The Wonderful World of Diffusers

My first introduction to essential oils was at a friend’s house. She had a diffuser running in her living room and I was drawn to it. I wish I could tell you what was in it, but I can’t. That detail escapes me. Instead, what was most impactful at that time, was the device itself and knowing there is a better way to clean the air and fill my home with pleasant smells. I had already ditched scented candles, room fresheners and plug-ins, and it was a joyful discovery to learn of this thing called a diffuser.  My world just got brighter!

*Learn more about why I don't use candles and synthetic air fresheners anymore. Ditch the Candles

So, what is a diffuser? 

Quite simply, it’s a wonderful tool that will bring calm, clarity, comfort and joy all in one.  I have one in my bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, basement and front porch. Yes, I have seven diffusers in my home! I’ve come a long way in the last ten years.  It’s a part of my bedtime routine. It runs when I need to wake-up, calm down, or simply focus. It helps cleans the air and my cells. Diffusers have infiltrated my home and I couldn’t be happier about it . Could I live without my daily aromatherapy? Sure. But, do I want to? No. Whenever I am without it, I miss the benefits it brings.

Before I go on and explain the different kinds of diffusers and how they work, I want to stress the importance of what goes in a diffuser. Just as a hammer, or any tool for that matter, is only as effective as the one using it, so it is with a diffuser and the oils you diffuse. A hammer won’t drive a nail into the wall if not hit with the right strength and precision. So it is with a diffuser. The therapy is brings can only be a good as the oils that are being "driven" into it. Quality matters. Keep that in mind as you read. 

Types of Diffusers

  1. The ultrasonic or humidifying diffuser  This is the type of diffuser YL makes. It disperses tiny essential oil molecules and water into the air using an ultrasonic plate. The plate vibrates and the molecules rise and create a fine mist in the air. This is a great choice for the cold season when you want more moisture in the air.  Find these diffuser here Ultrasonic Diffusers

  1. Nebulizing Diffuser  The nebulizing  diffuser works by pressurized air. A vacuum pulls the oil to the surface of a distribution tube, resulting in a burst of aroma into the air. Nebulizing diffusers don't require water or heat, which makes them low maintenance.

  1. Evaporating Diffusers A diffuser that evaporates essential oils uses a small fan to turn them into gas, which evaporates quickly in the air. The oil is placed on an absorbent pad or wick and the wind from the fan causes the evaporation process in a controlled manner. As the oil evaporates, it does lose some of its potency, so this diffuser is best for the quick, not long lasting aromatherapy. 

  1. Heat or Electric Diffusers  Instead of using a fan to turn oil into gas, this diffuser uses heat to cause the essential oil to evaporate. As with most things, heat changes the chemical properties of essential oils and may make them either more or less intense, so I don’t recommend using this kind of diffuser. It affects the authenticity of an oil and you miss out on all of the therapeutic benefits.

Why Diffuse?

Because the sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses, with over one thousand receptors. 

And because diffusing an essential oil is more effective than smelling an oil directly from the bottle. This is because essential oil molecules are volatile, meaning the lighter, sweeter top notes will jump into the air first. The heavier base notes will not come out of the bottle as quickly and you miss out on the full chemical profile of the oil. A diffuser, on the other hand, will disperse an oil drop into the air and hold the molecules together long enough to experience the full aroma. In fact, did you know, it only takes three seconds for the scent to reach your nose and travel directly to the limbic system, the emotional seat of your brain? Pretty amazing, right?

To go into more detail, according to Young Living founder, D. Gary Young, “When a fragrance is inhaled, the odor molecules travel up the nose where they are trapped by olfactory membranes well protected by the lining of the nose. Each odor molecule fits like a little puzzle piece into specific receptor cells lining the membrane. Each one of these hundreds of millions of nerve cells triggers electrical impulses to the olfactory bulb and the gustatory center (where taste is perceived) and the amygdala (where emotional memories are stored). Because of this, essential oils can have profound psychological  and physiological effects. Anxiety, fear, anger and joy all emanate from this region. That is why an aroma can evoke memories and emotions even before we are aware.” 

Fastest Delivery System 

Although there are three effective ways  to benefit from using essential oils, diffusing is the fastest delivery system.  An essential oil in a diffuser reaches the limbic lobe of your brain in three seconds. Talk about immediate relief!  It travels through your nose, to the olfactory receptors, straight past the blood brain barrier.  On the other hand, when you apply an oil topically, it takes 26 seconds (still fast, mind you) to enter the bloodstream and work its way through the circulatory system. A Vitality oil ingested in a vegetable capsule takes 20 minutes to be absorbed. It has to work  its way through your digestive system and get broken down in the gut.

So, there you have it! The what and why of diffsuing essential oils.

The moral of the story is: Purchase a diffuser and some  *Seed to Seal essential oils. Then, once your diffuser arrives, use it! Don’t let it collect dust. The more you have it on, the more you’ll experience the incredible benefits of essential oils on your mood and emotions. Try using it for at least 15 minutes for 30 straight days. Find a place in your routine (bedtime is great, or when you first wake up) and begin a habit that will deliver positive, life giving molecules of essential oils to your brain!

*Let me stop here and re-emphasize the quality of the oils you put into your diffuser matters. Cheap oils, the ones sold in grocery stores or random places online are not authentic. They are likely infused with synthetic or toxic ingredients. Knowing the speed at which oils enter your brain, do you really want those oils entering your body and passing the blood brain barrier? I don’t.  Instead, find Seed to Seal oils here:  Seed To Seal Quality Oils   

Need ideas of what to diffuse: I’ve got you covered. Contact me and let me know you want diffuser recipes ideas!contact me

Jen's Favorite diffuser recipe

  • 4 drops Thieves
  • 3 drops Lavender
  • 2 drops Frankincense essential oil


-Fill your diffuser with water to the fill line. 

-Add the essential oils. Feel free to adjust the drops to your liking. I love the combination of these three oils, but to be honest, there is no "right" recipe. The joy of diffusing means you get to play and make your own favorite blends! You may decide to go heavier on the lavender or frankincense. By all means, do!

-Follow the diffuser instruction manual to turn on and enjoy!

-I like to use this blend at bedtime. It runs while I sleep, covering me with it's relaxing, immune boosting properties!

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