What is aromatherapy? What are its benefits?
Aromatherapy is the practice of using aromatic materials such as essential oils for therapeutic benefit. When inhaled, the scent molecules in essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and especially impact the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain.
Essential oils can also be applied topically and absorbed by the skin. For example, the oil can be massaged directly onto your pressure points such as temples to de-stress. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to a warm bath to create a soothing soak before bed to help you fall asleep faster.
However you enjoy it, aromatherapy can be a daily ritual to support physical and mental wellbeing by boosting your mood, reducing anxiety and improving your sleep.
What kind of diffuser is suitable for me?
Many people want to create a long-lasting, pleasant scent to enhance their homes, or to cover up unwanted odors, especially if they have small children or pets. An essential oil diffuser, also known as an aromatherapy diffuser is a device that transforms essential oils into microscopic mists of oil droplets, then disperses them with the aroma throughout the air.
There are many different types of diffusers available to choose from, here’s a comparison of them all.
Ultrasonic diffuser: Ultrasonic diffusers work by combining water with sound waves to turn essential oils into a fine mist, releasing moisture into the air at the same time. Some of them even come with LED lights so you can use them as a nightlight or a mood light. Their designs vary in shape—cylinder, teardrop, sphere—and materials—ceramic, plastic, bamboo—so you can select a style that suits your budget and your home’s aesthetics. The downside is that they rely on water and electricity, and the water tank needs to be cleaned regularly to avoid mold and bacteria. The scent emitted is also weaker compared to some other diffusers because the moisture released can dilute the essential oils.
Reed diffuser: This is probably the most common and versatile type of diffuser that will suit any home and placement as it does not require power. Simply place the wooden reeds in a container filled with essential oils, and the reeds will draw the diffuser oil from the container up and disperse the scent into the surrounding air. Reed diffusers usually last for three to six months, depending on their size. Refills and replacement reeds can be purchased when the essential oil runs out. Overall, reed diffusers are a low-maintenance, cost-effective way to keep your home smelling pleasant at all times.
Nebulizing diffuser: Nebulizing diffusers work like a perfume atomizer. They use an air pump to release pressurized air to break down the essential oils into fine mist. They don’t require any medium such as water to diffuse the essential oils, hence, they produce a stronger scent. Although nebulizing diffusers are more effective at dispersing aroma, they go through essential oils much quicker. It might be a good idea to use one with airflow controls and a timer so you can determine usage.
Wood/stone/ceramic diffuser: This is the most eco-friendly type of diffuser because it doesn’t require any power or water. A simple and elegant way to infuse your home with aroma, this type of diffuser is usually made with stone, ceramic or wood, which can double as a decorative accessory. Simply add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the top and let it absorb into the diffuser. This type of diffuser is also cordless and smaller in size so you can easily move it around the house, or even take it with you when travelling.
The best essential oils for your bedroom
Essential oils can be mixed together to create blends which help not only to remove the stench in your home but also promote wellbeing. It’s easy to customize essential oil blends that suit your bedroom, lifestyle or bedtime routines to offer different wellbeing benefits. Here are some great diffuser oil blends you can use to get better sleep and de-stress.
Bergamot: It offers a similar but more complex aroma to Orange Oil with a hint of an underlying floral note. Bergamot oil contains approximately 30% Linalyl Acetate which provides a calming and soothing effect. It is a wonderful scent for uplifting mood during periods of depression or grief. It is also widely used in skincare to combat oily and inflamed skin.
Blend: Combine with lemongrass, ylang ylang, frankincense, patchouli to create a calming, soothing blend for yoga or meditation.
Lavender: Lavender oil has been used for centuries for its calming and versatile properties. Perfect for bathing, relaxation, massage or freshening up bedding, lavender offers a unique aroma that almost instantly reduces any negative emotions and anxious feelings. A must-have oil to have on hand at all times to fight stress and to promote better sleep, it is also considered safe enough to use with young children when diluted properly.
Blend: Combine with ylang ylang, cedarwood, chamomile to create the ultimate bedtime essential oil recipe. Either diffusing it using a diffuser or applying it topically in mist or roller form will help you ease tension and promote better, deeper sleep. Add a lavender-infused eye pillow or eye mask to rescue tired eyes.
Ylang Ylang: Pronounced as eee-lang-eee-lang, it is a sweet yet spicy essential oil derived from the star-shaped flowers of the tropical Ylang Ylang tree, and is used extensively in perfumes and skincare. With stress-relieving and nourishing properties, Ylang Ylang helps to rebalance your inner self and promote positivity.
Blend: Combine with lavender, bergamot, clary sage to reduce stress and create a peaceful, happy home aroma.
Basil: With a distinctly sweet, herbaceous and liquorice-like scent, most people are familiar with the culinary uses of basil. As an essential oil, basil is great for reducing anxious feelings and promoting a sense of focus. It has a slightly cooling effect which might help with headaches or colds.
Blend: Combine with bergamot, mandarin, rosemary, lemongrass to create an uplifting aroma which helps with rebalancing and reducing anxiety.
Eucalyptus: Derived from tall, evergreen trees that grow up to 50 feet in height, eucalyptus oil is fresh, woody and airy. It offers therapeutic benefits for pain relief and respiratory health. The main chemical components are eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol which helps ease congestion and purify air. Eucalyptus can also be used for cleaning and topical application when diluted.
Blend: Combine with tea tree, lavender, peppermint to help clear airways and relieve headaches, cold and flu congestion. It also creates a calming, woody outdoorsy scent to help you feel connected to nature.
Cedarwood: A warm, woody and sweet essential oil, Cedarwood oil is calming and grounding. It evokes coziness in colder months and promotes a relaxing environment, perfect for meditation or a bedtime soak. Cedarwood also naturally repels insects and can be used in your wardrobe or linen cupboard to keep moths at bay.
Blend: Combine with sage, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary or mandarin to purify air, remove any unwanted odors and to create a cozy home.