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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.  

When Should You Change Your Humidifier Filter?

When Should You Change Your Humidifier Filter?

Maybe it dawned on you one night while binging Netflix that you have yet to replace the filter on your humidifier… Or maybe you plan to purchase a humidifier and want to know the total cost of maintenance over time. 

To function properly and effectively, a humidifier needs a regularly scheduled filter replacement. Replacing the filter on your humidifier is only required every 1 to 3 months, depending on how frequently you use your humidifier and what type of water you use in the water tank. 

How Often Should You Change Your Humidifier Filter?

While most humidifier filters contain a unique coat that slows the production of mold, these filters are not mold proof. Unless your humidifier has a reusable, clean-it-yourself filter, you will need to replace your device filter on a regular basis. 

How frequently you need to replace your humidifier filter is determined by how often you run your device and whether you use tap water or distilled water in the water tank. 

How Often Do You Use Your Humidifier?

If you use your humidifier 1-2 times per week, you will need to replace your filter once every three months. If, on the other hand, you use your humidifier daily, you will need to replace your filter once every six weeks. 

What Type of Water Do You Use?

Another factor that determines how frequently you should replace your humidifier filter is the type of water that you use in your device. 

If you use distilled water or filtered water in your device, you can follow the timeline for filter replacement outlined in the last section. If you use tap water, especially if you live in an area with hard water, you will need to replace your filter once every month. 

Tap water contains micro-fine minerals that can build up in your humidifier. When these minerals are dispersed into the air you will see a thin layer of mineral deposits known as “white dust” either on or near your device. Most humidifiers require distilled or filtered water to avoid the development of white dust, which is potentially harmful to allergy and asthma sufferers when inhaled.

If you are unsure whether the water from your tap is highly concentrated with minerals, there are several tap water testing kits available online. Tap Score is a New York Times approved tap water tester kit that gives a full mineral and toxicology panel on your water. 

How to Replace a Canopy Filter

Our Canopy humidifier features a disposable, anti-microbial paper filter that catches bacteria, metals, and other particles that can be found in your tap water. Canopy filters are more effective than synthetic filters in both their wicking and evaporating capabilities. 

Replacing your Canopy filter and cleaning your humidifier is simple! No need to set an appointment in Google calendars or ask Siri to set a reminder… When your Canopy filter is ready to be replaced, the filter light will illuminate reminding you to order a replacement. 

If you like to streamline your task list, our filter subscription option is for you. Simply select “Canopy with Filter Subscription” at check-out for $25 off your purchase and an automatic shipment of a new filter every 45 days. It really doesn’t get any easier than that!

The Benefits of a Humidifier in the Winter Months

The Benefits of a Humidifier in the Winter Months

Winter bites. The cold, dry winter air can feel like it is actually biting your nose, cracking your skin, and generally making life harder than it should be. 

While you can’t change the weather, you can control your home environment and make living conditions more comfortable. Using a humidifier in your home during the winter months brings a bevy of benefits that may have you saying “hey! I wouldn’t mind a few more months of winter.” 

Who would have thought?

What are the Benefits of a Humidifier in the Winter Months?

Placing a humidifier in the most commonly used rooms of your home during the winter months can help to improve dry throat and cough, reduce static electricity, rehydrate dry or flaky skin, and kill common winter viruses. 

Let’s get into the details. 

Benefit #1: improve dry throat and cough from dry, winter air.

Ever wondered why you experience a dry throat or chronic cough during the winter months? The cold air that accompanies winter reduces the moisture content in the nasal passage and throat, leading to congestion, a dry or itchy throat, or an uncomfortable cough.  

Increasing the relative humidity (RH) levels in your home can help to lubricate your nasal passage and throat, helping to reduce inflammation and improve your breathing. 

Benefit #2: reduce static electricity build-up.

The dry, cold air of the winter months increases the build-up of static electricity. Why is this the case? Dry air binds electrons to surfaces with a strong force. Over time, electrons build-up until they reach a critical maximum, in which case they discharge. This discharge causes a shock upon contact that is, for lack of better words: super annoying. 

Increasing the moisture level of the air in your home helps to reduce the strength of the bond between electrons and the surfaces on which they build. The result is an almost unnoticeable discharge meaning no shocks and less static electricity.

