The process of diffusion is the way in which essential oils are distributed in the air so that one may inhale them. There is a host of ways in which this diffusion is accomplished. Varying from the very simple to moderately complicated, the diffusion of essential oils for Aromatherapy can be demonstrated in three general methods. Consumers can practice many methods with these products. Here is a look at some of these methods and the products used for them.
The three main ways in which aromatherapy essential oils are diffused are by tissue, steam and candle diffusion. The tissue method is really simple. Merely place a few drops on a tissue, making sure that the tissue is somewhere nearby. Consequently, the aroma will be distributed to you. This method is advantageous because it is quick, easy and can be done anywhere. But, with this method very little vapor is emitted. Unlike the tissue method, using boiling water diffuses far more vapor into the air. Just by pouring boiled water into a bowl and placing several drops into the bowl, vapors are distributed throughout the room. This diffusion method is less convenient than the tissue, but more effective. Being that the vapors produced by boiling water is not long lasting, a favorite method is using candles. In addition, simply lighting a candle, extinguishing the flame, placing a few drops in the soft wax (not on the wick) and then re-lighting the candle, vapors are distributed in the air. The only disadvantage to this method is that it can be dangerous if not done right, since some essential oils are highly flammable and one must take care not to light the oils themselves.
One product that heats the oils in the same way as candle diffusion is the lamp ring. These are terra cotta rings that fasten around a light bulb that are then heated by the light. This is an especially safer way of diffusion than candle, although similar in function. Unfortunately, even though lamp rings are inexpensive, they may not offer an acceptable level of potency. In the process of heating, they have been known to heat the oils too much so that the constituents of the oils are not held in tact. Sometimes the oils splash onto the light bulbs and cause the light bulbs to bust, another hazard.
But, not all diffusion methods require heat. Like the tissue method, there is one product that diffuses the vapors without it. Fan diffusers are units that diffuse the aromas of essential oils by blown air. This is how they work. The oils are placed on small absorbent pad or tray. The tray sits right at the base of a fan. When the fan is turned on, the natural vapors of the oils are diffused in the air and blown throughout a room. One of the advantages to this product is that it can spread the fragrance of aromatherapy oils much farther than other methods. It usually distributes the oils’ aroma with far better effectiveness. The one draw back to this product is that it can be noisy. If commotion is viewed as counterproductive to what one wants to accomplish with aromatherapy, then this is important to consider.
Another product is the electric diffuser. Similar to the fan diffuser, this product utilizes the power of a fan to distribute the oils’ aroma, but it also heats the oils prior to diffusion. These can be very powerful products, but one must consider the fact that heating the oils often diminishes the potency of the oils’ aroma, and thus effectiveness.
Another product on the market for diffusion that takes distribution of aromas to a sophisticated level is the nebulizer. These devices break down the oils’ constituency into their molecular parts and distribute these molecular parts throughout the room where they are created. The nebulizer consists of two parts, the base, where there is a large motor, and the container where the oils are placed. The container looks like a bottle of blown glass, with an unusual shape. The oils are modified by the motor and then are dispersed throughout a particular area. The advantage to this product is that it disperses the oils’ aromas with very little loss to their potency, thus can be more therapeutic. However, there is a downside to these products. The glass containers are very expensive and being that they are breakable can be costly to replace. These are the typical products on the market for essential oil diffusion that you can use for your aromatherapy.