Are Essential Oils Safe to Breathe?

As you could imagine, whether essential oils should be breathed is a common question in regards to Füm. Since Füm's growth has started to spread wider through the essential oil community many have shared their varying opinions on the subject. We're here to help provide truths with evidence for you to make the correct decision based on fact over bias. 

Summary:

Essential oils are somewhat improperly named. Essential oils are actually a volatile substances, which in simpler words means they evaporate easily in the air. This means our bodies can absorb the beneficial nutrients of the essential plant and that when exhaling anything the body doesn’t need is released. This is very different from an insoluble oil that can sticks to our lungs like vape juice.

Regardless, when using FUM we recommend just breathing in through your mouth and out through your nose, without inhaling directly into your lungs. Your olfactory system found in our mouth and nasalize cavity are perfectly capable of soaking up all the beneficial nutrients from in Essential Oils. It's very important that you only use quality "pure" essential oils and always follow the recommendations on the bottle. 

As a general rule of thumb “pure" essential oils diffuse long before they reach the lungs when Füming.

 

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the fragrant components of plants. Through distillation by water and steam or cold pressing, essential oils are extracted from a plant’s leaves, roots, bark, and other aromatic components (Health line, NCBI). The chemical composition of each essential oil and its unique aroma are dependent on the plant that it originated from (soap guild, Healthline). Essential oils are a concentrated extract of a plant with unique compositions and aromas. 

Every essential oil has specific benefits to the human body, naturally supporting body functions, such as immunity, cognitive processing, and emotional health. The aromatic benefits of essential oils are easily accessible by inhalation through their quick evaporation. Essential oils are a pure extract of plants that can be used to support the natural systems in the human body through inhalation. 

Contrary to what their name suggests, essential oils aren’t actually all that similar to many other things we think of as ‘oils’ such as cooking oil or motor oil. Essential oils are fragrant components of plants extracted from a plant’s leaves, roots, bark, and other aromatic components. Every essential oil has specific benefits to the human body, naturally supporting body functions, such as immunity, cognitive processing, and emotional health. The aromatic benefits of essential oils are easily accessible by inhalation through their quick evaporation. 

Essential oils commonly get compared to fatty oils such as olive because they share the same hydrophobic reaction to water that oils do, but the similarities end there. A simple experiment with a drop of essential oil and an equivalent drop of regular cooking oil will reveal the great differences. 

Fatty oils (cooking oils) are extracted from the fatty portions of a plant, such as seeds, nuts, or kernels, to create an oil composed of fatty acids. Essential oils are distilled from leaves, roots, bark and other aromatic portions of plants. Fatty oils are very soluble, whereas essential oils are very volatile(easily evaporated at normal temperatures.). This means that essential oils easily evaporate into the air, while fatty oils are closer to being solid and do not evaporate. 

Comparing the difference between fatty oils and essential oils will also reveal the purity of essential oils. This can be evaluated by placing a drop of essential oil and a drop of cooking oil onto a clean sheet of paper at the same time. The cooking oil will absorb into the paper and will take a very long time to evaporate, if it ever does, leaving a sticky oily residue. The essential oil will quickly evaporate, leaving no oily trace on the paper, and give off its aromatic benefits into the air. A pure, high-quality essential oil will not leave an oily residue.

 

What is the Olfactory System:

The olfactory system is responsible for our sense of smell. It is our body’s ability to detect and identify molecules in the air. When air is inhaled, signals are sent to the brain to be interrupted. Smell influences taste, mood, emotions, and many other systems in our body as the molecules in the air are absorbed and identified. 

There are many components to the olfactory system. Air is inhaled through the mouth and nose, then the molecules are dissolved in the mucus of their epithelial lining. The epithelial lining works to absorb beneficial molecules, such as vitamins and nutrients, while also defending against bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microbes (https://www.thoughtco.com/animal-anatomy-epithelial-tissue-373206). 

Chemical receptors on the epithelial lining receive the fragrance’s molecules and send signals to the brain. These signals are connected to the brain’s processing of emotions, memory formation, and survival instincts (ThoughtCo). 

 

Prior benefits of living naturally breathing in these natural plants everywhere:

The human body thrives in an environment with fresh, pure air. Healthy air is essential to maintaining optimal health. 

Prior to industrialization there were fewer air pollutants than our current world. Without the use of fuels in agriculture, manufacturing and transportation, previous cultures were not exposed to the same density of air pollution as individuals are today (our world in data). In addition to fewer pollutants, agricultural-based societies exposed people to more health-enhancing plants on a continual basis. 

Just picture it this way, the average person 100 years ago lived on a farm, working all day in an environment surrounded by plants. The average person in today’s society lives and works in an urban setting, surrounded by concrete and fuel emissions. With the majority of the world’s current population living in urban settings, the ratio of plants to humans in the areas where we spend the majority of our time is greatly reduced than from previous cultures (CNBC).  

