The Ancient Paths Family Farm

Getting Back to Basics in Health and Nutrition

Archive for October, 2007

Barley Grass

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on October 29, 2007

When a relative of mine was facing a possible diagnosis of cancer, I did a little “internet research” and was so impressed with what I found, I wanted to share it here. I learned about Barley Grass and I’m rather excited at what I found. I have known people to take barley grass and other related products but I never really asked why. This is certainly interesting! Here is some information about barley grass that I found:

Wheat grass/barley grass supplements are promoted for multiple uses. Claims have been made that they help prevent and fight cancer, lower cholesterol, detoxify many pollutants, protect against solar and other forms of radiation, boost energy and immunity, enhance wound healing, help with digestion, fight tooth decay and bad breath, promote healthy skin, reverse graying of hair and lower blood pressure, among other things.

THE EVIDENCE – There have been no clinical trials of barley grass. In an experiment at George Washington University, Goldstein and his colleagues exposed leukemic cancer cells to dehydrated barley grass extract. The extract killed virtually all of them. Encouraged, the researchers then subjected brain cancer cells to the extract. It eradicated 30 to 50 percent of these cells. In a third trial, the extract inhibited the growth of three types of prostate cancer cells by 90 to 100 percent.
Compare Curing Massive Cancer With Green Barley Pills.

In Japan, where barley grass extract is popular, there is anecdotal evidence that it helps the body heal from many illnesses. In one informal study, a Japanese dermatologist observed a group of 7.5 patients with skin diseases ranging from melanosis (darkening of the skin) to eczema. The patients who took barley grass extract healed faster than did those who did not. They also noticed improvements in appetite and bowel regularity.

WOW! I would love to see an FDA clinical study done with barley grass. None of these claims have been tested with US clinical studies nor are they FDA approved claims. These are simply observations that have been made by people who have either used the material in their diets or have done some sort of testing on their own. Like I said, I knew that some people would take these supplement products but I never really asked why. Learning why they are taking them has certainly been intriguing!

Even Oprah has information on barley grass at her website.

I have heard about a man in our area who was diagnosed with end stage cancer and sent home to die. He was quite ill and could not keep any food down, which only made his condition worse. Someone suggested that he drink a barley juice because he should be able to “keep it down”. After several months his physician called to talk to the man’s wife and ask why he wasn’t notified of the man’s death, the physician was rather insulted. The wife handed the phone to the man and apparently the Dr was speechless – the man was alive and seemed to be doing rather well. The Dr asked the man to come in for a check up, which he did. I’m not aware of what this man had been doing since the time he was expected to die and now, but he’s been cancer free for over 2 years now. He attributes much of his condition to the barley. I find this so interesting because apparently he wasn’t even looking for a cure, he just wanted to die without starving to death. Once he started to feel better, I am sure that he and his wife began to look into various things that would benefit him.

Barley Pure is a product that we do have available, if you are interested in trying it for yourself. This product is 100% organic and comes in both a powdered form or in a vegetarian capsule. I’d love to get you connected with a good barley product so you can see for yourself what impact it may have in your life.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


Posted in Alternative Therapy, Health, Product Reviews | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

An Easy Headache Remedy

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on October 22, 2007

We all know what a headache looks like thanks to television commercials. Most of us understand that headaches occur when small blood vessels within the skull open up and pressure increases and that pressure is what we know of as a headache.

I read about a simple remedy that I thought was rather funny, till I tried it and it worked. I thought it was just me but then Shalom tried it and later DH tried it and it worked for them too.

So what’s the trick? When you feel a headache beginning over one eye, take a clothespin and put it on the ear lobe of the ear on the same side. DH tried the clothespin but Shalom and I simply pinched our ear lobes as hard as we could. In a matter of seconds the pain faded and disappeared. Why it works, I can’t say. But I can tell you that I do appreciate this little tidbit and I thought I’d share it with others.

