Natural Antibiotic Alternative – Essential Oils

It’s official, I will never be without oregano essential oil in my medicine cabinet.  My body is so messed up lately.  I feel like everything is upside-down.  I was pregnant in the end of October, felt terrible for three months, had a miscarriage and now I just feel weird.  It is times like these when I am so incredibly thankful to have a medicine cabinet full of homeopathy and essential oils.  Whatever I need, I have it on hand.

Let me back the truck up a second.  This story is mainly about my finger.  My pointer finger had been hurting for two weeks and was slowly becoming more and more swollen.  At first I thought I had injured it.  Something in our toilet is broken and the water runs non-stop unless we turn the water supply off on the back of it, which hurt my fingers after doing it 17 times a day.  But I stopped using my swollen finger and it was still getting worse.  This past weekend, the pain was so bad I could not sleep.  I started to wonder if I had an infection, even though there was no discoloration or anything gross looking.

I decided to start taking a supplement blend of essential oils to reinforce my body’s natural defenses.  I had several discussions with my husband about the possibility of my finger falling off, and who wants to deal with that.  Losing a finger, or hearing your spouse talk about losing their finger.  I started taking the oil blend supplement in the morning and at night.  After the second time, my finger was throbbing less.  After the third time, the swelling was retreating from my knuckle and pretty much only the tip was hurting.

Here is what was in the supplement I took:

  • Extra virgin coconut oil
  • Clove flower bud essential oil
  • Lemon rind essential oil
  • Eucalyptus radiata essential oil
  • Rosemary essential oil
  • Cinnamon bark essential oil
  • Oregano essential oil
  • Thyme essential oil
  • Lemongrass essential oil

I will save you all the gross details, but it turns out it was infected.  I don’t know how or why it was infected, which is kind of scary.  And gross.  I accidentally managed to drain it (surprise!) on my third day taking the supplement.  Also gross.  I am so glad I was already flooding my body with oils which provide immune support.  I am going to keep taking it until my finger is back to normal.  Now that I found the source of the problem, I have done things like soaking it in hydrogen peroxide and alternating topical use of this homeopathic gel with Cinnamon, Clove, Lemon, Rosemary & Eucalyptus Oils diluted in coconut oil.  The supplement was what I took when I was unsure what I was dealing with and when I couldn’t get to the source of the infection, which was under my nail and skin.

Excuse the terrible editing, I had to remove the product/ brand name to be able to publish my testimonial.

Excuse the terrible editing, I had to remove the product/ brand name to be able to publish my testimonial.

If I would have gone to a doctor, they would have put me on some extra strength antibiotic which would have further damaged my sensitive digestive system.  This would in turn create more problems for my already wonky hormonal state because important feel-good hormones like serotonin are made in gut.  The gut is very important in all aspects of health.  Protect it at all costs by avoiding chemical drugs the best you can.

Having essential oils on hand is a must.  The supplement I took is designed to boost the immune system in times of stress.  These oils mentioned above are high in thymol, carvacrol and eugenol which have been proven in studies to be “capable of inhibiting or slowing the growth of bacteria, yeasts and moulds.”  (Source)

My finger was the second reason I needed to take this supplement in the last month.  The first was after my D&E procedure following my miscarriage.  Although I was prescribed chemical antibiotics, I again chose not to take them.  In addition to the reasons I explain above, I avoid antibiotics because I understand how much damage they cause to the beneficial bacteria in the human body.  Often times antibiotic use can allow destructive pathogens, such as candida, to overgrow creating additional health problems.  A healthy population of beneficial gut bacteria is crucial for so many aspects of health, including proper immune function, healthy digestion, brain health and even healthy skin.

If I didn’t already have this supplement in my cabinet, I would have had to take the antibiotics to avoid possible infection.  A big part of living toxin-free is preparation.  You need to have a stocked cabinet to be prepared for general illnesses or conditions.

**Please note that in order to protect my freedom to share my personal testimonials, I cannot affiliate with any brand of essential oils.

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Homemade Toothpaste Powder

ToothPowderH

Toothpaste has long been a tricky thing for me.  I know there incredibly toxic ingredients in conventional toothpaste, yet I have tried many “natural” toothpastes and none left my mouth feeling clean and fresh.  Out of frustration, I gave up on trying to find an alternative to the chemical laden toothpaste I had used all my life.

