact, these fabulous essences have been present in human societies and cultures for thousands of years.
All the great civilizations throughout mankind’s time on planet earth have benefited from what these natural substances have to offer – including the Roman Empire; the Greeks; the Egyptians; the Persians; the Chinese Dynasties, and countless native tribes all over the world.
But, to get back on point, what are EOs? Well, in simplest terms, these substances are the best bits of nature distilled into liquid form. They come from elements such as herbs; bark; resins; flowers; seeds; trees; and many more other natural sources. These elements all contain different positives attributes within them.
The art of creating an on of these natural remedies is to take these benefits and positive attributes from these natural elements and transform them into a liquid form. These liquids are then in an ideal form in which to use for health and beauty applications, of which there are literally an endless amount!
List of Prominent Types
OK, so we know what an aromatherapy essence is, so now let’s take a quick look at some of the most common ones. There are tonnes of different types, all that have their own specific characteristics and benefits.
Later on in this guide I’ll go through what I believe are some of the best EOs and why I think this is the case. But for now, below is a list of some of the most prominently used variations.
See I wasn’t lying when I said that there are tones!! If truth be told, I could spend the entirety of this EO guide just discussing the different types. However, the above is a pretty decent list but by no means I have included all of them. I’d imagine there are some that I don’t even know of! However, the above ones are the ones that are most common.
The above list can be found in starter kits - usually a variation of between 5-20 different ones will make up these kits which are a great way to begin with aromatherapy, or indeed to stock up on your favorite essences.
How are these Oils Made?
There are actually quite a few different methods of extracting the vital elements from the natural sources in order to create the final product. Over the centuries these methods have been improved upon and refined due to the fact that medicinal practises and technology have both evolved.
The most modern method of creating an EO comes is via steam distillation. Huge copper vats are used in this process. It also must be added that it takes enormous amounts of natural resources to create enough liquid to fill a standard bottle. For example, 1oz of rose essence requires in excess of 50,000 roses. Incredible, I know, and this also also explains why these substances can are not cheap.
So, at this point in this reference guide, we have a rudimentary understanding of what these essences are, how they are created, and I’ve noted some of the differing types. Now, let’s look a bit more closely at some individual ones.
Best Essential Oils
Ok, I’ll be up front…this heading of this section is a little bit misleading. There is no definitive way of proving which ones are the best, there’s just too many of them and they each are quite different in terms of their makeup, uses, and benefits.
However, as myself and the Health Base team researched this topic for our essential oils reference guide; tried and tested the different types; and threw in our own favorites into the mix; we soon noticed that were ten essences in particular that kept popping up. Below, I have outlined these ten, discussing briefly exactly what they are and some of the health positives that they are known for.
Peppermint essential oil is one of the classics – it’s a substance that is widely associated with aromatherapy and the accompanying essences.
Also known as Menta Arvensis, this substance as many benefits and uses in the modern world.
When people think of peppermint, their mind is often goes straight to toothpastes or their favourite chewing gums.
This is natural as peppermint is a common flavoring of such products. A key reason for this is because of the freshness that peppermint supplies – something that is most welcome, and often badly needed, when it comes to a person’s breath!!
In terms of its health positives in essence form, peppermint is very adept a supplying a refreshing and calming ambiance to any give room. This is ideal for someone who is looking to unwind and relax. The minty, fresh scent is therefore a great way of easing such things as headaches; muscles soreness; cramps; and tension that can build up in our bodies.
Below are examples of some of the health and beauty issues that peppermint are brilliant at treating:
Otherwise known as Origanum Vulgare, oregano is world renowned as being an essential herb for cooking. This herb is famous for bringing a fresh and wholesome taste to any type of meal. It is most commonly used in pasta dishes as a garnish and/or cooking herb.
The distilled form of this herb originates from the leaves of the oregano plant. Its massive benefits lie in a chemical compound known as carvacrol which is present within the structure of the oregano. Carvacrol is such a coveted ingredient due to the fact that it possesses massive anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.
This then obviously makes oregano essential oil a hugely attractive prospect when it comes to certain ailments and medical issues. For example, oregano is exemplary at dealing with infections of the fungal variety.
In addition, adding some oregano to your cooking is a great way of combatting any negative or potential harmful elements that might be present in the food. The super properties of the oregano are very adept at neutralizing certain elements that could lead to food poisoning.
