31 Surprisingly Creative Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

ways to use apple cider vinegar

It seems the benefits of apple cider vinegar are limitless – and so are the myriad ways to use apple cider vinegar. And good thing, too since most of us have a bottle or two of it hanging out in the kitchen at all times.

As you already know, this 100% natural product is one of the oldest, most powerful and simple home remedies imaginable. It’s been hailed by both historical experts and modern holistic health experts as a natural way to lose weight or enjoy a completely natural hair and skincare regime – and as it turns out, everything in between.

Studies suggest that drinking one to three tablespoons a day diluted in water can increase energy, reduce snacking, and cleanse the digestive tract.  Topically applied, this vinegar can reduce skin inflammation as well as hinder and kill problem-causing bacteria.

And the uses for apple cider vinegar extend beyond beauty and body – this liquid gold is also handy around the house in oh, so many ways.

How does it do all this?

Well, this ‘liquid gold’ is made from apples but it’s fermented twice ’til it becomes apple cider vinegar. The difference between the apple juice it starts from and the end product is that once it’s done, ACV becomes a very nutrient-dense elixir with over 93 different compounds.

And these enzymes and compounds are super useful for a huge variety of health, beauty and household benefits. Like what, you ask? Let us count the ways…

31 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar isn’t only a Swiss Army knife for health benefits – it has a range of useful uses as well, such as…

Naturally Whiten Your Teeth with ACV

ACV is great for your teeth and can help remove stains – it won’t work overnight, but used consistently, it’ll eventually remove stubborn stains from your teeth. Even pesky coffee and nicotine stains.

You definitely don’t want to overdo it, since as with all acids, ACV can wear away the enamel on your teeth. To get teeth whitening benefits and protect your teeth enamel, combine two parts water to one part ACV and swish the mixture around for about a minute.

Balance Your Body’s Internal pH

One huge benefit of ACV is that despite it acidic taste, it actually helps your body maintain proper pH levels for a healthy alkaline state. This is crucial since a healthy body is slightly alkaline, with the ideal pH level ranging between 7.35 and 7.45.

Acidic pH levels are linked to everything from acid reflux, anxiety, infections, allergies, migraines, fatigue, skin trouble, and even chronic inflammatory conditions. As Charlotte Gerson says, “cancer cannot live in an alkaline body” – neither can a whole host of other pesky diseases, so alkalize!

Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Care

Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful alternative to chemically-laden shampoos and conditioners.   Thanks to its acetic acid content, ACV naturally helps to remove the scaly buildup that accumulates on the hair due to pollution and styling products while simultaneously strengthening the hair shaft and balancing your hair’s pH level.

This particular vinegar also dries out the hair less while being a potent antimicrobial (kills bacteria!) and a natural remedy for dandruff.

To treat your tresses, mix ½ cup of apple cider vinegar with two cups of water.  Rinse after shampooing; let the mixture sit a few minutes.

Got ‘waxy crown?’ If you’ve ever had a waxy, oily build-up in your hair even after you shampoo – you’ve got waxy crown. Well, ACV is great for that. You don’t even have to use too much – just a tablespoon will do – add it to a cup of cold water and work it gently through your hair.

I’ve used this several times when I got the whole waxy crown thing and ACV zaps it away completely and leaves your hair soft and really shiny.

Oh, and if you’re going no-‘poo, ACV makes an awesome rinse to use after baking soda shampoo.

Go On a Apple Cider Vinegar Diet

Boost your weight loss efforts simply by adding a tablespoon or two of ACV to your daily routine. Thanks to ACV’s acetic acid content, just a few tablespoons of ACV helps break down fats so your body can use them rather than storing them on your body as fat.

This is why ACV has been shown to decrease body weight, slim down abdominal fat and waist circumference as well as reduce bad cholesterol.

Not to mention you can use ACV for a variety of salad dressings and delicious tonics!

Use ACV as an All-Natural General Household Cleaner

The natural cleansing properties of this vinegar are wonderful for cleaning household surfaces—especially in the kitchen where harmful pathogens should be avoided.

It’s one of the best natural cleaning agents there is, thanks to its antimicrobial properties which have been shown to kill bacteria, including E. coli.

Here’s what you can do…

  • Mix ACV with baking soda to remove stains on pots and pans as well as to get rid of excess oil
  • Pour half a cup of ACV into the toilet and leave it overnight for an effective toilet bowl cleanser
  • Substitute your dishwasher detergent with ACV for a clean, toxin-free dish cleaner
  • Mix half a cup of ACV with one cup of water and use it to wipe down counters, inside the fridge, swipe inside the sink, wash the walls, and clean windows, glasses, mirrors, microwaves, etc

For general cleaning, one cup vinegar to two parts water is a good start.  To disinfect surfaces such as cutting boards, wipe down with pure vinegar and let air dry.

Drink ACV to Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Apple cider vinegar has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels – which is great news for type-2 diabetics.

And it’s just as notable for non-diabetics as well, since elevated blood sugar levels are a major cause of aging as well as various diseases. Not to mention, stable blood sugar levels = less energy crashes throughout the day!

Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin

Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a skin tonic, treating conditions ranging from acne to warts.  Rich in antiseptic and antibacterial properties, this vinegar helps to both clean and protect the skin, as well as balance its pH factor.

Use it for…

  • An Apple Cider Vinegar Toner. Natural ACV makes an excellent toner and can be applied directly on your skin (diluted, of course!) to regulate the pH of your skin. Simply dilute the ACV with water (1:3, ACV:water) and apply to your skin before your moisturizer.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Warts Solution. A more concentrated ACV – no water added – is an effective treatment for warts. Soak a small piece of cotton in ACV and then fasten it on top of the wart with a Band-Aid and leave overnight. The wart may swell in the beginning but give it a few days and it’ll fall off. This is also great for fading sunspots. It’ll sting a bit, but it’s worth it.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic. Of course, one of the best ways to get all the apple cider vinegar skin benefits is to drink it – that way you get all the internal health benefits of ACV  and clearer, more radiant skin that comes from improvement from the inside out. Get some delicious apple cider vinegar drink recipes!

When using ACV on skin, always apply at night; the vinegar can increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays.

ACV for Heart Health and Lowered Cholesterol

ways to use apple cider vinegar

Thanks to polyphenols like the chlorogenic acid found in apple cider vinegar, it’s been shown to decrease triglyceride and VLDL (the bad cholesterol) levels by impeding LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized, thus preventing the major cause of cardiovascular diseases.

Soak in a Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Bath

Back in the day, ACV was used to purify the blood. And as it turns out, it does have some potent detox benefits. The rich acidic content binds to toxins and helps your body get rid of them more effectively.

It also aids overall body detox by breaking up mucus in the body and clearing the lymph nodes, which in turn results in a healthier lymphatic system.

You can, of course, drink apple cider vinegar for its detox benefits but why not soak in it as well? Simply add a cup of ACV as well as a cup of Epsom salts to your bath to help draw toxins and impurities out of your skin while you relax.

Replace Artificial Energy Drinks with ACV

A little dose of apple cider vinegar per day goes a long way toward keeping your energy levels steady throughout the day, thanks to ACV’s acetic acid content which slows the digestion of starch and prevents your blood sugar levels from spiking after meals.

The potassium, amino acids and antioxidants in apple cider vinegar help, too!

Apple Cider Vinegar to Relieve Sunburn

When you think sunburn relief, aloe vera might be the first thing that comes to mind, but ACV works too!

Prepare a bath of cool water and pour in a cup of ACV for instant sunburn relief. This ACV bath is also good for relieving itchy skin, which many of us are prone to especially in hot and humid weather. Of course, it’s lovely to follow up the ACV bath with a great-smelling sugar scrub…

Use ACV as a Natural Deodorant

You know how apple cider vinegar is great as a household cleaner? Yea, that’s ’cause it’s a potent antibacterial and great at absorbing (and neutralizing) stinky, funky scents. For a natural deo, just swipe a bit of ACV on your pits to combat odor-causing bacteria.

Wary of having vinegar-y pits? Don’t worry – the vinegar smell goes away once it dries.

Keep Your Pets Healthy with ACV

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Yes, ACV is good for pets, too! Many holistic vets advocate the use of apple cider vinegar to treat a variety of pooch ailments ranging from digestion issues to skin irritation.

Before treating any condition with this vinegar, consult a knowledgeable veterinarian to decide upon the proper dose and application.

Editor’s Note:  It’s supposed to be great for fleas, although I wouldn’t know since both my dog and cat live indoors. Let us know if you’ve tried this and had success with it!

Apple Cider Vinegar is a Natural Produce Wash

Look no further than apple cider vinegar to naturally remove all those icky things from produce such as wax and bacteria (ACV’s been shown to kill E. coli bacteria!).

Simply fill a sink or large bowl with warm water and add a cup of vinegar.  Let the produce sit for about 5 to 10 minutes, swirling your produce around occasionally.  Rinse and enjoy.  (Just don’t look at what the vinegar leaves behind).

Drink ACV to Boost Digestive Health and Fight Candida

Need a bit of digestive relief? The enzymes in ACV help promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, improving digestion and reducing gas, bloating and indigestion. The increased gut flora also helps regulate candida issues.

Sometimes, You Catch More Flies with Vinegar

Trying to get rid of fruit flies?  Those little buggers love apple cider vinegar—they cannot resist it!  All you have to do is pour half a cup of ACV in a glass jar, cup or bowl and cover it with saran wrap.

Wrap a rubber band around it to secure the wrap in place and then take a toothpick and poke some holes in the saran wrap – result: fruit fly booby trap.

Sit back and congratulate yourself on a home free of flies!

Editor’s Note: Especially in the summertime, I cannot live without ACV. It is by far the most effective solution I’ve found for the fruit flies that love to congregate around my fruit. Just keep in mind, ‘though – it gets REALLY disgusting-looking.

ACV Works as an Effective Weed Killer, Too

Want to know what else ACV is really good at killing? Weeds. Which may be pesky, but you may be reluctant to spray with toxic herbicides, especially if you have pets and children who regularly play on your lawn.

An all-natural alternative is…you guess it, ACV. This vinegar-based herbicide recipe comes from The Dirt Doctor:

  • 1 gallon of 10 percent (100 grain) vinegar
  • Add 1 ounce orange oil or d-limonene
  • Add 1 tablespoon molasses (optional – some say it doesn’t help)
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap or other surfactant (such as Bio Wash)
  • Do not add water
 It’s a potent formula so only spray it on plants you don’t want around.

