The Benefits Of Diffusing Essential Oils

Whether you want to reduce stress, boost your mood or sleep better, diffusing essential oils is a simple way to enhance your daily wellbeing. Here's a number of reasons to diffuse...

A Good Night's Sleep

Diffusing essential oils is a calming evening ritual that can help you fall asleep - and stay asleep.

An ultrasonic diffuser is the ideal bedside companion – whisper quiet, and perfectly safe to leave on throughout the night. You can drift off into a dreamy sleep knowing the diffuser will automatically switch off once it runs out of water.

While many essential oils have calming properties, studies show that lavender – nature's chill pill – is just as effective as pharmaceutical sleep aids; soothing the central nervous system and enhancing regenerative, slow-wave sleep.

Not a fan of lavender? ⁠

There are other calming essential oils that work beautifully. Patchouli calms the body’s “fight or flight” stress response by an impressive 40 percent, while ylang-ylang slows the heart rate, readying your body and mind for slumber. ⁠⁠Palmarosa is another option, enhancing delta brain activity associated with slow-wave sleep.

To Boost Your Mood

In search of good vibes? Try diffusing citrus oils. 

Bright and uplifting, citrus oils are like a burst of sunshine, and are well known for stimulating the limbic system, the area of the brain associated with emotions and memory.

Whether you choose lemon, orange, or an uplifting blend containing grapefruit or yuzu, all citrus oils are rich in limonene – a chemical compound that releases “feel-good” neurotransmitters like dopamine, which is linked to pleasure and motivation, and serotonin, which stablises mood.

De-Stress Your Body & Mind

Diffusing an essential oil that you love can be an instant de-stressor. A beautiful aroma can make any space feel like a calm, comforting sanctuary, creating a sense of relaxation and inner peace.

Moreover, certain oils activate the parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) nervous system, encouraging the body and mind to relax.

Bergamot, ylang-ylang and patchouli have been found to reduce cortisol, the hormone associated with stress.

Diffusing essential oils can help to relieve work-related stress – which can be crucial, especially for those who work in healthcare, for example. One study on hospital nurses – surely the most stressed-out people on the planet – found that rose and lavender were most effective at lowering stress levels.

Another study also focused on emergency ward nurses found that inhaling  patchouli essential oil each night after their shift “significantly reduced” their stress. 

For Respiratory Health

Diffusing can be a wonderful way to ward off illness during the cold and flu season.

Certain essential oils, such as eucalyptus or peppermint, are well-known decongestants, providing relief from seasonal allergies and other respiratory issues.

Eucalyptus, with its unmistakably crisp aroma, inspires deeper breathing. It also has powerful antiviral properties, purifying the air. 

Rich in naturally occurring alpha-pinene, frankincense is another oil with immune-stimulating properties, and can soothe respiratory conditions.

Citrus oils are also known to boost immunity by stimulating the production of white blood cells, which helps the body fight off illness.

To Boost Productivity And Focus

If you’re feeling a little flat at work, diffusing essential oils can make a big difference to your mood, creativity and productivity.

A diffuser and an uplifting essential oil are the ideal desk accessories, helping to banish end-of-the-day fatigue, brain fog and dwindling concentration (your colleagues will thank you!).

Diffusing citrus oils, in particular, can raise norepinephrine, a brain chemical that makes us feel focused, while fresh, camphoraceous oils like eucalyptus, basil, peppermint and rosemary help us feel mentally alert, thanks to a compound called 1,8-cineole. 

 Enhance Your Memory 

Cramming for an exam or a job interview? If your memory isn't as sharp as it used to be, diffusing essential oils can help.

According to the findings of a recent study at University of California, Irvine, diffusing essential oils at night can enhance memory by a whopping 226%

The six-month study, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, recruited 43 adult subjects who were asked to diffuse essential oils for two hours each night as they slept. The oils used in the study included rose, orange, eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint, rosemary and lavender.

According to the findings, just two hours of aromatherapy (referred to as "olfactory enrichment") each night led to a “clear, statistically significant” improvement in word list recall. Brain scans also revealed better integrity in an area of the brain associated with the formation and retrieval of memories.

In summary, diffusing essential oils is a gentle, effective, science-backed practice that can strengthen memory and ward off cognitive decline.

Reduce Your Exposure To Harmful Toxins

The fragrance industry has a dirty secret.

From air fresheners to pillow sprays, conventional fragrances are filled with potentially harmful compounds. Carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting chemicals are still found in many household name home fragrances – despite being banned or strictly regulated by the European Commission.

The average air freshener is known to emit over 100 chemicals including volatile organic compounds* (VOCs) and solvents such as formaldehyde and toluene, which are linked to respiratory symptoms such as coughs and asthma attacks, and more worryingly, cancer.

Synthetic musks, which are found in almost all perfumes, are particularly worrisome. These musks, regarded as xenoestrogens (artificial oestrogens), bioaccumulate (build up) in the body, causing hormone disruption.

While some musks have been banned in perfumes, there are still many musks that are widely used in home fragrances – even though they pose a significant health risk when inhaled.

There's really no need to put yourself, your children, colleagues, or those you love at risk by using toxic home fragrances. 

Make the change and diffuse essential oils – a  safe, natural alternative that supports your health and wellbeing. 

*While it's true that essential oils are themselves VOCs, they are not comparable to the VOCs found in air fresheners and conventional home fragrances as they are not harmful to health. One study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that the total concentration of VOCs in the room after diffusing essential oils is well below guideline recommendations and thereby safe, “even for repeated use.” Air fresheners, on the other hand, emit high concentrations of toxic air contaminants into the air.