In the not-so-distant past, health professionals frowned upon aromatherapy as a feel-good placebo. Over the years, however, several studies have shown that both essential oils and the introduction of moisture into the air can bring important health benefits for almost anyone. Air scent diffuser use is especially beneficial for people who live in dry climates, suffer from respiratory illnesses, or struggle with high-stress lives.
Johns Hopkins Medicine, a leader in the health sciences and medical care, acknowledges that aromatherapy brings concrete benefits to the table. It confirms that essential oil and fragrance oil molecules travel from the olfactory nerves to the brain and create noticeable responses when inhaled. Johns Hopkins adds that more research is necessary to confirm how well essential oils can improve everyday health, but believes research, so far, is up-and-coming.
1. Improves Air Quality
The EPA has routinely warned Americans that indoor air quality is worse than the air quality outdoors. This is often as true for homes in the cities as those in rural areas. Poor indoor air quality can stem from several factors, including the materials used to build the house or furnish it and the chemicals used for cleaning. Aerosol air fresheners, laundry detergents, and bleach can all reduce the air quality in a home.
This can feel frustrating when you consider that these are also important components of keeping a home looking clean and smelling fresh. Scent diffusers may not necessarily eliminate these pollutants. Still, they can offer better alternatives than emptying aerosol cans in the bathroom.
Air scent diffusers can also improve the perceived air quality in an area. Essential oils often have more natural scents that still mask odors but may not negatively impact people sensitive to strong smells.
2. Improves Respiratory Health
Like humidifiers, air scent diffusers replenish moisture in the air. Dry air can cause discomfort for people with asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Reintroducing the right amount of moisture can make it easier to breathe. It can also help relieve symptoms from allergies and sinusitis.
If you are congested, specific essential oils may provide some relief. The most common choices include eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, and rosemary. Both rosemary and eucalyptus oil contain a potent ingredient known as cineole. This can help relieve cough symptoms and free up air passageways.
Finally, some people naturally breathe through their mouths when asleep. This is especially likely when individuals are congested. Introducing moisture in the air can help prevent your throat from drying out and keeping you up.
3. Improves Sleep Quality
Even if you do not struggle with health conditions that affect sleep, air scent diffusers may improve your sleep quality. Some people meditate before bed to clear their heads and ease into sleep. Essential oils can help soothe the mind and help transport you to the mental place you want to be.
Some essential oils may also help improve sleep, such as lavender and bergamot. Over time, your body may naturally become sleepy when you smell the scents it associates with a good night’s rest, so choose them carefully. Ideally, you shouldn’t use the same scents for sleep and relaxation that you plan to use for improved focus at work.
When you improve the quality of your sleep, you score many additional benefits:
- You focus better during the daytime.
- You have a better mood throughout the day.
- You lower your blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.
- Your blood sugar is better regulated.
- Your immune system is better prepared to fight off invasions.
- Your body is better at regulating appetite.
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4. Boosts Energy
Getting better sleep at night makes you more energized in the morning. There are also specific essential oils that are often expected to add to your energy pool. These include lemon, spearmint, rosemary, and peppermint. The specific essential oils that rejuvenate you may be subjective. Research and experiment to see what works for you.
When you find the right combination, you can finally have more energy to get work out of the way faster and pursue your hobbies. Having more energy can also prompt you to make big lifestyle changes, such as getting a dog, joining the gym, or picking up a new sport.
An energy boost also tends to correspond well with a boost in your mood. This may stem from increased physical movement, which, in turn, creates endorphins that help keep the cycle going.
5. Provides Stress Relief
To be clear, stress itself will not kill you. In fact, a little stress is a good thing. It motivates you to work harder, achieve more and pursue leisure when you can. However, too much stress can pave the way for other health conditions that pose a risk to your health and quality of life. One NPR article ties stress to cancer and heart disease.
Another CNN article confirms that the aroma of essential oils can provide solutions to your stress problems. It identifies the following essential oils as great mood-boosting options:
- Sweet orange
Some health care professionals also recommend choosing scents based on happy memories. For instance, if some of your happiest memories involve gardening with your late grandmother, you may choose floral essential oils to recapture that moment. Testing out a few essential oils can help you narrow down the right ones for stress relief. You may not be conscious of the trigger point, but you should sense the calming effect.
6. Assists With Weight Loss
If only air scent diffusers automatically led to weight loss! Sadly, this is not the way they work. They can, however, help enhance an existing fitness plan. One U.S. News article shares that several essential oils can bring specific perks to the table to boost your fitness routine. For instance, peppermint oil may reduce your recovery time from sore muscles and allow you to work out longer and more often.
Successful weight management provides other benefits worth working toward. The CDC shares that even a 5% weight loss can lead to better health for those who achieve it. These include lower blood pressure, lower blood cholesterol, and better-regulated blood sugar.