ACV is Equally Lethal for Odors

There’s good reason why one of the most popular ways to use apple cider vinegar is in cleaning and deodorizing: Apple cider vinegar has an uncanny way of absorbing and neutralizing even the stinkiest of odors. Give it a try in the bathroom or after you’ve accidentally burned a meal.

Simply place some ACV in a shallow bowl and place it near the source of the odor. Leave it ’til the smell it gone.

Get Rid of Acid Reflux and Combat GERD

Got acid reflux and heartburn after a meal? Mix yourself up a tablespoon of ACV diluted in water or tea to instantly relieve the symptoms. And next time, take the concoction before meals to prevent experiencing the symptoms in the first place.

Keep in mind that acid reflux and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) are caused by too little stomach acid, not too much – regularly consuming ACV is a natural, effortless way to improve the acid content of your stomach.

Give Yourself an Immunity Boost

ACV’s got potent antimicrobial and antiseptic properties as well as a unique blend of enzymes and beneficial compounds that boost your immunity to keep you clear from pesky colds and flus!

ACV Makes Deliciously Healthy Salad Dressings

One of the best things about ACV is how simple it is to add into your daily diet, making it just too easy to get all its health benefits for hardly any effort.

It mixes deliciously into a host of yummy recipes – check out these apple cider vinegar recipes for easy-to-make concoctions you can use to flavor your salads, vegetables and meats!

Make Your Homemade Bone Brother Even Healthier

Here’s one of the most helpful, yet underrated ways to use apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is an essential step when making homemade bone broth since it helps extract all the valuable minerals from the bones before the cooking process begins.

Be sure to let the bones soak in water mixed with 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar for around 20 to 30 minutes before cooking to make the minerals more available!

Clear Sinus Congestion with ACV

Apple cider vinegar is great for breaking up and clearing out mucus in your body. It’s also got potent antibacterial properties to fight infections, so next time your sinuses are cleared, try adding some ACV to your water.

Stamp Out Foot Odor with Apple Cider Vinegar

You know how ACV helps balance your internal pH? Yea, it does the same for your external pH (you skin, we mean). Combine that with its antimicrobial, antibacterial properties and it’s one of the most potent foot-odor-banishing natural remedies you’ll try.

Simply give you feet a wipe down with a splash of ACV!

ACV is a Cheap, Natural Alternative to Wood Polisher

Who’d have thunk, huh? But ACV really is a multi-tasking wonder and yet another thing that it’s great for is the conditioning of wood. Simply mix half a cup of any vegetable oil with half a cup of ACV to create an all-natural wood polisher that’ll clean and treat wooden surfaces and furniture as well as help to remove water stains.

Give Unsightly Bruises the Fade

ACV’s anti-inflammatory properties are great for more than your insides – they also help minimize the appearance of bruises. Simply dab some on the evidence of your last accident to give it the fade.

ACV is a Natural Bad Breath Remedy

What’s worse than funky foot odor? Oh right, bad breath. That’s no fun for anybody.

Good news is that diaper breath can easily be remedies with ACV, thanks once again to its antibacterial properties (which will slay the bacteria causing the funk in your mouth). Gargle or sip.

Get Rid of that Itch – Fast

Whether your skin is inflamed and itchy from a bug bite, poison ivy or a jellyfish sting – ACV provides all-natural itch relief. Dilute it with a bit of water and apply directly to the pesky itch.

Sip ACV to Soothe a Sore Throat

When you start feeling the first signs of a sore, irritated throat – reach for your bottle of ACV. Its antimicrobial, antibacterial properties help keep infections at bay and the high acetic acid concentration creates an acidic environment hostile to germs.

Gargling with ACV is great, but we prefer a lovely throat-soothing concoction made from apple cider vinegar and honey (add hot water, cinnamon, and lemon as well).

7 Perfect Gifts for Health Nuts (Even the Most Difficult Ones)

gifts for health nuts

She’s that girl at your office chugging green juice when everyone else is sipping their morning coffee. He’s that friend of yours who rises with the sun to jog around the world and refuses to eat anything processed.

They make eating out a tad difficult and it may pain you a bit to hear them talk of the benefits of spirulina but hey, they also have great tips – I mean, from who else would you have heard about quinoa being a gluten-free, high-protein grain?

Yes, we’re talking about the health nuts. Those endearingly green folk that make us live a little bit healthier and feel a little bit guiltier.

I know you have a health nut or three somewhere in your circle. Especially if you hail from the likes of LA, Frisco, NYC, DC, Austin, Seattle, Portland…oh wait, almost every interesting city.

And the health nuts can be a little difficult to shop for. I mean, these people know their stuff! Want to get them that cute new water bottle you’ve been eyeing? Well, it best be BPA-free. How ’bout a lovely set of body lotions? Don’t even think about it without checking the list for parabens.

Well, to help you get your health nut the gift of his or her dreams, we’ve compiled a list of the best-est, most awesome health gifts for health nuts. Every item is health-nut-certified and guaranteed to make your shopping life a helluva lot easier, ’cause you know – stress is bad for you.

Nourish Digital Food Scale

gifts for health conscious

This freakin’ awesome food scale gives you detailed nutritional info for 2,000 common foods, making it darn easy for the health nut in your life to track everything they put in their body.

Quite possibly the best gift for a clean-eating, nutrition-tracking health nut.

Get it here.

CoffeeSock DIY Cold Brew Kit

gifts for health nuts

Health nuts can be caffeine addicts too. But they don’t drink just any old coffee – they prefer things like cold brew, which is less acidic and doesn’t upset the body’s delicate pH balance (tell them that, they’ll be impressed).

The CoffeeSock Kit comes in a mason jar and includes a cotton filter. Organic, of course.

Get it here. 

Nutribullet

gifts for health conscious folk

Green smoothies are an important food group for every good health nut. And the best way to make them? With a high-powered blender like Nutribullet. It’ll let them pulverize everything from nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and a bunch of fruit so they can get their daily fill of nutritional goodness.

It’s also reasonably priced as far as high powered blenders go so there’s good news for you too 🙂

Get it here.

Matcha Starter Gift Box

gifts for health conscious folk

Every health nut worth their weight in kale has heard of matcha and its marvelous health benefits. And it is pretty amazing, we got to say. An energy boost without the caffeine jitters? A boost in mental alertness? A heap ton of antioxidants?

Sounds good to us. And your health nut will love it, too. Especially since this gift set comes with everything they’ll need to whisk themselves a cuppa, tea ceremony style!

Get it here. 

Spiralizer

gifts for health conscious

What is up with all the health nuts and their avoidance of all things carbs? Whatever it is, help them enjoy their favorite pasta dishes while staying clear of carbs at the same time.

What better gift can you gift a health nut?

Get it here.

Nayoya Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set

gifts for health conscious

Does the thought of lying down on tiny spikes fill you with dread? That means you haven’t earned your health nut stripes yet. As for your health nut friend – they’ll love you for this acupressure mat.

It’s got 6,210 acupressure points for immediate back pain relief while the Neckupressure Pillow has 1,782 acupressure points for neck pain relief and stiff neck treatment.

And all you gotta do is lie down on it. How cool is that?

Get it here.

Kombucha Brewing Kit

gifts for health conscious

If there’s one organ that’s of concern to all health nuts, it’s their gut. Gut health is the next big thing, apparently. And probiotic drinks help with that. A yummy probiotic drink health nuts love? Kombucha, of course.

And you can help them brew their very own stash.

Get it here. 

10 Benefits of Gardening for Your Health, Your Mood and Your Wallet

benefits of gardening

Here’s a topic that rarely gets the attention it deserves: the benefits of gardening.

In fact, a lot of people don’t understand why they should grow anything at home when they can just pop down to the supermarket and have access to everything they need. The modern era appears to be striving more and more on getting away from nature and honing in purely on technology.

The truth is that we need nature and no single one of us can live without it. Gardening has more benefits than one realizes from acting as your personalized organic medicine cabinet to silently protesting against corporate greed.

Here’s 10 ways gardening improves your health, your mood and your wallet!

Gardening Reduces Stress

Firstly gardening is incredibly therapeutic and has been shown to decrease stress. Many people are becoming aware that stress is one of the underlying factors that triggers many a disease from cancer to auto-immune problems. Stress also weakens the immune system and is just a down right bummer.

In a trial done on 30 gardeners who were all in recovery from acute stress disorders, it was clinically proven that just half an hour a day improved mood and reduced levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the body. Compared to the control group, gardening was significantly more calming than resting in bed!

Promotes A Healthy Lifestyle

Growing your own produce is one of the biggest favors you can do for yourself and your family health wise. There are many faucets to gardening that improve health.

benefits of gardening

In a study done on brain damage patients who gardened, it was shown that overall health, well-being, cognition, motor control, mood, social interaction and life satisfaction all improved significantly! In another trial done on office workers, plants were shown to reduce symptoms of fatigue, runny noses, coughing and negative neurological effects by over 30%.

Another overlooked fact is that plants which grow in your home environment tend to adapt to overcome any hazards. These include toxins and radiation.

Eating your own produce means that you will eat all these compounds the plants made to counteract these things and in doing so, you will become immune to them yourself.

There are many cultural and spiritual references for plants being our medicine in this manner. Wise men, sages and those who are more in tune with nature say that when you are in tune with your garden, it grows to support you back.

Gardening also promotes physical exercise and activity, which is undoubtedly healthy for you!

Increases Your Oxygen Levels

Everyone should know that plants take in carbon dioxide, sunlight and water to produce glucose and oxygen!

By gardening and spending more time in nature, you are increasing the amount of oxygen you take in. Improved oxygen levels are associated with just about every single process in the human body, because we need oxygen to make energy.

With improved energy levels, our bodies can function optimally, reversing oxidative stress and damage, improving our immune functions, performing more tasks accurately, remembering things better and so much more. Every single process that happens in our systems, from digestion to creating enzymes, requires energy.

Furthermore, the parts of our bodies that convert oxygen into energy (the mitochondria) need it to function properly. When they don’t function properly, they do the opposite and start spewing out free radicals!

Spending more time in nature and upping your oxygen content will help to reverse this problem, which is also beginning to be believed as an underlying cause to many immune disorders. The mitochondria are also in charge of longevity, so by improving on oxygen levels and spending time gardening, you will actually live a healthier, longer life.