Below are examples of some of the benefits supplied by oregano:
Also known as Lavandula Angustifolia. This super effective aromatherapy oil is best known for having the stellar ability of relaxing and calming both the human mind and body. Lavender has been used for just this purpose for generations, all the way back to the times when pillows would be stuffed with lavender leaves.
By far and away the best-selling essence on the market today, lavender is steadily used all over the world for a number of different purposes including, but not limited to, enhancing therapeutic sessions.
Some of the most common ailments that lavender can effectively battle include anxiety; insomnia; stress; angst; irregular sleeping patterns; and stomach pains.
Below are some of the key ailments and benefits that lavender is used for:
There are a few citrus based EOs that I feel are well worth a mention. I’ve decided to group them together for convenience sake. Below are some of the key such ones:
Citrus Reticulata tree
- Revitalizes the mind & body
- Increases & stabilizes energy levels
- Boosts mood
- Great addition to cooking
- Mood booster
- Aromatic agent
- Powerful cleansing agent
- Effective had inhibiting fat burning
- Aromatic purposes
- Adds flavor to a meal
- Antibacterial properties
- Anti-fungal properties
- Most commonly used as an aromatic due to its tangy, rich scent
- Adds zest to cooking
- Mood lifter
- Powerful antioxidant
- Helps with irritability
Otherwise known as Rosmarinus Officinalis. This essence has the distinction of being viewed as sacred by such great civilizations as the Roman Empire, the Greeks, and the Egyptians. Nowadays, people associate rosemary primarily with just being a cooking herb, but, in actual fact, it is one of the most potent and effective options that there is.
In cooking terms, rosemary is loved by chefs because it possesses an evergreen scent that is very woody in smell. However, while this cooking benefit is not to be scoffed at, this really only scrapes the surface when it comes to the positive impacts of rosemary.
This super substance is also very effective at treating a whole host of physiological and physical ailments. Below I have listed some prime examples of these benefits:
Also goes by the name Bosweillia Frereana. Much like rosemary, frankincense also has a reputation of being sacred at some time or another – a certain story of three shepherds bringing gifts to a certain child springs to mind.
This essence comes from the Boswellia sacra tree and is extremely common in the use of aromatherapy. It is not surprising to see why this is the case as frankincense has been reported to aid in combatting chronic stress and anxiety as well as reducing pain and inflammation in the body.
The fact that this substance has both physical and mental pros makes it a treasured resource. Below are some bullet points of the top benefits of frankincense:
Frankincense is also particularly effective at treating and curing the problems that are associated with Hemorrhoids.
The next onethat I have for you is slightly different to the ones I’ve mentioned so far in that it’s actually a combination of a number of various oils. The recipe for thieves can vary, but the mixture usually contains a combination of lemon (Citrus Limon); clove (Syzygium Aromaticum); cinnamon (Cinnamomum Vernum); eucalyptus (Radiata); and rosemary (Rosmarinus Officunalis).
Ironically, such a good invention actually has somewhat of a scrupulous origin. The idea and formulation of this essence came from French thieves who were trying to create a blend that would ward of the plague that was present centuries ago. The scrupulous part? They then used their new creation to stay healthy so that they could rob plague victims!! Nice guys.
This unique version takes the best benefits of the above mentioned ingredients and combines them into a super effective aromatherapy essence. It’s usually not a great idea to mix and match these substance, some are very incompatible, but with the thieves the formula is spot on.
Below is a quick list of reasons why thieves is so valued:
This is probably one of the more “outside of the box” choices! Yet, despite this, it remains very popular with regular EO purchasers. Also going by the name of Santalum Album, sandalwood is derived from chips and pieces of the heartwood of varying types of sandalwood trees.
With regards to it uses, this oil is a common ingredient in many cosmetics, perfumes, unguents, and it can also be used as a mild food flavoring.
With regards to health-related benefits and uses, sandalwood has been known to be used as an antiseptic; an anti-inflammatory, a diuretic; and a sedative, amongst other things.
Below is a refined list of what sandalwood can provide:
This aromatherapy oil is also known as Eucalyptus Radiata and comes from an evergreen tree of the same name that is native to Australia. If this sounds familiar, then it’s probably because the leaves of this tree are what koala bears munch on!!
Eucalyptus essence is renowned for having a multitude of health benefits, primarily of medicinal purposes. For example, this oil is a key ingredient in any cough or cold medication worth its salt.
