3 minutes reading time (593 words)

What we breathe in, can affect our health. Includes Free guide to the use of essential oils (inc video)


It seems everywhere you look, there are scented candles, plug-in room fresheners, and reed diffusers, all promising that wonderful, scented home.

Just be careful, as with everything, sometimes it is worth doing a wee bit of research. Also, with real candles, there is an increased risk of fire, so make sure and use them with caution, keep away from children, pets or anything which could go on fire and never leave them unobserved, especially important when doing a relaxation exercise, having a bath, or when you fall asleep.

There are also suggestions that scented candles may even be dangerous to our health. Those paraffin-based may give off fumes that are toxic and as harmful as those you would get from a diesel engine! Research suggests that fumes from some scented candles can react with the air and produce formaldehyde and that formaldehyde can lead to serious health problems. 

Follow this link for more information. Be careful with any scented products in the home if you or any family member suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions. If in doubt, speak to your health care providers.

Safer alternatives if you do want to burn candles are those that use a cotton or paper wick and are either unscented or scented with essential oils. The candles are made with 100 per cent soy, beeswax, coconut wax, hemp oil, or a combination that does not contain any paraffin. 

However, any candle left unattended and unobserved is still a fire risk, and people may be allergic to it, so consider alternatives.

You may also have heard about essential oils and aromatherapy. Again, as with everything, do a bit of research. Perhaps making your own home fragrances is safer to scent your home. 

We have put together a wee booklet on the use of essential oils. It does not replace professional advice; however, it may offer ideas about the origins of why we find certain smells appealing, the claims which essential oils make for our wellbeing, and where to get more advice. 

Note also, people can be allergic to essential oils, and it's worth noting that certain oils are not recommended when you have health challenges, are getting ready for surgery, or are pregnant. As with anything, if in doubt, seek advice from a qualified complementary therapist.

We hear more than ever of people we know and love experiencing significant health challenges. We may even have experienced them ourselves. Becoming more aware of what is in our food, the air we breathe, and the dyes which go into our clothes can help us make new choices. Remember the days when you could see people smoking cigarettes on Children's TV? What was acceptable then is not now as we know more about the hazards of smoking.

The more we know about potential health hazards, the better the choices we can consider for our and our loved one's health. As with any lifestyle change, if in doubt, speak to a health care professional. With regards use of essential oils, there are clinical aromatherapists who can provide advice.

Also, fresh air is good for us, so get out for walks where you can in places where the air is less polluted. If you live in the city, find your local parks or how to get to the nearest beach or woodland walk. We are fortunate in Scotland the countryside is never that far away. 

You may find this video about 'The Coorie' inspires you to get outdoors more, then coorie up when you get home.

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