Thank you for following my posts and coming on this journey with me to healthier living. Over the past year I have posted a number of articles that were very enlightening on the state of the food system and how bad things have gotten for us all. Since this is my first post of the year I thought I might share one of my New Year’s Resolutions with you. I want to focus on the positive things that are available to us to live healthier lives.
In the past few months I have been looking into alternative homemade personal and household products. Products that reduce the number of chemicals and additives going on our skin, hair and mouth.
Let’s start with Toothpaste
All the chemicals that these cosmetic companies are putting in our toothpaste, shampoos, and moisturizes is just astronomical. Not only are our toothpastes riddled with petroleum based artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners – can you believe it? we are brushing our teeth with sugars. In addition to the petroleum artificial additives there is another harmful ingredient used in our toothpaste (and in shampoos too), called Sodium Laureth Sulfate. So why is sodium laureth sulfate a problem? The problem is that sodium laureth sulfate can easily be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is a known human carcinogen.1
Then I looked into fluoride. Fluoride is one of those very controversial additives to our water and to our toothpaste. The dental associations around the world want us to believe that it is essential to prevent tooth cavities. But fluoride can kill you if ingested! Yes, as noted by Dr. Gary Whitford, the Probable Toxic Dose (PTD) is the “minimum dose that could cause toxic signs and symptoms, including death, and that should trigger immediate therapeutic intervention and hospitalization.” The PTD is 5mg of fluoride for each kilogram of body weight. To put it another way the amount of fluoride in a tube of toothpaste is enough to kill a child.2 In the 1980s, researchers at the University of Indiana reported that rats receiving acute, but relatively small doses (0.5 mg/kg) of fluoride, had significantly higher glucose levels in their blood, and decreased levels of insulin.3 Scary stuff!
We all need toothpaste, I went on a mission to make or locate some natural toothpaste.
I had a bit of a hard time finding an affordable natural toothpaste, so I went on a mission to make my own.
I got a lot of inspiration from pinterest (as you do!) especially from one I found on Homegrown & Healthy. You can find this and my other pins here.
- ½ cup of coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda
- a few drops of peppermint essential oil & tea tree oil
- a glass jar
- Just mix until you get a toothpaste constituency - I keep ours in a small glass jar (old spice jar works great). If needed add more baking soda to get the right thickness.
And yes, that is my pink toothbrush!
Here is the break down of each ingredient:
- Coconut oil is a natural anti-bacterial/anti-fungal4
- Baking soda acts as the abrasive element and whitening agent. Baking soda rubs away the stains left from food and drinks, but don’t worry the baking soda is not going to scratch your enamel. It actually has a lower abrasive level than most grocery brand toothpaste7
- Tea Tree is my oil of choice around the house as it has so many great properties including antifungal, anti-bacterial and is known to treat gingivitis.5
- The peppermint oil is used mostly for taste. I Love the minty flavor but it also has other great properties, as an antiseptic and analgesic (pain reliever)6.
Now I would like to note, this does feel very odd when you first use it. Your homemade toothpaste doesn’t have all the detergents (such as sodium laureth sulfate) in it like grocery store bought toothpaste.
In my household, we have been using the homemade toothpaste for about four months now. My 5 year old daughter took a little bit to get used to it, but now if she uses anything else she finds it to sweet. My teeth are whiter and my breathe is fresher since I have been using my homemade version – bonus is no fluoride (yeah!).
So I hope this is an enjoyable first (even though late) post for the New Year and this helps you to start using more natural products for your everyday household uses.
3 http://fluoridealert.org/issues/dental-products/toothpastes/ Shahed AR, et al. (1986). Effect of F on rat serum insulin levels in vivo. Journal of Dental Research 65:756.