Plants work to purify the air by releasing healthy beneficial molecules and breaking down harmful molecules in the air through their natural bacteria and virus-fighting properties. The aromatic properties of plants enhance our bodies’ ability to function. Breathing fresh and unpolluted air is a vital part of supporting our bodies to be healthy and whole!

 

Our highly polluted air:

Air is continually becoming more polluted and harmful to our bodies. With the development of modern technology, air pollution has speedily increased in its severity and need to be acknowledged worldwide (our world in data). Air pollution has many different sources, including; vehicle exhaust, heat and power generation, industrial manufacturing, burning of municipal and agricultural waste, residential heating and cooking with polluting fuels (WHO, https://www.who.int/airpollution/ambient/pollutants/en/). 

These pollutants are made more serious in nature in areas with reduced airflow and more people. For this reason, people living in areas with many pollutants and many people, such as cities, are at a higher risk of having serious health concerns as a result of air pollutants. People who spend an increased amount of time in confined spaces with limited airflow also have a greater risk of experiencing the effects of air pollution. An individual’s reaction to air pollution highly depends on the type and amount of pollutants they are exposed to, their overall health, and their age. Many factors contribute to an environment’s air quality and the way that individuals react to it. 

Polluted air depletes our bodies’ ability to fight illness and maintain healthy functioning.  In both children and adults, exposure to air pollution is seen to lead to reduced lung function, respiratory infections and asthma (WHO, ambient). With many harmful particles entering our body with the air we breathe, the body becomes weaker in its ability to stay healthy.

Millions of premature deaths globally are linked to air pollution (WHO, ambient). Air pollution contributes to heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections (WHO, ambient). 

On top of the increase in air pollution and the number of pollutants we are continually exposed to, humans have fewer plants in their close proximity than in historic societies. The primary, natural aid we have to fight against pollutants is not readily in our environments. 

 

How FUM works in conjunction with the Olfactory system:

FUM works to bring the healthy, supportive benefits of plants to an individual with the air they breathe. Plants purify the air and enhance the human bodies’ ability to fight illness.  Breathing through a FUM with high-quality essential oils gives the individual the natural benefits of plants in a single breath. 

As the air passes through the FUM, the aromatic molecules of the essential oil are carried into the mouth, then through the nose as you exhale. This delivers the beneficial molecules of the plants to the epithelial linings of the mouth and nose (thoughtCo). The signals of these fragrances are sent to the brain, bringing benefits like mental clarity, relaxation, stabilized mood and calmed emotions. The beneficial chemical compounds of these plants and therefore their corresponding essential oils can have positive systemic effects throughout the body. Immunity, respiratory performance, blood circulation, heart health, hormonal balance, organ function, and many other areas of the body benefit from plants (Medical news today). FUM delivers these benefits to your body in a breath through essential oils.

 

Summary:

It's common knowledge that oils shouldn't be inhaled. When inhaling fatty oils particles of the soluble oil can get left behind leaving waste in your lungs that with time build up. This alone sounds pretty damning but the truth is essential oils aren't common fatty oil. 

Essential oils are somewhat improperly named. Essential oils are actually volatile which in simpler words means they evaporate easily in the air. This creates a simple and effective way for our body to absorbs the beneficial nutrients of the essential plant and exhales anything the body doesn’t need, unlike a soluble oil that can sticks to our lungs like vape juice.

Regardless we recommend just breathing in through your mouth and out through your nose, without inhaling directly into your lungs. Your olfactory system found in our mouth and nasalize cavity are perfectly capable of soaking up all the beneficial nutrients from in Essential Oils. It's very important that you only use quality "pure" essential oils and always follow the recommendations on the bottle. 

As a general rule of thumb “pure" essential oils diffuse long before they reach the lungs when Füming.

fum

6 comments

Hi Jordan,

The FUM is specifically designed for the convenience of FUMing however much you like throughout the day.

FUM July 09, 2020

Hi Heidi,

You can use your own oils on our blank cores. We recommend only using high quality, pure, 100% therapeutic essential oils verified for aroma-therapy.

FUM July 09, 2020

I’m curious about how often you’re supposed to use this product and how many inhales you need to do?

Jordan July 09, 2020

May I use my own essentials oils?

Heidi July 09, 2020

@Heather, Always check your EO to make sure you know what is in them. The higher the quality the better chances you have of it being pure 100% therapeutic essential grade oils.

Füm May 29, 2020

I just got my fum and I use young living essential oils. I use vetiver for anxiety mixed with a carrier oil and rub on my chest. It’s not the vitality blend. Is that ok to use in the fum or does it have to be the vitality only?

Heather May 29, 2020

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