Benefits of Aromatic Use of Essential Oils
Aromatic use of essential oils can support focus, memory, moods and emotions, hormonal balance, the respiratory system, the immune system, the endocrine system, skin and hair, and help purify and cleanse the air.
How Does it Work?
When using essential oils aromatically, the scent travels through the nose to the olfactory system. The olfactory system processes the molecules along the olfactory nerve to the limbic system, the oldest part of the brain. In the amygdala (emotional powerhouse) and the hippocampus (center for learning and storing memory), responses are triggered that link the scent with memories and experiences. By smelling essential oil, the brain is creating and/or recalling memories and experiences tied to scent. Because of these reactions in the brain, essential oils have a particularly powerful effect when applied aromatically. Due to the volatility of essential oils, aromatic use of essential oils is one of the most effective application methods—the oil user can experience the benefits of a scent quickly and conveniently.
In addition to processing the scent in the brain, as the essential oils are inhaled, they are also absorbed through the respiratory tract and lungs, and then circulated through the blood stream. As we breathe in the scent of an essential oil, it triggers specific reactions physiological and emotional reactions based on our own individual needs and overall health. This is why aromatic use is such a big part of mood management and wellness.
Aromatic Use with a Diffuser
There are two types of diffusers which are best to use with essential oils, a nebulizing diffuser and ultrasonic diffuser. A nebulizing diffuser breaks down the essential oil into tiny particles through the use of a high velocity, pressurized air stream and jet nozzle. When the essential oil is released, it goes into the air in a fine mist. This method does not alter the chemical composition—it diffuses the entire oil at once so you don’t get the more volatile components first and then the heavier later. The particle size is small enough to be easily inhaled. Nebulizing diffusers work without heat or water. An ultrasonic diffuser uses water but no heat. The diffuser uses electronic frequencies to create a fine mist from the essential oil and water. Ultrasonic vibrations are created by a small disk under the surface of the water which causes the essential oil to break up into tiny micro particles which are small enough to be inhaled.
Tip: Use Tap Water not distilled water. The natural minerals in tap water are needed to better diffuse the water in the air and circulate the essential oils.
Things to consider: room size (different diffusers fill certain sizes of air space); automatic shut-off feature; length of running time (some diffusers run only for 2 hours others up to 10 hours; if you want your diffuser to support you during the night get an 8 hour diffuser ); intermittent settings (diffuser does not run continously but turns on and off in intervals – preferable feature when diffusing oils around children, pets and elderly);
Usage Tips: Nebulizing diffuser add 10-15 drops. Ultrasonic diffuser add 2-4 drops. You can use just a single oil, combine a selection of oils, or use a pre-made blend. Place your diffuser in your living room, bedroom, kitchen, office or any place where you spend time. Your body will benefit from breathing in the essential oils. Using a diffuser in the bathroom in the mornings can help you wake up your senses and set the tone for the day. You can even get a car diffuser that plugs into your USB adapter to make your rides to and from work more enjoyable. Add a motivating essential oil in the morning and a stress reducing essential oil on the way home. The car diffuser also works well plugged into your computer, to benefit from aromatherapy while working in an office environment where you can’t place an ultrasonic or nebulizing diffuser.
Aromatic Use from the Bottle
Open the bottle of essential oil, stay about 2 inches away from your nose, pass bottle gently below your nose like making a circle in the air. Inhaling it directly from the bottle holding it steady right under your nose may overwhelm your olfactory system or irritate your sinuses. Passing it by your nose allows for getting a whiff and enough exposure to benefit from it without over stimulation.
Aromatic Use from Your Hands
Add 1-2 drops to the palms of your hands, rub together to create a little heat, cup about 6 inches from your face, close your eyes and breathe through mouth and nose. Very beneficial to reduce feelings of stress, calm emotions, uplift spirits, and support the sinuses and respiratory system.
Tip: I love using the 4-count breathing method!
Breathe in counting to 4, hold breath counting to 4, breathe out counting to 4 – repeat 3 times, then breathe normally. Repeat this sequence as needed to calm emotions.
Other Options for Aromatic Use
Inhaler: Make your own inhaler for on-the-go. Here is a link to where you can get refillable inhalers. Put 12-14 drops of fractionated coconut oil into a paper cup and add 4-6 drops of essential oil, lay the wick into it on both sides letting it absorb all the essential oil. Here is how they look like.
Cotton Balls: Add 1-2 drops to cotton ball and place next to your computer or desk where you work.
Room Spritz: Create a spritz with distilled water and a few drops of essential oil and mist pillow before bed time, mist yourself, spray in the kitchen or bathroom, mist dog bed to neutralize smells or support restful sleep. Mist sneakers, soccer cleats and other sports items to purify air.
Aromatherapy Jewelry – Bracelet and/or Necklace: Applying essential oils to the lava rocks of of aromatherapy jewelry is a great way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils. The scent will stay on the lava rocks for almost 24 hours. So during the day, just inhale the scents from the bracelet or necklace when needed. Link to aromatherapy bracelets.
Select essential oils based on the desired effects.
Here are some of the most common ones:
All Citrus Oils and Blends: Lemon, Lime, Wild Orange, Bergamot, Grapefruit
Eliminate lingering odors from cooking certain foods or pets:
Citrus oils, tree oils, and spices: Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, White Fir or Siberian Fir, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Cilantro
Increasing Focus & Concentration:
Blend of Vetiver, Patchouli, Frankincense, Lime, Ylang Ylang, Hawaiian Sandalwood Wood, and Roman Chamomile
Support the Immune System:
Blend of Wild Orange, Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary; Petitgrain;
Blend of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint.
Supporting restful sleep:
Lavender, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Spikenard, Petitgrain, Copaiba, Juniper Berry.
Supporting the respiratory system:
Individual use or blend of Eucalyptus, Cardamom, Peppermint, Tea Tree, (adding Clove and Frankincense can be very supportive).
Support feeling calm and less anxious:
Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Copaiba, Melissa; Blend of Lavender, Tangerine, Lemon, Melissa, Ylang Ylang, Osmanthus, and Sandalwood.
Tip: Use the steam of your shower in the morning to create an aromatherapy experience by sprinkling some drops of Peppermint essential oil to awaken the senses or Wild Orange Essential oil to uplift your moods and increase energy in areas of the shower where the water doesn’t wash the essential oil away. The combination of Peppermint and Wild Orange is wonderful in supporting homeostasis.