Unless you’ve been hanging out in a hammock high above the treetops the past year, you’ll recognize MONQ immediately from social media: smiling, radiant 20-somethings lifting what looks like tiny pastel straw-like devices to their lips, with a jewel encased in glass on the other end that lights up as they appear to inhale from it — or rather, MONQhale, but more on that in a bit. If you’re scratching your head, allow me to elaborate.
They haven’t soared in popularity because of their sleek, trendy look. They’ve pioneered a new way to experience aromatherapy with their personal essential oil diffusers. As with any new wellness product, the initial curiosity, followed by the tidal wave of questions is inevitable: Is it safe? What are the ingredients? How much does it cost? And, does it really work?
I had these same questions when MONQ sent us their product for a review, which I’ve answered and given a demonstration for how to use the diffuser properly in the video we created for them below. Also, just a heads up: MONQ did partner with us for the video review, but I want to be transparent that this article contains alllll my own options, and is meant to give my honest feedback about my experience with it.
Yoga Lifestyles wouldn’t publish material on brands or products it doesn’t believe in, so I’m delighted to say MONQ made the cut. So let’s get into it.
At a Glance, What Is MONQ?
MONQ is a personal essential oil diffuser made of 80 percent vegetable glycerin and 20 percent high-quality essential oils from reputable distributers blended in-house by scientists and aromatherapy experts. It goes by many things: Paleo Air®, Therapeutic Air®, aromatherapy device, personal diffuser. But what it does not go by is e-cigarette or vape. Why? Let’s address the elephant in the room: it could easily be confused with a smoking device. Here’s where it differs: smoking requires burning of a substance. MONQ simply heats up a cotton wick with a lithium battery. What you see when you exhale isn’t smoke: it’s vapor.
So, Is MONQ Safe?
From an ingredients standpoint, absolutely. Each diffuser contains NO tobacco, GMO’s, toxins or harmful chemicals. In fact, it’s 100% vegan and organic, so there’s no question that what your putting your body isn’t natural. Now, is it safe to use? Typically, anything you inhale other than good old-fashioned air could cause inflammation in your lungs and irritate your respiratory system, but here’s where MONQ is different. You don’t inhale the device into your lungs. You experience all of the essential oil benefits through a method called MONQhaling, which is not at all as complicated as it sounds.
How to MONQhale
It took me a couple tries, but it’s easy to master, and you really experience the full, vibrant flavors of each. The easiest way to explain it is to take a gentle breath as if you’re sipping through a straw. When you breath out, exhale through your nose, not your mouth. If it’s still difficult to not inhale with your lungs, try this: close your mouth and practice puffing your cheeks in and out, it’s essentially the same use of muscles plus it looks funny in the mirror. So just to be clear: no deep Ujjayi breaths. You should feel each breath going in through the roof of your mouth and moving up through your olfactory cavity and out your nose as opposed to down into your chest.
Flavors I Tried
MONQ sent 10 different kinds, including Sexy, Healthy, Vibrant, Happy, Active, Zen, Sleepy, Mountain, Ocean, and Forest. I can easily say after trying them all, none of them were unpleasant. For a deeper look into each flavor (AKA experience), I’ve broken them down below:
- Black spruce, Douglas fir and sandalwood
- Benefits: clears and calms the mind, improve production of your adrenal gland and promotes mental clarity
- Eucalyptus, lime, tangerine
- Benefits: great for your respiratory system, clearing out your airwaves with aa gentle stimulant plus energizing citrus that’s also antibacterial.
