Humans have used essential oils for thousands of years to prevent and treat illnesses (1). Some even claim that "Thieves' Oil" prevented a group of people from developing the Black Plague in the 1330s.
Essential oils come from the roots, stems, leaves, flowers, bark, or other parts of a plant. They are highly concentrated and natural. Aromatherapy diffuses these oils into the air so people can enjoy their benefits.
Today, the use of essential oils has grown significantly, as more people discover the psychological benefits that range from stress reduction to improved sleep (2)(3). Aromatherapists claim that inhaled fragrances act medicinally within the body, just as an oral medication would.
In this article, we answer common questions that you may have about how to get benefit from essential oils while using your CPAP machine.
Aromatherapy is a holistic remedial treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. It's also called essential oil therapy. In the broad term, it's called plant-based therapy.
Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils to improve both physical and emotional health. It works through the sense of smell and skin absorption using products (4) such as these:
There are almost one hundred types of essential oils available. But, according to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), the most popular essential oils are:
In CPAP aromatherapy, essential oils are used alongside your CPAP therapy. CPAP aromatherapy kit is used for this purpose. This kit uses oil on diffuser pads to fill the air around the CPAP equipment with the fragrance.
It can create a more pleasant and relaxing experience. It can also help new CPAP users get used to their machines faster using cognitive distraction.
Aromatherapy has many potential health benefits, including:
Below are some benefits that are backed by scientific research;
Directly putting essential oils in your CPAP machine is not safe. It can worsen your sleep apnea. It's not safe at all, even if you're putting them in the device itself, in the hose, in the CPAP humidifier, or on the mask.
A CPAP machine treats your sleep apnea by delivering a considerable amount of air pressure to open the airway. The device propels air into your airway to keep your breathing steady while you sleep. But if you directly put the essential oils in the CPAP machine, it could propel droplets of the oil deep into your lungs.
According to Dr. Randy Horwitz, the medical director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, even a small amount of essential oils used in the CPAP machine can cause lung irritation.
Generally, you use the CPAP machine for around six to nine hours per night. This period of exposure to the essential oils is longer and more direct than when used with a typical diffuser.
Putting essential oils directly can risks damage to the machine itself. Only distilled water is allowed in the CPAP humidifier. Anything else could damage it.
You cannot use essential oils directly in the CPAP humidifier, hoses, or water. But you can enjoy the fragrance and other benefits of essential oils while using your CPAP with the right product.
Instead of placing oils directly in your machine, you can put oil on diffuser pads to fill the air around the CPAP equipment with the fragrance.
These diffuser pads sit in a tray near the air intake on your CPAP machine. As the machine draws in the air, it also brings in the aroma, without any of the oil entering the machine.
These diffuser pads (CPAP Aromatherapy Kit) provide a safe, effective option that will not put your health at risk or risk damage to your machine.