It is still “flu season”, which means that many of us are trying to stay healthy through preventative measures. These measures often include hand sanitizer, bleach, Lysol, and other chemically based disinfectants. Every doctor that I have seen the past few years uses hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving a room, most of the time forgoing hand washing. These sanitizers work for the most part, they kill germs as they are supposed to. But this type of disinfectant is not good for the body and is actually making us sicker.
Chemicals that are put onto the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream. This includes all of the additives found in disinfectants and sanitizers as well. The other way that these chemicals get into the body is through vapors released by them. These can also be extremely dangerous when inhaled.
Disinfectants do not always kill every germ. The germs that are left are the ones strong enough to resist the chemicals. These germs multiple, passing on their strength to the next generation. The result? “Super bugs” that are resistant to chemical disinfectants as well as antibiotics and other medicines. These bugs are rampant in hospitals and are difficult and sometimes impossible to defeat once a person is infected.
There are natural ways to battle the germs. Essential oils all have antimicrobial properties, but there are some that are better than others as well as some that are safer than others. Essential oils are very concentrated versions of the plant and some are not safe to use on skin. Also, essential oils should never be used if you are pregnant or have an infant because of possible adverse effects. Also, be aware that some essential oils can be dangerous to pets as well. Always buy from a reputable source.
Here are some great essential oils to add to your cleaning routine. Try adding a few drops to a spray bottle with vinegar for an extra punch. To avoid reactions, only store in glass containers and mix oils with a carrier such as vinegar, water, or alcohol (I like strong vodka because it doesn’t have a strong smell). Never use full strength.
- Tea Tree
Of course, the most effective way to stay healthy and get rid of germs is to wash hands thoroughly with plain soap (antibacterial soap holds the same issues as other chemical disinfectants). This simply dislodges the bugs from your skin and washes them down the drain. So remember to wash hands often and avoid touching your face or eating without doing so.