This is because eucalyptus has strong antiviral properties which makes it ideal for battling infections and germ related maladies
When it’s not providing top grade nutrition for various forms of wildlife, this oil that comes from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree can also be used to maintain and improve our hair. A few drops of this essence can soothe irritated scalps; prevent dandruff from forming; and kill any head lice that might be present.
Take a look below at some of the advantages of using this particular optionl:
As with most aromatherapy essence, tea tree oil also has another name of Latin descent – it being melaleuca, or melaleuca alternifolia.
Arguably, Tea Tree is the most used and famous of all EOs.
This essence is distilled from the leaves of the tea tree/melaleuca tree which is a native plant of Australia. One of the key benefits and uses of this substance stems from its powerful antiseptic properties. This makes it an ideal choice for treating minor wounds.
Obviously, it goes without saying that major wounds need proper medical help.
Many of the traditional medicinal uses for tea tree also include acne; chickenpox; earaches; head lice; psoriasis; insect bites; MRSA; infections of a fungal nature; congestion and respiratory issues; and cold sores, to name just a few.
Top 10 Uses
As I’ve pointed out so far, the types, benefits, and uses of essential oils really are endless. They cover so many different areas, whether it be medicinal; cosmetic; or just simply general health and well-being.
I have already given quite an extensive list of examples with regards to the benefits. However, to give a little more information, I’ve chosen ten of the key uses as well. So, in no particular order…
1 – Migraines/ Headaches
This is a key use and one that countless people benefit from on a weekly basis. In the modern world it is quite common that people suffer from headaches and migraines. The reasons behind this can be varying.
Some of the more common reasons for a migraine setting in are stress; sinus infection; poor eating habits; anxiety; hormonal changes; exposure to loud machinery in a workplace; et cetera et cetera.
Whatever the reason, a build of pain in your temple can really affect your quality of life. This all-consuming pain can severely disrupt your work productivity as well as your personal relationships.
This is where aromatherapy oils come into the equation as they are a proven method of easing the tension and thus the pain that can build up in our heads. The main reason for this is because these essences have relaxing and calming qualities and properties that are ideally suited for such a purpose.
2 – Sleep Problems
Sleep is a vital component in determining a person’s health – this is an absolute fact. People who say that they don’t sleep, or they can get by on three or four hours, are either lying or else they’re going to suffer from severe health issues down the road.
Sleep is so important as this is when our body recovers from the strains and stresses of life. Our mind and body both need this time to shut down, take stock, and make repairs. Now, there’s a huge debate over exactly how much hours constitute a good night’s sleep, but the general consensus is that you should be aiming for 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
This is actually quiet problematic for many people. We live in a world that is insanely busy – there seems to be so much to do and so little time in which to do it! This results in, you guessed it, less sleep. The main reason for this is that people’s sleeping patterns are messed up. So, even if they try to get to bed at a decent time, they’re brains are still wide awake. Technology does little to help this issue.
So, what to do? Well, the use of essential oils for sleep issues is a common and age-old practise for sleep problems. These natural substances have a relaxing and calming effect on the human mind, something that is absolutely vital in order to achieve a good night’s sleep.
I personally use a Diffuser sometimes at night if sleep is alluding me. I simply add my chosen EO (usually peppermint) to the diffuser, set it to run for an hour, and then lie down in my bed and allow the scent to ease me into dreamland. It works every time.
3 – Anxiety Issues
Unfortunately, anxiety and angst are mental difficulties that are becoming more and more apparent and prominent in the modern world. The reasons for this are numerous and very serious, with questions of our existence and purpose in life causing many to feel negative emotions.
There are many ways to battle anxiety – some of the most prominent ones are yoga; training regularly; maintaining a health lifestyle; and even therapy. People will, and rightfully so, try anything to ensure that they feel good about themselves and their role in society.
Another method that is universally used is incorporating the oils I've mentioned in this guide. As I’ve previously mentioned, these essences are terrific at allowing our bodies and minds to relax and let go of the tensions and stress that can build up both in our mental and physical being.
Overall, this letting go will greatly reduce your anxiety levels. A proper aromatherapy session really can work wonders to refresh your outlook on life and give you a new perspective – something that I believe is a necessity in the world we live in.
