Using essential oils safely is an important topic to cover. Essential oils are highly concentrated and need to be handled with care, even when just diffusing essential oils. Diffusing essential oils is where you add oils to a diffuser.
There are many types of diffusers. Some use tap water, some use distilled water, and some don’t use water at all. Some plug into USB ports, some use regular power outlets, some are battery operated, and some use fabric or clay and can be worn as jewelry.
Each diffuser is different and calls for different care and uses per the manufacturer’s instruction booklet.
What does ‘diffusing essential oils safely' even mean?
This really depends on your body and your family (pets included). Reading the instruction booklet and the back of the oil bottle is a great start, but in my experience I've noticed manufacturers often recommend liberal use that isn’t right for everyone (especially if you're using a quality oil)start slow... think less is more
It’s best to start slow, especially if you’ve never used or diffused essential oils before. Many oils I see are labeled to use 8-10 drops of oil in a 500ml diffuser, which I find to be WAY too much, especially for beginners. Start slow, and see how you feel. Just because essential oils are natural and regarded as “God’s medicine,” doesn’t mean you can’t use too much. They are highly concentrated and deserve to be respected and treated as you would other medications.When starting using essential oils, think: less is more
When you begin diffusing essential oils, start by using 3-5 drops, only diffuse 30 minutes at a time with at least 30 minutes to an hour between sessions diffusing essential oils, and make sure to drink more water than normal.
Wearing Diffusing Jewelry
There is more than one way to diffuse. There are nebulizers, water diffusers, waterless diffusers, and jewelry. The benefits of using diffusing jewelry are the same as using a diffuser. The best part: it is difficult to mess up. Just a drop or two on a porous necklace pendant or bracelet and you're ready to go. We mostly use a locket style pendant with holes in it with a piece of felt or leather inside where we drip the oil onto. We also have a few bracelets that are made with lava beads that work really well too. It is nice taking them with you everywhere because you gain the benefits of them even after you stop noticing the aroma lingering with you, and a few drops last a few days!
I personally LOVE wearing diffuser necklaces and occasionally wear diffusing bracelets. You can find my favorite beautiful diffusing jewelry at Drops of Joy. Or check out our guide to diffusing jewelry.
Diffusing too much too fast can cause headaches, fatigue, light-headedness, and a dry throat.
Even having used oils most my life, I still only use 3-5 drops (1-2 drops of the stronger oils, like peppermint) at a time and I only diffuse about an hour or two at a time too. Some people do more (slowly build themselves up to 8-10 drops for a couple of hours diffusing on and off throughout the day), but I find my body to be more sensitive, so I use less.
I thought I would point that out because many diffuser manuals will say to use 8-10 drops. If you're using a high quality oil, you'll only need that many for a huge room.
Oil use is a very personal and individual experience. What works for one person may not be the best for a different person. Starting slow allows you to decide what works best for you, and gives your body to adjust to how the oils affect it.
Did you put too many drops into your diffuser? I do have a fantastic tip that can help!
Which type of essential oil to use
** PLEASE NOTE ** Don't be fooled by clever marketing. Not all essential oils are created equally. Make sure you're not wasting your money on fake or altered essential oils (even if they're labeled as “pure essential oil”). Don't miss our explosive report outlining the dirty little secrets of the essential oil industry to ensure you're not wasting your money on brands of oils that legally mislead you through deceitful marketing practices.
The type of oil you use is important too. You want to use the higher quality therapeutic grade oils. Food grade and perfume grade oils have chemical additives in them that don’t offer any therapeutic qualities. After spending over a year comparing a large variety of essential oil brands (including Plant Therapy, Oshadhi, Young Living, doTERRA, Aura Cacia, Now, Eden's Garden, Melaleuca's PURE, and several more), I personally enjoyed Oshadhi and Young Living oils the most. I have found Oshadhi and Young Living oils last longer and I didn’t need to use as many drops as I did with the other brands.
When to diffuse
Diffusing essential oils is really subject to personal preference. I really can’t think of any situation when I wouldn’t want to diffuse (unless we have guests over that are very sensitive to smells). There are some things to consider before you start diffusing.
- Do you have young children?
- Do you have pets?
- Does anyone at home have underlying medical conditions?
If you said “yes” to any of those questions, you will want to take extra caution in what you’re diffusing and when. This is why I love my “job” (coaching people to use essential oils safely)!! I am privileged to help people use oils safely, so our members can use their oils confidently. Having pets, kids, and medical conditions doesn't mean you *can't* use or diffuse essential oils. It just means you need to be more aware of what to look for and when to set limits.
Because I can’t address every possible situation in a safety overview, I will give the generic disclosure: PLEASE do your research specific to your individual condition before you begin using essential oils.
- Some oils do have drug interactions and contradictions.
- Some oils should not be used with anyone who has a seizure disorder.
- Some oils should be avoided during pregnancy and nursing.
- Some oils should not be used on children under 12.
- Some oils should not be used around pets.
Some of my favorite references:
I highly recommend having an essential oils reference guide on hand to help you through some of those personal questions.
The Essential Oils Desk Reference Guide – I love this one because it's comprehensive, yet simple to flip through and understand. This reference guide is exclusive to including Young Living branded pre-made blends in addition to single oils information, uses, how they're created, and what they're good for. They also make a smaller version without supplement info.
Another reference guide I love that is not brand-specific is The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. This is a fantastic book, especially for beginners. It's easy to read and understand, and filled with excellent information.
And these are my personal favorite reference guides for families with animals
Related posts to diffusing essential oils safely:
- Oil Blend Recipes
- Too much oil in your diffuser? Do this!
- Can diffusing essential oils make you light headed?
- Tips to finding high quality essential oils
- Where to find a competent essential oil mentor
- Using essential oils safely on your skin
- Can you ingest essential oils safely?
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