Benefit #3: rehydrate dry or flaky winter skin. 

Dry, cold air causes an acceleration of water loss from the skin into the atmosphere. When your skin loses water more rapidly than it can be replaced by natural moisturizers (sweat and sebum), you will experience dry skin. When you experience dry skin for an extended period of time, this can lead to cracking, bleeding, or trigger a flareup of common skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema. 

Humidifiers are exceptionally effective for dry, flaky skin during the winter months and can help you to maintain healthy, hydrated skin all year long. 

Benefit #4: kill common viruses prominent in the winter months.

Air with less than 40% RH can increase your chances of viral infection by interfering with the body’s immune function, increasing the amount of time a virus can “float” in the air, and increasing the survival rate of the virus in your home. 

Regular use of a humidifier to maintain optimal humidity levels can help to reduce the survival rate of viruses in your home and decrease the chances of illness during the winter months. 

Which is the Best Humidifier During Winter?

Choosing the best humidifier during winter months is crucial to keep you and your family comfortable despite the cold, dry weather. 

You should consider output, tank size, and maintenance requirements when choosing the best humidifier for your home. 

Sufficient Output 

One of the most important features when choosing a humidifier for your home during the winter months is output. A larger-sized room requires a humidifier with more output than a smaller-sized room. 

Let’s say that you plan to place your humidifier in your bedroom since this is the room in which you spend the most time. If your room is 400 square feet, then you need a humidifier with at least a 400 square foot output to sufficiently raise RH levels in your bedroom. For reference, Canopy humidifiers have a 500 square foot output, which will effectively humidify an average-sized room.

Larger Tank = Longer Run Time

When choosing the best humidifier for a healthy winter season, you need a device with a moderate to large-sized tank. The larger the water tank, the longer your humidifier can run, uninterrupted. Bonus: the longer the run time, the less often you have to refill the water tank. Win, win.

Make sure to check the tank size and run time before making your purchase. For example, our Canopy humidifier has a 2.5 liter tank with up to 36 hours of run time. This equates to almost 5 nights with no tank refill at an average of 8 hours of sleep per night.  

Low Maintenance

During the dry, winter months, you are likely to run your humidifier more often than during the summer months. More frequent usage means more frequent maintenance for most humidifiers, including daily wipe-down, weekly deep cleaning, and scheduled filter replacement. 

You want to invest in a high quality, low maintenance humidifier for your winter needs. The less arduous the cleaning process, the more likely you are to avoid cleaning fatigue. Our Canopy humidifier is as low maintenance as it gets. Our proprietary SPA (Smart Persistent Airflow) technology prevents mold from growing inside the unit. All Canopy humidifier parts that touch water (apart from the paper filter) are dishwasher safe, reducing manual cleaning time. We also offer a filter subscription service, which delivers a new filter to your home every 45 days - no Google Calendar reminders necessary.

Additional Benefits of Using a Humidifier

Regular use of a humidifier during the winter months is guaranteed to increase your overall health and comfortability despite environmental conditions. 

You now know that humidifiers will improve dry, itchy throat and cough, reduce static electricity in your home, hydrate dry or flaky skin on your face and body, and reduce the spread of common winter viruses. But, did you know that there are even more benefits unrelated to regular humidifier use during the winter months? 

Maintaining RH (relative humidity) levels between 40% and 60% throughout the year can improve skin conditions and common breathing problems in babies and children, and can improve the overall health and vibrancy of your house plants. 

For Babies and Children…

Babies and young children can hugely benefit from a humidifier in their nursery. Humidifiers can help to relieve cold symptoms, ease uncomfortable congestion, and improve dry, sensitive skin in babies and young children. 

It is important to note that the AAP recommends the use of a cool mist humidifier in your child’s nursery as opposed to a vaporizer or steam-based humidifier. Vaporizers are considered a burn hazard, and should not be placed within the reach of a child or a pet for safety.

For Houseplants…

Controlled humidity levels in your home will help your plants thrive. 

If you frequently question why you can’t manage to keep houseplants alive, it may not have anything to do with you, per say. Many houseplants including ferns, orchids, fiddle leaf, and more, require higher levels of humidity to thrive. Placing your plants near or in the same room as your humidifier will help to provide them with the perfect amount of moisture for a long, healthy life.

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