4 – Allergies
This is one that is very prevalent to my own health and well-being as for years I was constantly plagued by pesky allergic attacks. Whether it be headaches; sinus pain; congestion; a runny nose and eyes; rashes, you name it and I used to suffer from it!
I eventually went and had allergy testing done and realised that I was allergic to dust and cut grass. So, as tended to be the case, summertime in particular was a rough time of the year. I tried literally everything that you could think of to alleviate my symptoms. Eventually, I managed to cobble together a combination of allergy tablets, nasal sprays, and DIY remedies that would stave off the worst of my allergy reactions.
It was only after I’d experimented with countless sprays, tablets, and DIY solutions that I tried natural essences. My reaction to using this treatment method for allergies was twofold – on one hand I was delighted as they were super effective at clearing up my allergy related issues, but on the other hand I was raging that it had taken me so long to try this solution!!
Allergies can ruin a summer – I know this from painful experience. If you suffer from some sort of allergy, then I highly recommend giving this technique a go. The options below are a good place to start.
5 – Colds, Sore Throats & Coughs
I listed the three above ailments in the same grouping as they can easily afflict a person all at the same time. A nasty cold or bug could very well see you have a sore throat and a chest rattling cough. No fun.
Having one of these afflictions can lay a person out for days, if not weeks. Therefore, it is quite understandable that people will try just about anything in order to return to their healthy self. Having a head cold or chest infection is one of those ailments where it’s not particularly serious or dangerous, but it’s still immensely irritating!!
However, before I recommend some essential oils for colds, sore throats, and coughs, I must point out that you should always visit your local doctor if you are feeling unwell. This treatment method can greatly help with these ailments, but it’s important that they be used in conjunction with the proper medicinal cures.
6 – Acne
Acne is an affliction that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Sure, it’s not life threatening and it’s quite manageable if you know how, yet it can still have seriously negative impacts on a person if the outbreak is a serious and/or prolonged one.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we are conscious of how we look and of how others perceive us. This isn’t vanity, it’s just the we are. We want to look healthy and attractive, and we want other people to perceive us in this manner. There’s nothing wrong with this.
Acne breakouts can negatively affect the way we view ourselves. These unseemly spots and marks on our bodies may not be the most nefarious of ailments, but they can still have very damaging impacts on a person’s self-confidence and self-image.
Using essential oils for acne is a tried and tested method of alleviating both the aesthetic appearance of acne as well the actual bacterial infection itself. Of course, it goes without saying that you should also incorporate a top-level acne treatment and quality exfoliation routine. Adding natural essences into your acne armament will just increase your ability to battle this bacterial pain in the…face.
7 – Weight Loss
Losing weight is an issue that pretty much everyone on the planet battles with in some form or shape…literally. I doubt very much if there is anyone that is 100% happy with their physical state – we’d all love to be able to shift that extra little bit of fat that stubbornly won’t go away.
I think that perhaps only the elite amongst us do not feel this way – people like professional athletes; fitness models; or people who have hit the genetic jackpot. For the rest of us mere mortals, that little bit of fat around the belly; or at the back of our arms; or on our thighs, is ever present.
Now, when it comes to losing weight, there are a couple of things that you must absolutely do: you must have a healthy diet so as to not increase your levels of fat; you must train regularly and with good intensity so as to burn off existing fat; and you must be properly hydrated and rested so your body can work at its optimum levels.
But what if you already have this kind of lifestyle? What else can you do to give yourself that all important edge? Well, some EOs have been proven to be very effective at aiding in the metabolization of fat stores. They do this by greatly aiding in food digestion and easing stomach related issues.
8 – Hair Growth
Just as we would all like to lose that little bit of excess bodyweight, we’d all also like to have the opposite happen when it comes to our hair!! Everybody would prefer to have an abundance of hair on our heads rather than be lacking in that area.
Alas, life, especially as we age, does not always bow to our wishes. As we get older, many a hairline begins to either recede or thin out. This, unfortunately, is just a fact of life. Despair not though, there are steps that can be taken and methods that can be tried that could offer great help in this area.
One of these methods is using certain essences supplied straight from nature. By rubbing these substances into your scalp and hair, they can provide necessary encouragement for your hair follicles to grow both in thickness and volume. Though, it must be noted that this is not a sure-fire way of going from being bald to having a luxurious mane!! We must be a little bit realistic, after all.