Decreases Toxins In Your Environment

There are quite a lot of common household plants that suck up harmful toxins from our environments and keep the air cleaner. The spider plant, mother-in-law’s tongue (snake plant), certain species of palm and the money tree are just a few examples!

Naturally spending more time in the garden, away from air pollution, will improve the quality of the air you personally breathe and expose you to less toxins. This is especially good for people with respiratory problems.

Improves Your Mood

Oh yes, being in nature more often, whether in your home garden or in a nature reserve has been shown to improve overall mood.

In a rather sophisticated study, 20 000 participants were each given an app for their smartphones. At random times over an extended period, the app would send out a questionnaire to the participants, collecting information on the light, the weather, who they were with and how they felt. The app also collected GPS coordinates and location.

The majority of the participants were the happiest when in a green, natural setting with friends, once again proving that nature is superior for boosting mood.

This is just one of many studies that support these findings. It was also shown that interacting with nature improves mood even in those who suffer from mood disorders such as depression.

Aside from the act of gardening, the rewards reaped from it take longer to achieve and come with a much larger sense of satisfaction.

Decreases Alienation & Aids Social Interaction

Being in nature allows for better social conduct, more connectedness between people and nature, as well as less isolation.

In a two week case study, groups of students were asked to spend time in either nature or man-made setups. The emotions of either groups were recorded during this time, as well as social interaction. The group that spent time in nature reported having far more positive emotions, a decreased sense of alienation and better social engagement than the other group.

Just about every other study that focuses on gardening in recovery or well being stipulates that it improves social interaction. Even in the most socially awkward cases like autism, gardening appears to help them to engage better with others.

If you find that you have difficulty connecting at social gatherings, try to host them in nature or spend more time in your garden. You may just find a huge improvement!

Increases Focus & Work Ethic

In studies done on office workers, having plants in the office proved to enhance focus and productivity . It follows on naturally that plants and spending more time near them will improve focus and work ethic.

As mentioned above, improved oxygen levels from being in the garden also improve cognition, memory, focus and satisfaction in life, all of which contribute to a better work ethic.

Puts You More In Tune With Nature

This may not seem like a benefit to some, but it comes with hidden perks. Being in tune with your environment will not only improve your mood but it will also allow you to be connected to other people. We already mentioned how gardening improves social interaction.

The extension of being in tune with nature also instils a sense of responsibility and respect for one’s food and environment. Having a connection with the food you eat is linked to eating more balanced and not over-indulging. That has obvious correlations with weight loss as well as longevity.

Being more in tune with nature also puts you in a position where you feel more receptive and giving. In some studies, it was reported that gardening increases a sense of altruism. It also heightens your understanding for why we need to preserve the environment, which leads me on to the next point.

Empowers You To Change The World

Gardening even helps to change the world!

You may or may not be aware that our planet is largely run by many multinational corporations that appear to be mining the planets resources for economic greed. Companies such as Monsanto and oil companies like Shell are largely responsible for much environmental destruction.

Agricultural farming practices may produce lots of produce, but the chemicals used to propagate the whole process actually leach the soil of nutrients. Beyond this, these heavy metals and other toxins travel via ground water or evaporate into rain clouds, further spreading environmental decay.

The sea, forests, mountains and grass lands of our planet are suffering from all this industrial activity. Much land has become less fertile and this places higher demand on farmers to use more of these awful chemicals… or to change their ways.

Aside from these toxins being unleashed like titans across the land, the genetic modification of plants has lead to one health disaster after another. GMO plants can resist drought and are praised as being the solution, but they make it difficult for farmers to stop using sprays as they have far weaker immune systems. They also ruin our planet’s natural genetic diversity.

Eating these crops has shown to lead to increased risk of just about every major disorder from Diabetes to Alzheimer’s Disease to Cancer. All this suits the big corporations. It encourages more money to be spent on their products, from pesticides to pharmaceuticals.

When one takes food production into their own hands, one endeavors into a silent peaceful protest against this kind of negative activity. Furthermore, by not using harmful chemicals in the garden and promoting this kind of logic, you are helping the world to change and become a more fertile place that can flourish.

Saves Money

Last, but not least, gardening will save you money. Growing your own food saves you money on buying expensive food.

benefits of gardening

It is especially cost effective to grow food that is non-GMO and organic, because then you will save money on your health bills in the long run.

Learn how to grow all you need to keep your immune system strong and you may never need to see a doctor again, probably living well into your 90s or longer! If you grow a surplus, you can even make a little bit extra on the side by selling the excess to your community.

There you have it. Ten reasons why everyone should be spending more time gardening and less time watching television! Take up the challenge and help to make the world a better, greener, cleaner place.

10 Best Natural Lubricants for Better, Safer Sex

natural lubricants

Natural lubricants have been around for hundreds of years (and possibly even before that time) to help promote a longer, better sex life. Nowadays there are many different kinds of lubes lining the shelves of adult novelty shops, all offering unique ways to enhance your sex life from flavoring to perfect consistencies.

It’s really no big secret that they increase sexual pleasure, particularly for women after their 20s or 30s when sex hormones start to decline. Lubricants are also mandatory for anyone engaging in anal intercourse to prevent pain or other problems.

Yet, this pretty little picture is not the full truth when it comes to lube.

Have you ever looked at the ingredients list on your favorite brand of lubricant? It probably looks like a long list of long fancy names that you can’t pronounce easily without pulling a face or two!

Sadly, both silicon or water based lubes readily available at your nearest kinky store are loaded with synthetic ingredients that are harmful for both you and your partner.

Ingredients such as parabens, petroleum (or it’s derivatives), phenoxyethanol, glycerin and propylene glycol all are easily absorbed through the skin and all cause skin tissue damage. Aside from this, many of these ingredients are linked to rashes, skin irritations, reproductive organ damage, and central nervous system suppressant effects.

Silicon based lubricants appear to have the best consistency, but they have similar toxic side effects to that of petroleum. They coat the skin a little too well, preventing it from breathing or functioning normally. Other names for it include mirasil DM 20, vicasil 5M, dimethicone, polymerized methyl polysilozane or methyl polysiloxane.

Now you’re thinking: that’s okay, I can use water based lube!

Water based lubricants are loaded with many of the same above preservatives. One of the biggest problems associated with them is the use of glucose and other forms of sugar. Did you know that sugar feeds yeasts like candida and allows for the rapid growth of thrush and other STI’s? Be very careful, especially when going for seemingly deliciously flavored lube that use sugar for sweetness.

The last problem with synthetic lube is that it is actually the number one cause of rectal tissue damage and diseases! One can’t engage in pleasant anal sex without lubricants but studies have shown that many big brands like K-Y and Delube cause severe tissue damage.

Beyond this, those who partake in anal sex should be thoroughly warned that lube enhances the growth of HIV AIDS, Hepatitis C and other STI’s.

I’m not saying that you must do away with lube altogether. I’m saying that there are far safer alternatives that are natural and even healthy for your genitals!

Like what, you ask? Here’s a little roundup of the best natural lubricants you can get your hands on!

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is praised for having over 100 uses on any high end natural health website. One of these fabulous uses happens to natural lubrication! Many swear by their coconut oil, which has more benefits than simply keeping things saucy in bed.

Coconut oil cures yeast infections and other bacteria that likes to grow down there, improving upon sexual hygiene for both lovers.

It also starts to repair damaged skin, even skin found in the vaginal wall. I myself have used it to heal wounds down there and can say from personal experience that it improves lubrication, but also promotes healthy vaginal discharge and function. Coconut oil also clears away genital warts and scar tissue.

Pros

  • Feels great
  • Lubricates very well
  • Promotes healthy vaginal function
  • Absorbs well into and repairs the skin
  • If odorless/flavorless, coconut oil tastes neutral and pleasant (some people even prefer the one with a natural coconut flavor)
  • Does not stain sheets or clothing
  • Kills bacteria
  • Prevents many STI’s
  • Can be used in the shower or bathtub
  • Can also be used for full body massages
  • Has a long shelf life
  • Does not leave you feeling sticky or oily as it gets absorbed
  • Does not disrupt internal vaginal flora
  • Keeps genitalia at the correct pH
  • Has anti-aging properties

Cons

  • Can’t be used with latex condoms or similar sex toys

Olive Oil

Olive oil is next in line in terms of natural oils that make for fantastic sex. If you can handle the strange taste, it’s exceedingly healthy for both you and your partner.

Like coconut oil, olive oil increases natural vaginal lubrication. It’s recommended to try massaging in a teaspoon twice a day to fend off vaginal dryness. Of course, doing that may lead to some other pleasurable activities of their own…

Ingesting olive oil in your diet will also promote on all factors involved in erectile dysfunction in both males and females. Including it in your diet has been linked to reduced vaginal dryness in menopausal women.

Julietta Capella, a woman whose family has been making high quality olive oil for hundreds of years, stated that while she is in her post-menopausal phase, she does not have any problems with lubricating (with or without lube) and believes it’s from a life long love affair with this oil.

The main ingredient in olive oil that makes it so good for lubrication is Squalane. Some healthy organic lubes are made from extracted Squalane from pure olive oil. Squalane makes olive oil incredibly silky and smooth. It’s also been used for generations to treat skin disorders and will help to repair the skin of the vaginal wall.

Pros

  • Works very well
  • Enhances natural lubrication of women when used externally or internally
  • Feels like liquid silk
  • Treats genital skin
  • Lowers risk of STI’s
  • Has antibacterial properties
  • Promotes longevity
  • Can be used for body massages
  • Is waterproof
  • Does not disturb vaginal flora
  • Does not harm genitalia
  • Is made from nearly 2/3rds Vitamin E, which repairs skin
  • Protects skin from rashes, irritations and outbreaks

Cons

  • Smells and tastes savory
  • Can’t be used with latex condoms or latex sex toys

Other Natural Oils That Work…

Natural oils are great when it comes down to lube, although olive oil and coconut oil are the best. Make sure that with all these oils, you choose a good quality (extra virgin) cold pressed organic variety. Only the best will do when it comes to your sexual organs!

The following oils and natural butters will also work and have similar health boosting properties. These ones are not as good at protecting against infections, but they will do the job.

  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Shea Butter
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Avocado oil

None of the above oils can be used with latex condoms or latex sex toys, unfortunately.

