Candles vs Diffusing | nourishing habits

Before you fire up the pumpkin spiced candle or your favorite fall scented candle…please take a moment to read this!

So, if our sense of smell is directly linked to our limbic system (look it up…it’s fascinating!) why is diffusing therapeutic grade essential oils better than just burning a great smelling candle? I mean, since we’re smelling both of them, they could both have the same amazing effects, right? Nope.

Let’s match them up in a Diffusing Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils vs. Candle Burning FACE-OFF to see if that’s the case…

First up, Candles:

*They smell nice, but the scent you are enjoying is made from synthetic chemicals that can simply be labeled as “fragrance”. Many of those fragrances (chemicals) in and of themselves are rated up there with cigarette smoke for allergens. // U.S. regulations allow fragrance ingredients to be listed simply as “fragrance” without specifying exactly what is in the product under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA). Meaning they don’t have to list what’s in it because they are considered “trade secrets.”

*Actually reduce the quality of the air in the home.

*Phthalates are often found in scented candles and have been linked to allergic reactions and asthma related problems. Phthalates are also known to cause reproductive, immune and central nervous system problems.

*Paraffin (found in many candle bases) is a petroleum byproduct. The American Lung Association warns that when burned, these candles release carcinogenic chemicals into the air.

*Imported candles may have lead or lead cores in the wick, which is then released into the air.

*Toxic chemicals, such as Benzene – a known human carcinogen, are released by some candles.

*The chemicals emitted by some candles, especially heavily scented ones, are similar to the fumes from car exhaust!

*According to reports, almost 98% of the soy produced in the US is genetically modified. GMO soy is not the only problem, many soy candles are a combination of soy and paraffin. Double whammy!

Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later. Immediate effects may show up after a single exposure or repeated exposures. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Symptoms of some diseases, including asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever, may also show up soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants. Studies have found that levels of several gases such as cleansers, disinfectants, aerosols, air fresheners, and candles average 2 to 5 times higher indoors than outdoors. That means we are poisoning ourselves, our families and our pets inside our own homes!!!

That info is scary but to be COMPLETELY HONEST with you, the busy, uninformed me 2 years ago really would not have been immediately compelled to toss my candles just by reading this. But what I can tell you is that just by ditching my candles and my perfume and switching to a non-toxic cleaner over the past two years I have had about an 80% DECREASE in the amount of severe “head discomfort” that I have suffered from for most of my life. That means less pain, less intake of prescription medicine!

You aren’t doomed to a stale, stinky smelling house if you get rid of the candles!


Let’s see how diffusing matches up.

Diffusing YL Essential Oils:

*Cleans the air of airborne pathogens, reducing bacteria, fungus, mold and odors.

*Supports immune function (aka less likely to get the icks).

*Supports respiratory function.

*Increases oxygen availability in the air (ahhh, breathe in, breathe out).

*Increases the body’s ability to transport oxygen and nutrients to the cells.

*Enhances mood and uplift spirits.

*Many essential oils improve concentration and mental clarity (yes, please).

*Promotes restful sleep (now who couldn’t use more of that?!)

I don’t know about you, but I see a CLEAR winner in that match-up and there’s no question what I want my family and pets breathing in our home. When you know better, you do better!

****QUALITY MATTERS when you diffuse essential oils. If you’re buying the $5 oil from the grocery store you are still dispersing synthetic fragrance in the air. Read here to learn more about quality. ****
So which will you choose?!

If you’d like to learn more about the Essential Oils we use in our family, read my introduction here and follow along with our Wellness Wednesday.


(Much of this information provided by Shasta Johnson)

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