The Ancient Paths Family Farm

Getting Back to Basics in Health and Nutrition

Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Stinging Nettle for Allergies

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on June 2, 2008

To the wild food and herb forager who has learned to respect its sting and recognize its attributes, stinging nettle is a true delight.  From ancient Greece to the present, nettle (both leaf and root) has been used for treating a wide range of ailments.  Stinging nettle leaf has anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.  Stinging nettle has been used to treat urinary tract infections and as an aid in increasing milk production in nursing mothers.  When used as a health treatment, stinging nettle helps to reduce the inflammation of allergies, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) and lupus, eczema, hemorrhage (nosebleed, excessive uterine bleeding) and chronic diarrhea.

Stinging nettle is a very valuable plant, used for food, medicine and fiber.  Nettle contains iron, vitamin C and chlorophyll – all of which aid in the treatment of iron-deficiency anemia.  I’ve been told that nettle has more iron than spinach.  Nettle provides the iron necessary for the production of red blood cells.  Stinging nettle roots also help keep testerone in an active form in both men and women.

We have been harvesting and drying stinging nettle for a few months now, this is our first year in using nettle at all.  After learning about how valuable nettle has been since ancient times, we opted to add nettle to our medicine cabinet this season.  In our family there are some who suffer terribly from seasonal allergies.  In fact, almost 10 years ago my husband was told by his allergist that he had the worst reaction to his allergy testing that he had seen in his 25+ years of practice.  He was almost rushed to the emergency room by the allergist from his testing alone!  This was days after his throat swelled almost completely closed from his allergies.  Needless to say, allergy treatments have been high on our family priority list for quite some time.

As I said, we’ve been learning about the value of stinging nettle as a treatment for allergies in the past year.  My husband is really excited to start with the nettle treatment.  I’ll write here about how we harvested and dried the nettle and how I’ve been making an extract for him to use here.  In only a few more days the extract will be ready for him to begin using and we’re hoping that he’ll find some added relief with it quickly.

Harvesting & Drying

It has been a cool and wet spring.  Right now it’s not even 60* outside.  Things aren’t growing very well so far this year so it has taken us longer than we had hoped to be able to harvest stinging nettle.  A few weeks ago we decided that one patch of nettle was big enough to harvest so Shalom cut several stocks down and I tied them in bunches to dry in the attic.  We were sure that Shalom left some stalks in place so they could reproduce for next season by dropping their seeds.  Herbs should be dried quickly and a dark dry place is preferred.  Beside our attic having plenty of room to hang herbs from the beams and trusses, it is the only place that is dark and dry that gets hot.  After a few days the nettle was dry and I crushed them into a jar for storage while I searched for how to make an extract.

Brewing Nettle Tea/Infusion

  1. Weigh out 1 ounce of nettle and place into a coffee press with the nettle below the screen.
  2. Bring to boil 1 pint of water, pour into measuring cup to allow to cool a little for 30 seconds, then pour over nettle.
  3. Allow to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Drink between 1 and 4 cups a day, depending on what you’re most comfortable with.  In peak seasons, more tea during the day can be cumbersome so an extract might be easier to manage.

Making the Extract

  1. Weigh out 2 ounces of nettle in a large mason jar.
  2. Pour 2 cups of a mixture of 60% water and 40% vegetable glycerin over the nettle in the jar.
  3. Shake well and let stand for two weeks.  Be sure to store your herbs in a cool place and in a dark colored glass jar and/or in a dark cupboard.
  4. After two weeks, place cheesecloth inside strainer over a bowl and pour the contents of the mason jar into the cheesecloth.  Wrap the nettle in the cheesecloth and squeeze the extract juice out of the nettle and into the bowl.  The cheesecloth prevents any stems or leaf pieces from making it’s way into your extract as well as providing an easy way to press the extract out.
  5. After you’ve pressed as much out as you can, the nettle leaves can be put in your compost bin.  Pour your extract into colored glass jars with lids.  I’m using small dropper bottles that I found at the local co-op.  Again, be sure to use dark colored glass.  And be sure to label your bottle!  On your label include what it is and when you pressed it.  It can last in the fridge for up to 9 months.

Extract Dosage

Dosages are between 1/2 and 2 teaspoons, up to three times a day.  During allergy season the dosage will be higher and more often than in the “off season”.  My husband will be starting with on teaspoon once a day until we know it won’t have any adverse affects for him.  Then we’ll increase his dosage to where he feels most comfortable.

