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Using an Oil Burner

Using essential oils in a burner is probably the most common way that people use aromatherapy. It gives any room a pleasant atmosphere and is a gentle way of imparting the oil and obtaining the desired benefits. Aromatic oils can also be used in an oil burner, and while they will give a room a nice fragrance, they do not have any therapeutic benefit.

When using an oil burner, make sure you fill the bowl with water first, then add the desired oils. As long as the water is not allowed to boil out completely, you can add additional water, without having to add more oils, for about 4-5 hours. The oil enters the air as steam, so adding warm (not boiling) water will initially will get the steam moving more quickly.

There are a myriad of burners available and selecting the right one is really a matter of choice. The smaller the bowl, however, the more often you will have to add water, to ensure that it doesn't burn. (About every 1/2 hour for small burners). On the positive side, smaller burners heat more quickly, and so you will benefit from the scent sooner. Larger bowls allow more water to be added and do not have to be checked as often.

Cautions to be observed with using oil burners are the same as with all open flames:

  • never leave a room unattended with a burning candle
  • make sure the burner is not allowed to "boil dry"
  • place in a safe place, away from children and areas where they may be knocked over

Article by Staff of ACS Distance Education

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