How to diffuse essential oils properly – and near babies and pets?
Published: 27 January, 2022 - Updated: 21 July, 2022 | 4'
Aromadiffusion at home
Nowadays we enjoy many pleasant times at home, so creating a pleasant atmosphere is important in order to feel in harmony with our environment.
As well as tidiness and pleasant lighting, the scent of the rooms is a key point. That is why the use of aroma diffusers has become a new trend to customise the rooms in your home, either to create a relaxing atmosphere, to provide a special aroma, or to purify a room and remove unpleasant smells.
How to diffuse essential oils properly?
Aromadiffusion involves the use of high quality essential oils that get into the body through the respiratory tract or the skin. The high quality, effectiveness and safety is shown by the method of extraction, distillation or cold pressing, and by the chemotype which is the full identification of the chemical composition of the essential oil.
How an aroma diffuser is used
One of the ways to disperse the aroma of essential oils are diffusers. Diffusers are effective because they expel all the different size molecules at the same time and as opposed to vaporisers that use heat, they do not burn the residues when the essential oil is consumed.
Diffusers create a mist and send it into the air, mostly using techniques (i.e. ultrasound), to evenly and economically remove all sizes of molecules contained in the essential oils into the atmosphere. In fact, there are time switches to set the operating and resting times, others have a remote control or lights, which makes this method suitable for daily use.
When using an aroma diffuser, it is important to carefully read the user manual of the diffuser itself.
Which essential oils can be used for aromadiffusion?
The most of the essential oils can be used for aromadiffusion, provided that the recommendations for dilution in water are followed. The following Essential Oils should not be used for diffusion: Camphor, Cinnamon, Clove, Black Pepper, Spanish Sage and Thyme.
Precautions to take before using essential oils for aromadiffusion
Essential oils are highly concentrated substances and therefore some general precautions should be taken:
- Avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes.
- Keep out of reach of children.
- Do not inhale in pure state.
- Avoid essential oils during the first three months of pregnancy, and avoid them during the whole pregnancy. When reading descriptive information about an essential oil or remedy always look for pregnancy and breastfeeding precautions.
- Special caution in case of allergies, asthma, epilepsy or medical treatment, please ask your doctor before using the product.
- In case of hypersensitivity or irritation, discontinue use immediately.
- Essential oils are flammable. Avoid direct contact with naked flame.
- Store in cool, dry place in opaque containers. Please note that essential oils can cause corrosion of plastic. Use only glass jars with metal lids to store the oils, and only a ceramic or glass container to create a mixture.
- Wash hands after use.
Can I diffuse essential oils near babies and pregnant women?
For pregnant or breastfeeding women, it is recommended not to use essential oil fragrance at least during the first three months of pregnancy. During the following months, it is recommended to check the labelling of the essential oil or ask a doctor for advice.
For children and babies, it is recommended not to use aromadiffusion in the presence of children under 6 years of age. For those over this age, it is recommended to use mild-smelling essential oils such as lavender or some citrus essential oils (except begamot).
Strong smelling essential oils such as camphor, cinnamon, clove or eucalyptus are not recommended for use in the presence of children.
As general recommendation, we suggest using the aroma diffuser for 15-20 minutes when the child is not in the room, in order to avoid using the aroma diffuser in the presence of children. Once the desired atmosphere is reached, turn off the diffuser and wait 20-30 minutes for the child to come into the room.
Is diffusing essential oils safe for pets?
As with young children, you should also limit the amount of time your pet stays in a room where a diffuser is in operation.2
The diffuser can be used for some time before the pet comes into the room, as suggested in the above section.
In the last few years, some preliminary studies have been carried out to find out whether aromadiffusion or direct application of essential oils can be good for dogs. But the research is still rudimentary. Veterinarians have different opinions and experience on the efficacy of essential oils, and even anecdotal evidence is scarce in this area.2
In any case, it is never a good idea to keep essential oils in a place where a dog, cat or other pets can easily reach them. It is well known that dogs have a strong sense of smell. What is less well known is that the sense of smell of a cat is even stronger than that of a dog.
In any case, even a drop of spilled essential oil will bring your dog or cat directly to the spill, so if you have a pet, clean up any spilled essential oil immediately.
- Buckle, J. Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Healthcare. Third Edition. 2015 by Churchill Livingstone. ISBN: 978-0-7020-5440-2.
- Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: An Introductory Guide. 2014 by Sonoma Press. ISBN: Print: 978-0-98955-869-3.
- Halder, D. et al. Aroma Therapy: An Art of Healing. Indian Research Journal of Pharmacy and Science; 17(2018)1540-1558.
- Michalak, M. Aromatherapy and methods of applying essential oils. Arch Physiother Glob Res 2018; 22 (2): 25-31.
- Price, S. & L. Price (ed.). Aromatherapy for Health Professionals. Third Edition. Elsevier Ltd 2007. ISBN 13: 9780443101342.