I’ll write about how the nettle treatment is going after he’s had a few weeks to give it a try.  I’d love to hear from any others who have used nettle as an alternative treatment for their allergies, or for any other issue for that matter.

— For further reading —
Stinging Nettle @ The People’s Pharmacy

Stinging Nettle from University of Maryland Medical Center

Stinging Nettle from The Eclectic Physician

Posted in Alternative Therapy, Health, Natural Remedies | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

The Seed and Round-Up Monopoly

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on May 28, 2008

I’ve been wanting to write about the struggle between the big agricultural industry and the small farm for some time, but I’ve not had the chance to put it together just yet.  Small farmers are really struggling to make ends meet when the “big guys” push for legislation that makes things hard for the little guys and when the big guys do things that should be illegal, they just hire better lawyers and work through loopholes.

However, there are other industries that are out there that are making things hard for the big guy and the little guy alike.  Have you ever thought about where the farmers get their seed?  Have you ever thought about the monopoly that a seed producer could have?

What if that seed producer was genetically modifying those seeds so that their other products would work better or to require their other product(s) be used in order for their seeds to grow well?  America didn’t like it when there was a monopoly on telephone services so why would they sit by and say nothing when a giant monopoly is taking over in the agricultural world?  Because the scientists at the seed plant have better lawyers!

Pa over at Taking Root has written an article that I appreciated and addresses, quite well, the issue of The Green Revolution and Big-Ag.

or the past several years, Monsanto has been patenting seeds. Once a seed is patented, it is now owned by the entity that submitted it. As an example, let’s say there are 10 different varieties of corn seeds available in our national seed bank. As long as Monsanto is the first entity to them, they may submit each of these seeds for patenting. Once the patents are secured, Monsanto will hold 9 of the varieties to themselves but will genetically alter the other variety that is left. The primary genetic modification that they have been making is to make the seed “Round-Up Ready”…

Swing on by Taking Root and see what Pa has to say.

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Tips to Gauge Your Health

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on May 23, 2008

In a local paper the other day an article was published that I really appreciated.  Below are some excerpts from it.  I have made a few changes to some sentences and have included links to things I thought were relevant.  You can view the original article here.

In his new book, Medical Crisis: Secrets Your Doctor Won’t Share With You, Anthony Martin, a certified Natural Medicine Practitioner, asserts that breast cancer and prostate cancer are nearly 100% preventable.

It takes more than five years for most cancers to grow to the size of the top of a ball point pen. By the time cancer is found by routine blood tests or feeling a lump, the patient may have missed precious time.

Here are Martin’s four warning sign tips to find out if you are on the path to cancer, stroke or other illness:

1)  Energy

“If you’ve been tired for three weeks straight, your body is trying to tell you something is wrong,” he said.  Long-term fatigue is tied to red blood cells.  Red blood cell problems can lead to liver, kidney or brain trouble.

2)  pH Balance

70% of the human body is water.  Water, like in a swimming pool, is either acidic or alkaline.  An unbalanced pH is a breeding ground for cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and pre-mature aging.

3)  Free Radicals

The body produces free radicals as a process of detoxifying itself.  When balanced, they are used by the immune system to destroy bacteria and viruses.  Unbalanced free radicals can lead to cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, arthritis or Alzheimer’s.

4)  Inflammation

You need cells to “puff up” to stop bleeding – but too much can strangle the arteries and cause coronary heart disease.  Fat cells are a side effect of obesity.  Too many fat cells, or cells that are too “puffy”, can lead to asthma, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Martin suggests that people take charge of their health care and ask for specific tests:  urine, blood and saliva.  Once you and your Doctor know where you stand, you can start working on the antidote.

“Change your attitude, change your diet, change your exercise habits and change your supplements,” he said.  So much of what Americans are dying from these days is 100% preventable.”

Posted in Health, Natural Remedies | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Saving Money At The Grocery Store

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on May 1, 2008

Several years ago our family began scouring through our lives and our lifestyle to cut costs wherever we could. We had some tough seasons, financially speaking, and it was critical that we cut back wherever we could. I thought I’d share some of the things we’ve done that have been helpful. Maybe someone else can benefit from our experiences. Not only have we cut costs but we’ve found that we’re healthier from this process as well.