Mucilages

A mucilage is typically a seed or plant that releases a sticky gel-like film when it comes into contact with water. That’s right, these sticky gels can be used as a natural, safe alternatives to lube!

The best mucilages are chia seeds and flax seeds. One can soak 2 to 3 parts water to one part seeds overnight or one can simmer the same proportions over the pan for 10mins and then let cool. You can keep this mixture in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.

These seeds also happen to be rich in Omega-3s, with chia seed outdoing flax. Chia seeds are abundant in many other trace minerals such as magnesium and iron – these trace minerals are associated with increased libido, reduced menopausal symptoms and improving vaginal lubrication.

Mucilages have healing properties when ingested, acting similarly to prebiotics. They can soothe inflammation and build a protective barrier against infections without disrupting the microbiome. The vaginal walls are very similar and mucilages will protect, heal and prevent disease from occurring in there.

Other examples of mucilages are Psyllium Husk, Slippery Elm and Licorice Root Powder.

Pros

  • Works well as a lube
  • Rich source of nutrition for maintaining healthy libido
  • Aids genital function
  • Protects against infections
  • Does not stain clothing or linen
  • Soothes inflammation and skin irritation
  • Helps heal wounds
  • Easier to apply than an oil
  • Can be used with latex condoms and sex toys
  • Can be eaten for additional benefit

Cons

  • Takes time to make
  • Only lasts 5 days

Silk Condoms

You may not believe when I say that silk (yes, the fabric) works wonders when it comes to sexual lubrication.

Silk used to be used in ancient China and only by the royal family mind you. For men, it stimulates the penis in a way that apparently is unlike anything else a man will ever feel.

For ladies, it stimulates excessive lubrication. Not only does it lubricate, but it’s so smooth that it simply glides in and out, making penetration very easy.

This is all due to the fabric’s incredibly soft feel. Spider’s silk in particular is woven at a nano level, which is smaller than most microscopes can detect.

A silk condom is probably the nicest condom in the world, as it will prevent pregnancy, reduce risk of STI’s (if kept clean) and it feels incredibly pleasurable for both sides. The beauty of it too is that you’ll only need one or two, as they can be washed repeatedly and they never break (unlike latex condoms!).

Just make sure you get an organic silk that has not been chemically treated. You don’t want heavy chemicals down there! Luckily there are a few good suppliers of silk condoms worldwide.

Pros

  • Feels more pleasurable than one can imagine
  • Enhances sexual stimulation for both males and females
  • Does not make a direct mess
  • Never breaks
  • Lasts a very long time
  • Stain resistant
  • Prevents pregnancy

Cons

  • Needs special gentle cleaning agents (as silk lingerie does)

Now you know why you aught to be using a natural lube and which kinds to get – go ahead and give it a try! Your sex life is only bound to get better from here on out 😉

What is Ecotherapy (And 8 Ways You Can Start Practicing Today)

what is ecotherapy

Nature is not only beautiful, it can also help to heal you. In fact, a recent University of Essex study showed that a simple walk in the woods improved symptoms of depression in 71% of participants, making it not only an effective, safe therapy, but one which nearly anyone can easily participate in.

Such is the wonder of ecotherapy – AKA green therapy – which covers a host of natural treatments that can include anything from walking your dog in a city park, to meditating next to a high mountain stream.

And no, you don’t have to live in the country, or even necessarily leave your home to take part in it. In fact, so long as it is nature-based, it doesn’t matter if you are on top of Mt Everest, or in a weeded city lot.

The great thing about ecotherapy is, not only can it be soundly therapeutic for mental wellbeing, personal relationships, social interactions, and physical therapy, it does not require any large investments in equipment, and most of the time, it requires little more than the great outdoors and your willingness to enjoy it.

But how can you take part in this wonderful practice, you may ask? Simple – here are 8 ways for you to get out there and enjoy an amazing healing experience…

Go barefoot

Earthing is the practice of getting in direct contact with the earth—something which most of us rarely do in our modern world.

This is because we are usually either shod in rubber-soled shoes, or indoors when we are barefoot, which prevents the mild negative charge of the earth from negating the positive forces we accumulate each day.

what is ecotherapy

While there is controversy over the science behind earthing (also known of as “grounding”), many feel the benefits of the practice include:

  • Better sleep.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Normalized circadian rhythms.
  • Improved adrenal health.

So how do you get started? It could not be easier! Go and walk around barefoot on your lawn, take a swim in the ocean, get on your knees in your garden, or any other way you can think of to get in direct contact with the earth below you.

You obviously need to take care going barefoot in places where there is not soft sand or grass to caress your tender feet, but why not take a plunge into a lake, pond or river? Water does conduct the earth’s forces, plus it gives you the opportunity for some pleasant, low impact exercise while you’re at it. Give it a try, and enjoy the results!

Go watch the birds

No, you don’t need to know the scientific names, nesting habits, and calls of every bird species out there to enjoy birding. However, the benefits of watching a tree full of finches flitting about like children on a playground can leave you feeling alive with the pleasure of life around you.

Plus, you can learn about the various species of avian friends as you go along, which keeps your brain active and learning—something which helps to decrease cognitive decline and depression as you age.

The bottom line is, observing the little lives of your feathered friends and enjoying their beautiful music can help you develop a positive mental awareness which few other practices can.

Take some pictures

There is no better excuse to get out in the woods than to go on a photo safari, and there are few things as emotionally rewarding and spiritually healing as patiently watching wildlife, plants, and outdoor scenery while you line up that perfect shot.

And no, you don’t need to be Ansel Adams to enjoy taking nature pictures. In fact, you are the only one you need to impress. So long as the experience is rewarding, and your photos remind you of how special that moment was, you are good to go–enjoy!

Plus, even though photography can have an intimidating array of lenses, lights and different cameras for different purposes, all you need is a modern I-phone to take beautiful and rewarding photos.

Just remember to put it in “airplane” mode when you’re out there—no need to let the outside world disturb your healing!

Walk your best friend

The bond between pet parent and pet is a special one, and spending time in nature with your four-legged pal is always time well spent.

Not only can going for a walk with your dog (or any other non-human family member you love spending time with) provide exercise for both of you, it can also relieve depression, ease stress, lower blood pressure and help increase social interaction with others.

In fact, pet parents always have the perfect ice-breaker walking along with them, since how can there be anything better than talking about your fur-baby while getting to know a stranger who stops to give Fido a scratch?

Plus, all that unconditional love from a pet is the truest kind of love there is—and the most healing.

Plant a garden

Getting in touch with the soil can not only provide you with fresh, tasty and nutritious food which you can’t get at the grocery store, it can also improve your health with physical activity, stress relief, and by providing you with a therapeutic hobby.

Gardening also ties in with earthing, since most of the time you are down on the ground and touching the soil when performing it; and it can also give you the opportunity to soak up some vitamin D from the sun while you’re at it.

Plus, even if you only have a small backyard–or even just a patio–a potted garden or other methods for gardening in a small space can still give you the oxygen-providing plants and flowers which can be the difference between a concrete jungle, and a therapeutic and beautiful place to live.

Run through the woods

Running in the forest (or desert, beach, etc.) is one of the most meditative and enlightening activities there are.

what is ecotherapy

Not only does it help you improve your cardiovascular health while decreasing your risk of obesity, diabetes, and cognitive decline, it is also a great way to relieve depression, increase the range of muscles you use, and increase the naturally calming endorphins in your system.

And no, you don’t need to be fast, nor do you need to sign up for any 50-mile races just to enjoy the sport. In fact, a slow-lope is all you need, and you can even walk if you prefer.

However, by exercising in nature, you will likely find more motivation than just showing up at a gym and going through the motions, and the fresh air, sunshine, and plant oxygen also all add to the many benefits of enjoying this wonderfully healthy hobby.

Ride a horse

Not everyone has the opportunity for the equestrian experience, but for those who do, there are few activities as rewarding as riding a horse.

The bond between man and animal cannot be matched, since the synchronicity between you and a horse simply cannot be mimicked through any sort of mechanical transportation, and the feeling that you and horse are working as one with each other is as rewarding as it gets.

In fact, Equine Assist Psychotherapy (EAP) can help with:

  • Depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance abuse
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Plus, it is not only the horse who is getting exercise, since there is more physical interaction with riding than you may realize.

Leg muscles are worked—particularly the inner thighs and quads—and moving with the horse, ducking branches, and climbing on and off also improve your core strength, get your heart pumping, the oxygen flowing, and you feeling alive.

And, your wild friends tend to be less fearful of a horse, so you can double your healthy, outdoor experience through the enjoyment of seeing more wildlife on horseback than you would with a noisier means of transport.

Sit in a meadow

In its purest form, ecotherapy simply involves being in nature, soaking in fresh air, and enjoying the beauty of what is around you. Meditating in a springtime meadow, next to a creek, or on a high-desert bluff can help you do just that.

Doing so helps you focus away from the ills around you, and takes you to a place of healing like no other. This not only helps you find a new level of relaxation, but can lower your blood pressure, help balance your negative ions with those of the earth’s, and give you a sense of general wellbeing. Having trouble falling to sleep at night?

Disconnect from all your electronic devices, and go sit in the surroundings of a soft, florid meadow while breathing slowly and feeling the warmth of the sun. Now enjoy the most restful sleep you can get!

8 Life Saving Benefits of Plants in Your Workspace

benefits of plants

It’s funny how our bodies respond instinctively to the air around us. Wander into a dense forest foliage and you’ll naturally find your body relaxing and your lungs getting ready to take a deep breath in, savoring the crispness of the air around you.

But in the office? Not so much. Can you even remember the last time you felt like taking a deep, relaxing breath…of stale, poorly-circulated office air?

Doesn’t happen often. And many of us just sort of take it all for granted.

Until you remember that we spend a huge portion of our lives – 8 hours a day, 5 days a week – breathing in that air. Then it start to matter – a lot.

Especially since we can improve the quality of this stale office air as well as transform our total working environment pretty darn easily – simply by adding more plants.

As it turns out, plants are a lot more than office decor – these leafy greens have the ability to improve productivity, oxygenate the room and keep us feeling happier in general.

They’re actually even more useful to the workspace than coffee!

How so, you ask? Let us count the ways – here’s 8 reasons why plants are an absolute essential in the office for both you and your coworkers!

Boosts Oxygen Levels

Everyone knows that without oxygen one can’t breathe, let alone function. When one is deprived of oxygen, one has less energy.

