Beyond the Blender

Es­sen­tial oils can be an ef­fec­tive heal­ing tool. Here are easy ways to dif­fuse them

Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS - By Ch­eryl Cromer

Sick of smooth­ies? We’ve got you cov­ered. These nu­tri­ent­packed recipes in­cor­po­rate pro­tein pow­ders into a va­ri­ety of de­li­cious uses, from break­fast to dessert.

Es­sen­tial oils tap a plant’s unique scent from its flow­ers, leaves, roots, bark, and other parts and of­fer a nat­u­ral way to scent your home. But beyond scent, aerial dif­fu­sion of­fers an easy way to de­ploy the ther­a­peu­tic ben­e­fits of es­sen­tial oils. Dif­fus­ing the right es­sen­tial oils can quickly af­fect your mood and phys­i­cal health.

DIF­FUS­ING OILS

You don’t have to in­vest in an ex­pen­sive dif­fuser to en­joy aro­mather­apy. Add a few drops of your fa­vorite es­sen­tial oil to a tis­sue or hand­ker­chief, hold to your nose, and breathe deeply. The aroma will re­vive or re­lax, while the oil’s aro­matic prop­er­ties in­still their ther­a­peu­tic value at a cel­lu­lar level.

Aro­mather­apy pen­dants and bracelets are an­other way to dif­fuse scent. Or pour your fa­vorite oils into a pocket-sized in­haler. These por­ta­ble meth­ods are es­pe­cially ef­fec­tive in en­closed or public ar­eas where oth­ers may be sen­si­tive to scent.

Dif­fu­sion uses a de­vice or method to ex­pel es­sen­tial oil mol­e­cules in the air, and there are sev­eral ways to dis­perse aro­mat­ics. Com­bine your fa­vorite es­sen­tial oils with dis­tilled wa­ter in a glass bot­tle to cre­ate room sprays. Or choose a low-cost elec­tric fan dif­fuser or plug-in unit that uti­lizes dis­pos­able cot­ton pads damp­ened with es­sen­tial oils. For the sim­plest of dif­fusers, place a ves­sel of warm wa­ter with sev­eral drops of es­sen­tial oil on a sunny win­dowsill or warm ra­di­a­tor.

A neb­u­lizer is a de­vice that com­presses air to at­om­ize es­sen­tial oils into air­borne mol­e­cules. They dis­perse a steady stream of pure es­sen­tial oils and are best for large ar­eas. Also pop­u­lar are dif­fusers that em­ploy ul­tra­sonic waves to vi­brate wa­ter, send­ing a cool vapor into the air. Both de­vices emit a fine aro­matic mist more eas­ily ab­sorbed by our sys­tems than mere scent.

TOP ES­SEN­TIAL OILS FOR THE DIF­FUSER

On its own, the calm­ing scent of LAVEN­DER is a lovely way to re­lax. Com­bine with com­fort­ing SWEET OR­ANGE ( Cit­rus sinen­sis) or rich, woody CEDARWOOD ( Ce­drus at­lantica) to cre­ate the per­fect at­mos­phere for sleep (or any­time you need to de-stress). Bat­tling a cold? Add clar­i­fy­ing EU­CA­LYP­TUS ( Eu­ca­lyp­tus glob­u­lus) to the mix to ease si­nus con­ges­tion.

To help boost flag­ging spir­its, choose re­fresh­ing, up­lift­ing oils of PEP­PER­MINT ( Men­tha piperita) and ROSE­MARY ( Ros­mar­i­nus of­fic­i­nalis), both known for stim­u­lat­ing men­tal fo­cus. For an ad­di­tional lift, drop in es­sen­tial oil of GRAPE­FRUIT ( Cit­rus par­a­disi).

Dif­fuse cit­rus oils like LE­MON ( Cit­rus li­mon) and BERGAMOT ( Cit­rus bergamia) for an aro­matic wake-up call. For an ad­di­tional kick­start, add a drop of LEMON­GRASS ( Cym­bo­pogon cit­ra­tus). Spice oils such as CIN­NA­MON ( Cin­namo­mum zey­lan­icum), CAR­DAMOM ( Elet­taria car­damo­mum), and GINGER ( Zin­giber of­fic­i­nale) will en­hance any gath­er­ing. They’re nat­u­rally an­tibac­te­rial and an­ti­fun­gal, so they com­bat air­borne germs.

Dis­till­ing your fa­vorite oil will pro­mote a sense of well­be­ing. Start with 1 to 2 drops per ounce of wa­ter, then ex­per­i­ment with more to sat­isfy your nose. Since only a small amount of oil ac­tu­ally reaches the body’s blood sys­tem, dif­fu­sion is safe for al­most ev­ery­one. Just keep doses lower around chil­dren or the el­derly, both of whom may be more af­fected by strong scent or the prop­er­ties of the es­sen­tial oils used.

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