One of the most popular ways to use essential oils is by vaporisation. In other words, encouraging essential oils to evaporate into the air where they can be inhaled and the smell experienced throughout a room.

This is sometimes referred to as "burning" essential oils, and candle operated vaporisers are often referred to as "oil burners". But the truth is that the last thing we want to do is to burn the essential oil. That would destroy the oil and, as anyone who has let an "oil burner" run dry will know, gives off a terrible smell.

So how do you safely vaporise essential oil?

The most common method is a candle vaporiser which is basically a small bowl suspended above a tea light candle. The bowl is filled with water and a few drops of essential oil added. The lit candle heats the water and causes the essential oil to evaporate. To use one of these safely, choose one with a generously sized bowl. This will ensure that the heat of the candle is well diffused, and will mean that the bowl will not need to be topped up too often. Also ensure that the candle is not too close to the bowl as this can overheat the water. Always add water first, then the essential oil, so that the oil can float on the surface. Never leave the vaporiser unattended and keep it out of reach of children and pets. Also take care if using near any flammable substances, e.g. do not use in an office where there is paper.

Another simple way to vaporise essential oils is to use a bowl of water. Simply fill a bowl with recently boiled, hot water and float a few drops of essential oil on the surface. Do not use a plastic bowl, as some essential oils can react with plastic and damage it. Better to use a glass or ceramic bowl which can stand heat. This is also a good method to use for congestion, as breathing in the aromatic steam can help to open up the airways. Do not however use this method for asthmatics as it can make the condition worse. Again take care using this method near children and do not leave the bowl unattended.

A simple room spray can be created by mixing a few drops of essential oil in a small amount of alcohol (Vodka is ideal as it has no strong smell) in a spray bottle. Then top up with water or a hydrosol, shake well and spray. Take care spraying over varnished, polished or plastic surfaces as essential oils can sometimes damage these.

One of the easiest ways to vaporise oils is with an electric vaporiser. Although there are a few on the market which use water and have deep bowls, the better ones do not use water. The advantage to these is that they only heat enough to vaporise the oils, but do not get hot enough to burn. Consequently they are by far the safest vaporisers to use, especially if you have pets or children. They are also more appropriate for offices, other workplaces and anywhere where a naked flame would be considered too dangerous. These are the ones that Essence of Wellbeing recommends. There is no flame, no water to spill and the heat used is mild. They should still be kept out of reach of children so that they do not touch the undiluted essential oil.Vaporisers are now even available for your car! A great alternative to synthetic car air fresheners.

So there you are - 5 different but effective ways to vaporise your essential oil and create a wonderful and unique atmosphere. Now all you have to do is choose your essential oils!

Author's Bio: 

Wendy Mackay is a qualified Aromatherapist and member of the International Aromatherapy and Aromatic Medicine Association (IAAMA). Wendy and her husband David run Essence of Wellbeing a successful Aromatherapy & Massage Supply and Pure Natural Skin Care business, based in Mornington, Victoria, Australia. Mornington is located on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula about one hour SE of Melbourne.

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