Diffusing meant to spread something more widely. The technical definition is a process of particles of liquids moving from higher concentration to lower concentration. An example is the aroma of a flower that quickly permeates the still air in a room. When it comes to aromatherapy, diffusion is the process of dispersing essential oils into the air. This can be achieved by facilitated diffusion or passive diffusion.
Facilitated diffusion in aromatherapy involves a device that heats or atomises the molecules and disperses them into the air. Because heat, light, oxygen change and oxidise the essential oil, heating essential oils is less preferred. It is true that heat allows the essential oil to disperse. Sunlight can cause the plant to release the chemicals. However, heat does change the composition and some experts feel that heating essential oils may make them toxic.
Using candle diffusers, adding them to candles and burning them is popular, but it is not recommended. Essential oils are flammable at differing degrees, so actually burning them is not such a good idea.
This type of diffuser use water and are usually electric. Put water into the container and add essential oil. The machine will disperse the water and oil together into the air. These types of diffusers are also technically humidifiers, and typically use cold air.
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Using a diffuser machine, makes the diffusion process more active and more effective. The aroma lasts longer. Facilitated diffusion also allows the aroma to diffuse across a larger area of a room.
Some people might find ultrasonic diffusers a bit finicky. It can also sometimes be difficult to clean, especially with thicker essential oils. Use a tissue to wipe out any oil that’s left behind.
By direct inhalation is a good example of passive diffusion. Apply 1-2 drops of neat essential oil to a tissue or handkerchief, hold this new the nose for a few moments and inhale the vapours.
One of the simplest methods to inhale an essential oil is to add 3-4 drops of essential oil to a handkerchief and regularly inhale. Another possibility is to add 5-10 drops of essential oil to a bowl of steaming water and breathe the vapours coming out of it.
Passive diffusion is an affordable option. You don’t need to spend money on a diffuser machine. However it may also offer a more subtle aroma, because of how quickly it dissipates. This makes it a great option for public spaces or office spaces where strong aromas my not be appropriate or permitted. It also makes a great option for enclosed spaces, like a car or small office space, where an intense aroma may be overwhelming.
The essential oils dissipate very quickly with passive diffusion, especially more volatile oils like citrus oils. It may be necessary to refresh the diffuser more often than while using a facilitated method. This could translate to excessive use or waste of essential oil that could be avoided with a facilitated method, making it more costly. It is also difficult to control the level of aroma in the room.