Toxic chemical-laden air fresheners. They are supposed to “freshen” the air, but instead they leave the air quality funky.
Let’s talk about why you should avoid them, what you can use that naturally freshens the air (and has bonus health benefits) and why you should make the switch.
Plus I’ll share my 5 favorites that make any home smell incredible below.
The Problem: Conventional Air Fresheners – Beware of Fake Air.
So you want your house to smell divine.
You have a plugin to keep things smelling fresh and breezy, like they talk about on some commercials.
You have a well-known aerosol spray in your bathroom for after people do their business.
You even opt to get the extra air freshener in your car when you get it hand washed.
Our lungs are amazing organs, responsible for taking the oxygen that we breathe and directly supplying it to our blood. The lungs are the big bosses of our Respiratory System. Breathing is one of the foundational parts of our health, inhaling fresh air is a must if you want to have a healthy body. In fact, that is why cardiovascular exercise is so great for our hearts, because it oxygenates the life force within us that we call blood.
What’s wrong with air fresheners?
If you can avoid them, your body will thank you. These common products often contain chemicals that have proven negative health effects. For example, many air fresheners contain the chemical 1,4 dichlorobenzene, which besides also being used as a pesticide, has been shown to reduce lung function, as well as cause liver damage, eye and skin irritation, and be a possible carcinogen (according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry).
Possible cancer-causing chemicals in my fresh breeze air freshener spray?
But there’s more. What if you breathe this stuff in while you are pregnant?
Studies have found the increased likelihood of toddler allergies, asthma, and lower IQ when exposed to air fresheners in the womb or in early life. Most air fresheners use phthalates to extend the scent of the product – but phthalates are endocrine disruptors and probable carcinogens.
Get a whiff of this.
In a 2007 study by the Natural Resources, the Defense Council found phthalates in 12 out of 14 evaluated air fresheners – even ones labeled “all-natural.” Even the Environmental Protection Agency warns against air freshener use: “There are four basic ingredients in air fresheners: formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, p-dichlorobenzene, and aerosol propellants. Air fresheners are usually highly flammable and also strong irritants to the eyes, skin, and throat.”
So what’s the deal with fragrance then?
Have you ever seen “fragrance” on the label of a product? The company is under no legal or regulatory obligation to disclose what concoction of chemicals create their “fragrance.” This study found 133 volatile organic compounds emitted from 25 common household products (including air fresheners) – and 24 of these VOCs were found to be classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. laws. While many fragrances are made with unknown chemical concoctions to synthetically create a smell that pleases the senses, there is a healthy alternative that you can use instead.
The Solution: High Quality Essential Oils – True Fresh Air to the Rescue!
The Holy Grail of fragrances, even good enough for Cleopatra herself: enter essential oils. Much different from their dirty chemical-laden cousins from the synthetic side of the family, essential oils are plant extracts, and within them hold the power of Mother Nature, the ultimate healer. They hold many properties to promote well-being, plus they smell amazing.
It’s common knowledge that if something smells good, it can make you feel good. However, did you know that the olfactory (smell) sense can start a chain of biological processes in your body? Your sense of smell triggers areas of the brain involved in mood, memory, processing of emotions, motivation, cognition, and more. Emotions trigger the release of certain hormones, which send communication signals all over the body.
We can use our sense of smell to trigger processes in the body conducive to healing, better mental clarity, better mood, and better quality of life. You can even train your olfactory glands to smell success!
When using essential oils, it is so important to use a brand that is clean of added chemicals. (Because if you tossed your air fresheners for essential oils, I’m guessing you did so to get rid of the nasty chemicals!)
There are many cheap poor quality essential oils that are diluted with additives to save money on production, or aren’t extracted from the plant in a way that honors and preserves their healing benefits.
After many many years of working with essential oils, being trained in them extensively and after my own son had a reaction to a well-known brand of oils, I started to call numerous companies and question them to find out their processes of production, storing, and distribution.
This research and after working with numerous brands of essential oils on my Footzone clients, the only brands that are super clean and I can fully recommend at this time are Primavera from Goddess of Spring* and Shirley Price.
*If you wish, you can use my coupon code amberbodilyhealth to receive a 10% discount when ordering these oils. Get yourself a diffuser and get ready to love the way everything smells in your home.
My Favorite 5 Oils to Diffuse for Freshening Air
All of the below oils have the ability to kill bacteria and microorganisms in the air – which helps rid your home of any underlying smell. In fact, studies show that essential oils have the power to fight viruses and superbugs, help stop cancer growth and cause cancer cells to die, reduce dry mouth, relieve headaches and migraines, improve wound healing, lower blood pressure, are anti-inflammatory, and are even successful against Lymes disease, among many other interesting studies.
After going through tons of diffusers, here is my absolute favorite diffuser because it needs no water and the oils hang in the air for much, much longer. The oils I choose to diffuse depends on what our family or our home needs at that moment. However, these are a few of my favorites:
I know, I know – such a classic! Lavender is an all-around wonder essential oil; it is a great one as a mama to have on hand to assist with all sorts of ailments. Research has even shown lavender to help alleviate insomnia and depression in college students. Lavender is most famous for its calming properties, but here are some other reasons to love this oil:
- Assists with headaches & migraine
- Relieves anxiety and eases depression
- Eases sinusitis
- Stimulates the immune system
- Lowers blood pressure
- Aids respiratory problems
- Eases stress and emotional and mental fatigue
- Balances mood swings
- + more.
Distilled from flowers, clary sage essential oil has a wonderful grounding scent. It has all-around balancing properties, harmonizing the body’s systems as well as balancing emotions and mental ease.
- Helps regulate hormones
- Relieves anxiety
- Prevents nightmares
- Strengthens the digestive system
- Eases fear, grief, and depression
- Supports the limbic system
- Promotes confidence
- + many more.
Eucalyptus essential oil is antimicrobial and is effective even against resistant bacteria strains. It is fabulous for cleaning, purifying, and refreshing the air. In addition, eucalyptus has these benefits:
- Clears mucus in the lungs
- Cooling for the body in the summer
- Assists with bringing down a fever
- Dissipates mental exhaustion
- Assists with the flu, headaches, colds, asthma, muscle aches, and viruses
- Gives the body oxygen
- Foritifies inner strength
- Cleanses the kidneys
- + many more.
Litsea essential oil is fabulous for cleaning the air. It smells pleasantly lemony and sweet.
- Strong disinfectant
- Stimulates digestion
- Good insect repellent
- Releases negative energy
- Assists with purifying space
- Eases stress
- Supports the immune system
Myrtle peru is one of my all-time favorite scents! However, I would not recommend its use during pregnancy. Its sweet, fresh, camphor-like aroma is a common fragrance around our home. Below are some other benefits of this oil:
- Regulates endocrine glands
- Stimulates thyroid activity
- Helpful for asthma
- Attracts abundance
- Can help stimulate the immune system
- Encourages peace & well-being
- Sedative properties to soothe the nervous system
- + more.
A New Way To Refresh
Having a house that smells fresh and cheerful can be an underestimated key in your wellness! I hope these suggestions bring more health and happiness into your home.
Which essential oil are you most excited to try first?
P.S. If you want to learn more about essential oils and how they can assist your health, check out my Face Rejuvenation online course.