Other than simply inhaling the oils, the easiest and simplest way of putting essential oils into the air for inhalation is to use an aromatic diffuser. A cold air diffuser uses room-temperature air to blow the oil up through a nebulizer/atomizer. This creates a micro-fine mist that is dispersed into the air. The oils will then remain suspended for several hours to freshen and improve the quality of the air. The antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic properties of the oils kill bacteria and help reduce fungus and mold. Essential oils, when diffused, have been found to reduce the amount of airborne chemicals and metallics. Many essential oils, such as Lemongrass, Lemon and our blends of Purify, Citrus Blessing and Plague Defense are highly antibacterial and are extremely effective for eliminating and destroying airborne germs and bacteria.
If the goal is to get the essential oil into the bloodstream, inhalation is the most efficient way to deliver essential oils to the whole internal system of the body as they cross into the blood stream through the lungs. The internal lining of the respiratory system is a mucous membrane, which is thinner than our external layers of skin, so inhaling essential oil has much quicker access than topical application. This rapid absorption into the blood stream has a direct effect on infection and congestion within the respiratory system and on the central nervous system. Also, inhaled oils interact with cells at the back of the nose and can stimulate a change in the areas of the brain that control nausea and vomiting as well as sleep and mood. Inhalation is the safest method of essential oil use (although those with asthma or severe allergy sensitivities may have issues to consider).
Unlike candles or aroma lamps, cold-air diffusers disperse oils without heating or burning, which can render the oil therapeutically less beneficial and possibly create toxic compounds. Some claim that burned oils may become carcinogenic. Cool, micro-mist (atomization) is considered the best way to provide both aroma and therapeutic healing value with essential oils. It does not alter the chemical composition of the oils, while it breaks down the molecules and produces a particle size small enough for the lungs and body to absorb rapidly.
Cinnamon Bark, Oregano and the oils found in our Thyreos (Shield) blend were all tested by Weber State University and shown to kill 100% of the airborne bacteria present when diffused into the atmosphere.1
Diffusing typically helps eliminate allergy symptoms.
Just a note here: Some people believe you should not experience any allergic reactions to pure natural essential oils, but I do not agree with this. If you are allergic to lavender then you will be allergic to lavender essential oil, no matter how pure. That being said, if it was a low quality or fragrance oil lavender, then obviously you should try the good stuff!
Spa-type diffusers (vaporization) combine essential oils with water and produce a mist with ultrasonic wave assisted with a fan to force the mist into the environment. This happens to be my favorite type of diffuser for the value.
Research shows that cold air diffusing certain oils may:
• Reduce and/or eliminate bacteria, fungus, mold
• Relax the mind and body, relieve tension and clear the mind
• Improve concentration, alertness and mental clarity
• Stimulate neurotransmitters
• Stimulate secretion of endorphins
• Stimulate growth hormone production and receptivity
• Digest petrochemicals on the receptor sites
• Improve the secretion of IgA antibodies that fight candida
• Improve digestive function
• Improve hormonal balance
• Relieve headaches
• Dispel odors
Some ask if they can put essential oils into their humidifier. Keep in mind that essential oils dissolve plastic and may damage your humidifier if put inside with the water. You may be able to secure a cotton cloth sprinkled with a few drops of oil in front of the escaping mist, although the cloth with the oils on it may “etch” into the plastic case, so you’ll need to be careful how you attach the cloth. Also note that essential oils may degrade plastics in CPAP masks and nebulizers used by asthmatics.
1 Essential Oil Desk Reference, Essential Science Publishing, Fourth Edition 2009, p. 24