5 Ways to Replace Harmful ‘Fragrance’ with Essential Oils

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks!
 
The chemicals in our laundry detergent, multi-surface cleaner, even DUST can cause irritation of our eyes, nose, and throat, fatigue and nausea, or even longer-term more serious effects like respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer.

Most of us are aware of outdoor pollutants, such as fuel exhaust and smoke. But

indoor air may be anywhere from two to five times as polluted as outdoor air!  And we are much less vigilant about it, so I thought I’d help you out by sharing 5 ways to swap out one of the BIG chemical emissions in your home…  FRAGRANCE (also listed as “parfum)!!
Have you seen this harmless word on the ingredients list of your favourite detergent or beauty products?
From Dr. Axe:
“A National Academy of Sciences points out some vital facts: About 95 percent of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum (crude oil). They include benzene derivatives (carcinogenic), aldehydes, toluene and many other known toxic chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. (1) Unfortunately, 30 years later, toxic ingredients continue turn up in products we use and breathe in on a daily basis. Some of the worst toxic ingredients used in lotions, shampoos, laundry detergents, cleaning products and so much more include synthetic scents, often listed as on labels as the elusive “fragrance.” And many on the list are known or suspected endocrine disruptors, compounds that tinker with hormonal health that can trigger weight gain and even set you up for diseases decades down the line.”
If you are ready to start making a positive change TODAY, here is my top 5 ways to get started!
1.  Make your own deoderant
Just fill a glass spray bottle with 120ml magnesium oil and add 15 drops of doTERRA Lemon.  Or if you prefer not to make your own, or like a solid deoderant, one is available at my Online Apothecary
2. Make your own multi-purpose cleaner
Grab, preferably, a glass spray bottle (these ones are great!)  Add in a 1:3 ratio of white vinegar to water and 30 drops doTERRA On Guard Essential Oil.  On Guard contains a proven mix of certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils that when together work effectively to kill bacteria and viruses.  I have used On Guard to clear an antibiotic resistant staph infection and a clinical study found it effective against the H1N1 flu virus.  The science is emerging on this incredible blend, but I’d recommend it for everything!  Read more here.
To buy essential oils, click here
3.  Ditch the perfume!!!!!
Please, I know it is hard to give up your favourite scent, but the chemicals and the harm they can cause in perfume will surprise you.  And our littlies breathe these chemicals too!  With essential oils you can get a nice smell and a therapeutic effect.  There will be lots of recipes to try on pinterest if you do a search, or visit my board for inspiration!
Pick Me Up and Calm Me Down also have a beautiful perfume as well as HUGE emotional benefits.  Take a look here!

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4. Go no poo!

To be honest, the synthetic fragrance in your shampoo is probably the least of your worries!  The harsh chemical mix in shampoos and conditioners strips your hair of its natural oils, ultimately making it more greasy and less healthy, and the myriad of chemicals are absorbed into our bodies and do significant damage (some are reportedly linked to cancer).

Instead you can easily make your own shampoo that leaves your hair feeling gorgeous!  You can make using ingredients you have in your pantry, plus essential oils!

 

  • Honey (preferably raw and unfiltered) and/or coconut milk
  • Distilled water
  • An essential oil
  • A simple container or pump of some sort
  • A spoon. This is to mix all of the ingredients together.

 

I choose a mix of lavender and Rosemary from my shampoo because I find the lavender soothing and rosemary oil is wonderful for promoting hair growth, soothing dry scalps, and adding volume to your locks.

5. Replace your air freshener/wax melt/any synthetic frangrance with a diffuser

For all of the reasons above, synthetic scents to freshen the air in your home have to go.  Did you know indoor air may be anywhere from two to five times as polluted as outdoor air??  This is because of all of those chemicals emitted from the products we use every day and also the electrosmog emitted from our mobile devices.
I’m really passionate about helping people to move away from synthetic scents and other chemicals because they can cause a myriad of problems, including migraines, skin problems and asthma attacks, and our babies just deserve better.  They emerge from the safe, controlled environment of our wombs into a world that is fraught with risks.  Chemical scents are one we can protect them from, and according to the Breast Cancer Fund, when it comes to the prevention of cancer, avoiding synthetic fragrance is one of the main ways to help yourself and them!  (See article here.)
According to Dr. Axe, there at least 3,000 ingredients that could possibly be used to form a product’s scent and they don’t necessarily have to be listed on a product’s label. So with an essential oil you are just getting one, pure, natural oil that comes directly from the bark, stem, flower mother nature created for us.  I encourage you to take a look at the following list, derived from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, to see just how many fragrance chemicals you can start replacing today, and as always, I am here to help!
Much Love,
Clare

