Let TransformTO with the ultimate all natural room freshener, Palo Santo
The humble Palo Santo stick will open you to a deeper connection with the Earth plus, as a natural room freshener, it beats Air Wick by far.
Except for a few months in my early 20s when I wore Fool's Gold around my neck, I never really took seriously anyone who talked about things like sacred smudging rituals or burning sage to drive away negative energy.
As much as I am a person who can easily feel the vibe in a room, I never gave much thought on how to change it. I just it felt good or bad and that was that. Turns out those Peace Nick acquaintances of mine, who danced around in plumes of supposedly sacred smoke, were actually on to something. When a Toronto record shop cashier handed me a Palo Santo smudge stick recently, saying it smells delish, I first declined. Incense burns my eyes and nose but the clerk promised Palo Santo is different.
I carried the small chunk of wood home, placed it on a shelf near my sunglasses and some books, and didn't think about the natural room freshener for a few days. When I finally decided to light it one morning, perhaps I was super stressed and thought it would help, the Palo Santo smoke immediately filled my small space with an invigorating yet grounding aromas of lemon, mint, and pine with subtle notes fresh berries and and deep woods. My spirits lifted immediately. The delicate fragrance reminded me of being in a wood burning a sauna in which I become cleansed, thoroughly, from the inside out.
The Dangers of Using Commercial Air Fresheners
Commerical air fresheners are loaded with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In one study, researchers learned some air fresheners can cause respiratory issues, lung dysfunction, and sensory irritation upon inhalation. They can also negatively affect the body’s natural hormone levels, the central nervous system, and both the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. Research shows it can take years for symptoms to surface - the reason many people don’t realize their air fresheners are causing harm until they're it's too late. Air fresheners contain ingredients to impart a scent, but they also contain ingredients that suspend or bind fragrance to liquid, gel, or solid substrate which those that disperse and preserve the fragrance.
Chemicals of concern
Below you'll find a list of toxic fragrance ingredients, other common air freshener ingredients, as well as secondary pollutants:
1,4-Diclorobenzene (1,4 DB): a VOC that may impair lung function. Impairment of lung function is of special concern for those who have asthma or other respiratory illnesses, especially children.
Acetaldehyde: a probable carcinogen.
Benzene: a known carcinogen and developmental and reproductive toxin. d-Limonene: associated with skin and eye irritation. This substance is a sensitizer, which means it’s likely to increase the odds of a future allergic reaction. Formaldehyde: a known carcinogen.
Parabens: linked to breast cancer and effects associated with hormone disruption. Phthalates: associated with effects from endocrine disruption, including damage to the female reproductive system, birth defects, and lower sperm counts. Styrene: associated with cancer and neurotoxicity.
Toluene: linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity. Xylene: linked to the effects of central nervous system depression, like headache, dizziness, depression, and impaired short-term memory.
The sacred smell of Palo Santo
I felt so relaxed with the Palo Santo burning and, despite my years cynicism, lighting the "holy wood" has become a daily ritual, almost. Unlike incense, or commercial room fresheners, Palo Santo sticks are a natural room refreshener -- chunks of wood that, years before, fell from a Palo Santo tree - a botanical treasure, that grows on the coast of South America.
Word is that Incas and Shamans burn Palo Santo for spiritual purifying, energy cleansing, and healing. It's is also known to inspire creativity, evoke protection, infuse blessings, and attract both love and good fortune. Besides being a natural alternative to chemical room fresheners, the uplifting scent of Palo Santo will raise your vibration and transform any negative energy you feel, into something positive.