We want our homes to smell good for the holidays, but beware of toxic chemicals! Company is coming, and we need to hide our “home” odors. We quickly reach for a can of fragrance to spray into the air, or maybe we light an aromatic candle. Could these odor maskers contain toxic ingredients that may be harmful to our health and that of our friends and family?
Conventional air fresheners contain phthalates and other harmful chemicals that have been linked to infertility, brain damage, hormone disruption, cancer, respiratory problems, and other chronic illness. Many contain isopropyl alcohol, which can adversely affect the nervous and respiratory systems.
During burning, candles made from paraffin wax generate benzene and toluene, both known to be carcinogens. Many candles contain artificial fragrances and colors that can irritate lungs and cause inflammation. Wicks often contain lead, a toxic heavy metal.
Instead, try a chemical-free room spray made with essential oils like frankincense and myrrh, or lemon, orange, cedar, lavender, peppermint, cinnamon, clove, or rosemary. Zum Mist makes a wonderful line of products with ingredients pure enough to use on your body! I found mine on Amazon.
You can also make your own air freshener by combining 4 ounces of water, 1 ounce of alcohol-free witch hazel (I like Thayer’s brand that you can buy in a drugstore), and approximately 20 drops of pure essential oils. Shake and spray! Tip: You can also use witch hazel as a facial toner.
In addition to their amazing fragrance, essential oils have many therapeutic benefits. All contain anti-microbial properties, making them useful as disinfectants against viruses and bacteria. Many are beneficial for the respiratory system, including peppermint, eucalyptus, and frankincense. Natural chemicals in essential oils can help relieve depression and lift spirits. Choose those that resonate with you when you inhale them.
God’s pharmacy of essential oils include cinnamon, clove, fir, cedar, lavender, grapefruit, lemon, orange, rose, patchouli, sandalwood, spearmint, frankincense, myrrh, peppermint, wintergreen, ginger, rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, chamomile, etc. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to a diffuser to fill the air with a continuous mist of aromatherapy. Nature’s Sunshine has an amazing holiday special that includes a mini travel diffuser and 10 essential oils.
Look for candles made with lead-free wicks, made without paraffin, artificial fragrances, and dyes. Amazon sells several varieties, including Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, which you can also find at Walmart.
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach
Matthew 2:11–“Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.