Essential Mum | Non-Toxic Mama

Life after laundry detergent and fabric softener

Nobody can deny how utterly scrumptious a laundry smells when you walk past and your favourite fragrance wafts up your nose. I actually connect laundry smells to different memories – of friends I had in the past, of university rooms, of loved ones who I have held close. It came as a shock to read that the laundry is one of the most carcinogenic places in a house!

In 2008, scientists reported on the toxic chemicals in laundry detergents and other laundry products and it wasn’t good news. A single fragrance can contain multiple toxic chemicals that have been linked to asthma, dermatitis and even cancer.

Researchers from the University of Washington studied top-selling laundry and air-freshening products and found that they emitted dozens of different chemicals. All of them gave off at least one identified as toxic or hazardous under federal laws in America. What’s worse is that because of current labelling laws, none of these chemicals were listed on the label.

Among the products tested were a dryer sheet, a fabric softener, and a laundry detergent, as well as spray and plug-in air fresheners. Results showed nearly 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from the six products, and none were on the label. “Five of the six products emitted one or more carcinogenic ‘hazardous air pollutants,’ which are considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to have no safe exposure level,” said study author Anne Steinemann.

A later 2011 study by the same researchers found that air vented from machines using top-selling scented liquid laundry detergent and scented dryer sheets contained hazardous chemicals, including two classified as carcinogens.

For the study, researchers ran a load of laundry once with no products, once with a leading brand of scented liquid laundry detergent, and once with both the detergent and a dryer sheet. They captured the exhaust from the dryer vent with a canister.

An analysis of the captured air showed more than 25 VOCs, including seven hazardous air pollutants. The two carcinogens were acetaldehyde and benzene.

“These products can affect not only personal health,” said Steinemann, “but also public and environmental health. The chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into water bodies.”

You can Google for more information on the toxic chemicals in laundry products. Look for Fragrance (this is where multiple chemicals are used to make the desired smell), surfactants, stabilizers, bleach, 1,4-dioxane, brighteners, phosphates & EDTA. It’s scary stuff. Check to see if these are included in the laundry products you use too.

Thankfully, there are alternatives!

  • You can make your own laundry detergent. Wellness Mama has a great recipe, and you can find others online as well. You can add your favourite doTERRA essential oil for Fragrance
  • You can buy doTERRA’s On Guard laundry detergent, which I absolutely love! Read about it here.
  • Then you can skip the fabric softener completely and use woollen dryer balls or, if you’re going to dry outside, half-cup of vinegar added in the rinse cycle will produce the same results without the toxic chemicals.
  • Please do dump the dryer sheets! They a toxic shitstorm, if you’ll excuse my French! Dryer alls will also reduce static cling. I love my dryer balls, hence the title of this blog! (I literally did curse when I realised my favourite scents were so harmful and BALLS literally were my solution!)  Again, I got mine from doTERRA and I add geranium essential oil every few times I use my dryer. Geranium is such a beautiful scent for laundry.  It’s sweet, but not sickly, and it’s really calming.  Great for your bed sheets!  You can make your own using ( see DIYnatural) or if you don’t use a dryer you can even make a spray with 1 cup white vinegar to 3 cups of water and 30 drops of essential oils to spray on the washing when it is on the line ready to dry in the sun.

If you’d like to go chemical free in your laundry TODAY, and would like to have a look at the doTERRA products available and different essential oils you can use for scent, click here to be redirected to my webstore. Any questions, give me a shout!

Much Love x x x

Sources:

University of Washington, “Toxic Chemicals Found in Common Scented Laundry Products, Air Fresheners,” Science Daily, July 24, 2008, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723134438.htm.

Anne C. Steinemann, Lisa G. Gallagher, Amy L. Davis, Ian C. MacGregor, “Chemical emissions from residential dryer vents during use of fragranced laundry products,” Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, 2011; http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11869-011-0156-1.

Eden’s Story

My journey with essential oils all started with Eden,  my beautiful first baby girl.  We knew something wasn’t right almost immediately.  Plunket told me it was “just colic”, but from 2 weeks old she had also developed eczema all over her body and used to cry constantly and arch her back violently when we tried to comfort her.  It was hard as a brand new mum with no idea of what was normal, only able to trust what those around you said.  From 6 weeks we tried a chiropractor, as Eden had been born by c-section.  After another 6 weeks she said there was nothing else she could try and Eden hadn’t improved, but a nutritionist at the practice had mentioned dairy could be causing her discomfort, so maybe try cutting it out.  I was sleep deprived and would have tried anything! Little did I know that in 24 hours Eden would already have turned a corner.  I guess from there our journey began!  It hasn’t been an easy journey.  While Eden improved without the dairy in my diet she went downhill quickly when I introduced solids.  I couldn’t stand to see her in so much pain – in her abdomen, usually from wind or food reactions – still arching her back, clenching her fists and pushing away me and her daddy, hitting her head.  It was like she didn’t want either of us and that hurt.  We would spend hours and hours pacing with her in our arms, unable to soothe her.  She would pass mushy, smelly, green, mucousy, bloody stools. She slept only an hour at a time at her worst point and would spend 1-4 hours crying at a time.  An elimination diet revealed to us the root of her problems and support from Pediatrician Dr Leila Masson  finally when Eden was 1 revealed signs and symptoms of an abnormal gut flora, which can cause intestinal permeability and food sensitivities.

eden_2

Today Eden is well on the road to recovery.  She still eats a diet free of gluten, dairy and soy.  We were able to successfully reintroduce higher fructose fruits (not dried though) and higher fructan vegetables and very recently eggs, but after continuing issues we have recently discovered that refined sugar is a no go and she reacts to citrus fruits and sulphites.  Healing has centred around healing her gut, boosting her immunity and soothing the symptoms that kept her awake at night – probiotics, other remedies and of course essential oils that have all been natural. As hard as those early days were, Eden’s journey has changed my life.  I have always slanted towards a natural approach to health, but I never knew its real capacity to heal and I certainly didn’t understand the importance of gut health, the impact of diet or how many toxic ingredients there are in the things that we use every day – soap, toothpaste, creams, lotions, washing detergents, air fresheners, candles; I could go on!

As all mothers, I sought to do what was best for Eden. I assessed the things contributing to our “toxic load” as a family, and one by one I cut them out and replaced them with things I made myself, using essential oils.

This is where this blog was born!  I share what I know and what has worked for us.  If you have stumbled across this blog in search of a lifeline for your own personal challenge, I hope that you can see a light at the end of the tunnel!  Browse my Mummy Munchies, website pages and feel free to contact me to talk directly

Much love,

Clare x x

Using Essential Oils for Eczema… What’s at the root of that itch?

Eczema is a word I have heard a lot recently. It affects adults and children alike and can cause almost unbearable discomfort. Eden suffered as a really young baby, before I discovered dairy was a problem for her, coming through my breastmilk. When I researched these irritated, inflamed red patches I learned that eczema is a general term used to describe varying skin conditions that result in inflamed and discolored skin; but what could I do?

It didn’t take long once we figured out the problems related to dairy that it wasn’t actually the eczema that needed treating, but her gut. However, in the meantime her upsetting symptoms did need relief. She did not seem to scratch, but the skin was sore and really inflamed and angry.

Bergamot is an essential oil that has balancing qualities related to both the digestive system and emotional healing, as well as properties to heal the skin.

Bergamot supports building confidence and enhancing mood. It is also used to kill bacteria, heal scars and minimize marks on the skin.

In traditional Chinese medicine, bergamot is used to help with the flow of vital energy so the digestive system can work properly. It’s also used to soothe indigestion and gas. So for Eden this was a GREAT choice of oil and I made her up a blend with Lavender, Melaleuca, Roman Chamomile, Oregano and jojoba oil.

Oils, however, are very subjective, what works for one person may not work for next, depending on what the person’s body really needs to heal.