Saving Money At The Grocery Store

One of the biggest ways we have saved money at the grocery store was to stop buying pre-prepared and processed foods. While it may be “cheaper” to buy a box of something to mix together on the stove and feed your hungry family, it will not yield long term benefits. Pre-prepared foods are most often full of fillers which have no nutritional benefit. The example has often been used of snacking on potato chips or cookies vs and apple. In the early afternoon when we tend to look for a small snack, many people tend to grab a handfull of chips or cookies or something similar. What we notice is that later on, we’re hungry for another snack. The snack we had first may satisfy our taste buds but our bodies are still crying out for some sort of nourishment. An apple, for example, as a snack may not be what your taste buds are wanting but it will surely ward off those recurring snack-attacks and give your body the nutrients it’s needing. Fillers don’t benefit the the body at all and leave us as hungry, if not moreso, later on.

Not buying pre-prepared foods means that we eat all homemade meals. It may take a little longer but it’s worth it – both in the satisfaction that you get from creating a tasty meal and in the nutritional benefits your family finds. Homemade meals don’t have all of the fillers, additives and preservatives that pre-prepared foods have. Let’s use bread as our example of homemade vs store bought. Rather than a loaf of bread full high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, chemical additives and highly processed flours, your homemade breads are so much more delicious and nutritious. Again, it may take a little more time to bake the bread than it would to go buy it at the store but your family will only benefit from it. And like the other foods, a sandwich made with homemade bread is so much more satisfying and filling than one with store bought bread. You can ensure that the flours used are more nutritious and even add things like sunflower seeds, raisins, or whatever suits your fancy.

It’s much cheaper to buy all the ingredients for making bread separately, than buying them already made into bread. You can easily save $30 or $40 a month by baking your own bread.

This is especially true if you buy as many of your bread ingredients as you can, in the bulk department of a supermarket.

An entire bag of whole wheat flour (enough to make 4 to 6 loaves) could cost $4.00 or less. This is just one example of how cheap baking your own bread is.

source: Should You Bake Your Own Bread?

Change some of your meal routines. For breakfast, have oatmeal or toast with homemade bread rather than a boxed cereal. Our children used to have 3 or even 4 large bowls of cereal for breakfast and not bat an eyelash at the amount. Some boxes of cereal don’t hold much more than 5 large bowls of cereal to begin with. When we switched everyone to oatmeal or toast and jam for breakfast, the volume of food they consumed changed drastically. One bowl of oatmeal was much more filling and satisfying than 4 bowl of cereal. Not only that, but they could hold out till lunch time without being hit by a severe snack attack. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tips To Start Eating Organically

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on April 23, 2008

Eating organically is something that many of us are interested in doing but when we look at the prices of organic produce or organically produced foods, we sometimes opt for non-organic. Then there are those times when we take the plunge and buy some fresh, preferably local, organic produce but don’t get it eaten before it begins to spoil. Oh how we hate to throw away spoiled produce, especially if it cost us more than other produce!

So here’s a tip for those of us who want to begin eating organically but don’t know where to start.

Start with what habits you already have and incorporate organic products into your already established habits. For example; if you normally eat an apple every morning with your breakfast, make your morning apple an organic one. Or if you normally have a cup of coffee or tea during the day, purchase organically grown coffee or tea.

This way you won’t be creating two new habits at once, but you will simply continue your good habits with products you feel better about.

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Real Nutrition News

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on April 22, 2008

I have this impressive catalog/magazine here on my table and I just found it online so now I can share it with my online friends. 🙂

Real Nutrition News

It has some very interesting information in it related to nutrition and health that I’ve been reading elsewhere: in books, news articles, other magazines, etc. Because of this, I consider the information in it valid.

Remember, we were created to eat food – not to take vitamins. Eating whole foods and ensuring that we get our daily 5 to 9 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables is important. Vitamins just aren’t being absorbed by our bodies and we’d be better off to flush our money down the toilet than to buy synthetic vitamins. G-d created us to eat food, real food.

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Bottled Water – Did You Know…?