Posted in Alternative Therapy, Natural Remedies | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

pH Balance and Health

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on October 16, 2007

According to studies, most of the world’s population has an acidic pH level and this contributes to disease, illness, and a detioration of general health. This holds true in North America as well. According to the the Acid Alkaline Balance and Health site site there are numerous problems associated with a pH imbalance:

A few (just a few) of these include lack of energy; constant fatigue; loss of drive, joy, and enthusiasm; high irritability; headaches; problems in the mouth, acid reflux, gastritis, intestinal disorders, kidney problems, skin problems, bone loss, poor circulation, thyroid issues, insomnia, and the list goes on and on.

Correcting your body’s pH balance will result in your feeling better and your body being able to work as it was intended to by our Creator. If your saliva or urine pH is alkaline, disease and sickness virtually can not exist.  Remember, most serious medical conditions did not develop overnight.

The Body and pH Balance
The acronym pH stands for “Potential Hydrogen” and it has to do with hydrogen ions and the ability to absorb more hydrogen ions. The scale which pH is measured is in numbers between 0 and 14. A lower number means that the substance is acidic and a higher number means that the substance is more alkaline. Neutral is in the middle, a number 7. Generally water has a pH of 7 and is a neutral substance.
Acidosis and alkalosis are terms that are used to describe the abnormal conditions when a persons pH does not fall within a healthy range. The pH of human blood should be maintained between 7.35 and 7.45 according to an article titled Acidosis/Alkalosis. We want to maintain a good balance for optimal health and that balance means that our bodies need to be slightly alkaline.

From the pH Ionic website I found this information:

The body becomes imbalanced and overly acidic primarily as a result of three things:

1. Ingesting acids. Eating too many acidifying foods like processed sugar, meats, dairy, coffee, alcohol, etc. create an acid ash in the body. These acids can overload the body’s ability to neutralize them.

2. Creation of acids. Pathogens and microforms create acidifying toxins in the body. As the body becomes more and more acidic, bad bacteria, yeasts and other microforms proliferate in the body. Since these organisms are living, they eat as well as create resulting toxins. These toxins are often very acidifying.

3. Improper elimination of acids. Not all acids are the same; some are weak and some are strong. Weak acids like citric acid are much easier to neutralize than strong acids like uric acid. The body uses many systems in order to buffer acids including breath, mineral reserves, and fat. When the body’s buffering systems become compromised, excess acids build up.

And from pH Regulatory System of the Body:

Our body pH is very important because pH controls the speed of our body’s biochemical reactions. It does this by controlling the speed of enzyme activity as well as the speed that electricity moves through our body.

How To Adjust Your pH

The best way to adjust the pH of your body is through your diet. Most people in America have an acidic pH. Think about what we consume: coffee, soda, pizza, burgers, etc. When we give our bodies the proper building blocks to work with, we will discover that our bodies will be better able to do what they were created to do: heal from injury or illness, fight disease, properly metablolize, etc. Simply put, our bodies will be better able to work to the best of their created abilities. Using these products regularly will aid in restoring you to a balanced pH.

My Experience

Even after giving up fast food and most ready-to-eat boxed meals I was still a cola junkie. I would have at least two cans of cola every day. I would justify it by saying “I don’t like coffee so when everyone else drinks their coffee with all the added sugar and sweeteners, I drink cola.” But over the past few years our family has become more and more health conscious. Is it because our kids are now old enough to hear the conversations about what is good for you and what is bad – and then question why we continued to consume some of the ‘bad’ products? Is it because as adults we are becoming more and more health conscious when we hear of friends and loved ones who are being diagnosed with illnesses and disease? Is it because we, ourselves, are fighting aches and pains and a general loss of “youthfulness”? It could be any of these or all of these, and more. Whatever the primary reason for our attention to health and wellness in recent years, we have worked to eliminate some things and add others. But I didn’t discover that part of the health equation was our pH levels until recently.

