Friday, May 31, 2013

Don't Leave Home Without...

If you have been a reader for a while, you know that I am a health nut. So you won't be surprised that I spent a month washing my hair with baking soda and rinsing with vinegar. Or that I swish coconut oil in my mouth for 20 minutes each morning. Or that I use a homemade deodorant. A recent experiment took my health nut status to a new level. Here is my story:
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A group of 3 blogger friends and I agreed to test three simple homemade personal hygiene recipes: shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant in order to report our findings to the editors of  From Scratch Magazine for a spread in the June-July issue. 

What is Oil Pulling? And Why would I do it?

While the other gals tried a homemade toothpaste recipe, I had already been cleansing my mouth and gums by oil pulling, followed by a good rinse and a brush and floss with baking soda, which is basically what the toothpaste was made of, so I kept up my regimen. Oil pulling is an ancient method of cleansing the teeth and gums, while killing bacteria and viruses. There are theories afloat that most disease begins with a bacteria or a virus. The thought is that destructive bugs find primary entrance into the body through the mouth. Oil pulling destroys them.

Here is how I do it. I keep a covered dish of coconut oil in my bathroom specifically for this purpose.  In the dish, I have a broken plastic spoon.  Each morning, I take a clump off the spoon and swish it in my mouth while showering and getting ready for the day, about 20 minutes. (Oil pulling is a solitary practice; do not try it when you think someone will ask you a question.) I discard the soiled oil into the trash and rinse with water. Then I dip my toothbrush into a little cup of baking soda, brush, floss and rinse.

THE RESULT: I can tell you that since I started oil pulling, I have noticed that my gums (that were previously receding) are healthy and growing back; and my teeth are stain-free and shiny.

Homemade Deodorant?

When I was asked to try homemade deodorant, I balked. I've avoided anti-antiperspirant because of the suspected link to breast cancer. The product I was using was great, though expensive. I must say, however, I am thrilled! The homemade version is a keeper.

The Recipe:  
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 Tbs baking soda
1/3 cup corn starch
10-15 drops essential oil ( optional) 

Desiring to try different scents, I put the mixture into several small containers. Since I had more than enough for the experiment, I shared two of the lavender-scented ones with my yoga buddies. One of the gals opened hers to smell, and it spilled. I literally had to "take it off her hands," giving new meaning to the oft-used phrase. Note: Since coconut oil changes from a solid to a liquid above 77 degrees, this recipe does not travel well. 

THE RESULT: I love the product, and will continue use.

Homemade Shampoo and Conditioner?

Washing my hair with baking soda and rinsing with vinegar for a month?  Yikes! That's what I use to clean the bathroom! Well, at least I didn't have to hunt for the supplies.  My first time rinsing with vinegar, I used my Bragg's unfiltered Apple cider variety and I thought I smelled like a salad. I confided my concern to the other participants, and my dear friend, Meredith quipped: "Don't leave home without dressing." Meredith...YOU CRACK ME UP! Thanks for the title. For the rest of the trial, I used distilled white vinegar.

After trying this shampoo for three weeks, I stopped.  Actually, I cheated at the end of the first week because I could not stand how my hair felt. Others have reported great success with this shampoo, however. Instead of sharing my recipe and process, I will direct you to the blogs of two of my friends: Katie, of Maple Grove; and Meredith, of Green Circle Grove.  By the way, Meredith has a line of homemade soap that she sells in her Etsy shop that I can't wait to try! And Katie has written a beautiful E-book called Pray - 30 days of Prayer, that includes a coloring book for children, to include the whole family. 

I asked my hairdresser about the baking soda / vinegar idea.  She said that baking soda would remove product build-up and some mineral build-up, but over time would dry the hair. She suggested using it no more than once every few weeks. For the time being, I am using shampoo and conditioner. Guess what? It has coconut oil as an ingredient! I bought it here:  The very same place where I buy my coconut oil.

Finally, I can't say enough how much I enjoy using coconut oil on my skin.  If you take nothing else from this post, please try coconut oil! Read all about it HERE.

Click HERE on the link to read about our experiment in the June-July issue of "From Scratch."

Sharing this post with the lovely Deborah Jean's Dandelionhouse Farmgirl Friday Blog-Hop
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  1. LOVED your post :) I have been using homemade deodorant for almost a year and I wouldn't go back to store-bought. And I have been wanting to try the baking soda and vinegar for my hair, but haven't yet. I am glad for the information you shared since I tend to have dry hair anyway - I think I will pass now on the baking soda. And I agree, coconut oil is wonderful! I read it's a good, natural sun protection although it's only rated at 4. I do enjoy putting it on my skin for a nice moisturizer :)

    Thanks for the help tips.

    Hugs to you!

    1. Good point on the sunscreen factor. Thanks for being a faithful reader, Stephanie. Hugs right back.

  2. Great review Becky! You are such an inspiration for healthy living! ~Katie

    1. Awww, thanks Katie. That is a precious compliment.

  3. You have some great ideas! I am new from southern charm. I would love for you to check out my blog and hopefully follow me back. Nicole

    1. Thanks Nicole. I'm on my way over for a visit.

  4. Thanks for the reviews! I've done the baking soda thing too and my hair is SO oily it ended up not feeling quite right after a few weeks. Too heavy or something, it was really weird. I'm ready to start with hm deodorant again, and I have a pretty neat toothpaste recipe tucked away that I should bring out as well. What I didn't know about is oil pulling, which sounds like a very interesting idea. Thanks for sharing.

    I'd like to invite you to share this post and up to two others at our From the Farm Blog Hop, which is live right now. Your style of blog posts would fit right in with the wonderful posts that are shared!

    From the Farm Blog Hop

    Hope to see you there!
    ~Kristi@Let This Mind Be in You

  5. what an informative post! I gave up after a couple of weeks with the baking soda/ACV combination too. I like a good lather. I haven't tried oil pulling but I will give it a go. we love coconut oil so much in this house we buy it in the 3.5kg buckets! I made toothpaste using bentonite clay, tea tree, baking soda & mint and we totally notice way less plaque build up between brushings. I have yet to make homemade deodorant, I will give it a go!

    1. I am still amazed at how well the deodorant works! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
      ~Blessings to you


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