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on March 12, 2008

Our county public works department has a recycling department and we received a regular mailer from them this week. I wanted to share what they included in the latest newsletter. It makes me SO glad to have well water and that we don’t use plastics!! DH was up late the other night and learned (for himself) just how toxic fluoride is to our systems, he was horrified! He thanked me the next morning for eliminating toothpastes with fluoride in them. LOL At any rate, here’s what the newsletter said:

Gallon for gallon, bottled water costs more than gasoline – and at least 25 percent of bottled water is just processed tap water.

Tap water is much less expensive. In some cases, you’re paying for little more than the bottle itself: At least 25 percent (some experts say as much as 40 percent) of bottled water is nothing more than processed tap water. Beverage companies aren’t legally required to disclose the source of their water. If it doesn’t say “spring water”, chances are it comes from the same or a similar source as tap water.

Tap water is regulated more rigorously than bottled water. Municipal water is overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has more regulatory oversight than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which oversees standards for bottled water. It’s impossible to make any water totally free of contaminants, but most amounts in tap water are tiny – and tap water has to meet higher standards than bottled water.

It’s better for the environment. It takes three to four times the amount of water in the bottle just to make the plastic for the bottle, and that’s not including how much oil is used and how much carbon dioxide is created when the water is shipped to the store.

Take it with you.To make tap water more convenient for travel, put it in a washable stainless-steel bottle. (our family uses glass bottles) Water bottles made of regular plastic, when reused, can harbor bacteria, and they aren’t made to withstand the heat of a dishwasher.

Buy Domestic. If you can’t break the bottled water habit, look for a brand that hasn’t been shipped across the world. The less distance the water has to travel, the fewer greenhouse gases are produced.

  • 28 Billion – Number of plastic water bottles purchased in the U.S. annually.
  • 1.5 Million Barrels – Amount of oil used to make those bottles
  • $11 Billion – Amount Americans spend on bottled water annually.
  • 16 – Percentage of plastic water bottles that get recycled annually.
  • 2.5 Million – Number of plastic water bottles Americans discard hourly.
– From Women’s Health Magazine

Posted in Good Stewardship, Health | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Interactive Nutritional Resources

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on February 5, 2008

I have just added a new category of links today – Interactive Nutritional Resources. The first link is for My Pyramid, which is sponsored by the USDA and based on the food guide pyramid. At that site you can enter your age, sex, weight, height and activity level and after clicking “submit” you will be given your own “Pyramid Plan” that details how much of each kind of food you should consume. For example, I am told I should have 6 ounces of grains, 2.5 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruit, 3 cups of milk and 5.5 ounces of meat/beans from a 2,000 calorie per day diet. The page is full of tips and suggestions for how to accomplish this.

My Pyramid

The second link is based on the same information, it is called My Pyramid Tracker . I have used this site several times over several years and I have enjoyed it. The site helps track your food intake and physical activity and will show when you have met your nutritional goals, based on the information provided (similar to the information provided for the My Pyramid site). This site is much like a diet and activity journal. To use the site, you will register and then enter the specific information (age, weight, height, activity level, etc) and then enter how much of what kinds of food you consumed that day as well as your activity level. The results will show what areas you are lacking in, nutritionally, as well as what areas you are exceeding the suggested limits in. It is quite helpful. If done regularly it will show a graph of your results so you can see how you’re doing over a period of time.

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Whole Foods Vs Modern Chemistry

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on December 23, 2007

Not too many decades ago we found the miracle of chemistry. We found, and believed, that we could attain better nutrition through modern chemistry with synthetic nutrients. We also found the wonder of prepared foods in the form of canned goods and prepared boxed meals (“just add water”). We began to “enhance” our foods with the miracle products from the chemistry labs and we expected to see positive results in our health. We expected modern chemistry to revolutionize our health and nutrition industry.

What we found was that our bodies were not responding the way we expected. Our bodies just didn’t quite know what to do with these materials. Some of them were processed by our bodies well and others, not so well. We expected to see a healthier society and to experience a surge of energy and stronger immune systems, as well as clearer skin and less disease. But cancer rates, diabetes, heart related disease, kidney disease and a wide assortment of chronic pathologies have been on the increase throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. We may be living longer than in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s but we were not necessarily much healthier. The medical industry was designed to treat disease and there have been some incredible advances, but their client base is not shrinking. We are not getting healthier. So what’s the deal?

