Thursday, May 9, 2013

Make Your Own Toothpaste

For the past few months I have been making my own toothpaste for my family using essential oils and I have really liked it. I have been concerned about the chemicals in toothpaste and have done a lot of research on the dangers of fluoride, which is surprisingly in a lot of the food we eat.  

Fluoride has been linked to lower IQ, thyroid issues, male reproductive issues, can interfere with the brain, can cause early puberty and so on. Another common ingredient in toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) which gives it's nice bubbly taste, but may cause canker sores and attacks the mucous membranes in the mouth altering the structure of the skin. According to the Pesticide Action Network, sodium lauryl sulfate is linked to aquatic toxicity, and acts as a dangerous toxin for a variety of fish, micro-organisms and other living creatures. Triclosan is also in toothpaste which is registered by the EPA as a pesticide! Another common ingredient is glycerin which gives toothpaste it's smooth liquid-like texture. Glycerin actually leaves a thin layer on our teeth which can take several rinses to get off and prevents remineralization from occuring which allows our cavities to self-heal.

Toothpaste Recipe:

1/2 cup organic virgin cold pressed Coconut oil
2-3 Tbsp Baking soda
10-15 drops Essential oil of your choice

1. I first melt the coconut oil in the microwave or on the stove, then add the baking soda and stir. I let the mixture cool for an hour or two and stir frequently as it hardens since the baking soda tends to settle to the bottom. (If your coconut oil is somewhat soft you can add the baking soda to it and mash it together instead.)

2. I then add the essential oils. The last time I made toothpaste I put in 10 drops of Peppermint essential oil, 4 drops OnGuard blend, and 1 drop of Oregano. 

3. After adding the essential oils stir and then store in a container. I scoop the toothpaste out with the top of a plastic spoon I leave in the container.

4. Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees so I always flush the sink with hot water after brushing. Depending on the time of year and the temperature, the consistency of the toothpaste will be different.

How to Properly Remove a Tick

As the weather has been getting warmer and we have been outside more, I have been watching out for ticks. There are a lot of old wives tales on how to remove ticks that can actually be harmful. I did a lot of research on how to safely remove a tick and most this information came from the CDC website, an entomologists website, and the Quick Reference Guide for using Essential Oils.

Some basic information about ticks: Ticks are not insects, they are actually arachnids which are close cousins of spiders, scorpions, and mites. They feed on blood and after becoming engorged, they drop off their hosts to molt, mate, or lay eggs. We attract ticks by our movement, body heat, and the carbon dioxide and lactic acid our bodies give off.

Contrary to popular belief, do NOT apply oil, petroleum jelly, ointment, soap or any other irritating substance on a tick. This will cause the tick to regurgitate it's stomach contents into you, increasing the likelihood that germs will be transmitted.

Do NOT burn it off with a match or cigarette. Like oil, heat will irritate the tick and cause it to vomit inside of you. Burning off a tick is also a bad idea because even though the tick will die, the mouth parts will still be inside of you and possibly cause infection. 

Do NOT squeeze the tick. Doing this will cause the tick to act like a hypodermic needle and you will inject yourself with tick saliva, gut contents, blood, and any disease germs it is carrying.

1. To remove a tick, use fine-tipped tweezers and grab the tick as close to the head as possible, be sure not to squeeze it. If you need to use your hands, cover them up with a tissue. Pull upward with steady even pressure until it releases it's grip, be patient. Don't twist or jerk, this can cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove as much of the mouth parts as possible with tweezers. Use a magnifying glass if needed. (After researching online, there are tick removal tools you can buy.)

2. Do not handle the tick and wash your hands immediately afterwards.

3. After getting the tick out, wash the bite area and apply 1 drop of lavender essential oil every 5 minutes for 30 minutes to kill any bacteria and prevent infection. (Other oils you can use are basil, cinnamon bark, lemon, sage, thyme. All have antitoxic properties.)

4. Save the tick in a jar with rubbing alcohol, label it with the date, where you were bitten, and location or address where you were bitten for proper identification by your doctor. This is a precaution if you develop any symptoms. Knowing the kind of tick you were bitten by will help doctors to know what disease you may have transmitted. Only a portion of ticks in the wild harbor germs, so the probability of a single tick bite leading to disease is relatively low. Don’t panic if you or your children are bitten by a tick. Ticks can only transmit the disease if they feed on you, or if they are smashed and their body fluids are rubbed into a wound.

To purchase lavender essential oil, go to: