4 simple things you can do to purify indoor air

In many colder areas, being able to open our windows with the nicer weather becomes a sign of freedom. Freedom from winter, freedom from having to breathe warm, dry air over and over, freedom to breathe fresh outdoor air. I know this is the case in my home, and I love to be able to sleep with the windows slightly ajar….feeling that brisk fresh and clean air coming from outside.

Opening windows is also one of the things you should be doing to purify your home…. a healthier you will follow.

A new study from the Environmental Science and Technology Journal underlines the health dangers of the dust lurking in our homes.

It is not simple dust…but rather a mixture of everything from chemical residues from clothes, detergents and paint, to pollen, animal fur, and anything we drag into our homes after a day out.

What can we do to keep indoor air clean?

1. As I mentioned above, opening windows often is important. During the summer, air conditioning is on throughout the day, but this should not deter you from opening your windows, at the very least, for a couple of hours in the evening. The objective being, that circulation helps dilute the volatile organic compounds in our homes, which are more concentrated inside our homes than they are outside.

2. Certain plants can also help purify indoor air. The American Chemical Society  indicated the following plants as being instrumental in absorbing and effective filtering harmful indoor substances: purifyingplant1

  • the Caribbean tree cacti
  • jade plants
  • bromeliads
  • spider plants
  • dracaneas

The dangerous compounds are absorbed through the laves and moved to the roots, where they are then broken down by mircobes.

200400596-0013. Forget the artificial deodorants. A natural option for having a great smelling home are pure essential oils. There are several essential oils that will allow your home to smell fresh and clean, and some oils also have the double benefit of purifying the air we breathe. Furthermore, studies have shown the incredible benefits aromatherapy can have on our mood and our health.

This is an excerpt from the The University of Maryland Medical Centre web page.

“The “smell” receptors in your nose communicate with parts of your brain (the amygdala and hippocampus) that serve as storehouses for emotions and memories. When you breathe in essential oil molecules, some researchers believe they stimulate these parts of your brain and influence physical, emotional, and mental health. For example, scientists believe lavender stimulates the activity of brain cells in the amygdala similar to the way AC1A6DC5-08B4-483A-BF97-9DA7A22602EB.JPGsome sedative medications work. Other researchers think that molecules from essential oils may interact in the blood with hormones or enzymes.

Aromatherapy massage is a popular way of using essential oils because it works in several ways at the same time. Your skin absorbs essential oils and you also breathe them in. Plus, you experience the physical therapy of the massage itself.”

Research shows that lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree oil all possess l antimicrobial properties that, when evaporated, can begin eradicating airborne fungi and bacteria within 30 to 60 minutes. Applying a combination of tea tree oil and one other essential oil (e.g. clove oil) to a small, non-porous area infested with visible dark mold can eradicate further growth.

Choosing essential oils to purify your home is a true win-win decision. 

Here is list of some of the essential oils you can use in a diffuser to purify your home. All of these oils are know to possess antimicrobial and /or anti fungal properties. Some ready made peppermintoil2blends aimed at improving immunity or sinus function can also be quite useful.

Do consider the price of oils, as with most products, the less expensive the price the eo.jpglower quality the oils will be. Pure oils will be most effective, so it is best to ask your supplier certificate attesting the purity and the quality of the oils. 

4. Use natural or home made detergents instead of store bought chemically based ones.

I realize this is easier said than done, because it can be time consuming. However, making a larger batch that can last a while will help save time and ensure you always have the products at hand. I fell upon the Eartheasy.com website with a list of safe ingredients to use in your home that will help reduce the concentration of chemically based dust.

So open up those windows and breathe in the summer air….or close them, purify the air you breathe, and feel safe within your four walls!

Barbara C.

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