At some point we, as a society, decided that processed and packaged foods that are enhanced with synthetic vitamins and minerals were better for us than natural food with natural vitamins and minerals. They say that it takes roughly 20 years before we see the effects of our health-related choices. That means that it would take 20 years to see the effects of our fast-food diets enhanced with processed meals laden with the results of the latest chemistry project. We have seen disease rates increase steadily and we have been left scratching our heads in wonder. Really, we need to look back farther than we tend to. It takes a while before disease tends to develop and sometimes disease is found too late to prevent long term damage.

cornocopia

I am sure that you have heard about “whole foods”. If you’re like me at all, you’ve wondered what these whole foods are. Basically, whole foods are just as simple as it sounds. Think of a “whole apple” or a “whole carrot”. If you’ve eaten a whole apple or a whole carrot, you’ve eaten whole food. The concept behind whole foods is that when we consume natural foods, and a variety of them, that we will naturally fill ourselves with the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients that we need. But the concept of whole foods is more than just an apple or carrot. It’s about the things we eat not being refined. When we cook our carrots we destroy many of the nutrients that are in them. When apples are processed in a plant to make applesauce or apple juice, much of the nutrients are destroyed. Here are some quotes about whole foods:

Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed. Examples of whole foods include unpolished grains; organically garden-grown fruits and vegetables; unprocessed meat, poultry, and fish; and non-homogenized milk. For some it is preferable to eat whole foods raw to obtain the maximum nutritional benefit.

Whole foods are “real” foods, complete with all the nutrients, enzymes and probiotics nature intended, that have not been highly processed, synthesized, or irradiated. Whole foods are foods in their most complete, balanced state and do not contain harmful chemicals and additives. Additionally, whole foods are unprocessed and unrefined; or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed. Whole foods are also remarkable for what they don’t have, including added sugar, salt, fat, or chemicals.

Now we don’t always eat our “5 a day” of fruits and vegetables as well as the grains that we’re told that we need. Really, how many of us eat according to the food guide pyramid? This is where the idea of supplements comes in. Supplements are intended to supplement our diet. We cannot hope to eat garbage all the time and then take “magic pills” expecting not to experience the negative effects of our poor health choices. But if we live and eat well, working to put wholesome food on our plates, and use good supplements, then we can expect to notice a difference in how we feel. In 20 years we just might find that our bodies have been healthier than others and hopefully we will experience less disease than our peers. So what about whole food supplements?

By definition, whole food supplements are foods that have been compressed into tablet form, poured into capsules or powdered. The word “whole” indicates that the end product — a supplement — does not contain parts of foods, or synthetic or isolated vitamins. Ideally, the foods comprising these supplements have not been subjected to irradiation, contain no pesticide or herbacide residues, contain no GMO (genetically modified organisms), have not been sterilized, and do not contain animal products that have been subjected to steroids, antibiotics or other drugs. The belief being, the closer to nature, the more benefit foods provide the consumer.

Whole food supplements should not contain isolated minerals, amino acids, carotenes or any other substance that is not native to, and still intact within, the original food. Thus, a supplement that contains foods plus a mixture of isolated (also called “fractionated”) vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other substances, does not constitute a whole food supplement. Examples of whole food supplement ingredients may include carrots, broccoli, kale, alfalfa, wheat grass, acerola cherry, cauliflower, kelp, wild pansy, spirulina, bovine liver, bovine kidney, radishes and quinoa.

Our family uses whole food supplements on a regular basis, and we feel better. Not only do we feel better but we have experienced some exciting things related to our health. The nasty virus mono ran through our house this fall. Half of our family came down with it – verified by lab tests. I was preparing the family for a few rough weeks waiting for a full recovery. But within 7 days, the sick ones were back to normal. Can you believe it? I still can’t! Within 10 days they were running at full steam and nobody could believe that these healthy people had recently been diagnosed with mono. No work was missed, no school was missed. Amazing. And what do I contribute that too? Being healthy. We eat as healthy as we can, we drink a lot of water and we do take whole food supplements. Our bodies have been given what they need in order to do what they were created to do – rest and restore.

What supplements do we use? You can find them here here.

Doing what we can to ensure that our families stay healthy is probably the best thing we can do impact our society – less medical needs and expenses, fewer sick days from work, stronger children and more.