Making my own toothpaste was something I never thought I would do.  A few months ago, that all changed.  I bought a jar of Aztec Healing Clay.  I loved it as a facial mask.  I found that I could make a tooth powder recipe which is toxin-free and can replace toothpaste.  Normally I think I wouldn’t have had the guts to try it, but two bloggers I follow and trust (Wellness Mama and Mommypotamus) had similar recipes.  (Links below.)  I decided to give it a try.

I am SO GLAD I did!  I have been using my modified recipe (using ingredients I had on hand) for 4 months now.  A few times I have used the conventional toothpaste and did not like it at all.  I now notice that toothpaste creates a film in my mouth and it is really difficult to rinse all of the foam out.  While my tooth powder does not foam, it leaves my teeth feeling clean without any residue.  I will never go back!

Why you should be concerned with conventional toothpaste.

I know it sounds crazy to make your own toothpaste, but there are serious reasons why you should consider!  In western medicine, there is a method of administering drugs called sublingual administration.  This is also how many homeopathic remedies are to be taken to quickly and effectively get the treatment into the bloodstream.   When placing the medication under the tongue, it can be absorbed by blood vessels quickly, bypassing the digestive system which normally can detoxify harmful substances.  Absorption takes only 1-2 minutes which means the ingredients in toothpaste are entering your bloodstream directly every time you brush.

  • Sodium Fluoride has long been touted by dentists as necessary to prevent tooth decay.  Did you know, however, that sodium fluoride is a by-product of aluminum manufacturing?  It is used in rat poisons, pesticides and even has been used as a main ingredient in chemical weapons.  It is common knowledge that fluoride is fatal to humans in high enough doses, so what makes us believe it is okay to ingest in any amount!?  Additionally, this is added to our drinking water and cannot be filtered out by most water filters.  So we are already ingesting to fluoride without even brushing our teeth.  This is something which should be a serious concern to everyone.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is what creates the lather in toothpastes, shampoos and body washes.  It is used in laboratory tests as a skin irritant to test products designed to heal skin.  Kind of messed up!  Studies have linked SLS exposure to irritation of skin and eyes, organ toxicity, endocrine disruption and neurotoxicity to name a few.
  • Triclosan is an antibacterial ingredient which has been linked to everything from skin irritation to thyroid issues.  According to a U.S. Geological Survey study, triclosan is one of the most frequently occurring chemicals found in natural bodies of water, and it is found at the highest concentrations.  This chemical is an endocrine disruptor and bioaccumulates, which means that the more you are exposed, the greater the concentration of the chemical will be present in your body.  Thankfully many companies are now ceasing to use this chemical due to the dangers it poses, and the state of Minnesota has banned it completely effective in 2017.
  • Glycerin is supposedly the ingredient in toothpaste that coats teeth, leaving the filmy reside I described above.  Many claim this is harmful because it prevents teeth from remineralizing.  The outer layers of teeth are made up of  the enamel and dentin layers.  Enamel consists mostly of calcium phosphate and the dentin is made of living cells which use minerals to create a hard mass.   There are a lot of conflicting opinions on whether or not teeth can remineralize (and cavities heal!) and I have not done enough research on the subject to make any claims.  I would, however, like to recommend this well-researched and informative post from Wellness Mama on the subject.  Many people claim to have healed cavities, and avoiding conventional toothpaste which coats the teeth is an integral part.
  • FD&C color dyes are synthetic food colorings and have been related to behavioral problems, allergies reactions and other health problems.

I know some people will just overlook the potential harm these ingredients pose, but the knowledge that these toxins are being absorbed directly into the bloodstream should be alarming to everyone.

If you are not an essential oil user, I recommend checking out the Wellness Mama and Mommypotamus recipes, which use other ingredients.  I also want to convey that at first, it was a little strange using a powder to brush my teeth, but I quickly became used to it.  This recipe does not foam either, but again I quickly became used to it.  The clean feeling I have experienced is what made me fall in love with it.

Another note, I would not recommend the powdered recipe below for small children.  I have not had my kids use this recipe because I am sure they would inhale it or something crazy.  I made a version which uses coconut oil, stevia, less salt and less essential oils which I have been using for my toddler and he likes the taste.  He totally swallows it all so I am really glad I am not using normal toothpaste for him.

