A vaporizer is a device used to heat material to a temperature which releases its volatile ingredients as a vapor into the air. The advantage of vaporizing over combustion is that no smoke is produced, and the vapor generated should not contain as many toxic particles such as tar, naftalene, toluene, benzene. These byproducts may be harmful and irritating to the throat, mouth and lungs. Burning herbs has also been proven to destroy a number of active compounds, making flame combustion and incensing far less effective than vaporizing. A vaporizer may be used to release active components of medicinal herbs and organic substances into an enclosed room. Vapor has been reported to work faster, more efficiently, and is much cleaner than burning or incensing. In theory this makes the vapor much healthier than smoke released by flame combustion or smouldering.
Most aromas of trees and plants which we perceive as pleasant, are produced by volatile oils in the plant's tissue. The smell of Eucalypt when walking through the bush, or the smell of culinary herbs is a result of these oils. Not only are they pleasing our olfactory sensors, they may have desirable effects on our health and well being. Lavender for example may have a calming effect, and is thought to enhance sleep. Essential oils of jasmine, lemon balm, rose, eucalyptus, rosemary, chamomile, sage and thyme have a long history as ingredients in perfumes and deodorizers. They are also believed to have positive effects on the mind and body.