The holidays are a wonderful time of year for great smells in the air. Think of fresh pine, gingerbread cookies and other scents that are a comfort and part of the joy of the season. There is also a tradition of using scented candles, both as mood enhancers and gifts.
I don’t want to spoil the holiday party, but most of the scented candles you buy come with an extremely high toxin load. They can be full of endocrine disruptors that upset the hormonal balance in the body and give you headaches, breathing problems and with long-term use, diseases. Artificial fragrances are one of the top five allergens in the world.
Even in something as simple as the candle wick, you can find heavy metals, including lead.
Most scented candles are made of paraffin wax that emit hazardous chemicals such as benzene and toluene, chemicals that can cause damage to the brain, lung, and central nervous system. Toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes. These include aldehydes, toluene and many other known toxic chemicals. Who wants to breath that stuff in?
There are brighter ways to light your holidays. Here are a few options for making scents that won’t make you sick:
- Diffuse Essential Oils. These can not only provide a wonderful combination of health benefits, (both physical and mental) but they help eliminate odors. You can create your own combination of scents to make each room in your home a welcoming host of non-toxic air.
- Use Beeswax Candles with cotton wicks that provide the light and remove the toxins found in your traditional commercial candles. They may not smell like pumpkin pie or vanilla, but you can add those fragrances by actually cooking by non-toxic candlelight.
- Make your own potpourri from all-natural ingredients. Nothing beats nature, and your mixing skills can make for a wonderful and healthy deep breath.
It may seem easier to pick up a scented candle from the gift store, but the greatest gift is good health. Happy Holidays.