Herbal essential oils are a great way to freshen up your home. Unlike commercial air fresheners, they don’t just mask odor with another smell but clear the air of unpleasant scents, while offering many health benefits at the same time. Essential oils are a gift from nature, specially created for adding the most soothing and grounding touch to your home. Besides smelling heavenly, they can affect your mood and lighten your spirits. Moreover, many essential oils have antibacterial and antiviral capabilities.
Aromatherapy has seen a remarkable increase in the number of studies validating its medicinal use and health benefits. Consistent practice of aromatherapy can treat many long-term and short-term health issues such as headaches, stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, or sleep disorders. But can it really be possible? How can a smell affect our mental health? Is there any scientific basis for it? Let’s dig deeper.
How Does The Fragrance Of Essential Oils Work?
The smell, as one of the most primitive of human senses, is directly linked to psychological responses. As we smell the aromatic compounds of essential oils, they travel to the top of the nose, coming in contact with olfactory nerves. These nerve cells have tiny hairs with each hair recognizing a specific aroma. This is called the ‘lock and key’ process. This process sends impulses to the limbic system, which is associated with emotions, memory, and motivation. Different smells trigger different physiological and emotional responses owing to this system.
Homemade Essential Oil Air Fresheners
While electric diffusers and humidifiers are great options to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy, they are expensive. Besides, not everyone likes the idea of running a diffuser 24/7. Even if you do not own, or do not want to run a diffuser, there are many ways to incorporate these aromatic oils in your home. Lets explore ways to use essential oils without a diffuser.
Reed diffusers are a simple and cost-efficient way to experience the power of essential oils. They do not require electricity, demand little maintenance, and are relatively easy to use. Unlike candles and incense sticks, there is no heat and smoke.
How to set-up a reed diffuser
A typical reed diffuser includes a container, 8-10 reed sticks, a carrier oil, and the essential oil of your choice.
Container: Choose a non-plastic container with a narrow opening. This makes sure the oil does not evaporate rather than diffusing through the sticks.
Reed sticks: Reed sticks are similar to bamboo skewers except that they are very porous. A good quality reed has 20 or more channels across its length. When partially immersed in oil, the oil works its way through these conduits naturally through capillary action. Reed sticks come in varying length and thicknesses. They work best when half immersed in oil. So, choose according to the length of your container. Generally, the length of the reed should be twice the length of the container.
Carrier oil: Choose light oils for this purpose. Thin and less viscous oils are ideal for this purpose as they have to transport the essential oils through those narrow conduits of reed sticks. Coconut and almond oils are excellent carrier oils.
Essential oil: Choose the essential oil based on your mood or preference. Their strength should be no more than 10-15%.
However, if you wish to change the essential oil, replace the reeds as well. While in use, flip the reeds twice a week for consistent freshening aroma.
Air Freshener Spray
This is the most simple way to use these little gifts from nature and add a nice and pleasant scent to your home. Some distilled water, a spray bottle, and your preferred essential oil are all you need to make this DIY room spray. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil in distilled water. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle. Shake well and spray around the room. This method is not as effective as reed diffusers in maintaining a consistent smell as the fragrance fades after a while.
Fairly simple, cotton balls are as easy to make as they sound. Drip a few drops of the essential oil on a plain cotton ball and put it in a corner. Make 4-5 of these white fluffy-aromatic pieces and place them around the room, especially in stinky spaces. Enjoy the scent.
Candles are fun. Making candles is a joy-filled exercise, especially with kids. Invite your kids and share the recipe. Melt beeswax in a double-boiler. Add essential oil, place the wick, and pour the liquid in a beautiful jar. Allow it to cool down. Your luxurious-smelling candle is ready to use.
Disinfectant cleaning agent
Mix white vinegar with water in a spray bottle, and add 10-12 drops of essential oil. Here is your cleaning spray, handy to apply. Tea tree oil is excellent for cleaning and disinfecting any space, except your kitchen. It’s toxic, and you do not want to use it anywhere near the food. For the kitchen, use orange or peppermint oil.
Best Smelling Essential Oils For Your Home
Extracted from one of the most revered herbs in Ayurveda, Jatamansi essential oil is profoundly relaxing and calming for the mind. It increases the levels of neurotransmitters responsible for relaxing the central nervous system. That’s not all. What sets apart this wondrous essential oil from the rest is its ability to reduce stress without making you sleepy. This makes it ideal for day-time use or if you have social anxiety.
Lavender is undoubtedly the most popular essential oil for aiding sleep. Several clinical investigations over the years have confirmed its relaxing effects on the mind and the body. It smells heavenly and acts as a natural anti-depressant. The best time to use lavender is during the night.
This is your next best choice if you like a sweet floral scent but do not want to use lavender. This antibacterial oil reduces stress, promotes sleep, and increases sexual desire.
The refreshing smell of lemon restores the homeostatic balance. As chronic stress can suppress our immunity system, citrus scents have the ability to strengthen immunity. A study found citrus smells even more effective than anti-depressants in stimulating the mind.
This strong earthy fragrance has a grounding and soothing effect on the mind and creates a serene atmosphere around your house.
Many people find the smell of peppermint refreshing. Research has shown its efficacy in stimulating the mind and improving cognitive function. Moreover, using this smell in your home will do away with the need for bug repellents. Mosquitoes, ants, ticks, and many other bugs simply hate this fragrance. They won’t visit you if your house is smelling like this oil from the mint family.
Who doesn’t like the smell of oranges? It has an energizing and stimulating effect on the mind. Use this uplifting smell to create a pleasant surrounding in your home. This essential oil cleans the air and acts as a natural disinfectant. It’s non-toxic and can be used to clean and sanitize the kitchen as well.
With so many health benefits and for the simple idea of experiencing a lovely scent, there are some very good reasons to try these homemade air fresheners. What’s more pleasant than relaxing in a beautifully scented home? Very few, I guess.