9 – Sunburn
Being burnt by the sun is no fun, not even a little bit. Yes, a nice tan might be the end result, but it’s very rarely worth the blistered, red skin that can’t even bear to be touched. Despite knowing how miserable sunburn is, everyone gets burnt at some point in their lives.
We either underestimate the strength of the sun’s rays on a certain day and use no lotion or else the wrong factor; we use the correct lotion but spend too much time out in the sun; we have plenty of lotion on but it gets washed over in a swimming pool or by the ocean. Et cetera, et cetera.
These things can easily happen.
When it comes treating sunburn, EOs are a natural and health infused method of bringing relief to any damaged skin. They will both soothe your skin – removing any discomfort in the process – as well as aiding with your body’s ability to heal itself.
10 – Eczema
Eczema is a skin ailment that can transform normal, healthy looking skin into a red, itchy, flaky, inflamed mess. Amazingly, especially considering this ailment is a regular occurrence in modern society, we actually don’t know why eczema occurs. The medical community’s best guess is that it has something to with our immune systems reacting to an irritant.
Whatever the cause, the resulting condition can be a bit of nightmare. Now, when it comes to treating eczema, it is vital that you visit your local doctor and/or dermatologist. Firstly, because only these professionals can accurately diagnose your condition – there are several different types of eczema and there are also other skin ailments that have that same appearance as eczema. Secondly, only health professionals can supply you with the correct knowledge in how to combat the eczema.
However, using the below listed options in conjunction with an eczema cream or tablets can only help to alleviate the condition and speed up the removal of the eczema. These substances are naturally capable of soothing irritated skin and providing aid in the form of antifungal and anti-bacterial agents.
What is Aromatherapy?
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, aromatherapy and EOs are two ideas and terms that are often intertwined. But what exactly is this term and how is it different to the actual essences?
The definition: In simple terms, aromatherapy relates to the actual therapeutic treatment itself, while the oils are the tool that is used to create this treatment. If you google this term, then you’ll get a definition along the lines of the following:
“This method incorporates plant essences, plant materials, and aroma compounds in order
to boost physical and psychological well-being and health.”
Does This Treatment Work?
The short answer is yes! I’ve already explained the multitude of benefits and uses that essential oils and aromatherapy can have – both that have been around for thousands of years I might add.
Aromatherapy, just like the natural essences, is something that has been refined over the generations by numerous tribes, empires, civilizations, and now modern societies. This has resulted in a top quality therapeutic treatment being available to us in the present day.
If you’ve skipped ahead to this part, please take a look back at the uses and pros of the above mentioned elements that I’ve discussed in previous paragraphs.
Benefits & Uses of Aromatherapy
The benefits of using a humidifier in your own home are numerous and are actually quite important. Humidifiers work to place moisture back into the immediate vicinity. This will have great positive impact for your skin; hair; overall health and indeed your entire household.
Most commonly used in Winter time when the air is of a dry nature, humidifiers have been proven to negate the risks of viruses and infections that are common at this time of year. Such ailments spread and multiply in dry conditions, so by adding more humidity to a certain environment this lowers the risk of such ailments.
An aromatherapy humidifier is then another step up in terms of the health benefits that can be gained. Adding the positives of a quality oil into the equation along with the extra humidity supplied by a top-quality humidifier is a sure-fire way of creating a super healthy and relaxing environment.
Using essentials oils in a session of aromatherapy for sleep problems is a tested and proven way to help with a lack of sleep. These treatment methods have the natural effect of relaxing the body and mind which is of course needed in order for us to gain a good night’s sleep.
Using this treatment for anxiety issues is another great example of how beneficial and positive this therapeutic treatment can be. There’s nothing worse than having a feeling of doubt or worry in the back of your mind – sometimes we cannot even pinpoint where this sense of anxiety and angst comes from.
Aromatherapy and the accompanying essences, as they do for sleep issues, relaxes the mind and body both on a psychological level as well as a physical one. This means that a good session can greatly relieve the stress, anxiety, and angst that can negatively affect us throughout our lives.
How to Use Essential Oils?
Just as there are multiple benefits and uses, and just like there are literally dozens of different types, there are also quite a varying range of methods in which to use these natural substances. Every person has their favorite method – my own being a Diffuser – so below I’ve outlined some of the most preferred options. Hopefully the following inspires you.
Method One – Massage
This is without doubt the most old school method of using an EO. It involves no added apparatus or devices other than your own two hands. Include your favored pick into the equation and the result is that you’re ready for a top level therapeutic session.