 


Homemade Toothpaste Powder Recipe

Ingredients:

4 tbsp Bentonite Clay
1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
2 tsp baking soda
4 capsules of Activated Charcoal, opened
12 drops peppermint essential oil
4 drops clove essential oil
1-2 packets powdered Stevia (optional, I don’t use it)

Directions:

  1. Do not use any metal utensils with this recipe.  The clay is charged, which enables removal of toxins, and metal will deactivate the charge.
  2. Add dry ingredients to a small glass jar.
  3. Add essential oils to the dry ingredients.
  4. Cap and shake vigorously for several minutes.
  5. To use, dip a wet toothbrush into the powder and brush teeth as normal.  Keep capped when not in use.

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/167101-what-are-the-harmful-ingredients-in-toothpaste/

http://www.healthline.com/health/sublingual-and-buccal-medication-administration#Purpose2

http://www.beyondpesticides.org/antibacterial/environmental/

http://www.beyondpesticides.org/antibacterial/triclosan.php

http://givemethedirt.com/blogs/news/8509675-the-glycerine-in-your-toothpaste-is-ruining-your-teeth

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/picture-of-the-teeth

Why I Took a Break From Essential Oils

It has taken me a long time to write this post because I am still trying to wrap my head around what happened and most importantly why and how it happened.

Back in September, I was having health problems related to histamine intolerance.  I occasionally get migraines, but around this time they were coming every few days.  This left me in something like brain fog almost all the time.  My skin started itching too, on my neck and face.  I was using Lavender and Frankincense Essential Oils mixed with coconut oil to try to help the itching, yet my skin began to break out in hives and what looked like my son’s eczema.  I became afraid to eat anything because the histamine intolerance is triggered by a long and random list of foods, read more here.  Finally, my husband suggested I stop using all treatments, including the oils and let my skin calm down.  I listened to him, and slowly my skin irritations cleared.  At this point I was not connecting the irritation to the oils, still blaming the histamine intolerance and assuming it was just suddenly increasing in severity, possibly due to recent weight loss and detoxification.

A few weeks later I put Frankincense on my face again, on my 3rd eye point.  I used to like to do this for connection and clarity.   This time it did not go so well.  My skin was red and itching within an hour of application.  I washed it off with carrier oil and the irritation cleared after a few days.  I didn’t understand why all of a sudden my skin was not tolerating the oils, but decided to wait a few weeks and let my body calm down.

Sometime in late fall, I tried a firming eye gel recipe with aloe, witch hazel and Frankincense Oil.  I put it on my poofy eyes right before I was leaving to drop my son off at school.  Immediately, my sensitive under-eye skin became red and was burning.  Thankfully this time I immediately washed it off with olive oil and the irritation cleared within a few hours.  That was a close one!

So I have discovered that I can no longer use essential oils, even the purest, on my face or neck.  I do not understand why.  In the past I applied them neat to my skin frequently and experienced no issues.  Were the oils pulling the excess histamine through my skin in order to detoxify my body?  I have no way to verify that, and honestly find it far-fetched.  Is my body just super sensitive and can’t handle the oils?  Possibly.  This is the reasoning which led me to take three months without applying the oils to my body.

Recently, I really began to miss what the oils add to my being.  I miss the connection to my spirit, the feeling of calmness and clarity, and how centered and grounded the oils make me.  Diffusing the oils works amazing, but sometimes I want the extra kick that applying the oils topically provides.

I mentioned before that I am pregnant, 14 weeks.  This pregnancy has been really different that my prior two, in good ways.  My body is craving yoga movements, vegetarian foods and my essential oils.  (Last time I wanted pizza or Mexican food only, no wonder I felt awful most of the time!)  A few weeks ago, I started using my oils again!  I have noticed that I cannot use the oils on my neck or face, but everywhere else seems okay.  I know the skin on those areas are more sensitive, but I still am not sure why I once could use the oils in those areas and now cannot.  If anyone has a theory on that, please share!  🙂

How I have been using my oils lately.

Diffusing:

  • Peppermint and Lemon together is an amazing combo to energize a room.  I diffuse this in the mornings and afternoons when I need some energy.  It leaves me feeling sharp and clear.  Love, love, love this combo.

Topically:

  • Frankincense – After I shower, I apply this oil along with some thick carrier lotion to my feet.  I love this oil, it is one of my favorites.  I am so glad that my body does not react when applied to less sensitive areas!

So that’s my story!  Have you ever had issues with using essential oils?  Or better, how have you been using your oils lately?  Please share in the comments below!