Do you know how vital it is for you to consistently keep the air in your home clean and free of contaminants? Just because you cannot see air does not negate the fact that it cannot be unhygienic. Most of the time, air – especially indoors – are replete with odors, animal hair, dust particles, germs, pollen grains, viruses, etc.
The Environmental Protection Agency has also released some results based on research about indoor air in most homes today. It is alleged that indoor air significantly contains more contaminants or pollutants than outdoor air. Most people spend nothing less than 90 percent of their time at home or indoors on average. This is a growing concern that must be addressed as swiftly as possible.
Air purification, therefore, should be done on a daily basis to ensure a continuous supply of clean and breathable air, rich in oxygen and lacking pollutants. The importance of breathing clean air that is free of contaminants cannot be overemphasized. More than 60 million people living in America combat allergies that are caused by pet dander, hay fever, mold, dust as well as other allergens.
Some of these allergies are so severe that they threaten the lives of the sufferers. This, more than anything else, is primarily responsible for goading health-conscious individuals to start turning to and making use of holistic and natural methods of managing their health.
Indoor Plants for a Cleaner Air
There are many ways to take care of the indoor air and one of them is to use plants. Dracaena, Rubber plant, Devil’s Ivy, Aloe Vera, they all might sound familiar in your head. Guess what, they do an amazing job at cleaning the air of your home. We’ve put together a list of the best indoor plants which can purify the air. Check them out!
Purifying Indoor Air with Plug-Ins and Sprays
Most times, you may find your home oozing unbearable stench and very stuffy. The situation becomes worse in winter when you and your household keep breathing stale air inside your home. If you have used sprays or air cleaners in your home, then it is apparent that you don’t know how detrimental this could be on the overall health of everyone in your family.
One of the primary ingredients used in sprays or other forms of artificial air purifiers is toluene. It is a synthetic fragrance material and an aromatic hydrocarbon. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it has been discovered that toluene is found in high concentration indoors, no thanks to the use of conventional household products such as:
- Paint thinners
- Synthetic fragrances
- Cigarette smoke
- Nail polish
The Harvard School of Public Health also has something to say about toluene as recorded in a study that was published in 2014. When toluene is used as a solvent, maternal exposure to the hydrocarbon has been associated with attention deficit and brain development problems in the child.
Glues also have toluene as part of their ingredients and the danger it poses to many children that use them for basic crafts cannot be quantified.
Toluene is also added to gasoline to boost octane ratings and are emitted via automobile emissions. When it gets into the human body by any of these numerous channels, it wreaks havoc on the central nervous system i.e. your spinal cord and your brain.
Air Purifying Essential Oils
This is one of the primary reasons why essential oils have started growing in popularity these days. They are natural extracts that are usually distilled or pressed from stems, roots, leaves or other parts of specific aromatic plants. Each oil has its unique smell, absorbency, chemical composition as well as a reaction within the human body. Plants that are classified as belonging to the same species have been known to have different effects.
They have been praised continually all over the world for their effectiveness in alternative and traditional medicine. Since the rediscovery of aromatherapy in the early ‘80s, they have become extremely popular. They are usually aromatic, and their sweet-smelling fragrances can have a significant impact on one’s energy level and mood.
When applied topically or ingested, they can improve your health emotionally, spiritually, and cosmetically. You will also get to enjoy other physiological benefits too numerous to mention and beyond the scope of this write-up.
How Essential Oils Purify Indoor Air
Most of them have anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties that are highly effective when diffused into the air, indoors. When these oils come in contact with pollutants like viruses, dust particles, antigens, bacterial cells, etc. they kill off the living cells.
The non-living matter in your home also settles on the floor, thus leaving the air free of contaminants. Thus, essential oils purify indoor air and also add fragrance to the atmosphere.
Top Ten Essential Oils for Air Purification
In the next few paragraphs, you will come across the top ten that you can use for purifying the air in your home, thus alleviating or eliminating allergy symptoms and ailments. To use these aromatic extracts safely, you may have to dilute them.
