It is not unusual for clients with an overgrowth of the gut yeast Candida albicans to be sensitive to a number of environmental factors, such as perfumes and house-hold paint. A contributing
factor to this situation is helpfully explained by Ralph Golan in his book, ‘Optimal Wellness’. In the left hand
diagram, there is a balance between beneficial bacteria and yeast (the large dark dots), allowing the helper cells (H) to stimulate the the B cells to make antibodies. Antibody production (A) is
kept in balance by suppressor cells (S), preventing B cells from over producing antibodies.
In the right hand diagram, the small grey dots represent yeast toxins. These are produced since intestinal yeast and beneficial bacteria are no longer in the correct ratio (dark dots). Yeast
toxins inhibit suppressor cell (S) function, so now helper cells (H) are unopposed in their production of antibodies, leading to inappropriate and over-production of antibodies (A). This can
potentially result in a heightened state of allergy, with an individual showing sensitivity to environmental factors and foods. Working to balance gut ecology is therefore key, and a consultation
with me will help to provide the guidance and recommendations to do this.
Limiting environmental toxins in your home may be helpful while working to support health nutritionally. One area to consider is air fresheners, which are now seen as an essential part
of keeping a home clean and fresh, but ironically they may be filling your home with toxins. Kimberly Snyder has written a helpful post on the dangers of
air fresheners and recommends some natural alternatives.
Air fresheners come in many different
forms, from air and fabric sprays to plug in “burners” to solids. While they can perfume the air of your home, they don’t actually neutralize smells and they can wreak havoc on your home’s air
What’s in Air Freshener
According to the EPA1, air freshener contains four
basic ingredients: formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, aerosol propellants, and p-dichlorobenzene.
Formaldehyde can cause a number of health
Burning eye, nose, throat and
other mucous membranes
Petroleum distillates come from petrochemical
manufacturing, which contribute to air, soil, and groundwater pollution. The effects on human health include:
Aerosol propellants can harm earth’s ozone layer.
Likewise, they can damage human health including:
Increased cancer risk
Development of chronic health
Paradichlorobenzene (p-DCB) is often found in
mothballs and may cause:
Loss of appetite
Changes to the blood
Of course, air fresheners also contain fragrance,
often in the form of perfumed chemicals.
Indoor Air Quality
It’s quite ironic, really, that something
designed to “improve” indoor air quality by making it smell better actually winds up making your home more toxic. Studies show that use of air fresheners in the home can trigger asthma and
allergies, along with other breathing problems. Because your home is a relatively closed space, adding elements that diminish air quality can harm your family and contribute to the toxic brew of
chemicals that wind up trapped in your system. Air fresheners can also harm pets, which have a faster metabolism. They may also be especially dangerous for people with pulmonary conditions such as
asthma, allergies, or COPD.
Alternatives to Air Freshener
Everyone’s home can get a little stale from time to
time. If you’d like to sweeten your environment, however, you can make far healthier choices than air fresheners. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Make a pomander. Stud an orange with
whole cloves and cure it in the oven on low heat for about an hour – or place it in a paper bag somewhere cool and dry for about six weeks. Hang it with a ribbon or set in a pretty bowl to sweetly
scent the area.
2. Open the windows. Every house can
benefit from a good airing out. On a day with good air quality and a slight breeze, open your windows for a few hours. Open windows on all sides of the house to create a cross breeze
that gets air moving.
3. Simmer spices. You can simmer
spices such as whole cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg on the stove top or in a simmering pot.
4. Odour absorbers: Use a
neutral odour absorbent such as a box of baking soda in a stinky area, or sprinkle especially smelly spots (such as the garbage can) with a little vinegar and baking soda.
5. Vinegar can remove odors from surfaces
when you spray a little on and wipe it up.
6. Create your own potpourri from bulk
herbs, flowers, and spices and leave a little in a bowl.
7. Use essential oils. Dab a little on a
light bulb or a warmer to gently scent a room.
8. Put a little citrus peel down the
garbage disposal and turn it on to de-stink your drain.
9. Eliminate cooking odors by placing a
shallow bowl of vinegar nearest the scent.
10. Soak a cotton ball in vanilla and
place it in a bowl where you want your home to smell better.