Essential Oils vs Synthetic Fragrances

aromatherapyAromatherapy has been around for ages. Aromatherapy has been used to promote relaxation, help relieve stress and enhance ones mood. True aromatherapy practitioners use pure essential oils. Essential oils are oils extracted from flowers, seeds, leaves, roots, fruit and twigs for there special effects. These essential oils are formulated to work in harmony with the body and have the ability to affect a person’s well-being.

Synthetic Fragrance oils are primarily made from petrochemicals and attempt to duplicate the smell of a specific plant. By dismantling the unique chemical compound of an essential oil, chemists re-assemble a “Frankenstein” fragrance. A 1986 report by the National Academy of Sciences reports that 95 percent of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum and include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxins and synthesizers capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.

Regular scented candles are a huge source of indoor air pollution and they put off chemicals that are considered just as dangerous as second-hand smoke. Paraffin is a petroleum waste product and has to beessential oil deodorized and chemically bleached before it can be made in to wax. Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned (both known carcinogens). In fact, the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel flames. On top of that, many scented candles also have wicks that contain heavy metals like lead, and even a few hours of burning them can create levels of airborne heavy metals that are much higher than the acceptable limits. In the US, candle wicks are supposed to make of cotton or paper, but studies have found that as much as 30% of candles contain heavy metal wicks.

I personally have become increasingly sensitive to scent over the years. I can not bear to walk down the laundry detergent aisle, candles shops give me an instant headache and make me cough. I also do not want to use toxic cleaners in my home. So what is my solution: essential oils! I diffuse them, add them to my bath and make my own cleaning products. And I don’t have to worry about my cats knocking over a candle.

Over the next month I will give you some recommendations on how to add pure essential oils into your household. You can use pure essential oils for aromatherapy, cleaning products or skin care. I would start by purchasing a diffuser and experiment with scents that make you feel happy. I love citrus scents and lavender! Make sure to search for organic pure essential oils so you are buying the real deal. Companies I would recommend are Floracopia, Melaleuca  and Do-Terra. On line sights such as Swansons Vitamins also have organic essential oils as well as Whole Foods Market. You can find cheaper essential oils, but remember you get what you pay for if the product is not organic or pure or you find it on a close out sale at an off-price store, you may not be getting the true healing properties of the oils.

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