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Posts tagged "essential oils"

What are the Health Benefits of Essential Oils?

What are the Health Benefits of Essential Oils?

There are countless essential oil singles and blends available on the market, each with a set of unique therapeutic benefits. Whether you prefer diffusing your essential oils, applying your favorite oils topically with a carrier oil, or some combination of inhalation and topical use, essential oils can make a huge difference in your daily life. 

What are Essential Oils?

An essential oil is a highly concentrated plant extract that is captured through a process of distillation or mechanical pressing. Various parts of the plant are distilled or pressed when developing an essential oil; flowers, stems, bark, fruit, and leaves are all fair game. 


The distillation or pressing process pulls only the pure oil essence from various plants, leaving the remaining water content for various uses including hydrosols. The purity of essential oils is the reason for such a powerful aroma; in order to create just one pound of lavender essential oil, it requires 220 pounds of lavender flowers!


Just as each plant contains a varying therapeutic application in holistic medicine, so does the essential oil produced by each plant. Some essential oils are widely used in aromatherapy as well as in conjunction with western medicine treatments to expedite specific results. 

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the medicinal or therapeutic use of essential oil aromas. Aromatherapy comes in the form of inhalation or topical application. 


Before we delve into the key differences between inhalation and topical application, it is important to understand how aromatherapy works. The various scents emitted from essential oils stimulate the olfactory system (including your nose and brain); these scents move through the nasal passage and into the lungs and various parts of the body. When the scent molecules reach the brain, they primarily affect the limbic system. Your limbic system controls your emotions including stress and hormones and regulates your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. 

Diffusion

One way to reap the benefits of aromatherapy is by the use of a diffuser. A diffuser uses ultrasonic or evaporative technology to disperse essential oil infused vapor into the air. The aromatherapy benefits will vary depending on the essential oil or combination of essential oils diffused into the room. See our essential oil breakdown, below, for more information on the benefits of each popular essential oil.

Choosing the right aroma diffuser is important. Although less common, evaporative diffusion is the healthiest and cleanest way to diffuse essential oils. Evaporative diffusion is favored over ultrasonic as it requires no mist or water. This allows for the aroma to be diffused into the air without transmitting any oil, bacteria, or mold particles.

In addition to clean humidity, Canopy has a evaporation diffusion feature allowing you to diffuse essential oils with ease. Simply drop a few drops of your favorite essential oil on the diffuser puck, and enjoy the pure aromatherapy benefits. The oils will naturally evaporate into the air around you, providing the cleanest form of aromatherapy. Enjoy all of Canopy’s exclusive aroma kits to unwind, focus, and optimize your home space. 

Topical Application

Another way to revel in the benefits of essential oils is by topical application. When paired with a carrier oil of your choice, a few drops of essential oils can have a magnitude of benefits. Aromatherapy by topical application is a common tactic used by massage therapists; the calming scent of lavender essential oil can promote relaxation while the anti-inflammatory properties of eucalyptus essential oil can relax muscles and ease joint pain. 

What are the Health Benefits of Each Essential Oil?

With countless essential oils on the market,  how do you know what essential oil   will provide the desired benefits? Exploring essential oils for the first time can be overwhelming, so we’ll break this down for you. 


Here are the top ten essential oils and their key physical and mental health benefits. 

Bergamot

Bergamot essential oil is an oil in the citrus family. Bergamot is a popular essential oil used to reduce stress and increase positive sentiment. Diffuse a few drops of bergamot during the winter months to reduce depression, sadness, or grief.  

Chamomile

Ever drank chamomile tea before going to bed to help lull you into sleep? Chamomile is a powerful essential oil with relaxation properties. Chamomile can reduce nervous tension, depression, and anxiety and is safe to use on children when properly diluted. 

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is often used for its respiratory properties, improving cough and mitigating cold symptoms. Eucalyptus can also be used to reduce joint pain and improve muscle aches, which is why eucalyptus is commonly used in massage therapy.

Lavender

Lavender essential oil is probably one of the most commonly used aromas for calming and relaxation. Lavender oil promotes a restful sleep, especially when diffused in the evening. One of the lesser known qualities of lavender essential oil is the antiseptic properties; when used topically, lavender can help to heal minor burns, scrapes, sunburns, and bruises. 

Lemon

The fresh scent of lemon essential oil can turn a lackluster day right around. Lemon essential oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which make it the perfect essential oil for disinfecting a space. You will often see lemon essential oil used in home, DIY cleaners or in naturally-scented home cleaners. Lemon can also be used in conjunction with other essential oils to reduce dark spots on the skin; the use of lemon essential oil can increase photosensitivity if not protected with sufficient sunscreen.

Peppermint

While peppermint aromas can make you reminiscent of winter, particularly sitting by the fireplace while sipping a peppermint hot cocoa, peppermint has a variety of health benefits. Peppermint can produce a “zing” of energy and is often used to promote focus, memory, and alertness. In addition, peppermint can ease tension headaches and reduce muscle aches or muscle pain.

Sandalwood

Sandalwood is a rich ingredient used in many spiritual practices for grounding and balance. Sandalwood is thought to improve spiritual connection and is often used in chakra work.

Tea Tree

Tea tree essential oil is a common ingredient found in natural or clean beauty acne products. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties found in this essential oil make it the perfect mild acne treatment. Tea tree can also be used to treat insect stings.  

Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang is a particularly effective essential oil for emotional well-being. This oil is thought to stimulate feelings of confidence and self-assurance and reduce sentiments of anxiety and depression. What can’t Ylang Ylnang do?


