Environmental Essentials: Houseplants, Sage, Essential Oils
Cleanse & Purify Your Spaces
Chances are your indoor air quality is worse than the outdoor air you breathe – especially after a few cold winter months. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it is often up to 5x worse. Most environmentally efficient and effective way to “scrub” your air?
My personal favorites are low maintenance succulents.
Scientists have long been intrigued by plants’ ability to remove pollution from indoor air and every year we see more proof that plants are truly best suited to protect us from harmful toxic compounds.
Some houseplants are better at absorbing specific compounds than others. In August 2016, researchers presented findings at the 252nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, showing that specific, common houseplants each had a knack for stripping particular volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, from the air. According to Dr. Vadoud Niri, a chemist from the State University of New York of Oswego, and his team of researchers, the best houseplants to protect you are as follows:
3. Spider Plant
Homes and offices of all ages contain VOCs from a variety of sources such as off-gassing furniture, paint, carpeting and other flooring, building materials, copiers, adhesives, upholstery, printers, pesticides, cleaners, air fresheners and candles, co-workers’ perfume and other personal care products. And remember, you don’t have to smell VOCs for them to be contributing to the damage of human health.
Burning sage, also known as smudging, neutralizes any unfavorable scents, detoxifies the air of impurities and provides the sense of a fresh start. White sage is well known for it’s cleansing and protective properties. Our Native forefathers employ this natural medicinal avenue toward spiritual worship as well as cleansing and healing by way of traditional ceremony.
Modern day studies have concluded: “We have demonstrated that using medicinal smoke it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.”
Whether you are clearing and cleansing on a physical or more ethereal level, burning sage is proving to be a sure bet.
The most popular essential oil for cleansing and purifying is hands-down tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil is anti-septic: anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Can’t go wrong. If you were to only invest in one essential oil, tea tree oil is it. Its purifying and cleansing properties are strong and effective anti-microbials, yet ok to use directly on skin. It is efficacious in treating a variety of skin, nail, and scalp conditions as well as mold issues in homes, shoes or sports clothing. It bolsters immune and respiratory systems and assists with congested breathing that arrives with colds and flu.
Lemon oil is equally cleansing, brightening, and certainly has a spring in its scent.
Peppermint oil is like a summertime plunge into a glacial lake. Crisp, clearing and stimulating as anything. I even keep a vial on my desk for a quick pick-me-up.
Add all of these to your humidifiers and diffusers to not only improve your air quality, but to add support within all realms - mind, body, and overall wellbeing.
Questions about additional ways to employ these and many other essential oils? Be in touch.
Stay tuned for the next essential oil focus as we drop into further prevention and wellbeing options including our recommended brand based on its long-time commitment to quality.
We look forward to hearing how employing these environmental essential practices into your life clears, cleanses and allows for nourishment on all levels, creating space for all the good that spring will bring.