This is the main reason we yawn when we feel tired – the body tries to suck in a larger amount of oxygen from the air to keep us going!

Moreover, oxygen has been shown to have many more amazing health benefits.

Oxygen…

  • Improves Your Immune Function
  • Destroys Anaerobic Bacteria
  • Clears Your Sinuses
  • Reduces Pain
  • Decreases Inflammation

Now here’s where the plants come in.

All plants naturally take carbon dioxide from the air (that’s the stuff you breathe out) and produce oxygen from out tiny openings in their leaves.

Most plants however produce an average of 5ml (0.01 pints) of oxygen per day, whereas us humans need at least 50 liters (13.2 gallons) per day – I bet we don’t even get that much thanks to air pollution!

Still, even incremental increases in oxygen will help. There are also some amazing species of plants (see in the section at the bottom of the article) which produce up to 12 litres per day! Those are the ones you need in your both your home and office space to help keep you healthy with an abundance of oxygen.

Remove Toxins From The Air

The prevalence of air pollution in every city is undeniable, from industrial smoke stacks, car exhaust fumes, and even regular home cleaning products like air fresheners and bug spray.

Air pollution has been linked to a significant increase in lung cancer, respiratory conditions, allergies and even death itself.

On the bright side of things, our green friends of the plant world are highly evolved and have adapted ways to counteract these toxins that humans seem to accept living in.

Many plant species can absorb common air pollutants such as Formaldehyde, Ammonia, Benzene, Xylene and Trichloroethylene.

Spruce up your office space with the help of your green allies, who are more than willing to absorb all the nasty stuff from cleaning agents and city pollution!

Do Work Better

Yep! Plants will even improve the way you go about your work by enhancing your focus and productivity.

In a study carried out by Washington State University, a group of workers was placed in an office environment with plants and a group without. The experiment showed that those with the plants were 12% more productive than the control group.

Furthermore, 10% of the workers felt that the plants helped them to focus better on the tasks at hand. Just by sitting there, a plant can help you get more work done and do it better with more focus!

Improve Diligence

Looking after a plant actually imparts a sense of responsibility on the owner of the plant. If you don’t water it when required and give it some attention every now and then, the plant will likely die.

A good example of this is often used with alcoholics and drug addicts in recovery, who have a hard time maintaining commitments. The first task assigned to them after they’ve been dry for some time, is to care for a plant or two. It helps them to maintain consistency and develop diligence, which often falls away during their addictions.

Fostering a relationship with your green buddies in the office can help you to improve your diligence and help you to stick it through with other commitments in your life.

Stress Less

Our green friends come to the rescue, yet again!

A few studies have shown that plants can reduce stress levels.

One particular study revealed that those who worked at computers in a windowless environment with plants had significantly reduced blood pressure, compared to those that didn’t have plants in the same setting.

Having high blood pressure is often linked to stress and many other conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and more.

Reduce Pain & Depression

Having plants around means that you will experience less pain and feel more satisfied with your surroundings.

In a test done on 80 women who had undergone thyroid operations, half of them were placed in a room that had beautiful flowering plants.

Of those that were exposed to the plants, the hospital noted that their hospitalization time was reduced, they needed less pain killers, they experienced less pain, stress and tiredness, and they were far more satisfied with their experience than the other plant-less group.

If you feel unhappy in your work space, tired or in pain, try buying some plants to literally liven it up!

Make Work More Comfortable

Did you know that plants even help you to feel more comfortable?

I bet you also didn’t know that humidity plays a role in human comfort and that we need an ideal humidity of 30-60%.

Plants placed in and around office spaces contributed about 5% humidity. While this is small, it was just enough to boost the humidity levels of a computer lab in Washington State University from 25% to 30%, placing the users in an ideal humidity zone.

The Color Green

So we’ve been through all the benefits of plants, except for one that is largely overlooked: the color green itself.

In an intriguing experiment done on anxiety patients, an appropriate medicine was given in capsules of 3 different colors: red, green and yellow. In the group that had the green tablets, symptoms of anxiety were most improved and the amount of phobias the group had were reduced significantly.

Green was also shown to be more arousing, in terms of keeping one awake. All the more reasons to have a green plant next to you at your desk!

What are the Best Workspace Plants?

Now that you know why you should have green companions by your side in your work space, check out these green beauties that are easy to grow indoors, emit loads of oxygen and suck up harmful toxins out the air!

Snake Plant

best office plants

A Snake Plant or more commonly, a Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, can give off 1/6th to 1/8th of your daily oxygen supply at night!

It’s also very effective at drawing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air, all of which are toxic to human health.

Areca Palm

best office plants

If you thought the Snake Plant was impressive, just hold on a moment! The Areca Palm is capable of emitting a quarter of your daily oxygen supply alone.

Get four of these in your office space to fully oxygenate your air, add some green and absorb harmful toxins.

Peace Lilies

best office plants

Peace lilies are gorgeous, easy to grow and only need a small pot to be happy.

These beautiful flowering plants smell great too, but their best qualities are the way they absorb Ammonia, Benzene, Formaldehyde and Trichloroethylene from out the air!

Chinese Evergreens

best office plants

Chinese Evergreens have most commonly been adopted in China for their potent ability to take out vast amounts of pollution from the air.

They also require very little maintenance, enjoying shade and just needing a bit of water every so often to keep the soil moist.

Golden Pothos

best office plants

If you feel intimidated by the idea of having a plant and don’t know if you have a green thumb, have no fear! The Golden Pothos is a small but very forthcoming plant that grows exceptionally easily.

It can take many chemicals out the air too and is a common first time garden plant for those who are just starting out. Give it a go!

You can also put one of these in a hanging basket if you’d prefer and they will trail down like a vine. This can increase their total surface area and amplify their toxin-absorption rate.

Gorgeous plants, right? And they even boost the oxygen supply, suck up pollution and improve the quality of your life for the greater good – and all they ask for in exchange is some water and sun. You won’t get a better deal from any other living creature, trust us 😉

So what are you waiting for? Pop down to the nursery today and acquaint yourself with some frondly buddies!

5 Body Friendly, Eco Friendly Period Products (And How They Stack Up)

eco friendly period products

Once a month, millions of women around the world quietly rush off to restrooms, bemoan the loss of their favorite panties, or furtively whisper to the closest female around, “hey, do you happen to have a tampon?”

And if you’ve experienced the latter, you may have felt a flush of pride at being a woman when you see how complete strangers can come together to find a feminine hygiene product for a fellow female they’d never met before.

It’s a beautiful thing.

A far less beautiful thing, though, is what’s actually in that tampon (or the typical menstruation pad). And how many of us stick it in or near our most vulnerable private areas without a second thought.

It may come as a shock to you that women used to function just fine without these feminine products we now take for granted. We look at the wonky contraptions that women of the past wore for their monthly flows and marvel at how primitive they were.

eco friendly period products

But actually, from both an environmental and body health point of view, we’re the primitive ones.

What do you mean when you make that statement? I mean that using these plastic pads or tampons comes with a heavy price on our planet and our bodies. Women in the “dark ages” never paid such an expensive price as the women of today largely do.

Are Tampons Bad for You?

Let’s take a moment to consider what actually happens when we use a tampon or pad…

Firstly, from farming the crop to making the final product, both tampons and pads are riddled with heavy chemicals. If you had the choice, would you want to put toxins such as mercury on or inside your private part? Or any part of your body?

Probably not. But the fact of the matter is – there’s a lot more to the typical tampon and pad than pure, white clean cotton, like…

Mercury

Mercury is still used in specialized pesticides called mildewcides for farming cotton, and many other fabrics that are susceptible to fungus .

Most standard pads and tampons are made up of cotton and rayon (bamboo), which have both been sprayed with mildewcides and other toxic pesticides that are based off of heavy metal contaminates.

Bleach

Secondly, the pristine white color comes from bleaching in the refinement process, which tampon companies use for purification. While bleach may destroy germs and bacteria, it also has equally damaging effects to our bodily tissues, destroying them and causing cancer.

Tampon and pad manufacturers began to stop using chlorinated bleach, opting for hydrogen peroxide alternatives instead. These alternatives proved to be only moderately less toxic and because of that, companies claim that they are “safer to use” and even “eco-friendly.”

In fact, they cause DNA damage which can lead to cancer, particularly when combined with the heavy metals (that are already sprayed all over the materials before they undergo bleaching). Hydrogen peroxide itself was also shown to cause internal warts in rats – I don’t know about you, but I don’t fancy getting a wart of any kind up in there!

The “Extras”

We’re still not done – you know all those extra features that some tampons and pads provide? Yup, we’re talking odor neutralizers and fragrances to help hide the scent of menses.

These don’t come from roses – in fact, they’re a veritable chemical soup of artificial colors and like BPA, BPS, polyethylene (PET) and polypropylene.

These plastic compounds, especially when heated (as they would be when in contact with your vagina) have proven to cause hormonal and endocrine disruption. Even worse, they’ve been linked to everything from infertility to cancer.

All of these horrid toxins enter your body through the membranes of your most sensitive orifice, wreaking utter havoc. You think your PMS is bad because you were born that way? Think again.

The bus doesn’t stop there though – let’s quickly consider the environment…

When you dispose of a pad or tampon, it will go to a landfill or a sewage treatment plant. That seems harmless enough, right? Until you tally up the vast quantity that lands up there, every. single. day.

Most women get their periods between the ages of 11 and 14, and menopause occurs roughly between age 45 and 50.

On average, women will go through about 25 pads/tampons per month, usually more.

That’s about 35 years of having your period, which will add up to over 10,000 pads/tampons being used in your lifetime!

Considering there are over 3 billion women on the planet, that is an immense amount of waste that will sit in a landfill! When cotton and many other textiles go to the dump, they release toxic compounds into the soil and heavy metals, like mercury in gas form.

These toxins eventually condensate into rain clouds to form acid rain, which erodes the environment, kills wildlife and contaminates both air and water.

Not to mention the damage done to the soil and our environment just from harvesting cotton in the first place.

Each year the cotton industry makes 20 million tons of cotton.

To produce 2.2 lbs of cotton, it takes 5283 gallons of water! To top it all off, cotton makes up about 2.4% of agricultural activity on the planet, but it accounts for 24% and 11% of insecticide and pesticide sales globally.

Ready to make the switch to something that does not support this industry or try to kill you?

Good. Let’s get started – there are a lot of options out there!

