Tag Archives: Oraganic

Cleaning Your Home Naturally

When people come to me for help with symptoms they are experiencing, they find it surprising that I ask them what kind of cleaning supplies they use. After all, what would a floor cleaner have to do with a headache or laundry detergent have to do with skin irritations or sleep disorders? After we dive into nutritional, emotional, and spiritual health, we continue right into environmental health.

When people are facing serious illnesses, the first piece of advice I give them is to switch to an organic diet. The second piece of advice I give them is to switch out all cleaning supplies and beauty supplies to natural and organic options. Why on earth would we work so hard to flush toxins out of our body so it can heal properly just to sleep in a toxic-filled bed all night or why would we smother our skin, which is one of our detoxification organs, with chemical-filled lotions and perfumes that clog the functions of the skin?

“In a study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in collaboration with Commonweal, researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group. The umbilical cord blood of these 10 children, collected by Red Cross after the cord was cut, harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage.” (1)

That is hard to hear. Isn’t the womb supposed to be the healthiest environment for our babies? Environmental toxins are very real and it’s time we see what role they play in our health. Even more research shows that babies under six months of age suffer 30% more ear infections and are at a 22% higher risk of diarrhea due to exposure to conventional cleaning products. We take our sweet little babies, bleach everything in their home, wrap them up in synthetically fragranced blankets and slather them in chemical-filled soaps and lotions just so they have that ‘baby’ smell. Then we wonder why they are not feeling well, why they throw up constantly, sleep terrible, and have ear infections. Obviously, the next step is to run to the doctor where in most cases an antibiotic is given to them which sets off another set of issues and we still have yet to  address the cause of any of the symptoms. Tired of this hamster wheel yet?

Not only are our babies suffering from environmental toxins but we are as well. Many people are experiencing hormonal effects. “Chemicals that are so-called “hormone disruptors” can interfere with the body’s natural chemical messages, either by blocking or mimicking the actions of hormones. Possible health effects include decreased sperm counts, increased rates of male birth defects such as cryptorchidism (undescended testicles) and hypospadias (where the urethra is on the underside of the penis), and increased rates of some kinds of cancers. The alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) used in some detergents and cleaners have been shown to mimic the hormone estrogen; one APE, p-nonylphenol, has caused estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells to multiply in a test tube study.” (2)

So, where do we start? You can start by cleaning out your cabinets. There is no such thing as a little bit of poison. Get the poison out of your home.

I have complied a short list of cleaning products to stay away from and a short list to start adapting into your cleaning routine. For a much more in depth list, this site  has pretty much every natural cleaning option you can think of.

 

Commercial Products to Avoid:

-Alcohol: specifically 2-butoxyethanol and methoxyethoxy

-Chlorine Bleach:  According to the EPA, more than 26,000 children were exposed to or poisoned by household chlorine bleach in 2002.

-Formaldehyde: found in NO-iron clothes and bedsheets.

-Ammonia: EPA says ammonia is a toxic chemical and causes damage to the lungs and the eyes.

Simple Solutions:

-Vinegar: a disinfectant, deodorizer and cuts grease.

-Hydorgen Peroxide: whitens and sanitizes

-Sodium Bicarbonate: an abrasive

-Washing Soda:  whitens and deodorizes

-Castile Soap:  all natural base for cleansers

-Lemon Juice: deodorizes and disinfects

-Salt: an abrasive

-Olive Oil: polish

-Essential Oils:  disinfects, deodorizes, and antibacterial

-Borax: works great for killing fleas in carpet and works as a cleanser

Cleaning is a very important part of our life but commercialism has destroyed our intelligence in this area. Cleaning should not break the bank or cause illness. By putting into practice simple cost-effective methods, you will be doing your family a great service by providing them a safe environment to live and thrive in.

I have compiled a list from holistic practitioners and also from my own personal recipes of cleaning recipes and beauty/body care products that are at the disposal of my team members or for my clients.  As always, I want to educate and help improve the health of the  people around me.  To learn more about becoming a team member, email me directly or visit this site to learn more.

Happy Cleaning

 

(1) https://www.ewg.org/research/body-burden-pollution-newborns#.WfN0l9FMGfA

(2) https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/how-toxic-are-your-household-cleaning-supplies  

 

Disclaimer
All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

 

*This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. This means I earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links.*

Oil Pulling and Why You Should Start Now!

I’m sure we all have our own versions of stories that our parents would share with us as children. You know, the stories that started out like….”when I was your age”.  I genuinely loved hearing these stories growing up.  Of course, my dad’s version of his childhood always portrayed him as the hero in some way.  We giggle about them now, but the lost art of story telling is missing in our families today.  We need to put the iPads and cell phones down long enough to hear from our elders about the past.  There is wisdom in those stories.  After all, I believe the greatest teacher of all is history.

