Hormone Imbalance and Candles
I know what you are thinking. What in the world does hormone imbalance have to do with candles?
A lot actually.
In last week’s blog, I wrote about the Top 4 Endocrine Disruptors. One of those disruptors deserves it’s own blog: Synthetic Fragrances.
Synthetic fragrances are found in a variety of personal care and household products. They are also found in scented candles and air fresheners.
Hormone Imbalance and Candles
I used to be an avid scented candle burner. I loved everything about them and the way they made my home smell. What I didn’t realize was that the synthetic fragrances that I was burning in my home were actually damaging my and my family’s bodies.
It wasn’t until I started dating my new husband about nine years ago, that I saw how the scented candles and air fresheners I had sitting all over my home were affecting the environment of my home…and not in a good way.
My husband has severe allergies and asthma so the scents of candles and air fresheners (and perfumes for that matter) would trigger an attack of some sort with his nose or lungs. When we merged families, I had to leave behind all of my candles and air fresheners. I was a little annoyed about it honestly, but I loved him enough to make the sacrifice.
It wasn’t until a few years later that the true realization of how scented candles could be harmful hit me.
You see my new mother-in-law was an even more avid candle burner than I was. There was always a burning candle or two in every room of her home secreting a variety of scents. The smell of her home was even overwhelming for me most of the time. My poor husband had to load up on allergy medicines every time we went over for a visit. Our visits to their home were limited to around an hour. My husband couldn’t handle being inside the house for any longer than that.
When it came time to move my in-laws into a memory care facility, we were tasked with the challenge of getting rid of the items in their home. We decided to gut their house and renovate it for our two younger daughters to live in while they attended college. It turned out to be a much bigger task than we anticipated.
What I found was that their yellowish walls, were not actually yellow. They were covered in candle soot…there was actual black soot all over her walls. EVERYWHERE. This isn’t an exaggerated statement either. Black soot was everywhere! I just never noticed it because almost every inch of their home was covered in furniture and pictures. When we started removing the pictures and furniture, we noticed the soot. White walls where pictures used to hang or furniture used to sit, were outlined with blackish/yellow soot. Soot that had built up from my mother-in-law’s years of burning candles throughout her home.
It was gross and it made me sad. Sad because my husband was suffocating every time we visited. And my in-laws were damaging their bodies, but didn’t even know it. They were obviously immune to the smell of their home. Like I said, the over abundance of candle burning in their home was overwhelming to me. And, I loved candles!
When I saw the soot, though, I vowed to never burn another scented candle. I was sickened when I saw what years of burning candles had done to their home. It opened my eyes to what burning scented candles does to our bodies.
Let’s talk about what those beloved pumpkin spice, lavender, sugar cookie and spice scented candles are made of.
First, most candles are made from paraffin wax. Do you know what paraffin is? It’s a petroleum byproduct. A PETROLEUM BYPRODUCT! And we bring that into our homes! To make paraffin, petroleum waste is bleached and deodorized before being turned into a wax. That paraffin releases toxic chemicals known as carcinogens into the air.
Friends, many of your beloved scented candles are made from the same chemicals found in diesel fuel emissions and are known to cause allergies, asthma and skin problems. Why in the world would you want to bring that into your home? It’s like allowing a car to exhaust fumes inside your house.
The fragrances in those candles and in air fresheners are equally as damaging. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a candle, a wall plug-in, aerosol spray, or something that sits on your counter. The synthetic fragrances are big endocrine disruptors! They may contain phthalates (thal-Ates). Phthalates are linked to cancers, diabetes, allergies, asthma, birth defects and issues with the central nervous system. You can read more detail about them in last week’s blog here.
Further, some candles are made from soy. According to reports, almost 98% of the soy produced in the U.S. is genetically modified. You may be asking “what is wrong with soy”? I’ll tell you. Soy contains phytoestrogens that disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women. Further, soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that can cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease (I wish I would have know this 28 years ago as I was feeding my oldest daughter soy formula. Guess what? She now has autoimmune issues.)
GMO soy is not the only problem. Many soy candles are a combination of soy AND paraffin. That’s a double header.
When you are using fragrant candles and air fresheners, you are poisoning yourselves, your families, your friends and your beloved pets.
So, what’s a candle-loving/air freshener-loving girl to do?
First, DON’T USE AIR FRESHENERS! Any kind. Any brand. Period. End of story. There is absolutely nothing natural about them no matter what the label says.
The good news is you have many options available to make your home smell amazing:
- My personal favorite is diffusing essential oils. This is my favorite way to make my home smell amazing. Diffusing essential oils does not affect my husband’s allergies or asthma! WHOOP! I bought a diffuser and oil starter kit as a last ditch effort to have nice smelling things in my home. It worked and was an unexpected blessing for me and my family! The best part is that essential oil fragrance options are endless! A simple search on Pinterest will land you an abundance of diffuser recipes. Want pumpkin spice? Try diffusing clove, nutmeg and cinnamon bark essential oils. Again, your options are endless with a diffuser. And, by diffusing essential oils you are not harming your health with toxins, but rather you are helping all of your body systems with aromatherapy. By diffusing quality, 100% therapeutic grade essential oils you:
- clean the air of airborne pathogens, reducing bacteria, fungus, mold and odors;
- support immune function;
- support respiratory function;
- increase oxygen availability in the air;
- increase the body’s ability to transport oxygen and nutrients to the cells;
- enhance mood and uplift spirits;
- improve concentration and mental clarity; and
- promote restful sleep.
- You can buy or make your own candles from beeswax. It’s not hard and there are several videos available on YouTube that show you how to make candles. You can add your own natural essential oil fragrance to them. Or, you can purchase natural beeswax candles from Amazon.
- Simmer spices in your kitchen. Try sprinkling cinnamon, nutmeg or spice of choice in a pot of water and simmer on low. Your house will smell delicious and you won’t be emitting toxins into the air.
- Make your own potpourri with real dried flowers and a few drops of essential oils. Your options are endless with this too.
Simply eliminating candles and air fresheners will not balance your hormones. However, eliminating them will get rid of a few major endocrine disruptors that can wreak havoc on our bodies.
If you’re going through menopause then you know you don’t want anything else exacerbating the hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, etc. Burning candles and using air fresheners made with the above-mentioned toxins will mess up your body (and hormones). Use natural products as much as possible!
Save your health. Save your family’s health.
I would love to share with you all the options available to you to naturally and safely balance your hormones. Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 817-300-7288.
If you want to know where to purchase good quality essential oils, you can do so here. Don’t buy essential oils from a grocery store, department store or other discount store. Quality matters when we are talking about your health.
Live healthy, my friends, and remember that age is just a number.