10 Second Summary…
- Use natural cleaning products made with toxin-free ingredients
- Your skin is incredibly absorptive so use clean and green bath and body products
- Get an air-purifier or some purifying plants
- Diffuse detoxifying and cleansing essential oils for further air purification
- Fill your home with toxin-free loving energy
You might be working really hard on your health goals - changing your diet, moving your body more, and even incorporating some great relaxation and body-care routines. But are feeling like you’re still not getting the results you want? Is your energy still low? Is your mind still foggy? Are you finding your skin and digestive symptoms lingering? Well, your home could be the one making you sick! Of course diet, physical activity, and mental wellbeing are all paramount for wellness success, but if the environment you’re in is full of toxins, it’s going to be very hard for your body to heal.
Why? Well, toxins, as you very well know, are not natural to our bodies. When ingested, inhaled, or absorbed, these external “pathogens” put our body through a tremendous amount of stress in order to process their dangerous presence. Our body first wages an attack on the toxins, increasing systemic inflammation, and then, when it’s clear that it will need to do some more comprehensive work removing the contaminants, will store them in places like our liver, and even our adipose tissue (i.e. your fat cells) when the liver is overloaded until they can be safely removed without travelling to more dangerous zones like our brain. This is a big reason why stubborn weight gain is so commonly associated with toxicity in the body. The body is terrified to lose the weight, for fear of releasing the toxins into our system with no safe place to go. Like I said, if the liver is overburdened (sometimes from an over-consumption of sugary things and carbohydrates in general, sometimes simply from stress), or if our detoxification pathways aren’t clear (our digestive system, kidneys, etc.), you better believe the body will be rather reluctant to lose the safe and reliable fat that’s do dutifully storing the toxic load.
Now, I get it. We don’t all have complete control over the amount of junk we’re breathing in each day. You may live in a very polluted city, call an old dusty building home, or work in an office space that is filled with toxic fumes (and even people). But there are a few things you do have control over that can definitely help reduce and even remove the “ick” from your body.
1. Use only natural cleaning products
Phthalates, Perc, Triclosan, Ammonia, chlorine, sodium hydroxide – these are just a few of the many dangerous chemicals found in most generic cleaning products.
Horrifying side-effects include:
- Hormone disruption, such as infertility and sexual dysfunction
- Liver and kidney failure
- Eczema and other skin conditions
- Respiratory disease
- Increased risk of developing cancer
Worst of all, many of these toxins don’t legally have to be on the label, and are often simply written as “fragrance” or some other misleading designation. The regulations are far too hazy, and the risk is far too great, so I suggest (safely) tossing all non-natural cleaning products and opting instead for some well-regarded greener supplies. I say “well-regarded” because even in the green-clean world, there are lots of products disguising themselves as more healthful, but are still quite toxic. So do the research and find the brands that you feel comfortable with.
Another option, which is also quite cost effective, is to make your own using ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and a variety of purpose-based essential oils. And if you have children or pets, that should be an even bigger motivator. Think about all the surfaces they lick, and all the residues sopped up through their hands and feet! If you wouldn’t put it in their mouth, it shouldn’t be on your household surfaces.
2. Use only natural cosmetics and skin care products
I apply the same wisdom when it comes to my soaps, creams, and makeup. Our skin is the largest organ and is extremely absorptive, so once again, if I wouldn’t eat it, I don’t put it on my body. Obviously, that’s not to say that it has to be delicious or culinary. But it’s made from non-poisonous, non-toxic natural substances, it won’t cause me any concern knowing that within minutes of applying it to my skin, it’s absorbed into my bloodstream. Even with rinse-able things like shampoo, as we’re massaging it into our scalps, our fingers are penetrating the suds straight into our system.
And if vanity is keeping you from making the switch, I can tell you first hand that my skin has never been more soft, radiant and zit-free since switching to all-natural non-toxic beauty products. Eating a nutrient-dense diet, and digesting it properly will do wonders as well for your complexion and youthfulness of course! But if you’re looking for an awesome one-stop bath and beauty product shopping source, my personal go-to is a company called The Green Kiss, who are based in the city I call home, but also ship Canada-wide – hooray!
3. Get an air-purifier or plants
If you live in an older building, or are nervous about off-gassing, I strongly recommend purchasing an air purifier to filter out lingering toxins. There a ton of options out there, but when shopping around keep in mind that one single air purification technology might not be doing enough for your space. There are some air purifiers that offer a range of technologies within their unit, or you may have to purchase more than one to get the full spectrum of purification you’re seeking.
Something that’s a bit more economic, is decking your home out in greenery! Even if you are able to purchase an air purifier, I strongly recommend purchasing some plants to help improve the air you breathe.
Some of the best purifying plants include:
- Peace lilies
- Rubber plants
- Bamboo palms
- Chinese evergreens
- Spider plants
- Devil’s ivy
- Snake plants
Just make sure you’re taking good care of them so that they don’t dry out and die, or even worse, get moldy and further contribute to the toxins you’re breathing in.
4. Diffuse essential oils
In a similar vein, there are many blends and single oils that when diffused, not only purify your air, but also provide anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and detoxifying effects in your body when inhaled. Better yet, some of these oils even provide other wonderful side-effects such as relaxation and mental clarity as they cleanse your space.
Thieves essential oil from Young Living is a common go-to (there's also an entire home cleaning line made with the Thieves blend). They also make a great blend called Purification, that as its name would suggest, is an excellent “purifier.” Lemon, cedarwood, Eucalyptus, lemongrass and sage essential oils all have a fantastic purification effects as well.
One thing I will say though, is that you won’t really get the same effect with a candle, even if it is infused with essential oil aromas. Mostly this is because the actual diffusing process creates a pure delivery method from the essential oil goodness, but also because many candles are riddled with toxic additives themselves and will only worsen the issue. Of course, quality all-natural candles made from pure bees wax for example, are great mood enhancers and can create a beautiful and calming environment, but I believe that a high quality essential oil and diffuser will be your best bet for your purification needs.
5. Fill Your Space with love and acceptance
Some of you may be rolling your eyes, but toxic energy is just as bad as toxic particles in the air and on your household surfaces. Our cells absorb everything around us, including the energy exhumed by the people and things in our lives.
Create a loving welcoming home, decorated with things that make you feel safe and happy.
Surround yourself with art or photos that make you smile or calm your mind. Play music that lightens your soul.
Open your blinds to let as much light in as possible (and of course open your windows regularly to let in as much fresh air as possible).
Keep your home clean and tidy so that you yourself have a clean and tidy mind.
If you co-habitate, greet your roommates, family members or partners with excitement and openness. I’m all for emoting, but your fights will be absorbed in your walls, so be mindful of that.
And if you feel that your home needs some energetic detoxification, try a sage cleansing ritual! I’m personally a bit fan and believer, but if you’re not totally sold, your house will at least have a lovely aroma to it following the saging.