Have you ever considered a cleanse? Have you ever spent a week drinking green drinks and vegetable broth? Cut back on alcohol or sugar?
Cleanses are pretty big these days and for good reason. Our bodies spend an enormous amount of time cleaning out what they are exposed too just in our environment. Our liver and kidneys work hard filtering out all the non essential “invaders” that have intentionally, unintentionally and unknowingly entered our bodies.
So cleanses are great and green drinks being full of chlorophyll are wonderful for rejuvenation; and if you are up for trying this, its a great practice for health and longevity.
On the other hand, you might consider trying to ease the chemical load your body gets exposed to even before you need a cleanse. I have spent years trying to grasp how many chemicals, toxins and non-essential, microscopic elements enter our bloodstream; what matters, what doesn’t, what is harmful, what is benign, and what is actually beneficial.
Yet, if you take a moment to think about it, to consider ALL the different and varied products we buy, use, consume, slather, clean with and inhale; and how many of these products are infused with “fragrance” it’s mind boggling.
Am I really capping on FRAGRANCE? As an Aromatherapist, and someone who deeply values and respects the power of our sense of smell, yes I am.
I will tell you why: our sense of smell is so powerful to effect our moods, hormone regulation, brain and body functions, and of course, how we process taste. Thought and memory, and the feelings associated with them are strongly tied to smell. Just smelling something can cause our bodies to take in chemicals (or healing constituents) and affect our body functions. The marketing behind so many of the products we buy and consume is largely influenced by synthetic fragrance. Synthetic fragrance has been infused into every aspect of our lives, and that has me turning my kitchen and bathroom into my own secret laboratory.
I am pretty confident most everyone is familiar with the scent of lavender. It’s pretty common knowledge that its relaxing and soothing, is nice and in everything from body wash to car fresheners. Lavender is amazing, but synthetic lavender is NOT an essential oil, is NOT made of healing constituents, but rather its a chemical cocktail. Unless its pure essential oil (and even essential oils are often mis-labeled) you are putting into your bodies and those of your family, and home, chemicals that can even be toxic.
But its just a smell you say (and I used to feel this way too). Consider how many products we use each day, and I am only discussing fragrance right now. I am only talking about ONE element of the chemical load we are bombarded with each day. Products from A to Z, head to toe, for our bodies to our homes, pets, offices, cars, gosh even trash liners are infused with synthetic fragrance!
So lest I lose you with my miniature rant, and you think “Well jeez-louise Ann, what on earth are we supposed to use for body wash and shampoo then. I mean I NEED that can of air “freshener” for the bathroom (and yes we do). I want my family and home to be germ free. I love my home to smell like fresh linen and honeysuckle summer after I’ve cleaned it”. I agree. I want those things too. I’ve loved my wax melt candles and I used to pick my shampoo by smell and promises of thick shiny hair.
What I am asking you to consider for just a moment is do we really NEED or WANT all of that chemical load in our homes, our clothes, our dishes, our air, our furniture, our bathrooms, (maybe) 🙂 and our SKIN? With all the cancers, and infertility issues, obesity, with Alzheimer’s on the rise, and countless other syndromes and diseases our nation is struggling with, can we really afford to continue to blindly assume that all that seemingly harmless chemical load is safe?
That is as decision only you can make. We live our lives, nay depend, on products of all manor and sorts to live how we need to live. I simply want to put a light on the subject because I feel its one that needs discussing and one that needs awareness brought to it. I also completely respect that the alternative is not easy, inconvenient and maybe time consuming, and not usually very practical, which goes against our needs in this hectic life.
I get it. I truly do. I am a busy working mother myself.
I have been on this journey for many years. My education only cemented my resolve to find another way to live a little, one step removed if possible, from the large chemical load we put our bodies and our environment through. The knowledge of the power of FRAGRANCE and its use in marketing and how companies can hide ingredients used, under that one little word, frightens and frustrates me. The amount of toxins, carcinogens, and hormone disrupters that are hidden in seemingly harmless body products is frightening. How powerful the corporations that make and sell these products are, and how the FDA and the agencies we trust to protect us really function. How many chemicals are banned in other countries but NOT in the US truly concern me, so much so that I am pretty certain this is becoming the underlying motivation, drive and cause for continuing my education and most certainly will be shaping my career.
With that said, I will end now and maybe offer a little homework until next time:
Consider the next time you are in your bathroom or kitchen cabinet taking a peek. Take out a few of your bottles of anything and take a few minutes to read the labels. Look at the labeling on the front and consider what it promises, and maybe why you chose that brand or particular option; then read the ingredients. See how many you know and how many you do not. Do a little digging to see what its purpose is, and also see if they are considered toxic. Does it have fragrance? See if the “fragrance” is Lavendula Officinale or lavender “fragrance” and how do you feel about that.
So until next time…
~be well, Annie