The 5 'W's of Diffusing Continued

In November, I wrote about the first three 'W's, which included:

1. Who shares the air space? (specifically pets, babies, young children, and anyone with pre-existing health conditions) 
2 & 3. What oils are you choosing to diffuse? And why?

Now we move on to a safety recommendation most folks never consider -  the importance of using a timer. 

  1. When and for how long will you be diffusing?

ALWAYS use a timer when diffusing -- if your unit does not have one built in, use your cell phone or stove timer.  This can be challenging at nighttime – but you don’t want to be diffusing throughout the night.  Aim for 30-minute intervals of diffusing (or less) with a minimum of a 30-minute break.  Why, you may be asking yourself? One word — Sensitization

Sensitization refers to the potential long-term adverse effects of repeated exposure to an essential oil, especially in high doses (too many essential oil drops for many hours of diffusing per day).  Sensitization usually refers to topical use and is described as a type of allergic reaction, to a particular essential oil (and interestingly, also to other essential oils with similar chemical constituents, e.g., linalool). 

It is unclear if sensitization can occur through one’s olfactory system. So please take care to not over-diffuse.  Because, folks, once you develop sensitization, generally, it only gets worse.  Which means you may never be able to use a favourite essential oil without having a type of ‘allergic reaction’. And remember, inhaled essential oils can potentially trigger an inflammatory reaction in people with asthma, COPD or other respiratory illnesses. 

  1. Where will you be diffusing?

The where of diffusing dovetails with the ‘Who’ of diffusing above.  Will you be diffusing in your own personal space (e.g., home office or bedroom) or shared space (e.g., family room, shared bedroom)?   Many corporate workspaces are going scent free so check before bringing in your diffuser. 

Choose your essential oils accordingly. How large is the space? This will inform the size of unit you will want or possibly the need for multiple smaller units.  Multiple smaller units also address the issue of the varying needs of everyone in the household. 

Stay tuned for more safety recommendations.  Until then, wishing you happiness & healthfulness. 


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