Once you've begun to detox your body by following my 5 Steps to Allergy-Free Personal Care, it's time to focus on where you live. Everyone wants their home to be a haven — but your house could unintentionally be causing your health problems!
Creating a non-toxic home environment isn't difficult, and it will significantly enhance your health and well-being. You may soon say "so long" to those annoying allergy symptoms, no matter what the season. Just follow these simple suggestions:
• Read product labels. Look for "free of perfumes and dyes" when buying household cleansers and laundry detergents. Clean has no smell! A scent-free product will do the job just as well — and not give off noxious vapors that will be inhaled or absorbed through your skin. Be aware that the fragrance-free version of conventional products can still have a strong smell due to the chemicals used to remove the fragrance; this is especially true of laundry products. Better: products from your natural foods store.
• Avoid dry cleaning as much as possible. It's a recipe for headaches — and possibly cancer. The solvents used are highly toxic. If you must dry clean, hang the clothes outside to air as soon as you get home. When buying new clothing, choose natural fibers, such as organic cottons, that can be machine- or hand-washed. TIP: Create more demand for "clean clothes" by choosing garments made of certified organic cotton. One brand I like: Maggie's Organics.
• Open windows daily. Unless you live by a freeway, the air inside where you live or work can be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outdoors! Or invest in an air purifier from a healthy home products distributor such as AllergyBuyersClub.com.
• Clean the filters in your heating/air conditioning systems. Mold builds up in moist, damp places and can cause respiratory difficulties, allergies, and illness.
• Explore an alternative to gas. Gas — natural and liquid propane — is a serious in-home pollutant. An open gas flame allows PICs (products of incomplete combustion) to waft through the house, and can cause headaches, mental confusion, and other symptoms. If you use a gas range, be sure it's properly ventilated. And if you have an alternative to gas heat (hot water baseboard, radiant, electric, or solar), use it.
• Skip the "faux fragrance". Air "fresheners" (room deodorizers) mask odors by giving off a chemical scent. Instead, put out boxes of baking soda to absorb smells, open a window, or try diffusing essential oils into the room. Diffusers and essential oils are available at most natural food stores, as well as herb shops.
• Remodel wisely. Petroleum-based paints, synthetic carpet, varnishes, glues, etc., can give off vapors for months or even years, leading to symptoms of chemical sensitivity and a wide range of possible allergic reactions. Use plant- and water-based products, and consider consulting an environmentally aware architect/green builder.
• Bring nature indoors. Houseplants help purify the air by giving off oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide. Some plants even detoxify specific chemicals: Areca palm removes xylene; Boston fern rids your home of formaldehyde (present in everything from particleboard furniture to permanent press fabrics); English ivy neutralizes benzene (from oven cleaners and furniture polish). Other "natural air filters" I like: peace lily, spider plants, golden pothos, philodendron, and aloe vera.
In the next article in this series, we'll explore How to Buy Smarter.
Amara Rose is a spiritual "midwife" for our global rebirth. She offers life purpose coaching, e-courses, CDs, and a FREE inspirational monthly newsletter. Visit LiveYourLight.com to learn more. Contact Amara at ]]>[email protected]]]>. Amara is also the author of the eBook series, What Shines: Practical Wisdom for Unleashing Your Inner Brilliance.