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Whole Foods at Wikipedia

Whole Food Supplements at Wikipedia

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Natural, Non-Toxic Cleaners and Personal Products

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on December 19, 2007

Smoke Stack Does this make you think of “clean”? household cleaners - toxic

Some of the worst culprits contributing to environmental pollution are found right under our noses – under our sinks even. Petroleum based household cleaners can contribute to air and water pollution and consumers are often concerned about potential health problems stemming from the use of such products. There are alternatives to the traditional cleaners that are safer, cheaper and just as effective.

What are common ingredients in traditional cleaners?

  • Ammonia is toxic when inhaled in concentrated vapors and is considered a hazardous waste. Ammonia is found is all-purpose cleaners, glass cleaners, laundry detergents and metal polishers.
  • Chlorinated cleaners can be especially toxic. Some cleaners contain dioxin, a known carcinogen that can build up in the food chain, is stored in fat, and is believed to affect the endocrine system. Chlorinated materials are used in bleach, dishwasher detergent, and toilet bowl cleaners.
  • Glycol ether is a central nervous system depressant and can poison the kidneys or liver. It is often found in all-purpose cleaners and some laundry detergents as well as personal products, more info is listed below.
  • Oxalic acid is caustic and corrosive to skin and mucous membranes. It is commonly added to cleanser, toilet bowl cleaners and metal polishes.
  • Petroleum-based detergents contain neuro-toxins and central nervous system depressants. Exotic-sounding chemicals like nonyl phenol and alkyl phenol ethoxylates (APEs) are found in detergent, furniture polish, cosmetics and household cleaners, and contain environmental impurities.
  • Phosphates are added to dishwashing and laundry detergents because it acts as a water softener. Phosphates are released into the environment through waste water and are not removed by waste water treatment systems.
  • Sodium Hydroxide or Lye is in most oven cleaners. It is a corrosive poison and hazardous waste.
  • Formaldehyde is found in some air freshners and deodorizers as well as cosmetics. In its liquid state, formaldehyde, present in the ingredients DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, and quaternium-15, can be absorbed through the skin and nails. As a volatile organic compound, or VOC, formaldehyde evaporates when the product is wet; levels drop sharply once it’s dry. The EPA classifies it as a probable human carcinogen.
  • Ammonium hydroxide and Perchlorethylene or Trichloroethane and Sodium hypochlorite are found in spot removers.
  • Diethylene glycol is found in window cleaner.
bubbly burn
As alarming as the above information may be, it is also alarming to discover what resides in our personal care products – shampoo and conditioner, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, cosmetics, etc. These are things that we use on a daily basis, often times several times a day.
  • Triclosan encourages the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, according to studies.
  • So-called coal-tar chemicals are found in many “FD&C” or “D&C” colors used in makeup and hair dye. FD&C Blue 1 and FD &C Green 3 are carcinogenic, and impurities in other colors — D&C Red 33, FD&C Yellow 5 and FD&C Yellow 6 — have been shown to cause cancer when applied to the skin.
  • Widely used in shampoos, DEA is a suspected carcinogen, and its compounds and derivatives include triethanolamine (TEA), which can be contaminated with nitrosamines — compounds shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. Contamination is more likely if the product also contains Bronopol.
  • Formaldehyde, listed above, is found in cosmetics.
  • Glycol Ether found in nail polish, deodorant, perfumes and other cosmetics, some glycol ethers are hazardous to the reproductive system. Other effects of overexposure include anemia and irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat. Avoid those listed on labels as EGPE, EGME,EGEE, DEGBE, PGME, DPGME and those with “methyl” in their names.
With all of this lovely information at my disposal I have tried to find household cleaners that will not make us sick or leave a negative impact on our property (septic system and livestock or garden) or in the health of our family. Sometimes science can truly be scary!

What We’ve Done In Our Home

Our family has switched all of our cleaning products and our personal care products to basic products that clean just as well as the traditional cleaners. What do we use?

Household Cleaners

  • Instead of a bleach product to clean counter tops, use hydrogen peroxide and water.
  • Instead of a powder abrasive cleaner, use baking soda. Add water to make it a paste to use instead of the liquid abrasive cleaner.
  • Instead of other general cleaning products, we use Natural Green Soap.

Personal Care Products

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The Co-Op Advantage: All About Natural Cleaners NCGA

Posted in Good Stewardship, Health, Product Reviews | Tagged: , , , | 38 Comments »