Since we have started eating more healthy and whole foods we have noticed a marked difference. We feel better. When everyone else has a cold or a flu, we don’t seem to get it. The few times we’ve been ill it lasts a very short time. A cold that hung on in a friends house for weeks only lasted 2 or 3 days in ours, and wasn’t nearly as bad. When others are tired at the end of the “work day”, DH and I still find energy to work on the farm and do various odd jobs necessary for our construction business, on the rental house, or for aging parents and grandparents.

Several months ago we tested our pH levels and discovered that while we were close to where we needed to be, we still weren’t as close as we wanted to be. It was after this that we quit the cola (though this wasn’t why we quit cola). Then we tested our pH levels again earlier this week to discover that between the two of us, our average pH levels were 6.5 and 6.75. So now we’re not too far away from where we should be. Knowing about our pH levels is just a piece of the health puzzle.

In recent weeks we’ve started a new program on top of our healthy habits. It only makes sense that when the pH piece was placed in the health puzzle, along with the rest of the pieces that we’re finding and putting together, that we would notice a difference in our general health and energy levels.

Posted in Alternative Therapy, Health | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Sweat Stains, pH Balance and Deodorant

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on October 16, 2007

If you’re like me you tend to sweat more than others. It’s a family trait, a genetic thing. I also do not wear white. It’s not that I don’t like white but white does not stay white on me. In a matter of time white turns to a dingy yellow. I’m not alone in this. I know someone who turns white shirts orange!

T-shirt sweat stain Dress Shirt - sweat stain

It’s rather bothersome and it can be embarrassing. And it’s not just pit-stains, it’s stains on any part of white clothing that rests against my skin. In doing some research several months ago I discovered that the yellow stain left behind by people like me is from an out-of-balance pH level. Apparently protein from the bacteria that normally lives on our skin will produce the yellowing stain. When the pH level is more neutral the bacteria will leave no stain, but if it’s off the stains will appear. (I never found a remedy for removing the stains that really works, only for not producing them) Apparently the darker the stain the more “off” your pH is. To find out more about pH and your health, see pH Balance and Health.

Anti-Perspirants and Deodorants

For quite some time now there has been a lot of speculation and study about long-term side effects of anti-perspirants and deodorants that use ingredients such as aluminum and zirconium. I’m sure you’ve heard the same things I have: “Aluminum causes Alzheimers Disease so stop using any anti-perspirant!” Whether or not the aluminum in the anti-perspirant does indeed cause some form of mental degeneration, I cannot say for certain and that is not the focus of this article. I do know that because anti-perspirants aid in the prevention of the body’s production of sweat in the areas it’s applied that the FDA considers any anti-perspirant a drug. Deodorant is simply a cosmetic, to keep you from smelling bad.

I’ve tried “all natural” deodorants before and I’ve found that either they stung and/or irritated my skin, they left a sticky residue or they didn’t last all day. Simply put, I haven’t liked them. So I’ve used a popular anti-perspirant/deodorant for as long as I can remember and have passed by those “all natural” deodorants in the stores.

It wasn’t too long ago that I read about a deodorant stone in a folk remedy book. I was intrigued and skeptical. Then I ran across one and decided to try it. Why not, right? I was very impressed! It wasn’t sticky or irritating or stinging, it didn’t smell (meaning it has no odor) and it did successfully keep me from smelling like sweat all day long. Even after exercising and sweating, it worked. The stone is made from a potassium compound and mineral salts that have been allowed to crystalize over time. Not only that but one stone will last as long as six commercial deodorant cans. This means that one stone can last for a year, on average. I like the monetary benefit in this product as much as I like the fact that it works and is a healthier alternative to your standard commercial deodorant.

Here is the product I’ve been using and some of the product information:

Deodorant Stone

Natural Deodorant

URI Deodorant Stone™ helps combat body odors naturally by neutralizing and inhibiting odor causing bacteria. When moistened and applied, the Deodorant Stone forms an invisible layer of protection that leaves you feeling clean and smelling fresh all day.

One of the finest deodorant stones available, the Deodorant Stone is 100% natural, pH balanced, hypoallergenic, environmentally safe, non-staining and non-irritating. Never sticky or greasy. Contains no harmful chemicals, perfumes, oils, emulsifiers, alcohol, aluminum cholorhydrate or propellants.

