How long should you diffuse essential oils? I have been asked a number of times. Frankly, this can be quite a controversial topic in the field of aromatherapy.
With so many different types of diffusers available, it can be hard to know how long you should use them once filled with water and essential oils. Some diffusers are even built to run all day.
Why Diffuse Essential Oils
Many therapeutic benefits can be gained when diffused essential oils molecules are inhaled.
Diffusion is such a great way to use essential oils for:
- Scenting a room
- Cleaning the air
- Boosting immunity
- Promoting energy
- Calming stress and anxious feelings
- Supporting the respiratory system
- Calming upset stomach
Diffusion is also a great way to let multiple people (for example, your household members) benefit from the same essential oils.
How Long Should You Diffuse Essential Oils?
The main goal for diffusing is to fill a room with essential oil molecules so you can enjoy the benefits listed above but without overwhelming the area or your nose with scent.
Many trained aromatherapists suggest diffusing for 30 minutes at a time. However, if you look around online, especially on social media, you’re going to find that there are people who advocate diffusing all day every day.
There are some definite problems with the thoughts of diffusing all day every day.
First, this much diffusion can increase your chances of having a sensitivity reaction to an essential oil. If you experience a sensitivity reaction, you may find that you are no longer able to use the oil you’ve become sensitive to at all.
Second, diffusing constantly is actually a waste of essential oils because they aren’t going to provide any additional benefit, and you’re going to become nose blind to the scent so you won’t even be enjoying the aroma any more.
Here is a quote from Robert Tisserand, founder of the Tisserand Institute:
“Intermittent diffusion is much more effective, as well as being safer, than continuous diffusion. Intermittent means 30-60 minutes on, then 30-60 minutes off. This is because our body, especially our nervous system, habituates after this length of time. With continuous diffusion, while benefits do not increase, there is evidence that the body becomes stressed in various ways. However, very low levels of diffusion – so the essential oil is barely noticeable – are fine anywhere, for any length of time.” ~ Robert Tisserand
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