By Sofia Potente
Are you overlooking the missing part of the puzzle when it comes to your gut health – the toxins in your home?
What do household toxins have to do with the gut? A lot.
We absorb and inhale them – and they end up in our bloodstream and eventually our gut, affecting our microbiome, hormones and general health.
That air freshener in the bathroom. That cream you apply to your skin daily. The Windex you use to keep the windows sparkling.
It all adds up. It is estimated we expose ourselves to 168 chemicals each morning, just getting ready for the day. Our skin is our body’s largest organ and we absorb 60-70% of what we apply to it.
There’s also the medications we regularly use for minor ailments. Rather than using them as a last resort, harsh medications are often our first option without considering the long-term effects.
But don’t stress – the good news is it’s pretty simple to make the switch to healthier products.
It is estimated we expose ourselves to 168 chemicals each morning, just getting ready for the day.
Here are 9 hidden toxins in your home and some simple swaps you can make.
1. Air freshener
Fragrance has been referred to as “the new secondhand smoke” as it contains chemicals called phthalates that interfere with hormone function (endocrine disruptors). Phthalates have been linked to issues in reproduction, fertility, metabolism, puberty and hormone-related cancers.
Simple swap – make a spritzer of water and essential oils. My favourites are lemon, lavender and tea tree which have sanitising properties to naturally purify and freshen the air.
Spraying synthetic fragrance, a known endocrine disruptor, directly onto our thyroid and delicate pulse points is never a good idea. Health effects aside – once you’ve tried the real deal (pure organic perfume from real plants), you’ll never go back to the synthetic chemical version!
Simple swap – use a roller of coconut oil and your favourite essential oils. My personal pure-fume favourites are Whisper, Rose, Passion or Balance.
3. Window cleaner
No need to inhale toxic Windex or lock away your window cleaners in a high cupboard. Here’s a much simpler, safer, cost effective alternative – plus you can experience the uplifting benefits of aromatherapy while you clean!
Simple swap – fill a trigger spray with water and add some drops of lemon oil. It works wonders and it’s safe enough to even let the kids get involved!
4. Mould remover
Mould removers are amongst the harshest chemicals in your home. Sadly, they often only lighten the mould, rather than remove the actual source – the spores themselves.
Simple swap – the good news is clove oil kills mould spores – it doesn’t just remove them aesthetically.