Essential oils—we’ve all heard of them, but few truly understand what they are and how they work. These little vials of oil line the walls of health food and wellness stores around the world, but there aren’t many of us who could tell them apart from a plain old bottle of olive oil.
That’s why we have put together this handy guide to walk you through everything there is to know about the many health benefits of essential oils and aromatherapies. Specifically, we want to highlight the benefit of essential oil diffusers, since these are necessary for vaporizing the contents of the oil.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are concentrated liquids that are hydrophobic and contain volatile aromas derived from plants. That’s a bit of a mouthful, isn’t it? In basic terms, essential oils are liquids made from plants that have a tendency to vaporize and smell good. Simple enough, right?
The oil is considered “essential” only insofar as it contains the “essence” of the plant from which its fragrance was extracted. In other words, the oil contains the essential aroma of its plant.
Essential oils are taken from plants by steaming them over time. This is a technical process known as distillation—the same process used to extract fragrance for perfumes, soaps, and other cosmetics.
How Do They Work?
There are many essential oils uses. The most common use of essential oils is for their medicinal value; for example, the essential oil thymol is used in numerous pharmaceutical medicines extracted from thyme.
After having gone through their distillation process, essential oils can have numerous effects. For example, some have pain-killing anesthetic properties, and other have antitussive effects which soothe sore throats and coughs. Others, such as juniper have diuretic applications. Clearly, then, there is an obvious benefit to essential oil diffusers.
Some of our favorite essential oils are tea tree oil and eucalyptus. Both of these oils work primarily through contact with the skin and through breathing in their fragrance. When aromatic compounds are released into the air through vaporization, their healing effects can be realized. This is the basis of aromatherapy, one of the most popular forms of alternative medicine.
Where to Buy Essential Oils
Essential oils are be purchased at most health and wellness stores. However, we recommend not just settling for any essential oils, as only the top quality brands are most effective for therapeutic purposes.
If you are looking to get into essential oils, aromatherapy, or to discover the benefit of essential oil diffusers, then you should check out Bulk Apothecary. The folks over Bulk Apothecary have a vast product line featuring everything you need to get started—plus, they offer 15% off all orders over $250.00 if you use product code “15OFF250” at checkout.
Want some other options? We recommend Vitality Extracts for all things aromatherapy, including aromatherapy-based accessories and wearables. Other reputable vendors include Jedwards International Inc. and, of course, the Amazon listings for essential oils.
What are Essential Oil Diffusers?
An essential oil diffuser is a device that takes an essential oil and releases its fragrance into the air. Most essential oil diffusers are electric or candle-fueled, and volatilize (or vaporize) a mixture of the oil with some water. This releases their special healing properties into the air, which is the basis of aromatherapy.
When breathed into the lungs and sinuses, the essential oil vapors can assist in respiratory disinfection, decongestion, and soothing of the skin. They also have a generally pleasant, refreshing smell, and can lead to positive psychological effects such as relaxation. This is the key benefit of essential oil diffusers.
Through the process of diffusion, the essential oil vapors are inhaled. This has the potential to prevent disease, reduce anxiety and bodily tension, improve energy levels and memory retention, and can alleviate itchy and scratchy skin. These effects are attributed to the pharmacological properties of the oils themselves.
Where to Buy Essential Oil Diffusers
You can find the best essential oil diffuser at trusted online retailers such as Saje Natural Wellness stores. Sage has quickly become one of the leading brick and mortar vendors of natural wellness products and is a major player in the aromatherapy community. We recommend Sage if you are interested in picking up high-quality diffusers.
If you want an oil diffuser to last, you will need to make sure that the diffuser contains a large metal tank that won’t break or crack. For this, we suggest checking out something like the 300ml SOICARE Diffuser, which is one of the most durable on the market. Alternatively, you could try finding an ultrasonic diffuser at your local Best Buy or Bed Bath and Beyond.
From natural wellness stores to department stores, aromatherapy oils can be purchased anywhere essential oils are sold. But with such a wide range of products available on the market, it can be confused to know where to begin.
For your convenience, we have reviewed several of the leading products in the world of aromatherapy. This includes diffusers, oils, and other accessories to get you up and running in no time. So read on and find out what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to essential oils.
SpaRoom Ultrasonic Diffuser
The benefit of essential oil diffusers is that you can fill the tank with water and oil that can volatilize all day or night. However, the Asakuki from Bed Bath and Beyond does no such thing.
While the SpaRoom Ultrasonic certainly looks stylish, it only boasts a 4 fl. Oz. tank, which is pretty lackluster if you intend on enjoying your aroma throughout the entire day. More importantly, the build is made of cheap acrylic plastic which has a tendency to snap, break, and wobble around the table. We suggest taking a pass on this one.
PureGuardian Aromatherapy Diffuser
The PureGuardian Diffuser from Best Buy is one of the very best on the market in terms of overall value. For what you pay, it is nigh unbeatable. This thing is lightweight, sleek and stylishly monochromatic, and best of all, it emits a fine and cool stream of aroma throughout the whole day. No more changing tanks twice in a day because this thing has serious lasting power.
Currently, this model has the highest rating on the Best Buy online store. And this is not incidental. The PureGuardian comes with a tank guaranteed to last for 5-8 hours of continuous diffusion. It also comes with a soft night-light and a super quick setup process. We can hardly recommend this diffuser enough.
URPOWER 2.0 Essential Oil Diffuser
The new and improved URPOWER diffuser is the real deal. Currently, this model has a perfect rating on the Amazon, and it is certainly for a good reason. In a world of bland and simplistic diffusers, the URPOWER is anything but.
This diffuser runs entirely on your oil supply, which means there is no need to add any water to the tank. Not only does this simplify the user experience, but it also means your oil will last longer. Also, this diffuser is loaded with fun LED lights that change color depending on your variety of oil. This can add a nice aesthetic touch to the room.
Plant Therapy Essential Oils
When it comes to purchasing the essential oils themselves, we suggest going with a tried and true brand like Plant Therapy. The good folks over at Plant Therapy provide kid-safe oils that are 100% pure, non-synthetic, and often at discount prices. Plus, every month they offer a “bargain bin” sale where you can usually find oils at half price. Check them out today!
Plant Therapy Essential Oil Carrying Case
Trust us on this one, you will want an essential oil carrying case. Once you discover the many benefits of essential oils, and the sheer joy of filling your room with the wonderful scent of the natural oils, you will want to show everyone you know. For this, you will need a trusty case.
We suggest checking out the 25 count case on sale over at Plant Therapy. This case is highly rated for its durability, lightweight build, stylish wooden finish, and its massive storage capacity. If you want to get serious about aromatherapy, this is the number one accessory you will need.
Essential Oil & Aromatherapy Tips
To help you solidify what you just learned, we put together a list of some very simple pointers to help you navigate the world of essential oil and aromatherapy. If you only take away a few lessons from this guide, it should be these.
- Avoid synthetic fragrances, look for “pure” only
- Only buy metallic diffusers with large (>4 fl. oz.) tanks
- Never eat or consume essential oils orally—this can be dangerous
- Every good aromatherapy setup should include either tea tree oil or eucalyptus