I love coming home to a house that smells nice and fresh. I used to achieve this with fragrant candles, expensive room sprays, air sticks and plug-ins just as the home stores. Many times I would get these as gifts, especially around the holidays, so they always seemed special.
But did you know that air fresheners and most candles contain hazardous chemicals that can cause headaches and even cancer? Many of my patients, and myself included, cannot step foot into a Yankee Candle store. It makes me feel ill and triggers a headache. There is good reason for this.
Basic ingredients in scents and air fresheners typically include formaldehyde, aerosol propellant, petroleum distillate and phthalates. Many air freshener products emit allergens and toxic air pollutants. Phlatalates are hormone – disrupting chemicals that may pose health risks to babies and young children. They have even been implicated in causing breast cancer. Yet, most products don’t have these chemicals listed on their labels!
There are many studies to back this up. In 2009, two studies looked at the health effects from exposure to air fresheners and found that 20% of the population and 34% of those who have asthma reported headaches, depression, and other health problems when exposed to air fresheners and deodorizers.
I had thought it was just the type of scent that gave me headaches. But after I learned that the problem was really what the scent was made from, I got rid of all the candles in our house and the fancy room spray that I had stocked in each bathroom. Here I was thinking that a nice smell was pleasant and relaxing, but really I was poisoning us all!
I dumped out the contents of the room sprays and hunted for a natural recipe where I KNEW for certain what was in my spray. There was some trial and error. Then I found a wonderfully effective recipe from Martha Stewart and I put one bottle in each bathroom and keep one as a general spray when I want the house to smell nice.
This is the recipe that I use. It is powerful and wonderful!
Room Spray Recipe
Fill the spray bottle mister with water, not completely full. If you need empty bottles, you can find them for cheap on Amazon.com
2. Add 12-18 drops of Lemon eucalyptus essential oil
3. Add 12-18 drops of Bergamot essential oil
That’s it! Just shake it prior to using it because the oil and water separate. You can find the essential oils at a health food store – I got mine at Whole Foods – or you can find it online. They come in small bottles and last a long time.