Contains: Contains potassium sulfate and mineral salts which have been crystallized over a period of months.

If you’re interested in learning more about the URI Deodorant Stone and our experience with it, feel free to contact us through this link.

The Bottom Line

So, what are the results of my quest to wear white again (and keep the clothes white)? Well in past weeks I’ve been able to bring my pH from quite acidic to almost completely balanced. I’ve cut out some things from my diet (like soda) and I’ve added other things to my diet (see this). With these two things I feel different – more energy and more rested, not so worn out. I’ve switched to the deodorant stone and yesterday I just got a brand new white t-shirt to sleep in. I’ll follow up in a few weeks to let you know if there is any staining to be found on my new white shirt.

*** Update May 22, 2008 ***

I have not had a single white garment turn dingy yet! I have, however, had a light green t-shirt fade a little in the armpit area, but that is the only thing I have noticed. The deodorant doesn’t keep you from sweating, just smelling bad. My husband has told me that I no longer smell like anti-perspirant (I always used the unscented kind, still….). Bottom line after 7+ months – I’m thrilled with this product. I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to maintain a more balanced pH and that I am now comfortable with wearing white again!

Posted in Alternative Therapy, Health, Natural Remedies, Product Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | 14 Comments »

Our Health In 20 Years is the Report Card for How We’re Living Today

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on October 11, 2007

** I wrote this at an old blog on January 11, 2007. I thought I’d share it here as well. **


I’m taking a break from the mental overload of the end of the year bookwork for the business, farm, and rental properties – not to mention our personal finances. While the kids work on a few crafts together I’m going to ramble. Wanna join me? LOL

We were watching “Assignment Discovery” the other night about acids and bases (yes, a bit too “much” of a science lesson for our kids but it’s always amazing just what they do understand – even when they think they don’t get it at all). There was a nutritionist on the program who said something that really hit home with me. He said something along the lines of:

Report Card

“Our health 20 years from now is our report card for how we’re living today.” He was talking very quickly about how what we put into and do with our bodies doesn’t tend to show up in our lives until much much later. He made another statement about how the rates of disease has increased dramatically in recent generations and how that is directly related to how we are taking care of ourselves when we’re younger. I’ve heard this similar thought often in the past few weeks related to the ‘obesity’ of our nations population and the increase of things like diabetes.

Then I heard a lady on the radio today talking about a particular health plan that she was promoting and she said something along the lines of:

Live as long as I live!

“I want to live as long as I’m alive. I don’t want to have a condition that prevents me from living my life to it’s fullest. I want to live my life as fully as I can in order to serve my Father as fully as I can.” She was talking about quality of life when we so often talk about longevity of life. There’s nothing wrong with living long, but we need to take care to live well so that our longevity is filled with as much life as He allows us. (did that just make sense?) If my hands hurt too bad to write a check, my eyes can’t see very well, my body can’t handle my walking through town, or something else along those lines – I may not be able to be as useful to my Father. My mind will be spending more time on my condition than on Him, I’ll be slowed down more than I would like to be, etc. At the same time my grandmother, of blessed memory, had the worst case of rheumatoid arthritis I have ever seen. That is eventually what killed her. She didn’t ever let it stop her from life, as much as I know. He used her in spite of her conditions (which also included breast cancer and other ‘smaller’ conditions) and she grew in spite of her conditions. Please don’t think that I feel that someone with a health condition can’t be used by Him, I don’t feel that way at all. I’m merely trying my best to repeat the concept that this lady was relating.

I’ve noticed a theme of things that I keep bumping into in my daily life the past few weeks – ever since a friend of mine told me that she felt the L-RD tell her that her favorite treat – ice cream – is “the nectar of death”. It seems that almost daily there are a few things that come into my life that I find myself chewing on related to health and our family diet, why we do some of the things we do. I thought I’d share my thoughts with you all and see if any of you have anything to share with me on the subject.