- Juniper leaf, peppermint, scotch pine
- Benefits: fights gout, relieves cramps and spasms, speeds up recovery. Fun fact, it’s also what makes up gin. Fun
- Chamomile, kava, lavender
- Benefits: chamomile tea, naturally relieves allergies, supports digestive health, reduces stress and anxiety
- Frankincense, sweet orange, ylang ylang
- Benefits: boosts immunity, mood, fights free radicals, lowers blood pressure, boosts heart health
- Bitter orange, black pepper, sage
- Benefits: energizes body with a calm mind, meditation aid, detoxifies, increases blood flow, anti-inflammatory, powerful antioxidant
- Fennel, lime, vanilla
- Benefits: fennel soothes upset stomach, boost concentration and vanilla is a mood-balancing aphrodisiac
- Ginger, lemon spearmint
- Benefits: ginger relieves cramps, soothes nausea, lemon revitalizes and nourishes skin restorative, menthol in spearmint relieves headaches and boosts memory
- Cinnamon leaf, marjoram and turmeric
- Benefits: cinnamon boost circulations, relaxes tense muscles. Marjorarm aids digestive. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory that supports intestinal health
- Jasmine, lime, patchouli
- Benefits: jasmine relaxes mins and increases alertness, lime restores and energizes, patchouli is an aphrodisiac
My Experience, Favorite Flavors and Review for MONQ
I’ve been trying these regularly and was surprised at how much I enjoy experiencing essential oils like this. I have a couple diffusers at home, but MONQ takes you on a radical flavor journey. Happy, Active and Sexy are fun to try in the morning and throughout the day, while Zen and Sleepy are amazing to take at the end of the day before bed. Mountain, Ocean and Forest are great for any occasion, but other than at home, MONQ really surprised me when I recently went on a trip abroad.
There was a 6-hour time difference, the jetlag was real, and my body was all sorts of confused. These turned out to be my secret weapon. Zen was especially my favorite because it really helped me chill out and get back into a regular sleep schedule. I don’t take any sleeping aids anyway and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to function, but a few breaths of Zen every night before bed seemed to knock me right out.
My time abroad coincided with that time of the month…lucky me. Being in a foreign place with debilitating cramps is not exactly a walk in the park, but I don’t believe in Midol and usually just deal with the discomfort. I saw that the Vibrant flavor contains ginger, and gave it a whirl. For those of you who don’t know, ginger is an anti-inflammatory and awesome natural remedy for cramps.
This made my cramps bearable, and I could hardly believe it. Plus, the flavor was cool and energizing, perfect for the morning or mid-day, where I spent a LOT of time walking and moving around. Healthy was my next favorite, primarily because it contains turmeric. I’ve been researching a lot about this superfood lately and have been trying to get it in anything: lattes, curry, supplements… and now, through MONQ.
About halfway through my trip, I woke up one morning with a scratchy throat and congested. I couldn’t bear the thought of having a cold, so once more I looked to MONQ for help. Ocean has eucalyptus in it, and I use eucalyptus oil at home as a decongestant and fever-reducer so thought I’d try it. The next day, all my cold symptoms were gone. Whether my immune system just did its job or MONQ was to credit, I’m not sure, but I’m glad I had it on me.
I carry them everywhere with me, and if you were curious, no, they don’t get flagged at the airport. Just leave them in your carry-on and you won’t have any problems.
One final thing: MONQ doesn’t claim to treat any health issues, but their reviews speak for themselves. Many people are reporting that it’s helped with their anxiety, lowers stress, increases energy and not to mention, taste amazing. If you’re an essential oils aficionado or just want to try a new way to experience essential oils that’s not in a diffuser or messy oil, try it. You won’t be disappointed.
- First personal aromatherapy device of its kind
- Many flavors to choose from
- NO Tobacco, toxins, GMOs, unnatural chemicals
- Made of 80% vegetable glycerin and 20% essential oil
- Cost: About $20 per diffuser, subscriptions deals available
- No mess, or cartridges to change: just use until they’re done
- Each MONQ diffuser has about 200 breaths and lasts 2-3 weeks
- Recommend? Absolutely! Perfect for meditation, anti-stress, energizing or just enjoying essential oils in a new way
Want to try MONQ for yourself? Get 10% off with code YOGALIFE when you visit their website.