You may diffuse essential oils in your home or dab them on your body, but have you tried vaping them (yes, we mean the way one would vape tobacco or marijuana)? Good for more than a pleasant aroma or mood boost, essential oils have been used therapeutically by Ayurveda for thousands of years. And now MONQ Therapeutic Air is making it more convenient. They've taken all of the guesswork out of picking and combining essential oils. No more Googling, "What essential oil do I take for ____?" Instead, you simply select the vape pen with the mood or feeling that you aspire to embody, take a few quick puffs, and you're good to go. With seven different mood-inspired and three different nature-inspired blends, it appears there's a little something for everyone.
See also QUIZ: Find Your Ideal Essential Oil
I've seen these grow in popularity over the last year and knew I had to try them. I used the recommendations of Eric Fishman, M.D., founder and CEO of MONQ, to plan my test. And MONQ set me up with four of their personal essential oil diffusers that would complement my ever-hectic student/yogi/writer lifestyle: Active, Zen, Vibrant, and Healthy. Here's how I planned to test each:
Ingredients: Bitter orange, black pepper, sage, anise, frankincense, and more
Of course, I couldn't do this test without trying one of these during a flow! As an incredibly busy college student, I am often exhausted and uninspired by the time I get to my mat at the end of the day. I decided I'd take a deep breath of the Active MONQ before starting my practice and another halfway through. Black pepper promotes healthy circulation and is known to be detoxifying, while the vitamin C found in bitter orange supports collagen growth, maintains the production of healthy tissue and improved immunity.
Ingredients: frankincense, sweet orange, ylang-ylang, black pepper, and more
This one was made for meditation. It has the vitamin C and black pepper, too, but also features soothing and calming frankincense and ylang-ylang—basically a one-way ticket to nama-staying calm. I've never been great with meditating, but I figured that this was the universe's way of challenging me to start getting better. I decided that I would try meditating for five minutes a day (hey, you've got to start somewhere!) and use my Zen MONQ before and after.
Ingredients: ginger, lemon, spearmint, basil, bergamot, and more
I had to think a little more about how I'd integrate this device. Full of invigorating ingredients to excite and inspire the mind like ginger and spearmint, I decided that this guy would be best suited for that afternoon lull that I hit, mid-day, when my to-do list is only a portion of the way done.
Ingredients: cinnamon leaf, marjoram, turmeric, basil, and more
Dr. Fishman stated that whenever he feels a sore throat coming on, he grabs his Healthy MONQ and lets those natural remedies work their magic. Spices like cinnamon and basil are invigorating and stimulating, while turmeric has long been revered in Ayurveda for its anti-inflammatory qualities. Not to mention turmeric can actually clear excess fat from the digestive tract and boost the body’s immune system, naturally. Funnily enough, I started feeling a little drained around the time that I started testing these out, so I started using this once in the morning and once in the afternoon. I was doing a lot of traveling and working this summer, so I was really excited to get this one into my system.
See also Q+A: How Can Turmeric Help Me Heal?
How to Use an Essential Oil Vape Pen
Basically, you just breathe. It's really just as simple as that. I inhale from the pen (like sucking through a straw) until the light at the bottom starts to flash, I hold onto that breath for a few seconds, and then I exhale from my nose. That's it. Do that 2–3 times per usage, 2–3 times per day/activity.
YJ Tried It
I have to say that I definitely feel like these made a difference in my life. It's always hard to pinpoint exactly what caused a change—could've been the pens, could've perhaps just been a placebo effect, or could've been my mindset. What I do know is that I did not get sick when I thought I was going to, I had a very successful few weeks of good flows, and I managed to enjoy a few breaths of quiet "me time" throughout each day.
Let me just say right off the bat that these things are incredibly cool. They smell absolutely amazing. The design is sleek and cute. And they're discreet enough to fit in to the hidden pocket of my yoga pants. They even have little necklaces that hold the pen to your body—perfect for the user on the go! The blends are handcrafted with high-quality ingredients. So there's no mess from mixing or using drops of oils yourself. Not to mention, there's something really wonderful about forcing yourself to take a few deep breaths, pause, and listen to your senses.
I really only have one complaint: these little guys can be a little pricey. Again, as a young woman living on a student budget, you have to keep in mind that these pens can really add up. If you wanted to get your hands on all 10 of them using their most cost-efficient bundle, you'll be spending about $169 before tax. That's a lot to spend, considering that you can get a bottle of an essential oil for anywhere between $5–$20, and that bottle can last you a year or more, depending on usage. (For reference, MONQ claims each pen can be used for 3–4 weeks.)
Now I will also say, there were a few times where I felt a little weird about using these. I currently live in Boulder, Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal and seeing people using all kinds of devices is not something that really raises eyebrows. However, I still wouldn't feel comfortable using this in a public yoga class, in my car, or inside a store. But maybe that's just me!
These definitely get my stamp of approval. If you're interested in trying them for yourself, check out their website at MONQ.com.
See also Align Your Mood with Essential Oils