What are the Best Eco Friendly Period Products?

The last section was depressing. So it’s time for some good news: When it comes to eco friendly period products, there are really great options out there.

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since menstruation aprons and now have access to a range of period products that aren’t only darn convenient but also better for your body and the environment.

Here are the best eco friendly period products – and how they stack up!

Organic Tampons and Pads

Organic tampons and pads are a great baby step towards helping yourself and the environment become cleaner!  The cotton in these will not be sprayed with chemicals although plastics and cleaning chemicals may still be a cause for concern.

Pros:

  • They’re convenient
  • They work well
  • They’re mercury free
  • No pesticides
  • They use less water to produce
  • They’re biodegradable (if not bleached)

Cons:

  • They may still contain plastics or bleaching agents.
  • They’re still disposable and will still land in the dump (unless you bury them in your yard…).
  • They’re more expensive than regular ones and you have to keep buying them.

Organic Cloth Pads

A cloth pad is similar to an ordinary pad in principle. You use it to line your panties and it catches your flow. The difference is that they are far more comfortable and you don’t throw them away.

You keep washing them in between using clean ones. Many kits come with a plastic bag or container that you can use to store dirty ones in your bag while on the go, which may or may not be an issue for some women.

Pros:

  • Ultra comfortable
  • No pesticides
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-disposable
  • Biodegradable
  • They last up to 5 years

Cons:

  • You have to hand wash them in cold water and wait to dry every time you change one.
  • Dirty ones can smell if carried in your purse (essential oils can help cover that up!).
  • The upfront cost may be expensive for some – a kit of 6 can average $100.

The Menstrual Cup

While this may sound a little obscene, it’s actually one of the most eco-friendly options available. A menstrual cup is a little cup that you squeeze slightly before inserting into your vagina, like a tampon.

It then fills up, after which you take it out and empty the contents down the toilet or sink. You then need to rinse the cup with water before reinserting, and voila!

Be sure to wash your hands well before handling it. If you spend lots of time out, you may need to buy a second one, as it won’t be so easy to wash it in a public bathroom. Also you will want to boil them at least once a month to keep them sterilized.

Note: I have to admit that this is my personal favorite option – I’d even go so far as to say that these little cups totally changed my life (at least during my periods). So a big thumbs up for menstrual cups!

Pros:

  • It works like a charm – up to 12 hours of total protection
  • As comfortable as a tampon
  • Cost Effective
  • Non-disposable
  • Recyclable
  • Lasts up to 10 years
  • No pesticides
  • Made from non-toxic silicone

Cons:

  • Takes a bit of practice
  • Can be messy to handle
  • Makes a suction noise when inserted
  • Requires a bit of maintenance, like boiling once a month
  • Yoga inversions aren’t recommended with these since they can cause queefing

Organic Period Panties

Organic period panties are exactly what they sound like: You get panties that are lined with organic cotton wool. These are great for those with a lighter flow or at the end of the period when you don’t know if it’s over yet or not.

For the most cases, these panties are meant to be used with a pad, tampon or menstrual cup to ensure you don’t mess your clothes.

There are a few other varieties on the market that use high-tech fabrics which absorb moisture, quick dry and remove odors, but these will be made with synthetic materials that are not safely biodegradable.

They are, however, far less disposable and will last the same time as ordinary underwear.

Pros:

  • 100% no messes
  • Comfortable
  • Eco-friendly (unless synthetic)
  • Free of pesticides (unless non-organic)
  • Lasts ±2 years on average
  • Biodegradable (if organic without synthetics)

Cons:

  • Does not substitute pads or tampons unless you have an incredibly light flow.
  • Can be expensive

Special Sea Sponges

You might not believe this, but sea sponges are also used as a natural solution for periods. I’m talking about those fuzzy creatures that grow in coral reefs!! They have been used for thousands of years – even by Cleopatra who preferred them to all other options available to her.

These sea sponges are very soft and squishy. You just twist them or squeeze them a bit before inserting them. They’re highly absorbent and when they’re full, you just take it out and let it soak in water until clean before pushing it back in.

Many women actually claim that they are super comfortable, but doctors warn against some of their lesser known dangers. These sponges feed off bacteria when alive and after being harvested, often contain bacteria as well as sand.

Parts of the sponge can also break off and stay inside you, which may lead to an infection later.

Infections can occur with anything you stick inside your vagina though, especially if you nick yourself – be careful!

These effects can be ameliorated if you soak them in something antibacterial to wash them (like 1 drop of lavender oil diluted in lots of water) but they will still contain sand. Also, never boil one as this makes them hard and impossible to use.

Pros:

  • Very comfortable
  • Renewable (they can keep growing and being harvested from the sea)
  • Lasts up to 6 to 12 months
  • You only need one at a time
  • Safe for you and the planet
  • Toxin-Free
  • Highly absorbent

Cons:

  • Contains bacteria and sand
  • Needs to soak for 10 mins in between uses

So what’s the best option? Well, it depends on you and your needs but out of all the above options, my hands down most recommended is the menstrual cup. It’s simply the best from a healthy, budget-friendly and environmental point of view.

But no matter which one you choose from the above – rest assured that they’re all a better pick than the typical tampon or sanitary pad. And by making the switch, you’ll be doing your bit to help yourself and the planet each and every time Aunt Flo comes to visit!

8 Best Non Toxic Air Fresheners

non toxic air fresheners

Let’s be honest. Non toxic air fresheners aren’t the first thing you think about when you start to green your home. I certainly didn’t. In fact, I totally forgot about it. It’s almost as if you get so used to certain scents in your home that they completely escape your notice.

That’s how integral scents are to our daily lives. The smell of a place can leave a very strong first impression, whether stepping into a home, a restaurant, an office or a public bathroom. And after awhile, they become a part of that place – just like any other physical fixture.

So it’s no wonder so many of us become dependent on conventional air fresheners to make our interiors smell more appealing, but it’s time to ask: does the typical air freshener truly “make your air fresh”?

Is My Air Freshener Toxic?

To answer your question: yes, it most likely is.

Let me put it to you another way. Before we even get down to discussing what’s inside these insidious products, research has proven that air fresheners are outright unhealthy for many people.

One report reviewed air fresheners and a number cleaning products, revealing that they give off both primary and secondary air pollutants. Both these types of air pollutants have been proven to contribute to the onset of severe asthma and allergies.

Air freshener manufacturers are not bound by law to state the ingredients on their packaging. So it’s not surprising that they take advantage of this to sneak in a few ingredients that you really don’t want you and your family to be sniffing on a daily basis.

Like what ingredients, you ask? Here’s a few of the most common offenders found in your average air freshener…

Phthalates

In a study done by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 12 everyday household air fresheners tested positive for containing Phthalates.

Phthalates are chemicals that are shocking for our health. They have been shown to cause cancer, hormonal imbalances, endocrine disruption, birth defects and reproductive problems.

These chemicals have also been linked to a majorly increased risk of Sudden Infantile Death Syndrome (SIDS), which is a condition used to describe an infant that suddenly dies “inexplicably” or “without a known cause.”

Here are 5 different kinds of Phthalates found in air fresheners and what they do in your body:

  • Di-Isobutyl Phthalate (DIBP) negatively affects the way male genitals grow.
  • Di-Isohexyl Phthalate (DIHP) has shown to damage reproductive organs in preliminary research.
  • Di-N-Butyl Phthalate (DBP) is recognized in California and the US National Toxicology Program to decrease fertility and cause sterility.
  • Di-Methyl Phthalate (DMP) in animal studies also proved to be toxic to their reproductive organs.
  • Di-Ethyl Phthalate (DEP) disrupts hormones as well as both male and female genital development.

In other words, every time we want to make the room smell good, we’re damaging our reproductive organs and our lungs!

That’s not all though…

Terpene

Terpene was also discovered to be present in air fresheners. However, when this toxic compound is exposed to the air, it forms Formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde, as you may already know, is infamous for causing cancer and killing most living tissue it comes into contact with. It has also been implicated as one of the leading causes of leukemia!

1,4 Dichlorobenzene

1,4 Dichlorobenzene is another common ingredient found not only in deodorizers, but in insect repellants too. In a case study done on 1000 American citizens, it was found that 98% had this toxin in their urine and 96% had it in their bloodstreams!

In mouse models, 1,4 Dichlorobenzene causes liver cancer and tumor growth. It has also been associated with advanced lung problems and many more degenerative health effects.

These toxic ingredients are just a few of many more that are used to contaminate your air with “freshness.”

What are the Best Non Toxic Air Fresheners?

Now that you know all the bad news – what’s inside the common air fresheners we use on a daily basis – it’s time for a little good news: there are oh, so many natural alternatives you can use.

To be honest, the first time I deep dived into all the nastiness found in air fresheners – I felt sick. And then when I read about the huge variety of natural alternatives that have been open to us all along – I felt stupid.

But those feelings didn’t last long. Once I started actually using non toxic air fresheners, it became so very apparent that this is one household product that’s incredibly easy to replace with a green, natural option. And then I just felt triumphant.

And that last feeling is what I want to leave you with. So without further ado, here’s a roundup of the best non toxic solutions to actually freshen up the air!

Pure Essential Oil Sprays

An essential oil spray is the most convenient alternative to adopt as it is the closest to a deodorizer spray. Many organic brands readily sell these handy sprays, but they are also very easy to make yourself.

Depending on what types of essential oils you use, you can also deter many insects from out your interior!

To make your own, fill a spray bottle with water and add 5 to 20 drops of one or more of your favorite scents into it. Strong essential oils like citrus and clove will need less, softer scents like lavender will need more.

Essential oils also come with multiple benefits when inhaled in the air. A few examples of some great smelling ones include:

  • Lavender: has antiseptic, antimicrobial and sedative-like properties, often used to soothe and calm the nerves.
  • Rosewood smells like roses and has been shown to improve moods, alleviate tension headaches, boost memory and even has some aphrodisiac properties (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
  • Sandalwood also calms your nerves, has antimicrobial properties and gives you mental clarity. Above all, sandalwood has the ability to lower blood pressure and reduce coughing fits!
  • Frankincense has been used since biblical times and for plenty of good reasons. Also an antiseptic substance, it can decrease acne, wrinkles, scarring, indigestion and general pain.
  • Mint helps to repel pests, alleviate pain from swellings, help the heart and is also antimicrobial.
  • Eucalyptus opens the airways in the lungs, helping you to breathe better. It also has many antibacterial properties.
  • Lemongrass helps to alleviate many different types of pain, aside from smelling great! It can reduce headaches, stomach aches, digestive issues and muscle pain, while also giving you more energy at the same time.