First of all, we do our best to keep Biblical kosher. Outside of our congregation, people think we’re strange. Giving up marshmallows, the kids tell me, was a million times harder than giving up christmas or easter (for a bit of an explanation as to why that is, see Worshiping G-d in His Holidays). Summertime bonfires just don’t have the same appeal without s’mores, yams just aren’t the same without the marshmallow topping (the cream just isn’t the same…). But all in all, nobody misses anything that we used to eat that we don’t eat anymore. Well, except for marshmallows… Other than kosher, there’s no more store bought cookies (homemade instead), no more candies (except for special occasions) but a lot more dried fruit these days, we don’t eat much processed food – as little as we can, and we never eat out anymore. Our families think we’ve lost our marbles.

Cast Iron

When we moved into our new house almost two years ago we switched from using regular cooking pots & pans (you know, the teflon kind) to cast iron. My reasoning was more the novelty of it all more than the health aspects of it, but after I had decided on this move I started hearing quite a bit about how teflon is now being found in the blood streams of infants, imagine how much it’s being found in the systems of those who are actually eating the food cooked in those pots and pans. I also read an article that was saying that after the common use of cast iron for cooking the rates of anemia increased dramatically, this author was connecting the two (you know, the iron factor). I don’t know if that’s a correct assumption but it was interesting anyway. We really have liked the taste of our foods in the cast iron and I really like that they’re so easy to clean. Health benefit or not, we’re sold on the cast iron. We still have a few aluminum pots, and some say there’s a connection between aluminum and alzheimers. We’ll see. I think the Coke in a can might be worse for me than the pots are.

Long before we moved into the house I started to cut out all plastics in the kitchen. My reason for this was mostly taste – I hated the plastic taste that the foods would have. I also had heard that the plastics leeched toxins into the food and liquid, and that was of great concern to me. I had heard about the pseudo-estrogens in plastics and was sure that those weren’t a necessary part of my families diet. I switched to glass bowls for storing/reheating left overs and sending DH to work with his lunch in ceramic/glass containers rather than plastic. We found some water bottles that were a harder plastic and didn’t leave that plastic taste to the water, and we’re assured by others that these harder plastic bottles don’t leech any “stuff” into the water.

Seed Packets

Then there’s the seed catalog that came this week. We started talking as a family about what we’d like to grow in the garden this spring/summer/fall. Is it ever too early to start planning the next garden? Our oldest daughter, Myriam, has been reading about various herbal remedies lately in her constant quest for medical/veterinary knowledge. She was talking about certain plants and their uses medicinally (like rutebega and honey for a sore throat). I found it quite interesting and my mind started going to Shmuella (our youngest “daughter”) and her constant battle with sickness before she came to our family – all the medicines and chemicals that have been put into her system. We soon found ourselves talking about our meat – since we raise it ourselves. Our goal is to raise more and more of our own fruits and veggies too, and to store them (freeze them) for use througout the year. It really struck us this spring when Reuven and Shmuella came into our family just how “strange” our diet is compared to most. Now that they’ve become accustomed to our diet the school lunches make them sick and the thought of going out to a restaurant with their family makes them groan. LOL But the dark circles under their eyes are gone and their skin has cleared up almost completely. We have moved farther and farther away from traditional medicines and things of that nature, unless there isn’t anything else to treat the problem and we feel it’s necessary (like Shalom and DH’s inhalers that they haven’t needed for over a year now). We’ve been growing quite the herbal remedy cabinet over the past few years.

