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To Sniff or Snuff
This article was hard to write. You see, I’ve always loved “smelly” things. When combined with my favorite element, fire, the pairing is bliss. With cold weather approaching, their lure is increasing.
Unfortunately, these seemingly innocuous decorations can introduce significant chemicals into the air. Of greatest guilt are paraffin-based (read petroleum) candles. In the September issue, I warned against the use of petroleum products on our skin. This same nasty derivative is even more dangerous when set afire.
According to a study from the University of South Carolina, “burning paraffin candles released chemicals that in high enough concentrations can cause respiratory tract irritation and even cancer.”
Have you ever wondered why candles shrink away and where the wax goes? Look up. There can be visible proof of airborne contaminants.
We once rented a home that had mysterious, uniform, greyish lines on the vaulted ceiling. Upon inquiry to a cleaning company, I was informed this was soot. “The previous tenant must have burned a lot of candles,” he quipped. The temperature difference between the rafters attracted the soot, leaving tell-tale signs of its existence. And if it’s in the air, you can bet it’s also on your clothing and your skin. Picture a coalminer, but to a much lesser degree.
In October I warned against synthetic “fragrance” used in cosmetics. Again, when ignited, these chemical combos emit untold toxins, which along with soot, can penetrate deep into the lung tissue.
Soy and beeswax-based candles are available and can be a healthier alternative. Note I didn’t say completely healthy. When you set fire to anything, something will enter the air to be inhaled and settle on surfaces.
But don’t lose hope. There is a completely safe AND healthy alternative to candles. Keep reading.
A Healthier Way to Huff
Sticking with the “smelly” theme, I’d like to offer a healthier alternative to candles; diffusion of essential oils.
Diffusion is a method of dispersing tiny oil particles into the air, which then fill a space with that particular scent. When you choose this method, you’re not just creating a mood. You’re also imparting tremendous health benefits for you and your family. Every pure essential oil brings with it unique characteristics to address specific needs. Lavender, for instance, creates a sense of calm. Peppermint uplifts your spirits. Basil calms nervousness and anxiety. It’s not just an emotional reaction to the scent. It’s a chemical one, meaning the essential oil is working at a deeper, cellular level.
And for this reason, it’s important to diffuse only pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils. Purchasing a bottle of spiced apple pie fragrance may make your house feel like the holidays, but spiced apple pie doesn’t occur naturally. It’s a mix of synthetic chemicals. These tiny droplets of chemicals are then absorbed into your system, doing who knows what.
Essential oils can also be warmed, but extreme temperatures can alter the effectiveness of the oils. Plus the method of warming can pose hazards. Per the first article, candles are not a good option and pose fire risks. If you want a “glow” when warming your oils, consider an electric warmer that uses a light bulb. There are many designs available to fit any décor.
Winter is coming. Combat extremely dry skin and chapped lips with this oh-so-rich balm. Made with three different oils and essential oils to invigorate your senses, this is a must have. Because it’s a solid, it’s perfect for your purse, desk drawer or gym bag. Makes a great stocking stuffer, too.
The generous 2oz tin will last a long time and is currently available in doTERRA Whisper blend, Jasmine and Rainier (masculine scent of bergamot and vetiver). Customized scents are also available. Just contact me with a scent you’d like. Find more details here.
Try at Home Tip
When I style my hair, I like it to stay looking the same all day, without flattening out or being tousled by every little breeze. So I turn to my handy-dandy spray glue, aka hairspray. I’m a bit frugal, so I buy the cheapest thing on the shelf, much to my hairs’ detriment. The product builds up and I end up with what looks like cradle cap. Yuk!
But no more. Here’s an all-natural, inexpensive way to hold locks in place. Sugar water!
Mix 1 cup of warm water with 4 teaspoons of white sugar. More or less can be added for your desired hold. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if desired, and decant into a spray bottle. And no, it doesn’t attract bees. Courtesy of doterrablog.com.