Aromatherapy Diffusers

An aromatherapy diffuser is any kind of device that takes a drop or two of essential oils and disperses the smell potently in the room.

It can be as simple as boiling a pot of water and adding a few drops in or you can get a specialized stand that heats the oil another way.

Here are some common types of aromatherapy diffusers:

Candle Diffusers

These are by far the most common aromatherapy diffusers. Typically, a ceramic oil burner of this nature will have a hollow or space at the bottom where a candle is placed.

A small bowl is suspended above the candle, in which you can place certain types of diffuser crystals or a carrier oil. A few drops of your favorite essential oil are then added to the bowl for a lovely smell that lingers around.

You’ll want to use a beeswax based candle in the spirit of being non-toxic too (refer to the section below).

Light Bulb Ring Diffusers

These resemble a ceramic ring which fits around an upright light bulb. The ring has a catchment lip where you can drop your essential oils into, allowing the smell to diffuse off the heat of the bulb.

Electric Diffusers

Also known as humidifiers, these are electronically powered devices that send out a fragranced mist into the air. You get ones that are essential oil based and that do not use chemicals in their mixes.

Car Diffusers

Oh, and we can’t forget about the car! These are small portable versions of electric diffusers that plug into the cars cigarette lighter port. Many of them use a vinegar-water mix, which you can liven up with a drop of any essential oil.

Scented Beeswax Candles

Scented candles are another great way to make a room smell amazing. Be careful though – many scented candles are made with toxic waxes and use artificial fragrances, both of which are linked to harmful side effects.

Instead, opt for natural candles that are made with organic soy or beeswax. Look out for wicks that are made from lead, as combusting these will also create air pollution. Natural candles will use essential oils and other natural ingredients like coconut shavings to scent the room and burn longer.

Improved Ventilation

The best air freshener of all time is proper ventilation. Open the windows for a quick dispersion of even some of the most awful smells.

This works even better if you have some pleasant smelling plants placed just beneath the windows outdoors, such as jasmine or honeysuckle.

Get Indoor Plants

Speaking of plants, there are a few indoor plants that indirectly contribute to air freshness by giving out masses of oxygen. Oxygen helps to keep the air cleansed and feeling fresh.

One of the best producers of oxygen is the Snake Plant. It was shown that one snake plant can produce 1/6th of your oxygen supply alone! That means if you were placed in a room without any oxygen, six of these plants can make enough to keep you alive, no problem.

Potpourri

Flowers, herbs and spices have been hung up and dried for centuries to improve the smell in the home. Fresh basil, lavender, chamomile, citrus peels and mint are just a few examples.

You can easily purchase potpourri in bags or make your own with your favorite flowers and herbs. Add a few drops of essential oils to enhance the flavor and then place bowls or sachets of it around your living environment for a pleasant odor.

Pomanders

A pomander is either a lemon or an orange that has pricked with many clove studs. They smell citrusy, warm and are entirely natural.

Engrave thin lines in the fruits skin to release more of the pleasant odors contained within. You can also get creative and make patterns this way, using them as ornaments!

Odor Absorbers

Certain substances absorb odors directly from the air. Placing baking soda in a bowl in the smelly parts of your house or the bottom of your garbage bag can help to absorb unpleasant smells. This works equally well when placed inside your fridge.

There you have it! Avoid toxic air fresheners and rather go for one or more of the above non-toxic solutions instead. It’s damn easy to do and you, your body, your family and your environment will be happier off about it in the end!

Bentonite Clay Detox: How Does It Work and Should You Do It?

bentonite clay detox

You already know that bentonite clay is great for soothing irritated skin and clearing out pores. But bentonite clay detox? That’s still very much an underrated function of this highly versatile clay.

Which is a shame since bentonite clay (also known as montmorillonite clay) is an extremely potent detox tool that’s gentle enough to be included in pretty much everyone’s health arsenal.

Plus, using clay for healing and health benefits is not a new thing. It has been adopted by many cultures across the globe, from South America to Central Africa to Oceania,  for centuries (likely a lot longer) as part of their traditional healing process.

But why, you ask? Well, let’s take a deeper look at the benefits offered by a bentonite clay detox!

What is Bentonite Clay?

Before we go any further, we might as well start with the basics, mainly: what even is bentonite clay?

Bentonite clay is largely made up of volcanic ash. It’s typically grey or creamy in color with both a neutral smell and taste.

And just in case you were wondering – bentonite clay isn’t made up of anything called “bentons.”

Its name actually stems from one of the biggest sources of bentonite clay – Fort Benton, Wyoming. Its other name – montmorillonite – has a similar origin, having been taken from the Montmorillon region of France, where the clay was first discovered.

And its the unique properties that this clay posses that gives it its detoxing abilities…

How Bentonite Clay Detox Works

Lucky for us, it doesn’t take a PhD in molecular chemistry to understand how bentonite clay works. Here’s what you need to know about what a bentonite clay detox does for and in your body!

Firstly, it has colloidal properties, which means that it can disperse itself over a large surface area and infiltrate the body effectively. This is ideal for detoxing all your cells, cleansing them right through even down to a genetic and molecular level!

Secondly, bentonite clay is composed of many essential minerals which create a negative charge in its natural state. This allows it to bind to the majority of toxins which all herald a positive charge.

Moreover, bentonite clay will actively seek out these toxic particles. Any of you who did a bit of chemistry will know that negatively charged particles are very desperate to latch onto positively charged ones, to complete them on an atomic scale.

Lastly, this clay has the ability to swell when in contact with liquids. When it does this, it absorbs all the toxins readily from out of the liquid, purifying it. Since the body is made from more than 70% water, I’m sure you can imagine that this is a winning detox solution.

For all the same reasons, this clay is used not only for health, but also to clear out toxins from industrial waste water. Plants also benefit from this clay as it absorbs toxins from chemical sprays and pollution without damaging the pH of the soil.

13 Health Benefits of Bentonite Clay

The benefits of bentonite clay highlight not only why it makes such a great detoxifier but also why it ought be used for everyday health in general!

Removes Heavy Metals

This is what most detox programs aim to achieve! Bentonite clay is so effective at removing heavy metals from the body because of its negative charge. It readily binds to mercury, aluminium, benzene, cadmium, lead, and many more.

These heavy metals are commonly found in our modern environments, silently accumulating inside of our bodies and aiding the development of chronic lifestyle diseases.

Everything from car exhaust fumes to the pesticides sprayed on our foods has them, but fortunately bentonite clay is a cost-effective solution to drawing them out the body!

Kills Bacteria

Bentonite Clay has demonstrated a potent doctoring effect, helping to boost your immune system by annihilating a variety of bacteria!

Some of the bacteria it kills are the infamous E.Coli, which causes horrible stomach upsets, as well as the nasty Staphylococcus Aureus.

The clay’s power did not falter even in the face of penicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus Aureus, which usually is a one-way ticket to suffering multiple rounds of antibiotics through mainstream health protocols.

Draws Out Fluoride

Yes, finally a cheap, potent solution for getting rid of fluoride out our drinking water!

Bentonite Clay binds to fluoride and removes it from our drinking water. It can also remove it from your body if you drink it or from parts of your brain if you use it as a face mask.

If this news doesn’t make you jump up and down with joy, then you probably don’t know that fluoride is the only ingredient in many rat poisons, and that it contributes to a vast number of neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s Disease.

Eliminates Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins, such as Aflotoxin B1, are molds found on peanuts and some grains. These toxins tend to accumulate in the body for years and eventually create cancer.

Thankfully, bentonite clay also binds onto these nasty guys and escorts them out without batting an eyelid!

Tones the Skin

Bentonite clay’s benefits aren’t only internal – which is why this clay is famous for beautification purposes. And studies back it up.

In fact, scientists have shown that Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, (the second most abundant compound found in Bentonite Clay) was effective at tightening the skin, making it a great natural toner.

Treats Skin Conditions

Those fortunate enough know how soft the skin becomes after having a mud bath at a spa. Bentonite Clay does that and more!

Studies observed that this clay began to reverse symptoms of allergic reactions and dermatitis in patients who used it like a face mask.

It reduces inflammation, itching and redness, as well as imparting many needed minerals back into the skin. This shows great promise for those who suffer from eczema and psoriasis too.

Heals Wounds

In a study carried out on a group of unfortunate rats, bentonite clay proved to be highly effective at healing their wounds!

The basis of wound healing relies on trace minerals, which become enzymes and components of scabs and more. Clays are a rich source of these metals and thus help to rapidly improve wound recovery.

Cleanses The Colon & Reduces Constipation

A huge problem for those who suffer from chronic constipation is a build-up of fecal matter in their colons. Mainstream options for getting rid of this toxic matter include heavy use of OTC laxatives or worse, colonic irrigation.

Luckily for those people, bentonite clay casually waltzed into the colon and binds to this toxic matter, helping to flush it out in no time!

1 tsp of bentonite also holds up to 224mg of magnesium and 1293mg of potassium! Both of these minerals have been proven to work as a great natural laxative without any negative side effects.

Boosts Available Oxygen Supply

Since bentonite attracts positively charged particles, it can bind to excess hydrogen in the body. This is fantastic news, as excessive hydrogen is often used to make compounds like hydrogen peroxide or HO, which have been shown to produce cancer.

Furthermore, there will be more available oxygen and less HO, which improves immune function, energy levels and decreases overall stress.

Has A Wealth of Essential Minerals

Bentonite Clay contains an average of 76 different trace minerals, metals and elements, all of which are crucial to help our body manufacture enzymes and more!

Alleviates Digestive Problems

Drawing out heavy metal toxins takes pressure off the liver and also helps to keep your microbiome populated with healthy bacteria (which can be damaged in the presence of heavy toxicity).

In this way, along with restoring minerals, bentonite clay can help your digestive system to run smoothly.

Protects Against UV Radiation

When used as a face or body mask, bentonite clay provides effective protection against UV radiation. These effects are largely due to the iron oxide content of Bentonite in combination with its expandability.

Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth

Bentonite Clay already prevents cancer indirectly by removing aflotoxins and reducing excess hydrogen from our bodies, but it actually stops the growth of specific cancer cells too!

