Recommendations for natural living

Where do you start?

1st thing you will have to decide is: “how real and natural are you willing to go?”
You have been using chemical laden products your whole life on your skin and hair. You have to be concerned about your diet also. Probably you eat at least some processed foods that are laden with chemicals. Are you willing to change all of that or just part? How healthy do you see yourself 15 years from now if you continue as you are?

You will have to “retrain” your nose on real scent. At first, smelling real essential oils and herbs will seem unpleasant. Your nose has been trained on chemicals…

My recommendations for your healthy future: Stop using all those chemicals. Your life should be an 80/20 balance. 80% real, healthy, natural; 20% the stuff you can’t give up. This includes everything in your life; clothing also. If you have digestion, bowel, liver, gallbladder, or thyroid issues; you have internal toxicity issues. This is from heredity, diet; and is related to the products you put on your skin. Your skin is only reflecting what is inside. Our healthy bodies are made to be self-cleansing to a large degree. Skin eruptions are the way your skin is trying to remove the chemicals deep in its layers.

There is a learning curve associated with using real and natural. Have you researched the chemicals you are using? And are you willing to trust your life to the manufacturer of the products? Are they made in China or some other third-world country? Do you trust their purity? Do you trust the chemical ingredients they are using? We make our products in small batches. Every other company out there uses ingredients I have made the choice not to use.We won’t sell a product that doesn’t work well. I am willing to give my products to Jesus and my Grandmothers. I trust they are that good.

Without your willingness to change from chemical products; our products will have limited results. Chemicals pollute real and natural. Just look at our earth, air and water to see that truth.

Dry facial, neck and upper chest skin now starting to show fine lines and wrinkles will benefit most from the Forever Young Face Oil. There are no petroleum oil-based chemicals in our face oils. This is the difference between our oils and others’ oils, serums and creams. If you really can’t bring yourself to use an oil; the Forever Young Face Cream is next best.

This whole process will take time and your skin may look like it is getting worse as it throws out those chemicals that are lodged deep within it. But, within 30 days you will see a marked improvement if you stick with it.

Here is a list of general products recommendation for switching to real and natural body and skin care products. Yes, I feel this is the bare minimum that a person should start with on the switch to becoming healthy for the rest of your life.

Product Recommendations

Essential Oils: there are many books. Learn about the simpler oils and incorporate them into your life. I would love it if all my customers learn to make some of their own products. SIMPLE IS BETTER.

Head to toe cleaning (except face): any of the Bar Soaps or the Liquid Castile Shampoo/Body Wash. Choose your scent…Remember you will have a learning curve to using real products. They are different from chemical products. These are good for children as well as adults.

Vinegar Rinse: Vinegar is amazing. If you can find a locally produced vinegar it will also taste well enough to use internally to help with cleansing your digestion and internal body systems. Vinegar is an acid; but internally is like citrus fruits: it helps to make your body more alkaline (I know seems weird; but that is true) whereas must of us are acidic. Many of my customers recommend using Bragg vinegar internally.

Whipped body butter or Ultimate Body Lotion—again your choice; both work really well. My favorite is the butter since I am older with drying skin. I “butter up” one or two nights a week…or as needed.

Toothgel: What you clean your mouth with is very important. The chemicals in other products go through your mucus membranes into your lymph system.

Face care: Face Care Challenge Pack—you can figure out which of the products work best for you. We don’t tell you to use every product. Use the ones that fit into your life best. If you don’t wear makeup; try using water washing followed by toner, then Forever Young Face Oil or Face Cream

Deodorant: we have solid, roll-on, spray and powder. No chemicals…safe protection.

Laundry: Soap nuts or our Laundry/Cleaning Castile soap. We have an HE washer. I love to use the Soap Nuts; my husband uses the Castile soap. Both work great. Vinegar in the rinse and I have put it in the bleach dispenser for the whites and very dirty loads.

Dishwasher soap: There are no non-chemical soaps that work well in a dishwasher. I would recommend using 1 cup of vinegar and 1 Tbls of borax. See the Earth-Friendly economical way of washing dishes on the Home Cleaning page.

Live Long Sunscreen: If you live where it is very sunny and warm. We need vitamin D from the sun. If you live in a cooler climate; it can take an hour of sunshine to get the required vitamin D. Sunscreens block our absorption of vitamin D. Moderation is the key to safely be in the sun. Don’t spend hours in the sun unless you are protected with Live Long Sunscreen.

Anti-Itch cream and/or Plantain Ointment: These are great for injuries or those unexpected bites or itches.

