Posted by farragio on Thursday, April 28, 2022 Under: healthy living
by Karen Ladd
This is updated from a previous post
We all love a home full of loving, comforting and relaxing scents. When we spray an air freshener or burn a candle our body reacts, whether we realize it or not. There is science that explains this.
The limbic system in our body comprises a set of structures within our brains that are big players in affecting our memory, mood, emotion and behavior. This is why the smell of a pipe might bring back the memory of a grandfather, or a certain perfume reminds you of your mother. In turn, those memories become emotions. For me, the smell of cinnamon reminds me of my grandma baking in her kitchen and that, in turn, makes me feel comforted and happy.
Nice smells make us feel good, but what if those smells are hurting us? All the way back in 1989 the office of Occupational Safety and Health identified nearly 900 toxic chemicals used to scent products. Many of those chemicals are still in use today. One thing to note is that the FDA has not issued any mandate requiring companies to list their scent formulations, therefore, those chemicals can be hidden behind the term “fragrance.”
“Fragrance” enters the body through our skin and upper airways. No matter how they enter, they eventually make their way to the limbic system…..and from there they begin to affect the nervous system. In some instances, a person can experience neurological changes. Those include change in pulse and blood pressure, and elevated or stressed mood. There have been proven links to these toxic chemicals causing memory loss, allergies, fatigue, dizziness and migraine headaches. So what do we do?
We often spend a lot of time and money trying to control what is beyond our direct control: the weather, the actions of other people, and the outcome of sporting events. But what about scents? We can only control what we have power over. We may not be able to control scents piped into restaurants, bathrooms or places of employment, but we can control what we put on our bodies and spray into the air around us.
Whether you choose to use an all-natural potpourri, or a spray made up of essential oils, you will be healthier for it. Many natural products are naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Some offer benefits for your health and mental status. And since essential oils often have dual benefits, using peppermint or lavender in a car might freshen it along with warding off any motion sickness. Organic and essential oils are skin-friendly (follow proper instructions with all products). Most are hypo-allergenic and non-irritating. Natural products do not last as long as the toxic chemicals but are body-friendly. Since essential oils are the volatile oils extracted from herbs, flowers, barks and roots, they are less risky than chemicals. It is important to use very pure products for your air freshening.
When withdrawing from chemical sprays to all-natural, first open the windows of your home and create a cross-breeze to rid your home of any stale air, offensive odors and remnants of chemical sprays. Use white vinegar spray to clean any odorous surfaces like trash cans. After a good cleaning you can begin your all-natural room freshener experience.
While not all scents appeal to all people, finding your favorite scents for you home should be easy. There are many different choices available. To get started, here is an easy one that I make:
3 Tbs water
1 Tbs vodka
2 drops peppermint essential oil
2 drops essential oil of your choice - orange, lemon, etc
Combine in a small spray bottle. Shake and spray as needed.
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In : healthy living
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