Are Oil Diffusers Safe for the Lungs? Facts to Know
Diffusing essential oils in your home can create a relaxing and calming atmosphere. Our sense of smell is extremely powerful, so it’s no wonder diffusers have become so popular. Even the faintest scent can create a physical or emotional response, just like how the smell of freshly baked bread can bring back childhood memories, or how the smell of a perfume can remind you of someone you used to know… Diffusers help spread the lovely aroma of essential oils around your home.
But are oil diffusers safe for your lungs? It all depends on how you use them, so let us help break it down for you!
- Using Essential Oils in Your Oil Diffuser
- What are essential oils?
- Are Oil Diffusers Good for Your Lungs?
- Sweet Orange
- How to Safely Use Essential Oils
- But What About Side Effects?
- Allergic Reactions to Essential Oils
- Natural vs. Synthetic Fragrances
- Start Experiencing the Benefits of Aromatherapy Today!
Using Essential Oils in Your Oil Diffuser
When wondering if oil diffusers are safe for your lungs, it’s important to understand how diffusing essential oils actually works.
An ultrasonic oil diffuser has a small ceramic plate on the inside that creates a cool, odourless water mist when vibrating - similar to the mist around a waterfall! When you add essential oils to your diffuser, the vibration breaks down the essential oil into tiny particles, and the diffuser spreads this fine vapour of essential oil and water into the air. This is what creates the refreshing scent in your home!
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are different from synthetic perfumes and fragrances because they are completely natural. Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids extracted from plants or resins. They are very potent, so a little goes a long way. But how do you use them safely? Here are a few key safety points to remember:
- As a general rule, ingesting essential oils is not safe.
- Using essential oils topically on your skin may be fine, but the essential oil has to be diluted with a carrier oil first.
- Diffusing essential oils is a great way to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy, and it is safe for most people.
Because a diffuser spreads the fine particles of the essential oil into the air, it is a great way to safely enjoy the benefits of essential oils.
Are Oil Diffusers Good for Your Lungs?
Essential oils have been used for centuries in traditional practices like Ayurveda or Chinese medicine. Traditionally, essential oils, herbs and plants have been used in steam inhalation, saunas, warm baths and massages. People have been aware of the benefits of aromatherapy for thousands of years. But it’s not until recently that there have been scientific studies on the effectiveness and benefits of aromatherapy.
Although this is quite a new field of study, there are a few studies that investigate the benefits of diffusing essential oils for the respiratory system.
Here are some of the most popular oils that have been studied for their health benefits!
Eucalyptus is a calming aroma that has an airy and fresh scent. Eucalyptus blends well with citrusy scents like grapefruit or lemongrass for an uplifting and energising blend. It also works great on its own and it’s often used in spas to create a calming atmosphere.
Eucalyptus essential oil is a common treatment for symptoms of the common cold such as coughing or a stuffy nose. Studies show that Eucalyptus may be a safe and effective way to treat certain respiratory symptoms.
Try diffusing Eucalyptus essential oil to reduce the symptoms of a winter cold!
Frankincense has been used for centuries in religious and spiritual ceremonies. Used to create a sense of peace and relaxation, frankincense has a warm and spicy aroma that can be described as clean or fresh.
Traditionally (before there were diffusers), frankincense was used in steam inhalation, baths and massages to treat respiratory issues. The boswellic acids found in frankincense have been shown to reduce and prevent inflammation in chronic inflammatory diseases like asthma, with no reported severe side effects.
Try diffusing this oil blend for a refreshing aroma to support clear breathing!
3 drops Frankincense
2 drops Eucalyptus
1 drop Rosemary
1 drop Spruce
The soft fragrance of citrus is uplifting and energising, and sweet orange is both sweet and fresh. If you love citrus, then sweet orange essential oil will make your home smell like a citrus haven. Imagine the scent of freshly picked oranges to wake you up in the morning!
Sweet orange essential oil has been used in studies to treat anxiety, and the results have been quite promising. In one study, diffusing sweet orange essential oil appeared to have an anxiety-reducing effect that also made the participants feel more energetic.