Cold, Flu, Sinus Oil: Use daily to help you fight off all the germs you are exposed to everyday. If a nasty virus does get through; the Cold, Flu, Sinus Oil can knock it out in 2-3 days when used immediately and often.

MRSA Spray: If you are around lots of people regularly.

Detox herbal vitamins: This will help cleanse your colon. We really recommend getting Colon Hydrotherapy from a Naturopath regularly. Death starts in the bowel and spreads from there.

Parasite herbal vitamins: It is estimated that 95-98% of us have parasites in bowel, intestines and blood. These help destroy the little critters and get them out of your system.

Diet: I can’t honestly recommend an “all organic” diet. Most companies have “bought” the organic designation. Can you trust China and other countries’ “organic” designations? I have not found it worth the high cost. Organic processed products and foods have many of the same ingredients of their “non-organic” competitors. I recommend eating real and natural—Much more fruits and vegetables than you are eating now. No meals from a box. No “convenience” meals from the freezer section.

Whole Body Tonic: Vitamin and Mineral supplement—for those with great diet and no chemical products or health history of problems; this may be all you need.

Home Cleaning: We have great cleaners for your home. You can also learn to create your own simple formulas from the links page. Castile soap, vinegar, baking soda, salt and essential oils will keep your home safer and healthier than any chemical product you can find.

Cookware: I recommend Stainless Steel or Corning Glass or Visions pans. Skillets: cast iron. Baking pans: stainless steel. I have used my Visions pans for 25 years now. I love them and will not switch to anything else—again there is a learning curve to proper heating. You need to store them properly (they can not nest together). NO non-stick cookware. Did you know that when the pan heats up it releases toxic gases which can cause cancer, organ failure and a slew of complications?

Lunches: Paper bags or a 100% cotton bag and waxed paper….maybe make it a competition on how long you can reuse that paper bag or the waxed paper bags (yes, these can be rinsed, dried and reused).

Plastic zip bags: Just can’t do without them? Wash them and reuse them. Less expensive and better for the environment.

Clothing: Cotton, Linen, Hemp, Bamboo, Silk—Your clothing should be a minimum of 65% cotton. Stop using polyester, rayon, nylon—these are chemically created.

We have products for whatever ailment you have also. Herbal healing is slow and gentle. Herbal healing will make you life better in the long-term. Can you say that about chemical laden products and chemically-created pharmaceutical products?

Even before you get the products you decide to order; you can start the process of cleansing your body system. Start weaning yourself from the chemical products immediately. Vinegar can be used as a scalp and skin cleansing and healing aid.

Soap Nuts: A fruit that cleans your laundry and more

Soap Nuts are a FRUIT that will get your laundry clean. It’s TRUE! Soap Nuts are the fruit of a tree (Sapindus Mukorossi), found primarily in the Himalayas, and they are an EXCELLENT alternative to traditional laundry detergents. There are two main varieties: sapindus trifoliatus (The Small Soap Nut) and sapindus mukorossi (The Large Soap Nut). The Large Soap Berry is the most commonly used in cleaning, but both varieties are quite effective. How are soap nuts prepared for use in your wash? They are simply harvested then dried in the sun. They are 100%, totally natural. They are organically grown and are free of harsh chemicals, so they are incredibly gentle on clothes AND skin.They are especially great for those with sensitive skin—including babies and those that suffer from allergies, eczema, and psoriasis! They’re totally biodegradable, so they’re better for the environment than regular detergent,and they’re antimicrobial, so they’re even good for septic and gray water systems! Soapy substances called saponins are found in the outer shells of soap nuts. These saponins have the effect of soap when mixed with water. Each fruit of the soap nut tree contains one, two or three seeds and the fruit itself has a leathery texture and a yellowish or blackish color. They are used frequently, both medicinally and as detergents. If you hear any expert talking about renewable detergents, then it is soap nuts that they are referring to. These tiny fruits that grow on soap nut trees are actually very useful for many purposes.

The End Product Still Goes Down the Drain. Does That Hurt the Environment?

No. Soap nuts are antimicrobial. This means that they actually help in breaking down the gray water in your septic system. Also, you do not have to do a rinse cycle when you use them. This can save gallons of water every wash cycle. Don’t worry, though; if you forget to stop your machine before the rinse cycle they are just as effective. The amount of saponins left in the rinse cycle will just leave your clothes feeling soft. They are 100% environmentally safe.

Will They Clean Difficult Items?

