Now that we are in the cold winter months it’s no surprise that most of us find ourselves spending more time indoors. What better time to enhance our living space with the vibrant colors of house plants and the pure aromas of essential oils? Most of us use essential oils everyday without even thinking about it. Imagine using your shampoo, toothpaste, shaving cream, deodorant, lotions, incense and soap devoid of their flavorings and scents. Or, even worse, imagine if they were all made with the obnoxiously overpowering, and nauseating synthetic scents that are possibly detrimental to our health. No human-made fragrance can match the perfection achieved by nature’s intelligent design. So gather up those Glade plug-ins and fake perfumed candles and get them out of the house.

There are plenty of uses for essential oils, but this article will focus on the different methods of diffusion within our living space. Lamp rings, ceramic candle diffusers, plug-ins and nebulizers are the most popular forms for getting these potent oils into our indoor atmosphere. Using essential oils within your living space goes beyond just freshening the air. Therapeutic effects range from having mood enhancing effects to helping keep contagious germs at bay.

Lamp rings

The lamp rings are the simplest and least expensive way to bring these natural fragrances into your space. To use, just dispense several drops of oil directly into the groove in the ring and set it on the bare bulb of a nearby lamp. The heat from the bulb will cause the oil to evaporate into the air.

The plug-in diffuser

The plug-in diffuser works in the same way but is heated directly from an electrical outlet. This is a very popular method because it’s inexpensive and easy to use. Several drops of your favorite essential oil are applied to a diffuser pad which is then inserted into the device. Another advantage of this form is that you can easily change oils without having to clean anything. Replacement pads are available and last quite a while. Also available are plug-in diffusers that can be inserted into your car cigarette lighter. What a perfect gift for the person who spends any amount of time in their vehicle. You can finally do away with that toxic evergreen car freshener and replace it with real pine or cedar oil.

Ceramic bowl and tea candle

Another popular diffuser is the ceramic bowl and tea candle. This simple and pleasant method relies on the heat from a tea candle, which sits beneath a ceramic bowl filled with a little water. Just drop your preferred mixture of oils into the water and wait for the water to heat up. The candle method is aesthetically pleasing but takes a little longer to work.

Nebulizers

For the individual who is more serious about essential oils, a nebulizer is the way to go. Nebulizers consist of a hand-blown glass chamber that is connected to an air pump which disperses the oil into the air in a fine mist of micro-droplets. This form of cold air diffusion is considered to be a superior and more therapeutic method of dispersion. Nebulizers (available by special order) are more expensive but pay off in the long run by using costly essential oils more efficiently.

Choosing an essential oil

Once the preferred method of dispersion has been chosen the fun can begin. Choosing an essential oil is a very personal experience. What one person considers a divine aroma can be highly unappealing to the next. Fortunately that is why we have a tester for all of the oils that we carry. Listed below are a few oils that might help to brighten those grey winter months.

• Neroli: One of the oils I find very uplifting happens to be one of the most expensive as well. That’s probably because it takes about 1000 pounds of orange blossoms to make one pound of pure Neroli essential oil. This semi-precious oil defies descriptive words, but if you’ve ever been to Florida in the spring and cruised through the flowering orange orchards you might have already experienced this amazing fragrance. According to the Simplers hand guide, Neroli oil has been used traditionally for depression, anxiety, insomnia and is also considered to be an aphrodisiac.

• Lemongrass: Next is lemongrass, which is strong enough to be a prominent ingredient in most natural insect repellents. Lemongrass is also commonly used for its uplifting and energizing effects, not to mention its antibacterial and antiviral properties.

• Eucalyptus: Finally, no winter would be complete without the use of eucalyptus oil. Using eucalyptus oil in a diffuser can help kill viruses and microbes due to its strong antiviral effects. The Simplers handbook also mentions eucalyptus as a great remedy for bronchial infections, respiratory congestion and general immunity.

So, next time you find yourself in aisle six treat yourself to an aromatherapy tour and experience the wide spectrum of essential oils available. Don’t underestimate the effect that these potent plant essences can make to compliment and enhance the quality of your life. Wisconsin winters are long so why not invite some vibrant essential oils indoors to lively up your living space this season.