My mom grew up on a dairy farm.  She was out of 11 children and worked hard every day of her childhood.  There are no ‘fish stories’ when it comes to her relieving her childhood.  Her mom died when she was 11, and with her being the oldest girl in the house, she resumed the role as ‘mother’.  With having four girls of my own, I have stopped and pondered this very hardship every time one of them has had an 11th birthday.  It’s hard to picture any of them running a household at that age.

Both my mom and dad lived in very rural areas.  Calling it ‘simple times’ is putting it lightly.  They didn’t have the luxury of Amazon or Pinterest to solve their problems.  What they did have was handed-down home remedies that I would frown upon.  Now, I feel foolish for not listening to some of their home remedies.  Oh, simple times…..where apple cider vinegar and baking soda could fix anything!

One particular convenience my parents didn’t have was toothpaste.  They simply used baking soda and at times, hydrogen peroxide.  I laugh at the thought of giving that combination to my children.  We use a natural toothpaste already that has a lovely mint flavor and they still squirm at it…..total first world problems!

Another home remedy that has fallen through the cracks is oil pulling.  I am so happy that this therapy is beginning to pick up speed.  Which is hard to do in our society of, ‘I want it now or not at all’.  Oil pulling takes time, effort, and a lot of patience, but if you are willing to put in the effort, you will see the benefits.  Like so many other natural remedies, people give up too soon.  I challenge you to stick with this.

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling simply refers to the way you work the oil in your mouth.  Think of it as ‘pulling’ all the harmful bacteria out of your mouth.  Once you place oil in your mouth and work it through all the gaps and hard-to-reach places of your teeth, it will strip the bacteria where bacteria likes to hide.  The fatty molecules in the oil attract and bond with the fatty membrane that surrounds each microorganism cell.  It will strip your teeth from the harmful bacteria and you get to spit all the bacteria away!  This case study showed great results in the reduction of plaque and gingival indices in just 30 days!

So what oil do we use?

Many oils have been used with this technique but the more we learn about all the health benefits of coconut oil, it is clearly the right choice.  Organic coconut oil  facilitates the absorption of calcium, allowing our teeth to become stronger.  It also helps to stop tooth decay.  Because the oil has antiviral and antibacterial properties, it can remove stain-causing bacteria that will then produce whiter teeth.  Some studies have even shown that body inflammation is reduced simply because of the reduction of bacteria in the mouth allowing a detoxification of the body.

How do we oil pull?

Now this is where stamina and patience comes into play.  The thought behind successful oil pulling is that it needs to be done on an empty stomach, so first thing in the morning is the obvious choice.  Take about 1-2 tsps of organic coconut oil (some people like to add essential oils to their oil) and start swooshing away.  If the oil is not softened then just start chewing; the heat of your mouth will have it melted in no time.  You will need to do this at least 20 minutes, 3x a week.  Don’t worry, you will need to work your way up to this time.  The best way to start is to oil pull while you are in the shower.  This saves time and keeps your mind off the fact that you are swooshing oil in your mouth for what seems to be hours.  When your mouth has had it, spit it out and DO NOT SWALLOW.  Remember, the oil is now packed with bacteria from your mouth.  You want it all out of your body.  Just spit it out in the trash, rinse throughly and then brush your teeth like normal. I finish it off with a homemade mouthwash that is amazing.  You can read my blog entry on how to make your own mouthwash here.

Once you have gained this habit, you should start to see a noticeable improvement in your overall dental hygiene in 3-6 months.  This is such a cost-effective way to clean up your mouth.  It’s a shame more people do not have the discipline to develop this habit.

Again, people like to add in a drop of essential oils too.  We just can’t seem to get away from our mint addiction when it comes to dental hygiene.   Thieves  is a great choice for its antibacterial properties or Peppermint  is great EO choice for its popular ‘minty’ and tingleing sensation.

Further reading on the benefits of oral health and essential oils read this link on sore throats and essential oils.

Happy pulling!

Sources:

  1.  https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/oils/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25838632

Preparing Your Garden Soil

My gardening journey began when I was just a kid. Having a garden was just as normal as having a house or a car. I thought everyone got their food from the large plot of land that was behind their house… Boy, was I wrong.

Putting up a garden was never a hobby for my family. It was a necessity. As a kid, I didn’t fully understand the amount work that went into that enormous garden that kept our family fed. I just knew it as a place that I could steal a few snacks from and occasionally hide out when a certain chore was expected of me.

I grew up on a very large cattle ranch. My parents we hired on as ranch hands and their main responsibilities were to oversee the cattle operation and the hay and wheat harvest. In my opinion, that was the best way to grow up. It was a very humble life, but I thought we were the richest people on earth!

Some of my earliest memories are of my family’s HALF ACRE garden and working along side my mother in it. The rows of green beans and corn seemed to go on forever… especially when it came to weeding. The conversations that I listened in on while I helped my mom and aunts snap peas were the kind that made a girl daydream of the future.  THIS is where I developed my love for gardening.  I am still convinced that any problem can be sorted out over a bowl of snap peas.