Yes and No. They are one of the best soaps get rid of bad odors. Musty towels and wash cloths, even cloth diapers, come out smelling fresh and new. Stubborn stains, though, such as blood & red wine, require a stain remover to help the cleaning process. You can also use ½ cup lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide to help brighten your white clothes.

What About Allergies to Soap?

Most allergic reactions to soap are due to added chemicals and fragrance. Soap Nuts grow on trees and are chemical free. This may help those with eczema and other skin problems because there are no chemical additives. Soap Nuts are 100% non-allergenic.

How do I use Soap Nuts in my Laundry?

For Natural Laundry Soap, you can use them in one of two ways:

  1. Toss 3 or 5 Nuts in a small muslin bag (provided with most orders) and throw it in with your laundry. (Make sure that you take them out before putting your clothes in the dryer). The nuts will do 4 or 5 loads, (use until they feel squishy).
  2. Heat 12–15 whole Soap Nuts in 1 gallon of water for 3 hours. Use a lid to cover pot. You do not want this to boil; bring to a simmer, then turn heat down to a low flame. Turn off heat; then let sit in the covered pot until cooled. Strain out the soap nuts. The liquid you have is now a concentrated, chemical free soap. The leftover shells can be placed in your compost. Use ¼ cup of this soap with each load of laundry. High efficiency washers will need less. This allows you to do approximately 30 loads of laundry. Also works great as a pre-treatment for stains.

Soap nuts are perfect for HE (high efficiency) and front load washers as they do not create many suds! Just remember to put whole soap nuts,in a cloth bag, in the drum of the machine. Soap nuts liquid can go in the detergent drawer.

Preserving your Soap nuts liquid.

FREEZING:

You can freeze the liquid in ice cube trays. Depending on the size of each cube, use 2 or 3 per load of laundry. If each cube holds about 1 Tbsp. Use 2 cubes.

PRESERVING:

Use clean quart jars. Place the equivalent of 7–10 soap nuts in each jar. (it’s better to use smaller soap nut pieces). Fill with boiling water but leave a ½ in. space at the top. Place the lid on securely. Then process (see below).

WATER BATH:

Place the jars in the boiling water. Make sure to cover the jars completely. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 30 minutes. Remove jar from boiling water and let cool.

PRESSURE COOKER:

Place the jars in the canner, and process according to manufacturer’s instructions for 15 minutes at 10 lbs. of pressure.

Can Soap Nuts be used for More Than Just Laundry?

Yes. They can be used, in the liquid form, for cleaning just about anything.

DISHWASHER:

Fill the soap dispenser with the liquid. Make sure to scrape the dishes clean first. Add vinegar to the rinse dispenser and your dishes will sparkle.

ALL PURPOSE CLEANER:

Keep the liquid in a spray bottle and use to clean the bathroom, kitchen, floors etc. Add a few drops of essential oil to make different scents.

STEAM CLEANING SPOT TREATMENT:

Add 3 Tbsp.To 1 gallon hot water and use in a portable steam cleaner. Great for getting out urine smells and stains.

WINDOW & GLASS CLEANER:

Fill a spray bottle with 1 Tbsp. Vinegar and 1 Tbsp. Soap nuts liquid fill with water. Polish with a dry cloth or newspaper.

CLEANING JEWELRY:

Soak your jewelry in the liquid for a few minutes. Use a old soft toothbrush to gently remove debris. Rinse with clean water and polish with a dry cloth.

HAND WASHING SILKS and DELICATES:

Add 1 or 2 tsp. Soap nuts liquid or powder to warm water. Gently wash your delicates. Rinse with warm water and hang or lay flat to dry.

MOSQUITO REPELLENT:

Spray liquid on your hands and rub onto bare arms, legs or face. Safe and gentle to use for babies and children.

LIQUID HAND SOAP:

Fill a regular or foaming pump bottle with the liquid and use to wash your hands. It will not create tons of lather, but will clean hands well. Add a few drops essential oils to make a germ-killing soap.

SHAMPOO:

Use the liquid instead of your regular shampoo. Leave it on your scalp for 5–10 minutes, rinse as normal. Will not lather much, but cleans well.

FOR PETS:

Use the liquid to wash your pet’s fur. Will leave the fur soft and manageable. Also can be sprayed directly on pet to help repel mosquitoes.Soap nuts make an excellent natural laundry soap. Unlike the harsh detergents that are sold commercially by many manufacturers, these natural soaps are effective, as well as gentle. They do not contain bleaching agents. You can use them safely with white or colored clothes. Laundry done with them is chemical free. The laundry also comes out odorless. Can you believe that a product that grows on soap nut trees can actually be used to get your clothes clean? Fine wool,linen, silks, cotton, they work well on all. The next time you have a tubful of dirty clothes, just grab a bag of soap nuts. You will have freshly washed clothes free of harmful chemicals.