However, it is strongly advised that you seek the counsel of a healthcare professional before using any of the following essential oils for air purification in your home:
Peppermint Essential Oil
Although this versatile oil is employed primarily for easing tired muscles while revitalizing the senses, it also has powerful antiseptic properties. It can disinfect surfaces and also eliminate grime and dirt.
When used for purifying air indoors, not only gets rid of unpleasant smells and replaces them with its soothing scent but also repels insects naturally. It can be used on its own, though it blends exceptionally well with other essential oils.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile is one of the world’s popular teas and always a favorite for its sedative and calming effects.
It has been proven to take care of a variety of skin ailments – including canker sores, eczema, etc. – and employed for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Lemon Essential Oil
This oil has been around for a very long time; therefore, its benefits and uses have been proven time and again. You can use it for anything that comes to mind, especially as regards cleaning and purifying the air within
This will leave your home with the sour-sweet fragrance of lemon after dealing with the pollutants invading your privacy.
Lavender Essential Oil
If you have trouble sleeping or are anxious, the best one to calm you down is lavender oil. It is also an excellent insect repellent and a great air-sanitizing spray. It can also be used as a surface disinfectant. You can use this oil on its own or blend it with other ones for maximum effects for any purpose that comes to your mind.
You should bear in mind that the pleasing fragrance you will enjoy when you make use of it for purifying indoor air will be long-lasting.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
A study that was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology has indicated that some species of eucalyptus have potent anti-inflammatory properties or agents that help in reducing undue immune system responses.
When applied indoors, enhances airflow as you breathe, having gotten rid of irritants or contaminants in the air within minutes. You can feel the cooling sensation as you inhale the clean air in your home, thus ensuring the lungs and sinuses are rid of unnecessary swelling and inflammation.
Basil Essential Oil
If you or a member of your family live with ear or respiratory infections, it provides the adequate antimicrobial properties that will be of benefit to you or them. According to some studies, it was discovered that basil combats some strains of bacteria that are resistant to drugs. Every day, as trepidation about resistance to antibiotic medication continues to grow in the medical community, a lot of people may end up turning to essential oils as an alternative therapy that will take care of infections, etc.
Basil has also contributed immensely in many recipes and is quite popular for protecting against E. coli and Listeria, potentially harmful life-threatening illness borne on food.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
A recent study has confirmed that it has anti-inflammatory properties which, when applied topically, minimizes swelling caused by skin reactions. Research has also shown that it plays a significant role in oral hygiene by decreasing bad breath and oral bacteria. It can also provide relief for bleeding or swollen gums.
The antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil have also made it an ideal constituent of household cleaners. When you apply it via air filters, it swiftly neutralizes particular strains of bacteria within a few minutes.
If you diffuse it throughout your house, it can significantly reduce mold. It is highly effective in reducing irritants and allergens, thus providing adequate relief for allergy sufferers. It can also be used to disinfect spaces or new apartments before the entire family moves in.
Lime Essential Oil
This is a close relative of lemon oil, and also comes with a lot of germ-fighting grit, especially around the house. It is the perfect alternative for you if you want to replace lemon fragrances in your home but still needs to retain the citrusy scent. Lime stands out among the citrus family as being the toughest on both – gram-negative and gram-positive – bacteria.
Although it may tend to be less flavored than its lemon counterpart, its pack of benefits should not be taken for granted. It can effectively eliminate air-borne contaminants almost at the drop of a hat.
Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil
It works excellently well in purifying the air in your home, especially if the airborne germs cause someone to catch a cold. It can also make your home feel inviting and warm while helping to relax and calm the nerves. If you need one that creates a happy atmosphere, this is one of the best aromatic oils to go for.
Red Mandarin Essential Oil
Red Mandarin has an uplifting and fruity scent that helps in relieving anxiety, stress, fatigue, and moodiness. It also works well when combined with other essential oils and gives off a distinct aroma. It is also an excellent choice for purifying the air in your home at all times, thereby doing away with airborne germs or allergens that trigger allergic reactions.
Statistically speaking, you spend 90% of your time indoors and the quality of the air is 3 times more polluted than outside. Do yourself a favor and use essential oils. Not only they’re on the “set it and forget it” side of things, but they will sanitize that air for you and will also clean your mind and body of bad thoughts and stress. Win-win, I would say!