These bunny trails all seem to go along with the ones about how we’ve cut out almost all of the refined sugars (except my Coke and the white sugar we have on hand for people to put in their coffee and in a very few things we eat **Update: Coke has been successfully cut from our ‘diet’**) and replaced the sugar with honey, or how I’m a water-pusher or fruit/veggie pusher. LOL I have people ask me, more often lately than not, “Do you use a microwave?” which completely dumbfounded me at first. Yes we have one. Do we use it? Not much really, DH uses it to melt butter for his popcorn. I started making my own bread just over a year ago and now we can’t hardly stand store bought bread (never mind that we’ve discovered that commercial bakery and pastry products contain the highest amounts of those nasty trans-fats). Besides, it’s not nearly as fun! I’ve come across more than a few articles/radio programs related to processed foods and the increased rates of various diseases since WWII (when the popularity of canned food took off and hasn’t looked back) . Is it just me or is all of this health stuff a very popular subject these days?

uncle sam vegetables

I guess the theme of all of this has been how I’ve been trying to make good choices for our family for several years now and how I’m trying to ensure that our report cards in 20+ years show some good healthy habits. I am not one to stand on a soap box and preach about health or diet or exercise – my soap boxes are of a different nature. But there is a part of me that wonders – is there more to this than I previously thought and is He revealing something to me that I’m at the early stages of grasping? I know that my body is the temple of the Ruach here in this world and that when Messiah returns that I’ll be given a new body/temple/mansion. That doesn’t mean that I don’t take care of the mansion I have now. (LOL Yes, I do have some weight I could drop.) My primary goal is to teach my kids good dietary habits, an appreciation for exercise, and a good foundation for overall health. My kids won’t learn if I don’t do it myself. “More is caught than taught” I hear.

So check back with me in 20 years and let’s see how our families general health is then. Maybe we can say that because we didn’t use plastic and we did use cast iron that we’re better for it. Maybe we will find out how horrible those things really were for us. Who knows. Maybe the aluminum will have done it’s job and I won’t know what on earth you’re talking about. LOL I don’t usually spend much time thinking about such things but lately it seems to be a theme somewhere in my every day life.

Kids Dancing


I’ve rambled WAY too much and I hear all the kids dancing to “Jew & Gentile” in the other room. I need to go interrupt them so we can get our evening Bible reading in before bed.

Posted in Good Stewardship, Health | 2 Comments »

The Effects of Nutrition on Our Health

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on October 10, 2007

A lack of proper nutrition is a serious issue that in recent years has become more and more of a household conversation topic. Every parent wants to provide adequately nutritious meals for their children. And as individuals there is a growing trend for several decades now toward healthier lifestyles and a more complete diet.

drawing - mom & child drawing - dad & child

Most of us are sure that we are getting what we need in our diets and that we are healthy but the truth is that most of us are lacking in some vital nutrients. We assume that because we eat three square meals a day that we’re getting what we need. However today we live a fast paced lifestyle and the quality of our foods are not quite what we expect them to be. I think that very few of us would consider ourselves unhealthy and yet not make any changes to better our health. I read the two articles linked below about malnutrition and found them interesting. I thought I’d share bits of them here:

Nutrition for Health and Development from the World Health Organization

Nutrition is an input to and foundation for health and development. Interaction of infection and malnutrition is well-documented. Better nutrition means stronger immune systems, less illness and better health. Healthy children learn better. Healthy people are stronger, are more productive and more able to create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of both poverty and hunger in a sustainable way. Better nutrition is a prime entry point to ending poverty and a milestone to achieving better quality of life.

Nutrition affects our lives in many areas. It also affects our society as the WHO points to a relation between poor nutrition and poverty. This makes sense. If we feel well we will be able to work and/or work better. Granted, if there is no work to be done then our health can not be a factor. But for us in North America we can relate to feeling better and preforming better at work. We know that when we feel better we are happier and able to do the things we enjoy as well as the things we’re obligated to do.

Malnutrition Information

Malnutrition can occur because of the lack of a single vitamin in the diet, or it can be because a person isn’t getting enough food. Starvation is a form of malnutrition. Malnutrition also occurs when adequate nutrients are consumed in the diet, but one or more nutrients are not digested or absorbed properly.

Malnutrition may be mild enough to show no symptoms. However, in some cases it may be so severe that the damage done is irreversible, even though the individual survives.

Worldwide, malnutrition continues to be a significant problem, especially among children who cannot fend adequately for themselves. Poverty, natural disasters, political problems, and war all contribute to conditions — even epidemics — of malnutrition and starvation, and not just in developing countries.