For medicinal purposes:

They are also used to relieve conditions like eczema and psoriasis. They do not contain any chemicals that irritate the skin. Soap nuts are frequently used by people with extremely sensitive skin. They have a unique anti-microbial property that helps kill germs and reduce skin problems. What’s more, soap nuts are also used as cleansers and in homemade shampoo to remove lice and for hair loss.

Soap Nuts are available in our store here.

Epsom Salt and Gardening

The information below was originally from SaltWorks. Their section on Gardening and Epsom Salt has been newly updated.  Click on the link to learn more.

Gardening and Epsom Salt

Epsom salt has become a popular and well-reputed supplement in organic gardening. It is an ideal answer to a variety of organic gardening needs. Both cost effective and gentle on your greenery; an affordable and green treatment for your well-tended plants–both indoors and out. Epsom Salt, magnesium sulfate, is one of the most economic and versatile salt-like substances in the world. It helps to create lush grass, full roses, and healthy, vibrant greenery. It has long been considered a gardener’s secret ingredient to create a dramatic impact. Epsom salt enhances the soil’s capabilities. Magnesium and sulfate are two minerals that are crucial to healthy plant life. It does not build up in the soil; it is safe to use often. Magnesium assists seed germination; helps strengthen the plant cell walls. It is crucial in photosynthesis and the creation of chlorophyll. It helps the plant to soak up phosphorus and nitrogen, which serve as vital fertilizer components for soil. Magnesium is believed to bring more flowers and fruit to plants, increasing the bounty and beauty of green space. Sulfate is equally important nutrient for plant life. It is essential to the health and longevity of plants; aides in the production of chlorophyll. It joins with the soil to make key nutrients more effective for plants, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. It also works in conjunction with magnesium to nourish and bring health benefits for your garden.

Houseplants and Epsom Salt

Dissolve 2 Tablespoons per gallon of water. Use this solution once a month or as often as desired. It can clear up accumulations of natural salts in the pot leading to a revival in plant health. As a general rule, plants need plenty of indirect sunlight to fully utilize Epsom salt. Potted vegetable plants will produce more fruit or vegetables on a plant. This is particularly beneficial to apartment dwellers and those with little or no personal yard space. This creates a wonderful way to easily and effectively grow food.

New plantings and Epsom salt

Prep garden soil by sprinkling up to 1 cup of Epsom salt per 100 square feet (10’x10′). Work into the soil before seeding or planting. This helps seeds germinate better and start a strong and healthy growth. It is also very beneficial for plants because it aids in the transition and planting shock. Epsom salt is advised for use with all fruits, vegetable and herbs except sage. It is safe and effective at any stage of a plants growth. To use a tank sprayer: use 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. Spray on foliage or on soil early or late in the day, once per month. Tomatoes and Peppers are prone to magnesium deficiency later in the growing season. Plants with yellow leaves and less production are showing magnesium deficiency. One or two tablespoons of Epsom salts can be added to the planting hole to help this issue. Later in the growing season, it can be worked into the soil or the plant can be sprayed with the above sprayer solution. Flowering plants including roses blossom more vibrantly and beautifully with Epsom salt use. These two minerals are vital to all plants. Shrubs and trees can utilize Epsom salt also. Use 1 tablespoon per 9 feet of shrub or tree or root area. Work into the soil, then water. For the best results use Epsom salt 3 or 4 times per growing season. Lawns benefit in the same way from Epsom salt use. It helps prevent yellowing; and helps create a softer, greener, lusher lawn. Can be applied in a tank sprayer or apply pounds per 1250 sq. ft (25’x50′). Make a concentrate solution for tank sprayer. If applying dry, water very well to dissolve salt crystals.

What’s In Your Cleaning Cabinet?

AIR FRESHENERS: Work by coating your nasal passages with an oil film and/or reduce your ability to smell odors. Often containing Formaldehyde, a highly toxic ingredient, which can irritate eyes, nose, throat, and skin. High exposure can cause nausea, headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness, memory loss and shortness of breath. They may also include Phenol, a skin irritant that can cause swelling, burning, and peeling. High doses of Phenol can also cause cold sweats, convulsions, circulatory collapse, coma, and even death. Most Air Fresheners contain artificial fragrances, which are petroleum based.