Use sweet orange essential oil to make a citrus blend that awakens your spirit and invigorates your senses!
4 drops Sweet Orange
3 drops Bergamot
2 drops Frankincense
How to Safely Use Essential Oils
To ensure you are using your oil diffuser in a way that’s safe for your lungs, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Start slowly by using less oil than recommended to see how your body reacts. Keep a window open to maintain a healthy airflow.
- Try different oils to find the ones that work best for you. Start with a lighter oil, like sweet orange or lemon for example, and then start to incorporate more essential oils once you feel more confident.
- Learn about essential oils. Educate yourself on how different essential oils work to make sure you have the knowledge you need to safely diffuse essential oils in your home.
- Talk to your doctor before you start using a diffuser if you’re pregnant or if you have any medical conditions.
- If you notice an allergic reaction such as coughing or sneezing, stop diffusing essential oils and consult your doctor.
If you have pets, you can read more here about how to diffuse essential oils safely around your pet. And if you have young children, you can read more about the safety of diffusing essential oils here.
But What About Side Effects?
Aromatherapy has many benefits. Diffusing essential oils can help calm or energise you and create a wonderful atmosphere in your home. Every essential oil has different benefits and uses. But are oil diffusers bad for your lungs?
Most of the adverse effects reported in the studies on aromatherapy were from skin irritation due to essential oils having been applied topically (to the skin) and also consumed (which we don’t recommend). So most of the side effects that were reported were the consequence of the essential oils not being used properly!
It is easy to forget how potent essential oils are! Since they are 100% natural and pure, they are much more concentrated than perfumes or other synthetic fragrances. That is why it is recommended that you use them with caution and respect.
Essential oils can be as potent as medicine, and should be treated as such!
Allergic Reactions to Essential Oils
Even though your oil diffuser is safe and even beneficial for your lungs, you might have an allergic reaction to the oils diffused. One side effect that can happen from using essential oils in general is allergy symptoms.
If you are concerned about the safety of using essential oils, look out for signs of an allergic reaction. If diffusing essential oils causes your eyes to water or itch, or if you get a runny nose, start sneezing, or become congested, these may be signs that you’re having an allergic reaction to the essential oils you’re using. If you think you might be having an allergic reaction from diffusing essential oils, stop using the product and consult your doctor.
Essential oils work in a similar way to the plants they are extracted from. For example, chamomile essential oil can help you calm down and relax, but if you’re allergic to similar plants like ragweed and daisies, you might also be allergic to chamomile. You can also be allergic to different types of extracts, so it’s important to figure out which essential oils trigger a reaction and which are safe for you to use. The best way to find this out is by consulting your doctor.
Natural vs. Synthetic Fragrances
The benefits of using an oil diffuser come from the essential oils. Aromatherapy can have many benefits, but it’s important to know the difference between natural and synthetic fragrances.
The reason essential oils have so many benefits is that they are completely natural and extracted directly from plants, flowers, and resins. Just like the herb rosemary has many benefits when consumed, rosemary essential oil has similar qualities and benefits when diffused.
You can use pure essential oils with most diffusers on the market. But some oil diffusers use special cartridges or scents instead of essential oils. Using these types of diffusers can be bad for your lungs because the fragrances often contain harmful chemicals and perfumes.
When choosing a fragrance for your diffuser, always make sure to check the ingredient list. There should only be the name of one or more essential oils, and no numbers or names of any chemical compounds. These can be harmful when diffused, and they don’t contribute to a healthy indoor air quality.
Start Experiencing the Benefits of Aromatherapy Today!
There is so much to learn about essential oils and their benefits, but it’s always good to know how to use them safely. Oil diffusers are safe for the lungs and, when used correctly, they have many benefits!
If you want to learn more about the benefits of aromatherapy and hear what the experts have to say, you can continue reading here. And if you’re ready to start experiencing the healing benefits of aromatherapy, you’ve got some good tools under your belt regarding the safety of using an oil diffuser.