We are experiencing an unprecedented season of fire devastation on the West Coast of the United States. In my home state of Oregon whole neighboring towns have been incinerated in a matter of hours. More than 500,000 people have been evacuated from their homes to date, that’s 10% of our state’s population.
Such shocking loss and devastation is unsettling to everyone in our community and for west coast neighbors. However, the outreach of support to those who have suddenly lost everything has been phenomenal in our Oregon and neighboring west coast communities. While faced with such sudden cataclysmic change, the resilience and community spirit engendered to help those in need is strong and palpable. It is heartening to see such unity of purpose at work when faced with such widespread traumatic occurrences.
Everyone is on red flag alert community wide and has their go-bags packed if we need to suddenly evacuate. It’s become the new norm in our daily lives. The skies are heavy with smoke and hazardous air.
Forest management may certainly play a role in the sudden fire crisis we find ourselves in, but Climate Change and Global Warming play a much more crucial role. Fires have significantly increased in numbers and length of duration in recent years. As a resident of Ashland, Oregon for almost 40 years, I’ve never witnessed anything like the devastation happening now. It’s a shocking wake-up call. What we’re experiencing now is what climate scientists warned about as far back as the 1990s, over 20 years ago.
I’d like to note that fires occurring in forested areas (not cities or towns) are primarily on federal lands. There has been no federal funding available for preventing fires through forest management, but only funds to fight fires after they’ve started. Though, I understand, California has been able to set up a source of funding for forest management for the first time just last year.
Watch a news segment with Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley while visiting our community after the Almeda fire. (starts :55)
Not only is there an increase in heat from global warming, but also increased high winds and rising flood waters that have led to the devastating results of increased fires, horrendous hurricanes and the massive flooding resulting from them. Just last week, Charleston, SC, filed a lawsuit against fossil fuel companies, claiming the city has been damaged by climate change caused by the fossil fuel companies. I suspect more of these suits by cities and states will follow.
We’re in an emergency situation worldwide in which we must join together to combat the growing impact that Climate Change has ushered in. Hopefully, it’s not too late.
We are in a serious situation in which we must immediately step up and take care of our home that is Mother Earth, or we will find ourselves evicted, sooner than later at this point. We’ve run out of time. We cannot kick the can down the road one more day.
Healthy Home, Healthy Planet
“Health begins at home.” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Fortunately, I’ve been able to rely on essential oils to keep my home space fresh and clean from the toxic and polluted air that surrounds my home. Presently, the air in the state of Oregon is ranked as the worst on the planet.
As I’m sure you’re aware, your environment plays a key role in the creation and maintenance of your health. Changes in the environment, such as the quality of the air you breathe, significantly impact the quality of your health, for good or bad.
For instance the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says that people who spend time in damp buildings can develop respiratory infections and distress, new and worsening cases of asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, hay fever, and bronchitis. Unhealthy environments drive illnesses and support other culprits like molds, bacteria, and insects that thrive in such environments.
Simply by focusing on creating a healthy personal environment in which to live and work, you can greatly increase your chances of maintaining and even regaining your health.
Importantly, your actions to create a healthy living and work space are simple steps you can take that contribute to combatting pollution in your community, state and worldwide.
Favorite Environmental Detox Oils
These oils keep your space fresh and free of odors and help protect you from the ravages of environmental toxins.
All of these oils contain powerful astringent properties. An astringent oil has superior cleansing capacity. The word astringent comes from the Latin adstringere, which means "to bind fast.” Nothing can stick (hang out) in the atmosphere when an astringent oil is used.
Each of these plant aromatics is well-known and some have been used since ancient times for their powerful astringent properties to clear, clean and detoxify.
Each of these oils are also effective for clearing negative or stagnant energy that may be present in areas of your home or work space.
Lemon (Citrus limon)
Chemical Family: Monoterpene, Aldehyde
Scent: Fresh, sweet, lemony, citrus and fruity
- Excellent cleanser and detoxifier
- Powerful astringent properties
- Promote cleansing and detoxification
- Purifying and invigorating properties
- Refreshing and stimulating effect
- A supportive and potent body mind tonic
Cypress (Cupressus simpevirens)
Chemical Family: Monoterpene
Scent: Fresh, sweet, spicy, piney, woody and balsamic
- Contains powerful astringent properties
- Considered by many to be the most astringent oil in aromatherapy.
- Used since ancient times for ritual cleansing and purification
- Reputation for strengthening the heart's energies
- It's said to have been the wood of a cypress tree that was used to fashion Jesus' cross
- Can be useful during times of great transition and confusion, i.e. puberty, marriage, menopause, change of home, loss of love
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
Chemical Family: Phenolic Ether, Aldehyde
Scent: Sweet, warm, spicy and radiant
- Stimulating, warming and uplifting effect
- High phenol and cinnamaldehyde (aldehyde) content
- Studies show powerful antimicrobial effect
Studies showed the chemical content, (E)-cinnamaldehyde (an aldehyde), contained in Cinnamon oil inhibits growth of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In addition, it inhibits the formation of biofilms, which are directly related to infections. The study concluded, "Essential oils containing cinnamaldehyde may be considered as possible sources for the development of new antimicrobial agents and may be used in synergy with currently available synthetic antibiotics or antimicrobials.”
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Chemical Family: Monoterpenol (an alcohol, demonstrates synergistic effect when combined with other oils, enhances their effects)
Study reports alcohol chemical content of essential oils promotes, "a significant synergism."
Scent: Fresh, minty and sweet
- Helpful for relieving tension and stress
- May be useful for relieving occasional stomach upset
Supports a healthy respiratory system
Juniper berry (Juniperus communis)
Chemical Family: Monoterpenol
Scent: Warm, fresh, radiant, spicy, balsamic, herbaceous, woody and piney
- Excellent reputation as a powerful detoxifier and blood cleanser
- Balancing properties promote harmony for issues of excess
- Psycho-emotionally promotes purification of negative habits
Air Freshener EO Recipe
To a 5ml (100 drops) colored glass, euro-dropper bottle add:
Lemon - 40 drops
Cypress - 20 drops
Peppermint - 20 drops
Cinnamon - 10 drops
Juniper berry - 10 drops
Cap bottle and shake vigorously to blend oils thoroughly. Allow to synergize 12 hours, or longer before using. Use drops of your blend in an aroma diffuser (follow manufacturer’s guidelines), or use to make an aromatic room spray.