ALL-PURPOSE CLEANERS: often contains Propylene Glycol, a chemical that can cause nausea, convulsions, slurred speech, disorientation, and heart and kidney problems if ingested. Ninety percent contain Sodium Laurel (Laureth) Sulfate. Some all-purpose cleaners may contain Sodium Hydroxide (Lye), also found in drain cleaners, stain removers, and bathroom cleaners. A highly reactive chemical, lye can react violently with water and other materials, sometimes generating enough heat to ignite nearby combustible materials. Extremely corrosive to all tissues, especially the eyes as it can cause blindness. Aerosol sprays containing this chemical can also lead to lung injury. Extremely dangerous when coming in contact with skin, mucous membranes, mouth, throat, esophagus and stomach tissues.

AMMONIA: a volatile chemical, commonly found in window cleaners, and some stain removers and detergents. Ammonia can damage your eyes, as well as respiratory tract and cause ski irritation. Ammonia adds nitrogen to the environment, which can damage some ecosystems.

ANTIBACTERIAL CLEANERS: contains Sodium Laurel (Laureth) Sulfate and Triclosan, a chemical that, if absorbed through the skin, may contribute to liver damage. Eliminates good bacteria, and studies suggest bacteria acquires resistance to antimicrobial agents.

CARPET AND UPHOLSTERY SHAMPOO: Highly toxic ingredients include Perchlorethylene, a carcinogen that can damage the liver, kidneys, and nervous system. They also contain Ammonium Hydroxide, which is extremely irritable to eyes, skin and respiratory passages.

CHLORINE BLEACH: a strong corrosive with fumes that can irritate or burn the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. If ingested, bleach can cause pulmonary edema or vomiting. Extremely dangerous when mixed with ammonia, as the resulting fumes can be deadly.

DISHWASHER DETERGENTS: often contain highly concentrated amounts of chlorine, a leading cause of child poisonings (see Chlorine Bleach). They also contain Sodium Laurel (Laureth) Suflate and phosphates that can cause severe skin irritation, burns and chronic poisoning if inhaled or ingested.

DRAIN CLEANER: often contains Sodium Hydroxide (Lye, see All Purpose Cleaner above), Hydrochloric Acid or Trichloroethane. Hydrochloric Acid is a corrosive element that can irritate skin, and damage kidneys, liver and digestive tracts. Trichloroethane is an eye and skin irritant that can depress the nervous system and damage liver and kidneys.

FURNITURE POLISH: many include Petroleum Distillates, a highly flammable skin irritant, and Phenol (see Air Fresheners). Some also include Nitrobenzene, a toxic material easily absorbed through the skin, or Methyl Chloroform, which can cause skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, headache, drowsiness, symptoms of drunkenness, kidney damage, liver damage, convulsions, and even coma. A variety of other petroleum-based solvents may be used that can cause mucous membrane irritation, as well as headache, dizziness, and nausea at higher concentrations.

LAUNDRY ROOM PRODUCTS: contains Sodium Laurel (Laureth) Sulfate, and Sodium or Calcium Hypochlorite, highly corrosive materials that can irritate or burn skin, eyes or respiratory tract. Other chemicals include Linear Alkylate Sulfonate, which can be absorbed through the skin and may cause liver damage, and Sodium Tripolyphosphate, a skin and mucous membrane irritant that can cause vomiting. Liquid detergents may also contain Ethyl Alcohol, which can cause coughing, drowsiness, fatigue, and headaches.

MOLD AND MILDEW CLEANERS: ingredients often include Sodium Hypochlorite, a corrosive material that can irritate or burn skin and eyes. In cases of high exposure, can cause pulmonary edema, which can lead to coma or death. Many such cleaners also contain Formaldehyde (see Air Fresheners).

OVEN CLEANER: contains Sodium Hydroxide (Lye), a strong irritant to skin and eyes; can also inhibit reflexes (see All-Purpose Cleaner).

STAIN REMOVERS: often contain Petroleum Naphtha, a petroleum distillate that can inflame and damage lungs.

TOILET BOWL CLEANERS: may contain Hydrochloric Acid, a highly corrosive irritant to both skin and eyes that can also lead to kidney and liver damage. May also include Hypochlorite Bleach, another corrosive irritant that can burn eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Ingestion can lead to pulmonary edema, vomiting or coma. If combined with other chemicals may result in potentially fatal chlorine fumes. Other products can include Phosphoric Acid, an extremely corrosive material that can cause severe irritation and burns to skin.

Natural Products For Toxin-Free Living