In Good Health: Diffusing Essential Oils

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As you will soon discover with the In Good Health series, I am a purist at heart. I gravitate towards natural health remedies, and tend to be skeptical of solutions that are chock-full of ingredients you can’t pronounce and promise overnight transformation.

With that said, essential oils have been something that I’ve incorporated into my daily life for the past 5+ years. You can do so many different things with them… the applications and benefits are (nearly) endless.

In my opinion, the easiest way to start incorporating oils into your daily life is to use a diffuser.

  • I currently have this diffuser in my bedroom, kitchen, and living room. You can fill it up and it will run for five hours. I turn it on every night before I get in bed and let it run as I fall asleep.
  • I prefer this smaller option for my desk at work. It plugs directly into a USB port and runs for four hours. I usually run it a few times per week, especially when I feel a headache coming on from staring at a computer screen, or if I have low energy and can’t focus.
  • This nebulizing diffuser is on my wishlist. Unlike the ones listed above that require you to dilute the oils with water, this one releases only pure essential oil into the air.


Once you have your diffuser, you can start your collection of oils. Before you start your shopping, there are a few things you should keep in mind…

  • Oils get old, so be cautious of over-purchasing when you’re just starting off.
  • Some brands sell organic options. If that’s important in your home, then look for organic when you’re shopping— especially for “the basics.” Note: Organic is going to be particularly significant if you are planning to ingest the oils or put them on your skin.
  • Some brands dilute oils. I prefer to buy 100% pure essential oil, so that’s always something I look for on the label. Again, this is more of a personal preference. Be cautious though because 100% pure essential oils are highly concentrated. If you are going to apply them to your body at all, you will need to combine them with a “carrier” oil. 
  • Visiting a health foods store or another shop that carries oils is always a good idea so you can smell scents before buying them. However, you can sometimes find better deals online.
  • Read the labels! They usually list health benefits and give you ideas of what other oils to blend them with.


There are hundreds of combinations of oils that you can create. My suggestion is to start with the basics and round off your collection as you discover what you like. I’m a big fan of Vitacost, especially for buying oils. However, I’m not always buying enough to qualify for free shipping. In those cases, I usually order my oils from Amazon. Here are some of my favorites with direct links to Amazon:

  • Lavender — try mixing with rosemary
  • Eucalyptus — try mixing with lemon
  • Peppermint — try mixing with tea tree
  • Lemon — try mixing with peppermint
  • Clary Sage — try mixing with bergamot & rosewood
  • Bergamot — try mixing with rosemary
  • Rosewood — try mixing with clary sage
  • Patchouli — try mixing with bergamot
  • Rosemary — try mixing with peppermint
  • Clove — try mixing with orange
  • Cedarwood — try mixing with tea tree

live better. a

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