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Incense & Asthma ~ A Bad Mix


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Incense may bring thoughts of creating a chill richly scented atmosphere for which to dwell, relax, or spark creativity. In many cultural households incense is a part of daily life and has been for centuries.


However, though there are many wonderful scents and habits connected to the use of incense, there's a dark side too, it's use, particularly for those with breathing conditions, and lung disease.

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Burning incense releases pollutants into the atmosphere that can cause inflammation of the bronchial tubes. These sticks of scents contain sulfur dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and even formaldehyde, which can lead to inflammatory responses like asthma attacks as well as COPD due to inflammation of the lung cells. YEP, no longer smells atmospheric, that Stinks!


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[ We don’t want to create ’angry birds’ with harmful scents! ]

For that reason alone is enough to toss that incense, however, incense can cause issues for kids and pets also. Since they're smaller, their tolerance level for smoke released by burning incense can cause breathing problems and the development of respiratory issues. Birds ( as pets) in particular are particularly sensitive to in home smoke.

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[ Yep! That little babe won’t be living her best life breathing in toxic incense fumes!]

Both kids and pets could have allergies to the ingredients in the incense that could be at the root of a sudden allergic increase.

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[ Perhaps Scarecrow's brain issues were due to his exposure to incense! ]


Another issue associated with regular use of incense were increased headaches, forgetfulness and concentration difficulties. The build up of carbon monoxide and nitrogen in the blood from the smoke begins to act on the brain cells.

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Studies have shown incense sticks while burning give off a toxic smoke that contains lead ( especially incense with artificial fragrances and colors). The chemical load output into the air increase toxic load on the kidneys which are trying to eliminate our toxic loads.

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[ A smoke and chemical compound free heart is a happy heart! ]


Long term use of incense sticks may also impair cardiovascular health. This is due to the increased inhalation of incense smoke which, again, contains volatile organic compound matters, as well as increasing blood vessel inflammation that effects blood flow to the heart.


There are many ways to natural scent the home without the harmful effects that incense may cause. Those of us who live with asthma and or allergies and sinus issues would do well to steer clear of these products; not to mention for the health and well being of kiddos and pets!


Essential oils are a wonderful addition to any home to add beautiful scent. Just make sure they are pure with nothing artificial added. These oils can be added into an oil diffuser, onto dried potpourri, into a warmed pot or onto cloths, there are endless ways to incorporate essential oils into a healthy home scent.



Stovetop potpourri, a simple mixture of cut fruits of choice like lemons, oranges, apples, along with fresh herbs like rosemary or whatever you like, and some spices like cinnamon, anise. even cracked pepper provides a cozy warming home scent to be enjoyed by everyone.



Candles safely scented, without anything artificial meaning fragrances or colors. Also candles with natural wicks that don't emit toxins, soy free candles if your'e sensitive or have allergies or asthma, because many soy based candles give off toxins into the air too. Beeswax candles are an awesome way to lightly scent the home and are actually good for those asthmatic lungs. Just make sure to purchase 100% beeswax because some candles are mixed with soy and other components.


Baking soda jars are fun to make and a simple way to use those essential oils to scent a room. Add baking soda into half of a mason jar along with a few 6-10 drops of essential oil. Add the lid with a few holes poked into for the fragrance to release. You can also cover the jar with a open weave cloth instead of lids. Refresh the jars every few weeks or as you feel necessary.



Homemade room sprays are a mainstay in our household and so easy to make. Add several drops of essential oils ( have fun mixing and matching scents) to a spray jar, remember the larger the spray container the more essential oil drops you'll need. To that add 1 cup of water or less if you're using a small spray container, shake and go. You can also add in one part alcohol like a clear vodka to help the oils and water intermix.

[ Rosemary loves the way her kitchen smells after the addition of lemon and tea tree essential oils into her dish washing liquid. ]


Let's not forget cleaning the house makes all the difference in it's scent! Freshly mopped floors ( yep, get out those essential oils and drop a few into your mopping solution, lemon and tea tree is so invigorating! ), and into your furniture cleaning sprays, or purchase naturally scented ones to use. Don't forget those rugs and carpets, dash on baking soda and a little essential oil and allow it to set for a bit then vacuum with a happy nose!


Let's not forget fresh flowers ( unless you have allergies or asthma in which some may be a trigger like sunflowers). Stay tuned for our next post on which flowers to use in the home with asthma and allergies!

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[ A fresh naturally scented home goes a long way in inducing a cozy relaxing atmosphere in which we can rest and rejuvenate ]


So ditching incense isn't a closed door on cozy atmosphere, beautiful scents and mood creating. We have many options for scent for better health and wellness, not to mention, it's just fun concocting fresh scents from the natural bounty we are blessed with!




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