Today, so many people hobby-garden (which is AWESOME), but the success of our family’s garden determined how well we would eat throughout the winter.  My mom worked endless hours prepping veggies to be frozen or canned.  I remember my parents praying for the hail storms to pass and for much-needed moisture to drench our land in time of drought.  One thing is for sure…I don’t ever remember missing a meal.  God is GOOD!

I now have the luxury of purchasing fresh, organic produce, however my roots simply fight against this option.  I want to be in control of my produce and know, without a doubt, that I am getting nutrient-rich greens.  I want to know that the occasional little nibble on my lettuce is there because there weren’t harmful chemicals sprayed on my produce.  I love the satisfaction of sowing the seed, reaping the harvest, and seeing the excitement in my family’s face when our hard work pays off!

I now know all the work that is involved in putting up a garden. This isn’t for the faint of heart and trust me, I have made several mistakes.

One of those mistakes…. not knowing that the soil is the most important component to a successful garden. That was not something I paid attention to as a kid.  When I started out with my own small garden I became frustrated because it was not yielding the crop I had hoped for.  What the heck?  I have soil… I sowed the seed… I watered…. AND nothing!  This led me to research out what my plants were needing and found out that I had nutrient-deficient soil.

As a holistic practitioner, one of the main health foundations I focus on is balancing digestion pH. Having a balanced digestive pH is crucial for the absorption of essential minerals our bodies need to function. If our body is not absorbing the essential minerals it needs to grow and sustain life, it becomes malnourished. Understanding this principle helped me to bridge that same thought process into my garden. Do my plants need a certain soil pH? Does the acidity, or there lack of, affect the nutrients? The short answer… YES!

Most vegetables do better in slightly acidic soil, a pH of around 6.5. Make sure and do the research for the crops you want to grow. This will save you so much time in the field. Also, you need to understand that plants have different needs throughout their life cycle.

Critical nutrients that plants need are divided up into three categories: primary, secondary, and micronutrients. The heavy hitters, the primary nutrients are: Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Larger quantity of these nutrients are needed for healthy plant growth. Next, the secondary nutrients are: Calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Don’t let the “secondary” notation fool you. These nutrients are just as important as the primary nutrients. The difference is the quantity needed. The secondary nutrients are equally as important, just in smaller amounts. The micronutrients are: Zinc, and manganese which are required as well but in small amounts. All these nutrients are very important, but if the soil pH is wrong, the plant will not be absorbing them.

Just like our body, if the plant is not able to absorb the minerals, it becomes malnourished. What’s the point of eating “healthy” and putting in all that work if the food we are eating is malnourished? The plant gets its nourishment from the soil, so that is where we start.

It is very important that you adjust your soil pH BEFORE you start sowing seed or planting transplants. The adjustments made to raise/lower pH could stress the newly planted seeds or seedlings out and cause them to die.

Here are a few ways I maintain a perfect pH balance in my soil.

If my soil is too acidic, I add:

  1. Manure
  2. Garden Lime (always read instructions prior to use)
  3. Wood ash (Read the benefits of adding wood ash into your gardens)
  4. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)

Let’s begin at the end…. harvest time….

When I harvest my garden in the fall, I leave some stalks behind to decompose through the winter and I leave it completely alone until the spring thaw.  I’ll even throw in some grass clippings and dead leaves for extra compost.  Once the ground is workable in the spring (for my location, it’s in March) I work the ground and check the soil’s pH (Soil pH tester) before I adjust the soil. My garden soil is generally too acidic because of our heavy rainfall. Rain generally drains through the soil, stealing those important minerals, calcium and magnesium, and leaving behind extremely acidic elements, aluminum and iron instead.

To adjust, I will add in my compost and then Garden Lime. This is generally about a month before I start planting. I will then add in wood ash and Epsom salt a couple weeks before I start sowing seed.  I will check my pH balance again one last time a few days before sowing or transplanting.  I also put about 1 tsp. of Epsom salt in each hole then cover with a layer of soil when planting tomatoes and peppers.  They LOVE magnesium sulfate along with roses!

Note…. make sure and water the soil. The soil needs these adjustments PLUS water to change the soil pH.

IMG_0239

If you live in an area where you need to decrease your soil pH or your crop (like blueberries) is needing an acidic soil, add manure, and then aluminum sulfate and/or sulfur.

Since adjusting my soil’s pH, my crops not only produce a great harvest, but they just look happier.  Depending on your pH test results, you might need to give your garden a salty bath about once a month, along with a sprinkle of compost/manure mix.   This will give you a happy, perfectly-fed garden all summer long.  Mulching will help tremendously in dry climates to help retain the moisture.

Knowing what different plants need will help with your harvest.  This is a great read for understanding the importance of your soil’s pH level and why certain plants need more acidic soil and why others need more alkaline soil.

Here’s to a blessed harvest and thoughtful conversations while snapping peas.

Happy planting!