I was recently asked if the heat from a candle powered oil burner would destroy the therapeutic benefits of an essential oil.
it is my understanding and experience that low temperature warming of essential oils helps to release the volatile components of an oil into the air.
Changes in the therapeutic benefits of essential oils come when too high a temperature is used.
So how do we avoid this?
Low Temperature Oil Burners:
For this reason if you are using a candle powered oil burner I always recommend that you ensure that there is at least 8 to 10 cm air space from the unlit candle to the base of the oil /water bowl.
Any closer and the water may overheat and release the volatile components of the essential oils (the scents) into the air at a faster rate than is optimal.
We don’t want to see the water in an oil burner bowl boiling away!
The therapeutic values of the oils will be maintained – an oil can only be released and smelt when the correct temperature allows it to evaporate from the body of oil and travel to the nose through the air.
Electric Oil burners
Any reputable electric oil burner will be set at the correct temperature to give the optimal scent throw whilst maintaining the therapeutic values of the oils being diffused.
What does too high a temperature do the oils?
High heat will certainly evaporate the oils much faster than is needed and may, if too high, burn the oils thereby changing its essential therapeutic benefits.
Low Temperature Warming Is The Natural Way of Releasing Volatile Oils
Remember, low temperature warming is nature’s way of delivering essential oils to us.. it is how nature helps to release the scents and their benefits of its plants through the warmth of the sun!
Ultrasonic Diffusers vs Low Temperature Oil Burners
Ultrasonic diffusers work on the principle of agitating water until it makes a vapour which is released into the air carrying with it small particles of the essential oil with it. These reach our nose and are inhaled and the oil is smelt.
Remember the makers and distributors of ultrasonic diffusers, which use a non-warming method to vaporise and diffuse oils, tend to say that warming oil burners are inferior to their product. (You see they want to sell their product and have to differentiate it from their competitors)
From my extensive study and experience in this field I have not found a single negative scientific paper or review to prove this to be the case.
An oil will release into the air when its evaporation point (the correct temperature) is reached or it is thrown into the air on the back of a water molecule!
I hope this helps explain my view and understanding of the subject.
Of course if you have any questions about this or anything aromatherapy, please do contact me …I’d love to hear from you.