Pro Tip: You can also find blends or diffuse multiple oils together at once to reap the ample benefits.  

Humidifier vs. Diffuser

Canopy Humidifier with Diffuser

If you are new to the world of diffusers and humidifiers, the terminology is probably enough to make your head spin right off your head. 

Some of the key words you will in your search also sound a lot like a Star Wars episode: “in a galaxy far, far away there was an ultrasonic, nebulizing, mistless ether of essential oils.”

Not to worry! We plan to sort out all of the nitty gritty details so you don’t have to. Here’s the gist: a humidifier and a diffuser, while similar, are not the same. An essential oil diffuser can slightly increase humidity, though the limited tank size prevents a diffuser from providing the full benefits of increased relative humidity. A humidifier, on the other hand, is generally not compatible with essential oils; adding essential oils to a non-compatible humidifier can actually damage your machine. 

Aroma Diffuser

What is a Humidifier? 

A humidifier is intended to increase moisture levels (otherwise known as “humidity”) in your home, office, or personal space by releasing water vapor into the air. 

The ideal humidity level in your home is between 40-60%, whether you live in the tropics of Costa Rica or an igloo in Greenland. 40-60% sounds like a reasonable number, right? Chances are your home is sitting around 15-20% depending on how frequently you use your air conditioner or heater among other factors. 

Increasing the relative humidity of your home or office space can lead to a number of health and wellness benefits, which are listed below. 

Types of Humidifiers

There are three primary categories of humidifiers: ultrasonic, evaporative, and steam based. While all humidifiers - regardless of your category selection - increase the moisture levels of surrounding spaces, there are differences in how this water vapor is released into the air. 

Ultrasonic Humidifier

The ultrasonic humidifier works by vibrating a metal diaphragm at sonic speed to create water droplets, which are then blown out with a fan in the form of cool mist. 

Evaporative

An evaporative humidifier sucks in air from the room and fans it through a moistened wick releasing hydrated air back into the room for increased humidity.

Steam Based Humidifier

Steam humidifiers release a warm mist into the room created by boiling water from the tank reservoir into a fine vapor. The warm vapor is fanned out into the room and can slightly elevate room temperatures. 

Canopy Aroma Diffuser

What is a Diffuser?

A diffuser is a device that disperses essential oils into the air in the form of a fine mist. The essential oils essentially pair with a water droplet, which is then fanned out into the room releasing the aromatic properties of the essential oil.  

The uses for diffusers are endless. At the basic level, diffusers can make a room smell absolutely delightful. Even better, you choose which essential oil or essential oil blend to add to your diffuser making the scent 100% customizable to your personal preferences.

Types of Diffusers

Similar to humidifiers, diffusers can be ultrasonic, evaporative, or heat-based and operate identically to their respective humidifier. The nebulizing diffuser, however, is the one type of diffuser that is not comparable to a humidifier. 

A nebulizing diffuser is the most potent style of diffuser operating without water. The nebulizing diffuser uses an atomizer to disperse the essential oil into fine particles, which are then released into the air. The essential oil droplet is not partnered with a water molecule, making it slightly stronger in aroma than the water-based diffuser styles. 

Essential Oil Aromas

The Similarities & Differences

A humidifier vs a diffuser, though seemingly very similar, have two very different specialties: a humidifier significantly increases the humidity levels of a room while a diffuser releases the benefits of essential oils into a space. 

Both a humidifier and all types of diffusers except for the nebulizing diffuser release moisture into the air through water droplets. This means that the ultrasonic, evaporative and heat-based diffusers can essentially humidify. However, diffusers generally have substantially smaller water tanks (100mL to 500mL maximum) than humidifiers. A diffuser can only humidify a very small space due to the smaller tank size, which makes a humidifier the better choice for the full health benefits of increased home humidity levels. 

Humidifiers, on the other hand, are not made to diffuse essential oils. In fact, adding essential oils to a non-compatible humidifier can damage your device, especially if you intend to use citrus essential oils. If you want to incorporate the benefits of essential oils to your humidifying experience, you need a humidifier that has diffusing capabilities. 

What are the Health Benefits?

Whether you choose a diffuser, a humidifier, or a hybrid device, the benefits are far reaching and certainly worth the investment. 

The Health Benefits of a Diffuser

While the ultrasonic, evaporative, and heat-based diffusers release humidity through water vapor, the humidity emitted from these devices is too minimal to have a large impact on your health. Diffuser benefits are primarily achieved through the essential oils released into the air. 

Lavender essential oil, for example, can improve sleep, reduce stress levels, soothe irritated and inflamed skin, and more. Eucalyptus essential oil can improve respiratory symptoms, relieve cough and congestion, help with allergy sufferers, and boost mental clarity. 

The benefits of diffusing essential oils largely depend on the essential oil you choose to diffuse and the volume of oil you add to your diffuser tank. 

The Health Benefits of a Humidifier

Humidifiers provide a myriad of benefits for your overall health and wellness, particularly during the dry, winter months. 

The increased relative humidity emitted from your humidifier device can: 

  • Improve congestion 
  • Reduce the severity of common cold symptoms
  • Reduce the severity of asthma flare ups
  • Delay the signs of skin aging including fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improve Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL), which causes dry, inflamed skin on your face and body
  • Alleviate allergy symptoms
  • Soothe dry, irritated eyes
  • Ease respiratory symptoms in babies
Health Benefits of Humidifiers


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