Updated: Aug 28, 2019
We love it when our homes smell fresh and even have that light floral aroma that is freshening, calming or even just pleasant. For some of us that sweet scent comes from candles and air fresheners that we use to spruce up the aromas in our homes.
When we combine candle light with scent however we often create a toxic nightmare of health risks that can be hazardous to our family and pets. It amuses me to hear how many people are afraid of essential oils yet will use scented candles, plug in air fresheners and sprays in their home without a thought to the hazards these products present. Most scented products carry a 8 – 10 rating on chemical toxicity for carcinogens and chemical fragrances. (Refer to the Think Dirty app to look up your current air freshener) Almost everything we use today comes scented with some form of aroma that is intended to trigger our thoughts of what clean and pleasant smell like in our home but often they are the furthest thing from being safe to use.
Today’s candles are often a mix of chemically made waxes and scents that can be irritating to our respiratory system. Air fresheners have the same chemically made aromas triggering negative body responses. When we inhale these ingredients we create mild to severe irritants in our respiratory system that cause long term damage. This happens because our body has no defenses against chemicals and therefore it becomes weakened and unable to function optimally. We see this most commonly in the form of coughs, headaches, rashes, trouble breathing or allergic reactions when we smell certain chemical scents.
Have you ever developed a headache from going into a heavily perfumed area or store? I often experience it when I come up behind someone who is wearing a perfume. My head will start to hurt and I will become dizzy. That is my body telling me I am having a chemical reaction to that scent. Others I know will break out in hives or even vomit from that irritation. We can all respond differently but the message is the same – our body can’t take the chemical scent.
There are however, many of us who can go years without any noticeable reaction but this doesn’t mean we are having a safe experience from these products. Long term effects include asthma, shortness of breath, loss of smell and difficulty breathing as we age. In response to when we cannot smell something we often increase dose of the product excelling the damage we are experiencing.
Stop and Smell the Real Flowers
Flowers and plants provide many helpful benefits to us including just lifting our mood because they are pretty to look at. We can “bottle” this scent and the benefits but when we try to manufacture or substitute for the real thing we create a mismatch between our noses, senses, physical and emotional health and the scent. This creates confusion for our body and can be harmful to our health.
The best way to enjoy the benefits of flowers is diffuse them directly into your home. When we use pure essential oils of flowers such as Jasmine, Magnolia, Rosemary, Geranium, Lavender and other flowers we are not only having a true experience of scent from a flower and not a chemical but our bodies physically respond differently.
It takes 22 seconds for a substance to go from the bottom of your foot to your blood stream. It takes less than 2 seconds for a scent to go from your nose to your brain. In less than a minute we can greatly influence what happens next in our bodies. If it is a pure flower we are smelling or have exposure to we will have the benefits of that flower come into our body and start working with our cells. If it is a chemical our bodies go into defense mode to tackle and eradicate it. In both cases, over time our cells begin to change from those exposures and can be influenced in how they are regenerated.
Here are some of the common benefits from flower essential oils:
Blue Tansy flower provides support for allergies, rashes, watery eyes, acne, eczema, psoriasis, sunburns, arthritis, skin and fungal infections, headaches, colds, flu, mumps, chicken pox, bug bites and thyroid support
Clary Sage provides support for infertility, PMS, menopause, postpartum depression, hot flashes, pink eye, insomnia
Geranium helps with kidney stones, cuts and wounds, PMS, hormonal balancing, low libido, dry skin, body odor and wrinkle management
Jasmine naturally supports depression and anxiety, labor and delivery, exhaustion, PMS, and fertility
Lavender supports sleep, stress, anxiety, teeth grinding, allergies, hay fever, cuts, colic, bug bites, hives, nosebleeds, high blood pressure, migraines
Magnolia is wonderful for anxiety, depression, low energy, PMS, grief, acne, insomnia
Neroli helps with loss of sexual interest, dry skin, menopause, nervousness, indigestion, shock, heart palpitations, acne, dark spots, athlete’s foot, colitis, IBS, pregnancy
Roman Chamomile is a go to for stress, aging skin, lower blood pressure, PMS and cramps, fevers, earaches, anorexia, hornet stings, allergies
Rose works well for bacteria infections, grief, postpartum depression, nerve issues, impotency
Yarrow helps with weight loss, metabolism, fever, inflammation, early menopause, varicose veins, scarring
Ylang Ylang works to help with high blood pressure, infertility, hair loss, colic, oily skin
All of these flowers are also know to have emotional and spiritual support capabilities as well. Plus they smell wonderful and are pleasant to use in our home as a basic air freshener even if you are not looking to enhance your health or mood.
Now consider this by comparison, the average household room air freshener contains none of the above benefits. It simply smells and could cause irritation or long term health issues.
Which do you really want to put into the air of your home?