I found it interesting that a lack of a single nutrient is cause to be classified as malnutrition. It makes sense! If our bodies are lacking in what we need then we would be under nourished, hence malnourished.

So what are the signs of malnutrition? I found this article and thought it was interesting enough to pass along:
Do You Have A Nutritional Deficiency? How To Identify The Signs.

In this article there is a chart of symptoms and potential causes of those symptoms. For example:


Dry skin

Deficiencies in EFA, vitamin A or vitamin E.

Small red bumps on

back of arms.

Deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc or EFA. Malabsorption of nutrients may be the cause.

Slow wound healing

Deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc or EFA. Diabetes may also be the cause.

Easy bruising

Deficiencies in vitamin K, C, E, or bioflavonoids.

When life gets rough someone usually pipes up with the old saying, “Well, at least you have your health”. Our health is important because it affects everything we do and even how we behave. It is no wonder health and nutrition has become such a major concern in recent decades. Another old saying, “You never know you have till it’s gone” is one that I hope we won’t have to relate to our health. Those who have lost their robust health will agree with me, I am sure.

To your health…

Posted in Nutrition | Tagged: , | 14 Comments »

Antibacterial Soaps

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on October 8, 2007

Our family has stopped using anything that is labeled as “antibacterial” in the past 6 months. Part of the reason is that the antibacterial products are indiscriminate about what bacteria they are killing. There is such a thing as good bacteria. And because we have a septic system I have been a lot more cautious about what I put down our drains (household cleaners as well as soaps). Our septic system needs bacteria to work properly. I don’t know if soaps and such are enough to kill the good bacteria in our septic system or not but that was where the original thought process originated.

Our primary reason for eliminating antibacterial soaps and lotions was that I realized if we’re working to kill all bacteria, what does that mean for our health? Are these products that every soccer mom has in her minivan or purse really benefiting our health? Have they been on the market long enough to determine if they have been beneficial or harmful? So I did an internet search and found two interesting articles. Well, I found more than two but I thought I’d share these two here:

Plain soap as effective as antibacterial but without the risk

Antibacterial soaps show no health benefits over plain soaps and, in fact, may render some common antibiotics less effective, says a University of Michigan public health professor.

Effect of Antibacterial Home Cleaning and Handwashing Products on Infectious Disease Symptoms

Conclusions: The tested antibacterial products did not reduce the risk for symptoms of viral infectious diseases in households that included essentially healthy persons.

With no real evidence that these antibacterial soaps and lotions are benefiting our health, the claims and hopes for these products aren’t holding up. If our population is not staying healthier after years of high volume use of these products, why continue to make them? (answer: because people buy them) I believe it’s too early to tell what negative impact they might be having as far as those “super bugs” that are resistant to our current medical practices and technilogical advances. The lack of benefit and possibility of negative effects are enough that at least in our home, we have stopped using these products.

If one is concerned with being healthy and fighting bacteria, stay healthy and strong. Part of being healthy is, contrary to popular opinion, getting sick. Once we’ve been exposed to illness, our bodies are created in such a way that they create an antibody and can then fight that illness the next time it tries to attack. Think about the famous childhood ill, chicken pox. Very few people get it twice, and that is because of those handy antibodies that our bodies create. I’m certain that nobody gets it three times. Granted there are seriously life-threatening illnesses that the body cannot fight without help, or fight at all even with help, but those bugs are few and there is nothing that antibacterial soaps or lotions could ever do about them anyway. The common cold and flu is nothing for a healthy person to be concerned with.


UPDATED 12/19/07:

I recently discovered this link: Triclosan where I felt that my earlier premonition to not use antibacterial soaps was validated. WOW!

The latest rage in the arsenal of antibacterial chemicals, triclosan is included in detergents, dish soaps, laundry soaps, deodorants, cosmetics, lotions, creams, and toothpastes and mouthwashes. In 1998, Americans snatched up $540 million of these products, without proof that they even do what they claim.

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