The great aspect of this method lies in the massaging element. By gently massaging the essence of your choice into your skin, not only are you benefiting from the substance itself, but you’re also easing any stress or strain from your muscles with the act of massage.
I personally think that massaging tired or sore muscles is the best way to ease any discomfort as well as boosting the body’s healing process. However, in terms of the other pros that that this treatment method can bestow on a person, I think that there are better methods in which to gain the maximum results.
Method Two - Bowl of Steaming Water
This is another common method that countless people use to get the best out of their oils. In the olden days, before modern technology had its say, people would simply add a drop or two of their favored substance into a bowl of steaming water.
The steam from this bowl would then carry the natural aroma and scent around the room. Or, for a more intense experience, a towel would be draped over a person’s head as they lean over the bowl of steaming water so as to inhale the essence in question at a closer and hotter proximity. This technique may be simple, but it is still a worthy inclusion in this essential oils guide as its still used quite regularly.
The downside with this method is that it’s quite erratic in terms of the quality of the steam. It’s very hard to judge how much of the goodness of the substance you are actually getting and how much is being wasted in the hot water.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Some substances are not suited to be directly inhaled via using the bowl and towel technique. Using a device that gently pumps out the essence in steam form is in general a better method.
Method Three - Facial Steaming
This is a step up from the bowl and towel method. Face steaming is a genuinely brilliant method of exfoliating as well as relaxing after a hard day or week. The benefits of a top level Facial Steamer are numerous and highly positive for our skin.
A trick that many people do is to add a drop or two of their chosen aromatherapy oil into the water container of their facial steamer. This will increase the therapeutic element of the facial steaming session quite considerably.
The problem with using a facial steamer to get your dose is twofold: firstly, because steamers are designed for just converting water to steam, the use of natural essences have not been taken into account. This means that the steam that is sent forth from a steamer will not hold the maximum beneficial properties of the natural substance that's neen added.
Secondly, regular face steamers are really not designed to be used in conjunction with such substances. As a result, it is very easy to damage your steamer by adding in anything other than water. By adding in the such essences or herbs into your face steamer’s water container, this can cause pressure to build up or residue to attach itself to the steamer’s apparatus. Both results can be damaging to the steamer.
It is possible to buy aromatherapy facial steamers that are designed to be used with EOs, but these machines tend to be quite expensive. I tend to not recommend such steamers, because of the cost, and also because the final method I’ll discuss is both better and a hell of a lot cheaper.
Check out our Comprehensive Guide on Facial Steaming for more information on the above.
Method Four - Essential Oil Diffuser
(The Health Base's Choice)
Diffusing essential oils is without doubt the best method of getting the maximum from any of these substances. Why? Because these nifty machines have been specifically designed for just that purpose.
Due to the fact that this method is so far ahead of the others I’ve mentioned, I’ve decided to give the area of diffusing an entire section to itself. This section is located directly below and in it I delve into everything and anything that you might need to know about this technique.
What is a Diffuser for Essential Oils?
Diffusers are regarded as being the best delivery method when it comes to getting the maximum out of the essences. While the methods that I mentioned previously are effective, a quality Diffusing machine really does take the therapeutic element of aromatherapy to the next level.
Such a device device that has been specifically designed to fill any given environment with the essence of your chosen oil. The reason why this method stands head and shoulders above the other methods lies in the flow and texture of steam in which the unit releases the natural goodness into the air.
This flow and texture has been specifically calculated so as to ensure that all the benefits of the are achieved and that none of that natural essence is wasted. The other methods that I’ve mentioned do not possess the same quality that this technique has.
Benefits of a Diffusing Unit
There are tonnes and tonnes of pros that can come from using one of these machines. I won’t bore you by repeating myself – all these benefits are outlined in the previous paragraphs. Safe to say that when it comes to diffusing EOs, the health positives are literally endless! Below is a quick recap of some of the key ones:
How to Use a Diffuser?
One of the great things about a Diffuser is the ease in which they can be operated. There really is very little in terms of knowledge needed, and absolutely no technical skills required whatsoever.
The majority of these machines are very simple to use – all that is needed is to add your favorite substance to the container provided; set the unit to whatever time you want it to run for; and then press start! Simples.
