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Cleaning the Air You Breathe

By Heidi Baldwin, Integrative Nutrition Holistic Health Coach

Breathing is a part of life that is of the utmost importance, but it’s something we rarely spend much time thinking about; our bodies naturally take care of this task for us without any thought. There's nothing sweeter than taking a deep breath of fresh mountain air, or breathing in the salty air as you look out over the ocean, but how often do you consider the air you breathe day in and day out in your living space? Is the air stale, stinky, or even perhaps musty or moldy? Oxygen is essential to life, and we want the air we breathe to be as clean as possible.

There are many simple things you can do to assure the air in your home stays as pure as possible, and my favorite ways to do this are by using plants and essential oils. These, together or separately, can remove toxins that you don't see, clean the air in your home, and add ambiance at the same time. Breathe new life into your home by using these plants and essential oils to purify your living space.

Here are some of my top recommendations:

1. Aloe Vera Not only is it a great plant to keep around for relieving burns, but it’s also amazing for drawing formaldehyde from the air. Plus, in small spaces, just one will work wonders.

2. Lemon Essential Oil This oil purifies the air, plus it has a very uplifting impact on you. Try diffusing some in the morning as you get ready for work to help get you in the right frame of mind for your day. It also helps to give your house a smell of fresh and clean!

3. Ferns Ferns are perfect for your bathroom space because they’re happiest in humidity. While they’re there, they will take all the xylene from the area for a cleaner and healthier you.

4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil There’s a reason you smell this essential oil in spas everywhere. It purifies the air to keep it fresh, plus it is an ideal natural decongestant. Use it in the chillier months, or when allergies strike to clear the air and your sinuses too.

5. Spider Plants If you’ve avoided keeping plants around the home because you’re not good at keeping them alive, then this plant is a good choice. It doesn’t need watering very often and is fantastic for absorbing any chemicals released into your air. If you’re interested, my spider plants have dozens of rooted babies who are looking for good homes!

6. Tea Tree Essential Oil This air-purifying oil is one of the best since it fights away mold. Mold can lurk behind walls and may not be visible to you while still causing irreparable harm to your health. Tea tree essential oil can assist with keeping this from happening.

If you have cats: use caution with Tea Tree oil if you are not using a pure grade oil from a company like Young Living Essential Oils. This oil can potentially cause liver damage in cats if you’re not using a high-quality oil.

7. Chrysanthemums According to NASA, this is the best natural air purifier you can keep in your home. It destroys air pollutants, keeping your home’s air clean and fresh.

8. Snake Plants If you have a space in your home that doesn’t get much sunlight, you’ll like this plant. It’s as easy to care for as the spider plant. This is a great plant for soaking up the toxins in the air, keeping the air you breathe fresh and clean! (And yes, we proudly have one in our reception area for this very purpose!)

9. Thieves Essential Oil

Thieves is an amazing option for purifying and killing off germs and bacteria. From using thieves to surface clean anything and everything, to diffusing it to take care of air born germs and viruses, thieves is my go-to for purifying! I diffuse it almost exclusively during cold and flu season (both at home and in the office) to keep the germs at bay!

For the best clean air in your home, try incorporating both plants and essential oils. You can diffuse the oils, or you can spray them (diluted with water) around your house daily. Unless you have a considerable space, one plant should do the trick in each room. See how much better you feel when you purify your air naturally!

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