Air fresheners are passé; essential oils are in. Yes! Essential oils are quickly finding their use in deodorizing and refreshing home spaces and other areas. And why not! They are chemical-free, completely safe for you as well as the environment, and their fragrances can be very soothing and effective.
But when it comes to using the essential oils to cleanse the air around you, it can be a little confusing as to which method of diffusing the essential oil works best for you. And usually, it’s about choosing between a diffuser and a burner to spread the goodness of the essential oils around you.
How are essential oils used in aromatherapy?
Essential oils are pure plant extracts that contain the essence of one or more parts of the plant – such as the leaves, stem, flowers, and bark. All essential oils have unique properties and come with a characteristic fragrance. Aromatherapy uses these oils which can soothe the senses and help you relax, energize the mind, and uplift the mood. Popular essential oils in aromatherapy include lavender, peppermint, rosemary, chamomile, etc.
There are various methods of using essential oils in aromatherapy. Some of them are given below:
- Direct inhalation by sprinkling a few drops on a handkerchief or a tissue
- Using essential oil in bathwater
- Essential oil diluted in massage oil
- Diluting an essential oil in a carrier oil and using as a chest rub
- Drops of essential oil in boiling water for steam inhalation
- Essential oils in air sprays to instantly deodorize the surroundings
Essential oils are very concentrated extracts and hence are very potent. Even a few drops of oil in its pure form can provide great results in aromatherapy. Using the oils for cleansing the air around you and filling it with a soothing aroma is an amazing way to incorporate essential oils in aromatherapy. They can also cleanse the air and lower the presence of harmful germs in the air.
Two of the popular methods of using essential oils in aromatherapy are diffusers and burners. And which method works better can be confusing for many. Knowing the difference between the two can help choose better.
Both the diffuser and the burner help offer the therapeutic benefits of essential oils by spreading their aroma in the surroundings. There are different types of diffusers available in the market, including an electronic diffuser. Reed diffusers are non-electronic diffusers that work on the wick system. Burners, as the name suggests, use a flame to heat up the oil.
The key difference between a diffuser and a burner is in their basic operation. Below are the differences between the two.
Basic operation: Diffusers break down the essential oil into tiny droplets that easily float over the air and fill the place with the unique fragrance of the essential oil being used. Reed diffusers are a simple arrangement of a vessel which contains the essential oil either in the pure or diluted form and reed diffuser sticks that channel the fragrance of the oil into the air.
Burners heat the essential oil, usually using a candle. Since essential oils do not burn when heated, but rather evaporate, the surroundings are filled with the aroma due to the evaporation.
Safety: Diffusers are generally considered safer since fire isn’t involved. If you have pets or kids in the house or want to usage while you sleep, a burner might now be a good option. Ceramic burners cannot be left unattended since they can be a fire hazard. However, with the correct safety procedures, they can be used to get the best results.
Length of use: Essential Oil burners last only as long as the candle used to heat up the oil lasts. And usually, the tea light candles used, burn out pretty quickly. Diffusers, on the other hand, are better as far as usage for a longer time is concerned and don’t require too much monitoring and intervention.
Availability: Until recently, aromatherapy diffusers weren’t easily and widely available. Thus, ceramic burners, which were competitively easier to find, were an obvious choice. However, nowadays, diffusers have become quite common and can be found in local pharmacies, retail stores, hardware stores, etc.
Aesthetics: Ceramic burners can lend a beautiful aura to the surroundings due to the candle that it uses. Especially in dim lighting, the flame can be all the more soothing to the eyes. However, reed diffusers with decorative glass vessels are also available which can work well with different decors.
Maintenance: Essential Oil burners need to be cleaned due to the molten wax and soot that can be left behind. Diffusers are relatively easier to maintain. And the best reed diffusers are almost maintenance-free.
The best essential oil diffusers are Reed diffusers, which are a very practical and simple method in aromatherapy. They are easy to assemble and give excellent results and are also the safest. The vessel contains the aromatic essential oil and the reed diffuser sticks absorb the scent and release it into the air. These are standalone diffusers which don’t need to be turned on or off, and last long. They also give a light but consistent fragrance and continue to do so for the lifespan of the reeds and the essential oil in the vessel.
While buying a reed diffuser, the quality of the reed stick is an important consideration. It decides the longevity of the diffuser arrangement. The other factor is the number of reeds that are to be used in the diffuser vessel which depends on the size of the room for which the diffuser is being used. The size of the mouth of the vessel also plays a major role in selecting the diffuser, with a larger mouth means faster dispersal of the fragrance. When you buy essential oils for the diffuser, an oil with a thicker consistency works better for larger spaces while a thinner consistency can work well if space is smaller.
It is a common belief that ceramic burners are not very effective since they work on the principle of heating the essential oil. It is believed that the essential oil loses some of its rejuvenating and aromatic properties due to being exposed to heat. However, there is no substantial evidence for this. Ceramic burners too can provide very effective aromatherapy. And the best thing about them is that they improve the ambiance of the space they are kept in.
While buying a ceramic burner, look for creative and beautiful designs available. Look for the quality of the ceramic being used. Often, the flame can heat up the oil too much and cause the ceramic to crack. Good quality material can help improve the longevity of the burner. The space between the candle flame and the part of the burner containing oil should be at least 8 cm for the best results. Lesser distance between the flame and the oil can cause overheating.Recommended Spaces
Reed diffusers work best in homes and smaller spaces. However, a higher number of reeds and a vessel with a wider opening can make the diffuser work for larger spaces, too. In fact, the best essential oil diffusers for large spaces come with a very potent, high concentration essential oil with a thick consistency and can work very well for large homes and office spaces. They are ideal for use in spas, bedrooms, and commercial spaces. Since they do not use electricity, they are great for use in wet places such as the bathroom.
Ceramic oil burners are best used in quiet serene places. They add to the beauty of the surroundings when used in areas with dim lighting. For instance, the fragrance of oil burners can instantly elevate a candlelight dinner or a quiet evening with soft candles.Safety Precautions
The only precaution to take while using a reed diffuser is to avoid spillage, especially if you have kids or pets in the house who can knock the vessel over.
While using a ceramic oil burner, precaution must be taken to keep the burner out of reach of children. It should also be monitored to ensure that the essential oil hasn’t completely evaporated during usage. Care should also be taken to prevent overheating.
One more care that needs to be taken is to ensure that you use only good quality essential oils. Buy from trusted sources since the oils that come with the diffusers might not always be pure. Be aware of fake essential oils.