Obviously, different brands have varying different methods with regard to operating techniques. However, all the machines that we researched and tested were very similar, and none of them were in any way confusing to work. In a nutshell, a top quality Diffuser unit is not something that will cause you any operating issues.
Of course, as is always advised, it’s prudent to take a quick look at the instruction manual before using any type of machine related product.
How to Clean a Diffuser?
Cleaning any machine is vital in terms of both maximizing its performance as well as extending its life. Below is a quick and easy to follow five step method in how to clean such a machine:
- Fill the compartment of your diffuser with clean water
- Fill half way but do not fill to the max line
- Add 8-10 drops of white vinegar into the water
- The vinegar aids in dislodging the build up of residue that can become stuck on the inside of the unit
- Run the machine for in-between five to ten minutes
- When finished, empty out all the excess water
- Next, use a piece of kitchen paper or a cotton swab to wipe clean the corners of the inside of the machine and the container
- I find that an earbud is a perfect tool for this
- Rinse clean the container with water and then empty it again
- You are now ready to begin your session!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Some diffusers will vary with regards to their mechanical makeup. However, the outlined steps should still be an effective cleaning routine.
Video - Benefits & Uses of Diffusing Oils
Below is a great little video about diffusing EOs which reinforces everything that I've said thus far. It's only a short video and well worth a look. 🙂
Aromatherapy Inhaler – Convenient Alternative
When it comes to getting the best out of aromatherapy oils, then it’s well worth mentioning inhalers. These nifty little devices are perfect if you would like to bring your therapeutic session with you on a trip.
A Diffuser is the best method when it comes to using availing of natural essences, but the actual device isn’t really designed for travel – it’s more of a home apparatus. In saying this, one of these machines could indeed comfortable fit in a suitcase, but it would take up valuable space.
A handy alternative is to use an inhaler. This handy device can easily fit in a backpack, handbag, or even your pocket, depending on the inhaler chosen. The actual device can vary in size from a pint glass all the way down to the size of a lipstick tube – all in all, inhalers takes up no space at all.
These inhalers are also perfect for work spaces. Let’s face it, you might get some odd looks or even outright hostile ones if you decided to turn on an Diffusing unit in your place of work – especially if you work in a communal work space. Some people might not share your enthusiasm for the scent of lavender!!
To avoid this problem, and to still get your whack of natural goodness, simply take a blast of an aromatherapy inhaler and off you go! The same goes for when you’re travelling on public transport. I personally have one of these inhalers and use it whenever I fly. I’m quite a nervous flier – why, I don’t know! – so having the ability to take a whiff of a lavender is great as it calms my irrational fears.
Where to Buy Essential Oils?
This guide would be pretty useless if I didn’t suggest some possible places where you could purchase these essences or Diffusing machines. I’ll be honest, when it comes to these products there are literally dozens upon dozens of different vendors to choose from. Like I said earlier, this particular niche is a trillion-dollar industry – this results in plenty of interest from all sorts of companies!
To the question – where can I buy essential oils? Well, to begin with, there are two areas that you should look at. These are 1) reviews and 2) the best brands available today. If you’re new to this subject, then I’d add starter kits to this criteria as well.
It’s very easy and tempting to go for the cheap options. The problem with this, as tends to be the case, is that if you buy a product that’s cheap in price then it’ll no doubt be lacking in quality. More often than not in life you will get what you pay for when it comes to products – brands and companies aren’t in the habit of selling their wares for less than their worth.
The flipside to this is that you don’t want to be ripped off. Very often brands use fancy packaging, slick advertising, and even celebrity endorsements to hike up the prices of their products. These kind of black hat tactics have been used since the beginning of time – don’t fall for them!!
So, don’t buy cheap essential oils, and don’t be suckered into paying over the odds either. This is where customer reviews and testimonials come into the equation. There are tonnes and tonnes of such reviews online – these are a good place to start in sorting the fact from the fiction and the quality products from the rubbish ones.
Best EO Brands
As with every purchase, you should also be cognitive of the brand as well as the product itself. Brand quality and product/service quality are interlinked – you really can’t have one without the other. When it comes to the best oil brand, it’s really a matter of opinion. If you sift through the online reviews and testimonials, you’ll soon become a bit swamped. There really are tonnes of brands.
Through our extensive research and testing on this subject, we came across and analysed many brands. While there are many leading suppliers of these products, we particularly liked the Official HCG range of products – in particular, their starter kits are great value and a good way of getting into this area of health and beauty.