In a study done, it was shown that cancer cells in the central nervous system were inhibited by bentonite.

How To Do A Bentonite Clay Detox

When it comes to a doing a bentonite clay detox – you’ve got options. Here are 5 easy ways to detox with bentonite clay!

Drink It

Mix 0.5 to 1 tsp of bentonite clay in a glass of water, stir well until dissolved and then down it fast! Do not do this more than once a day.

Bathe In It

An easy option to reap the benefits of a bentonite clay detox while giving yourself a spa bath pampering is to throw in a quarter cup of the clay into your bath water and use it as a soaking treatment.

This allows the clay to bind to the toxins that are dispelled from your skin. Plus, your skin will be silky smooth, less inflamed and hydrated afterwards.

Do A Mouthwash

Did you know that the mouth is one of the most vulnerable areas of the body when it comes to harmful bacteria and toxins?

So why not start the bentonite clay detox there?

It’s simple to do and all it consists of it is taking a bentonite clay in water mixture and swizzling the solution around in your mouth like a mouthwash.

Spit it out after a minute and don’t swallow.

This helps the clay to bind to and remove unhealthy substances and bacteria build-up around the teeth, tongue and gums.

Apply As A Face Mask

An easy way to detox your facial skin and pores of build-up and gunk is to do a bentonite clay face mask.

Using clean spring water, mix 1 tablespoon of clay with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Blend it until a smooth thick paste forms and then apply it liberally to your face. If you have a skin condition, apply it to the affected areas too.

Spot Treat Detox

This area-specific method of bentonite clay detox doesn’t just apply to your face – you can also use a clay mask for areas of your body that can really use a “clearing out.” Like your hair, for example, when its in need of a clarifying treatment or even your armpits.

The armpits, in particular, can be perfect for a bentonite clay detox especially if you’ve been a heavy user of drugstore deodorants and anti-perspirants and the chemical soup they contain, i.e. aluminum, phthalates, parabens, etc.

Not only does an armpit detox help soothe rashes and irritation as well as cut down on odor and sweat – but it also helps draw toxins out of this area, which is a lymph node and a major part of your immune system.

Bentonite Clay Detox Precautions

Bentonite is very safe to use, but you should be aware of a few precautions before you proceed, especially if the below apply to you…

Metal teeth fillings

Since bentonite clay absorbs heavy metals, be careful about ingesting it if you have metal teeth fillings. Rather bathe in it or use face masks.

Reduced Zinc Count

Bentonite replenishes trace minerals and absorbs heavy metals. But it also takes zinc out of your body, so make sure to take a helpful zinc supplement (like zinc picolinate) while ingesting this clay.

Detoxing In General

It’s always best to discuss a detox with your doctor first and to take it easy. Detox reactions can feel like you have a flu, amongst other things, so you may want to do a slow transition rather than piling on with the clay!

Don’t Inhale

Several studies show that directly inhaling bentonite clay promotes the risk of lung cancer cell growth due to increased aggravation from the fine particles. It was not intended to be snorted or inhaled in other words!

 

8 Facts That Will Make You Want to Stop Using Plastic for Good

There is no doubt that plastic is everywhere – in our homes, in our landfills, and in every nook and cranny of our environment.

In fact, about 8 million metric tons of it will end up in our oceans this year alone (one metric ton equals 2205 lbs.), and with more plastic being produced in the first ten years of this century than was produced in the entire 20th century, there is no end in sight.

With all the disposable packaging, plastic toys, plastic bags and other plastics which will be manufactured and discarded, there is good reason to consider reducing, recycling and removing plastic from your life now more than ever.

Not only is plastic an environmental nightmare due to how much of it ends up in our oceans, streams, rivers and forests, it is also toxic to you and your family.

Since nearly all plastic contains poisonous chemicals of some kind, it may be doing more direct damage to your health than you realize, and the manufacturing of it also adds chemicals to the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the foods we eat.

Not convinced? Here are 8 facts that will make you want to stop using plastic for good.

It doesn’t rot

stop using plastic

One of plastic’s biggest advantages as a container for foods and liquids also makes plastic an environmental disaster – namely, it isn’t biodegradable.

In fact, most plastic water bottles take between 450-1000 years to decompose, so most of what you see floating in a river or ocean today will likely be around for generations to come.

Even biodegradable plastics made of cornstarch or other plant material take around 6-months to decompose, which, while vastly better than 450-years, is still not great.

The bottom line? There are things which are good to leave around for our future generations and plastic rubbish is not one of them.

It can give you cancer

Plastic is loaded with toxins, and even “safe” plastics may be posing a potential health risk. Not only do many plastics contain bisphenol (BPA), but heavy metals, phthalates and other carcinogens as well.

In the case of BPA’s and phthalates, both are known endocrine disruptors, which are leached from plastics into foods, onto skin, and into the air. These can not only put us at risk for cancer, but are associated with reproductive issues, low sperm counts, weight gain, early onset puberty in boys and girls, and the list goes on.

Sure, there may be other cancer-causing influences in our modern society, which some may say simply cannot be avoided.

However, does it really make sense to NOT avoid that which CAN be avoided, thereby lowering our overall cancer, etc., risk?

As anyone who has ever experienced cancer themselves, or had a loved one suffering from it can attest, the answer is a resounding “NO!”

It kills marine life

stop using plastic
Image via Litter Action

Plastic in our oceans is more than a mere unsightly inconvenience, it also wreaks havoc on the lives of marine birds, fish and mammals. Many seabirds, for instance, will commonly mistake indigestible plastic trash as food, which they then consume, and die slowly of as it fills their stomachs and they can no longer eat real food.

This also occurs with fish and even whales, who take in plastic particles when they feed on plankton and krill which have plastic particulate floating amongst them.

Finally, fish, birds, sea turtles and marine mammals can become trapped in beer can rings, fishing line, and other plastic hazards which can then drown them, or young wildlife can become encircled in plastic, which does not grow with them and slowly cuts into them.

These scenarios all lead to one thing: Slow, painful death for the creature, and lower populations of endangered species—and all avoidable, were we to not dispose of plastics in the environment.

It poisons the earth

Plastic is toxic stuff, and the same BPA’s, phthalates, heavy metals, formaldehyde and other chemicals which can disrupt your endocrine system, cause chromosomal damage, and endanger you and your family can also leach into the soil.

This means that food grown in contaminated soil will also become contaminated, as will any wildlife in proximity to – and downstream of – areas where plastic is disposed of.

Plastic particulate can also become airborne, and there may be real danger of it being in the air we breathe, meaning that not only can it get onto our skin, into our pores, and be ingested, it can also be taken in through our lungs, as well as the lungs of wildlife and pets.

It requires crude oil to make

Petroleum itself is an ecological nightmare, with the destruction caused from its extraction being just the tip of its toxic iceberg. Since about 4% of crude oil goes into the making of plastics, we can be assured that even though we may be taking other measures to decrease our carbon footprint, continuing to use plastics will ensure that there is a call for fracking, oil drilling and oil refining.

So, even though you may drive an electric car, ride a bicycle, or use public transportation, there is still that dashboard made of plastic, plastic bike helmet, and plastic water bottle you take with you on the bus which are continuing to require crude oil to be mined.

The good news is, there are other plant-based plastics starting to make their way into product packaging and other areas where traditional plastics are used, although plant-based plastics still require crude oil enhancement (about 30%).

Producing it can also affect food supplies, and due to a lack of cost-effectiveness for industries, is taking time to catch on.

Plus, in the case of junk-food manufacturer Frito-Lay scrapping plans to use a plant-based bag for their Sunchips, the plant-plastic made too much noise, which they figured their customers would not like. Really? Potato chip bags too noisy? Let’s hope there are worse things to worry about than such a horrid inconvenience as that!

It poisons our water

Just as heavy metals, formaldehyde, BPA’s and many other dangerous chemicals are leached into the soil from plastics, the same happens in our waterways.

To make matters worse, about 83% of water samples tested worldwide showed positive results for plastic particulate, which is due to anything from the wearing down of plastic carpeting which produces airborne particulate, to synthetic clothing being washed and breaking down into particles which then enter the water ways.

Not only can this produce chemical toxins which affect fish, wildlife and human health, plastics can also harbor dangerous pathogens which can then cause illness and the spread of disease.

Most people don’t recycle

Of the 33.6 million tons of plastic discarded each year, only around 6.5% of it is recycled. The rest either goes into landfills or into the environment, which means more needs to be made from raw material to keep up with the demand.

Not only does this increase our carbon footprint and keep the petroleum industry happily researching new pristine areas to destroy with fracking and drilling, it also means more landfills are needed as current locations are filled, and can no longer be used.

Ironically, the mining of landfills could prove to be a multi-billion-dollar industry, with it being estimated (as of 2011) that there is about enough plastics in landfills which, were it converted to liquid fuel (i.e. back to petroleum), it could produce the equivalent of 139 barrels of crude oil – about enough to fuel all the cars in Los Angeles for an entire year.

Plastic is toxic to manufacture

Producing plastic creates pollution, as well as requiring fossil-fuel to make. When plastic resin is produced, a dilute aqueous caustic solution is used to scrub ethylene as it is polymerized, which produces a caustic solution, which is a high-volume environmental toxin.

This is in addition to other emissions released during the refining process (nickel, ethylene oxide, benzene, and more), and in concentrations of about 100 times what it takes to make similar products from glass.

Plastic manufacturing is also dangerous to workers, who not only have much more direct contact with chemical toxins than does the public, but also have explosions, toxic-cloud vapors and chemical fires to be concerned with.

And of course, not only do such explosions, fires and cloud vapors affect workers when they happen, but entire areas around plastic manufacturing plants need to be evacuated when such disasters occur, and most of the residue from the occurrence remains in the environment for hundreds of years after.

So even though that bottle of purified water may seem innocent enough, and you personally may do your part in ensuring that it ends up in a recycling bin and not on the beach, you may still want to re-think your decision to continue using it.

While plastics may be everywhere, and seemingly impossible to remove as a health hazard for you, your family, the environment, and wildlife, the removal of them needs to start somewhere – and the sooner the better.

By doing your part and avoiding plastics whenever possible, it not only helps reduce your immediate impact on our environment, but tells manufacturers through loss of sales – the loudest message we can deliver to them – that plastics are no longer tolerated.

It also teaches and encourages future generations – as well as others around you – of the need to remove plastics from our world.