Reducing weight can also help lower the risk of developing specific diseases:
- Heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
7. Facilitates Healthier Hair and Skin
The humidifying role of air scent diffusers can help prevent your hair and skin from drying out. Cold air conditioning during the summer and hot furnace air during the winter are two common sources of dry air in the home. Outdoors, winter air may naturally dry out the skin because the humidity is much lower during the cold season. If you live year-round in drier climates, such as the Southwest American Desert, you may also struggle with dry air more than most.
Beauty blogs most commonly recommend humidifiers for people with curly and kinky hair because these hair types tend to dry out more easily than others. However, even people with straight hair can develop dryness from over-washing or dry air. When hair dries out, the scalp may begin to flake, which can be embarrassing.
Resolving your dry skin problems is also a godsend. Dry skin may result from not just air conditioning but the frequent washing of your hands or the use of alcohol-based sanitizer. Over time, your hands may begin to dry out and crack. Some people may also experience cracking of the nose and lips, which can be painful.
8. Fights Dry Eyes
Dry air can also contribute to or worsen your dry eye problems. WebMD identifies the following symptoms of dry eyes:
- Gritty feeling in the eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
For some people, dry eyes become so terrible that they find it difficult to drive or work. Others may also experience pain when their eyes become so dry they start to burn and tear up. Replenishing moisture in the air can alleviate these and other symptoms. WebMD explains that adding moisture back to the air helps because it causes tears to last longer.
9. Boosts Immunity
Essential oils have been shown to boost immunity. Studies have also successfully demonstrated that essential oils could treat illnesses, such as Lyme disease, herpes, and the common cold. To determine what essential oils may best serve your needs, consider the specific diseases you have in mind and plan accordingly.
Generally speaking, people who specialize in aromatherapy tend to recommend the following essential oils to boost your immune system:
- Tea tree
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10. Improves Brain Function
The media often accuses modern-day Americans of having a short attention span. Unfortunately, they are not wrong. Americans and most other people around the world are constantly bombarded with information. It can become overwhelming to process everything without becoming distracted. Also, specialized work can become monotonous, making it easier for people to clock out and disengage mentally.
Several studies have shown that essential oils may help alleviate this problem. One study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information identified lavender and rosemary as great scents to help people focus. Lavender helped people focus on visual targets, while rosemary made it easier for people to concentrate on numbers. Ironically, lavender undermined focus in non-image-related areas. This may stem from its relaxing and soothing properties.
Improving cognitive function can help you become more productive and work smarter. This can improve not just your professional work, but it may also help you with passion projects. Writing a novel, for example, takes extreme focus.
11. Combats Pain
All across America, an opioid epidemic continues to grow out of control. One common reason for this is the over-prescription of pain medication and its addictive qualities. Because of this, many people now seek out alternatives to help them combat pain.
When it comes to using essential oils for pain relief, diffusers are only part of the equation. WebMD and several other scientific sources recommend topical application with carrier oils as well. These are some common uses:
- Knee Surgery: After knee replacement surgery, people who inhaled eucalyptus oil experienced lower blood pressure and less pain.
- Joint Pain: Cleveland Clinic recommends using bergamot, lemongrass, geranium, ginger, and cinnamon as aromatherapy solutions for joint pain.
- Menstrual Cramps: Women report that rose oil aromatherapy helps alleviate menstrual pain symptoms when used alongside other treatment options.
- Clove Oil: More often than not, people use clove oil as a topical treatment for toothaches, bug bites, and sore muscles. However, you may diffuse clove oil in well-ventilated spaces.
12. Repels Harmful Insects
This is another health benefit that may work best when coupled with topical applications. Outdoor enthusiasts report using essential oils to repel biting bugs, especially mosquitos, successfully. These are some other common recommendations:
- Lemon balm
While some studies have shown that these can be effective, it is important not to rely solely on diffusing essential oils to ward off insects. This is especially important if you live in areas frequently plagued by insect-carried diseases, such as malaria, Zika, and dengue fever. The risks associated with these diseases are too high to rely on only essential oils to combat them. Still, they may work well with your existing bug-repellant routine.
The Bottom Line
If you believe diffusers may bring benefits to your home and everyday health, be sure to consider all the factors. For instance, people who live in humid climates may need to purchase an indoor hygrometer to monitor humidity in the home. They may also consider pairing air diffusers with dehumidifiers to regulate humidity in the home better. This helps reduce the potential growth of mildew and mold, which would undo many of the benefits.
Purchasing the right air scent diffuser is also important. Using one that complements your existing HVAC system can eliminate the need for multiple diffusers throughout the home. Whole Home Scenting offers such a HVAC diffuser, and we also have a wide range of diffuser fragrance oils for you to choose from.