So, with this blog I thought I would go through the best oils to alleviate the symptoms of eczema (inflammation, dryness, itching, etc.) while healing damaged skin and restoring general moisture in the affected areas if necessary.

  1. Melaleuca Essential Oil

It seems whatever I am writing about (skin, hair, cleaning) that Melaleuca is at the top of my list! It is a strong oil though, so it’s not for everyone and it needs to be very heavily diluted for very small babies.

This oil is the one to choose if the eczema is ‘angry’, appears infected or again, you think the eczema is related to an imbalance in the gut; specifically an overgrowth in Candida Albicans.

Melaleuca is better known as tea tree oil and it has been used for centuries to soothe and help heal damaged skin. It has antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties to help heal the skin.

The ancient aborigines of Australia bathed in Melaleuca to help heal their skin and ailments.  The lakes were known as golden, with mystical powers, which were later realised to be from the leaves of the tea tree oil plant, the Melaleuca Alternofolia, which had fallen into the water and mud, giving the lake its mystical healing power.

2. Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium is great for rehydrating dry skin, so if your skin is really dry and chapped, this is a great choice.

Geranium essential oil is taken from the leaves, flowers and stems of the plant loved for its pink and red flowers. It is very balancing and nurturing and suits almost all skin types. It kills bacteria and other skin germs, and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is often recommended for aging skin, as well as eczema, but can also help heal burns and clear head lice. It is a good essential oil for reducing cellulite. I wouldn’t be without geranium in my Essential Oil box and like other floral oils it is considered emotionally uplifting, so I use it a lot in my diffuser or in homemade perfume.

IMAG1703

3. Lavender Essential Oil

I would choose this essential oil first and always include it in a blend for something skin related. Lavender is a powerful healer because it has antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, calming, moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory properties. If applying lavender at night it really supports sleep.

Lavender essential oil comes from the steam distillation of the flowering tops of the plant.  dōTERRA’s Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil is indigenous to the Provence region of France. The high altitudes at which lavender is grown results in the plant having higher ester and sesquiterpene alcohol content, thereby increasing its therapeutic benefits.

The oil suits most skin types. You can use it for acne, athlete’s foot, dermititis, burns, psoriasis, ringworm, stings and insect bites, as well as eczema. It is one of the few essential oils that is so gentle it can be applied neat (undiluted) to the skin. So it is a great choice for children. Still dilute it for them though! Using lavender will reduce the potential of eczema to scar.

4. Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli essential oil comes from a herbal shrub that grows in the East. It is mainly produced in India, China, Malaysia and South America. It has a distinct earthy sweet smell that became popular in America in the 60’s and is often associated with the age of Aquarius and the hippie revolution! Many women and men would wear it as a perfume on its own.

Patchouli is really good for those eczema sufferers whose skin is actually predisposed to being oily. It won’t over hydrate your skin leaving it greasy or block up pores.

You can also use patchouli to heal burns and eliminate dandruff.

5. Myrrh Essential Oil

Myrrh essential oil comes from the sap (or tears) of the branches and wood of myrrh. The oil is mainly produced in Africa, India, and the Middle East. It is a versatile oil – good for dry/chapped skin and oily skin and can help reduce the look of wrinkles. It is also heals scars and wounds. Use myrrh for weeping eczema.

Apply a few times a day until healed.

6. Frankincense Essential Oil

If your eczema is very inflamed this anti-inflammatory essential oil is a great one to use. It also increases the potency of the other essential oils if you use it in a blend.

7. Helichrysum Essential Oil

This is a very effective essential oil for itching and pain. It is also anti-inflammatory and promotes skin renewal. Use it when eczema strikes acutely with severe discomfort. Add to blends for longer term use to encourage cell growth.

8. Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Finally, this is another good oil to reduce inflammation and soothe dry, itchy skin. It’s a great choice (diluted) for babies and children because it also encourages sleep! I tend to add this oil to most blends I make for eczema.

If you would like a blend made up for your skin issue, please contact me nzessentialmum@gmail.com

You can source your doTERRA oils to get some relief from you eczema woes here!

I hope this blog has been helpful!

Don’t forget to share your successes in the comments!

Much love x x