When it came to diffusers, we were taken with the Aroma-Ace Atomizer supplied by Diffuser World. We’ve reviewed this particular device if you’d care to take a look – Aroma-Ace Diffuser Review.
With regards to the starting out, please take a look at our starter kit article for a breakdown of the top choices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What are the key points in terms of storage?
Answer: The thing to remember when it comes to storage is that elements of these essences can degrade if exposed to too much sunlight and/or air. This will cause the natural material to breakdown and become less effective.
Therefore, ensure that you store your essences in a cool, dry place. Kitchen, bathroom, or indeed any type of cupboards are a perfect place to keep these items safe. Following this simple bit of advice will ensure that your oils reach their maximum shelf life.
Question: Where's the best place to buy?
Answer: As I’ve mentioned before, there are tonnes and tonnes of different vendors when it comes to this niche – it is, after all, a trillion-dollar industry. As part of our research, we spend quite a bit of time comparing and contrasting the top vendors in terms of the oils; the diffusers; and the packages and kits that each produce.
We took into account such elements as volume; quality; purity; price; warranty and a whole host of other factors. Take a look at the bottom of the page for articles on which Vendors we at the Health Base think is best.
Question: What if I ingest a substance?
Answer: There is a huge amount of convoluted information online when it comes to this question. It’s a topic that is heavily debated. A key problem in answering this question is that there are tonnes of different types of aromatherapy oils…and then are hundreds of brands which produce slightly different versions of each of these essences.
The easiest answer is both yes and no – some are safe to ingest, but some are most definitely not. That goes for the brands as well. If you are hell bent on ingesting these substances, then our best advice is for you is to take the substance in question to your local doctor. He/she will be able to tell you if any particular ingredient is safe for oral consumption.
Question: Does these treatment method really work?
Answer: Absolutely!! If you are still hesitant over this then…well, there’s not much more that I can say! These natural substances are massively beneficial in numerous different ways.
Question: How to make my own oils?
Answer: Some people prefer the DIY route than buying from a trusted vendor. This is fine, though it is obviously more expensive and time consuming if you attempt to make something from scratch. There is also no guarantee that the resulting concoction you’ve created is actually any use!
This is the key problem is that you could make something that looked and smelled like the real deal, but the mixture could be slightly off without you knowing. However, if you do want to give making an essence yourself then there’s tonnes of different recipes available online.
Question: How to dilute?
Answer: The key to mixing and diluting these substances lies in using quality carrier oils. Carriers are liquids extracted from vegetables and plants for the specific reason of diluting these substances.
Question: How to make perfume?
Answer: There are many different variations of natural essences that can be used as the foundation of a perfume. Examples are vertiver mixed with sweet almond essence; ylang ylang mixed with jojoba essence, or cedarwood essence mixed with vanilla extract.
A quick google search will reveal a plethora of different options, just make sure that the source you’re using is a trusted one. Otherwise you could end up with a rather stinky concoction!
Question: Which oness to avoid when pregnant?
Answer: Every pregnancy is different, this is a leading factor as to why pregnancies are so amazing – each one is unique and special. When it comes to EOs, there are quite a lot of them that are good to use. However, thing’s get a bit trickier when it comes to the ones that you shouldn’t use.
Again, there are mixed reports and opinions available in regards to this topic. As with ingesting these substances, the best and safest piece of advice that I can give you is to make a trip to your local doctor before you start using a oil during pregnancy.
Question: How many drops to use in diffuser?
Answer: There is real no definitive measurement when it comes to this question. However, there is a common trend that you can follow which won’t steer you wrong. A usual diffusing unit has a water container with a volume of 100ml. It’s widely regarded that 4-5 drops of any particular essence is plenty for such a volume of water.
I would personally start with this measurement. You can always then do a bit of experimenting as you go.
My Final Word & Verdict
There you have it folks – that brings an end to my reference guide of essential/aromatherapy oils; the diffusers; and pretty much everything else that is involved with this particular health and beauty topic. Of course, I am not infallible. I’m well aware that I’ve probably overlooked some area or another.
If this is the case, and you think there’s something missing from this guide that should be present, then please drop me a message at the end of this post and I’ll be sure to add it in. That’s what the Health Base is all about after all!
Also, feel free to browse the related topics provided below – these articles and reviews cover in detail some of the areas that I only touched upon in this guide.
To Your Health,