Aromatherapy is a century old method of alternative therapy performed through the use of aromatic extracts from plants. Volatile ingredients form plants, known as essential oils are the primary ingredient in aromatherapy. Aromatherapy not only stimulates the mind to relax, but also helps to heal many heath conditions and infectious diseases.
Aromatherapy can be put to work in three ways – direct inhalation, topical application aerial diffusion. Aerial diffusion of essential oils can be done by a number of ways. The simplest method is through the use of a tissue dampened with aroma oils and moved around the room or house. Use of aromatherapy candles, and steam diffusion techniques are also quick ways to perfume the room. These methods are easy to apply, but do not leave long lasting fragrance. One of the other methods by which aerial diffusion is achieved with a longer-lasting effect is with the help of aromatherapy diffusers.
An aromatherapy diffuser works by ‘diffusing’ vapors of essential oils into the air in order to purify and fragrant the environment. There are a number of different aromatherapy diffusers in the market. Some of these are lamp rings, clay pot diffusers, fan diffusers, candle diffusers, electric heat diffusers and nebulizers.
Lamp rings consists of a terra-cotta ring with a grooved lip containing essential oil. The ring is set around a light bulb which, when lighted, warms the oil and lets it diffuse in the air. These diffusers are usually expensive, and run the risk of the bulb breaking if the oil accidentally drops on it.
As the name suggests, clay pot diffusers are pots made of clay or other materials that can absorb the essential oil and diffuse its scent when oil is put into the pots. Clay pots come in a variety of shapes; they are not expensive, and can be used very easily.
Fan diffusers use a fan to blow fragrance into the room from an absorbent pad drenched in essential oils, or from a tray containing the oil. Fan diffusers come in a variety of sizes and designs, and some fan diffusers can be powered by both with electricity and battery, thus allowing portability.
Candle diffusers are diffusers that contain a candle to heat and diffuse essential oils that are contained in a small tray or pot. Although cheap, candle diffusers lasts as long as the candles itself, but can be used again with a replacement candle. It provides a light scent which may not be enough to scent the entire room.
Electric heat diffusers use electricity to heat metal or other materials, which in turn heats and vaporizes fragrant oils into the air. However, some vaporizes can be too hot which eventually destroys certain beneficial constituents of the oils, thus proving ineffective for therapeutic use.
Nebulizers are devices containing a round glass container and a plastic base holding a motor. Nebulizers break down the essential oils into smaller molecules which are then dispersed into the room. It is said that these smaller molecules are easily absorbed by the lungs, thus providing more therapeutic benefit. However, one disadvantage is that it is difficult to replace the glassware if broken; and is difficult to clean as well.
Aromatherapy diffusers as such are widely available in the market today. Most of these can use a combination of essential oils to be diffused in the air, thus providing further benefits to the environment and to the human body. However, before buying one of these, it is necessary to go through the requirements, specifications, and safety booklets provided with the particular type of aromatherapy diffuser one is interested to buy.