Breathe Easier: Strategies to Purify the Air in Your Home
Apr 03, 2015 01:58AM
● By Slyms Bazile
For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.
~ Sanskrit Proverb
A home in harmony with nature is a home you can breathe easy in. Breathing is the measure by which you know you are “alive;” oxygen is the most important element to your existence. You breathe in O2 – two molecules of oxygen united as one – and exhale carbon dioxide. It is a beautiful invisible dance that occurs every moment of your lives, fueling you with life force energy. Each cell in your body needs oxygen to function optimally. Dis-ease cannot flourish as easily in a fully oxygenated body. Breathing clean, fresh air rich in O2 in these modern times has become a challenge – there is 30 percent less oxygen in the air. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) researchers have found that people spend 93 percent of their time indoors, while another survey concluded indoor air is 70 times more polluted than outdoor air. The pollution in your internal environments impedes precious oxygen, thus decreasing the quality of your air.
An astonishing 70 percent of your body’s detoxification process occurs through breathing. Most of the work is done at night when you sleep, as your cells repair themselves. Understanding this mechanism, it is imperative to detoxify your home air to ensure adequate oxygen intake for yourselves, your children and your pets.
Getting Rid of Toxins
Since 1946, it has been documented that there are 70,000 known new toxic chemicals all around you. Some are found in common household products; others are off-gassed from furnishings, carpets, building materials, and all things synthetic in your homes. Simple things you can do to purify your home are raise awareness and eliminate easy culprits. Leaving shoes at the door has been found to reduce toxins by 40 percent according to the EPA. Avoid paraffin candles - which release petroleum byproducts into the air - by switching to beeswax candles. They have the ability to neutralize toxic compounds and contaminants while also providing a sweet light honey fragrance. Himalayan salt lamps are also known to be effective at neutralizing toxins by producing negative ions.
Negative ions are known to help alleviate symptoms caused by allergies, sleep disorders, migraine, headaches and depression. Anna Husted of Saltana Cave in Ridgfield, where salt lamps may be purchased, says negative ions may also alleviate common indoor air pollutants such as dust, mildew, humidity and electromagnetic fields from televisions, computers and other electronic devices.
A NASA Clean Air Study conducted by Dr. B.C Wolverton concluded that plants purify the air and provide ample oxygen. The purpose of the study was to find a source of oxygen for astronauts while in spacecrafts. Plants were found to remove harmful toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and carcinogens from cigarette smoke. All plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, but specific plants performed more efficiently, are low maintenance, and don’t need much sunlight to thrive. According to Wolverton, having any combination of these plants in your home will increase indoor home air quality. Garden mum, mother-in-law’s tongue, peace lily, golden queen, areca palm and ivy are all effective for purifying air and supplying oxygen. In order to achieve the desired levels of clean air, you need six to eight of these plants per person knee to shoulder height. Mother-in-law’s tongue has been called the “bedroom plant” because it converts carbon dioxide into oxygen at night when your cells need it most.
The Natural Resources Defense Council conducted a test on commonly used conventional air fresheners and found that they contained many disease-causing toxins such as phthalates, benzene and formaldehyde. In contrast, essential oils—also known as essential essences— are a simple way to rid your home of unwanted guests such as mold, bacteria, allergens, odors and other volatile toxins. Essential essences such as ylang ylang, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, sage and grapefruit are excellent for purifying home air. Essential essences can clean your air, enliven your senses, rejuvenate your spirit, and bring you more into balance.
Cleaning your home should not have to mean compromising your health. Use natural cleaning supplies such as baking soda, white vinegar, borax and hydrogen peroxide. With a little dish soap and these four natural cleaning agents, you can clean your homes safely and preserve the integrity of your home air. When cleaning, it is best to use a cellulose sponge since other sponges are treated with triclosan – a chemical that, when interacting with chlorine in tap water, produces chloroform, a possible carcinogen. Sweeping can be done with a 100 percent corn broom.
Bring Fresh Air In
Opening the windows and doors in your homes on a regular basis is a simple yet highly effective method of ventilation, circulation and air purification. Airtight homes for the sake of energy efficiency are great for saving money but may become detrimental to your health over time. Oxygen increases blood flow, eliminates toxins, releases endorphins, strengthens the immune system and speeds up healing. Ed McCabe, author of Flood your Body with Oxygen, stated that “we derive more than 90 percent of our energy from breathing.” If you want more energy and vitality, take steps to increase your oxygen intake, beginning with purifying the air in your home.
Slyms Bazile is a certified medicinal aromatherapist, certified Reiki practitioner and healing artist. She is located in the Danbury area. To book a session, she can be reached at 203-479-0417 or [email protected]. See Community Resource Guide Listing, page 77.