Tired of feeling afraid to use certain household items because you don’t know what is in them? Isn’t there an herb that will do the same thing? Don’t want to spend a lot of money on “organic” things like toothpaste, hair care products, household cleaning products? Afraid your young child will accidentally poison himself by tasting the dangerous stuff you have? It’s time to learn how to use the knowledge of chemistry that your own brain has already, but can’t tell you by traditional methods.
In my quest for replacing household products with a lot of synthetic and unpronounceable chemicals in them, I discovered that I could make my own out of common items I found in my refrigerator and kitchen shelves. How? I just asked my own brain, using Muscle Reflex Testing (MRT, also known as Muscle Response Testing or Applied Kinesiology). Since I already have written about how it works, I will just assume that my readers know how to use it.
The most import thing about these recipes is that they are safe. If baby gets a mouthful, it won’t hurt him. It may not taste that good, but swallowing a bit is not dangerous. Furthermore there are no added colorful dyes to attract small children into thinking it may be candy, soda pop, or juice. However safety has not been tested on individual products here, only the constituents. Furthermore, since the US Department of Agriculture has control over all food additives, and not the Food & Drug Administration, the safety rules are considerably less stringent. The USDA relies upon data from testing done by the manufacturer and not an independent body to determine safety level.
We should be aware of the fact that safety testing of a final product for sale is done to determine if the interaction of chemical constituents, deemed “safe” when used separately, but combined in the final product, does not produce unsafe byproducts. I can only suggest that, like recipes for products used everywhere else in our lives, these recipes depend upon individuals, the manufacturers, who use the recipes and make their own household products, to determine safety themselves. If you or anyone else in the family has an allergy to any of the suggested ingredients, you must replace or delete an ingredient. If you do not know if your baby is allergic to any of these ingredients, put a small amount into some hot water and test its smell (under the baby’s nose) and a dab on the baby’s skin. That is not an incredibly accurate method, but it is a “first test” one can do. You should always be very vigilant over your baby’s reaction to anything he/she is exposed to.
Another important point to make here is that chemicals interact, producing byproducts–an essential principal learned in a beginning inorganic chemistry course and get repeated in any other chemistry course thereafter. I suggest that all allergies may be due to this kind of interaction between chemicals, but only one chemical is being tested at the doctor’s office. For all we know, that may be the basis for the reason why one person in a family gets allergies but the another one doesn’t. The usual explanation is that the two people have “different physiologies”, or “genes”, which are essentially “hand-waving” words when no one explains how, exactly, the two people differ in physiology or “genes” that could result in an allergy in one and not the other.
In the recipes below, I propose for each of the appropriate products, some herbs which may have an antibiotic role. If you do not want any antibiotic added, just delete these herbs. However, some have other properties, in addition to antibiotic uses, which help in other ways. Antibiotic soaps have gotten a bad name recently because of the addition of triclosan by the manufacturer. Triclosan is under scrutiny for three reasons:
- it is an endocrine disruptor, and has been shown to weaken the heart muscle in some people,
- it helps to increase antibiotic resistance, and
- it pollutes the environment, mainly because all soaps will end up in the streams and rivers.
But it also pollutes our own bodies. Nearly 75% of all Americans have been estimated to have triclosan in their urine. A decision is expected from the FDA on the use of triclosan in 2016. Until then, the FDA says there is no advantage to using triclosan as an antibiotic in soaps over just plain soap and water. We do not have any method in our own sewage treatment plants today for breaking down soaps and removing many harmful chemicals. That is why I propose a low-phosphate cleaning solution in my recipes. High phosphate not only encourages the growth of some of the wrong organisms, it can disrupt the physiology in many others which we do not want to hurt.
All medicinal herbs have been used by humans and other animals in that role for thousands of years, and have co-evolved with use. Because of this, their properties are pretty fine-tuned for our physiologies. Because humans have spread out all over the globe, but all do not necessarily tend to travel today all over the globe, all humans have co-evolved with the use of plants grown in their own area of habitation. This tendency may be at the basis for the medicinal herbal principal of “simpling”. This means that the best plants for medicinal use are those that grow in the same geographic region that you do. Your needs in Colorado are not the same as those living in Florida. This may explain how Korean ginseng may suit certain needs better than Chinese ginseng and vice versa. Thus, if you live in an area with a very different natural flora than another person, certain herbs may be better for you than the ones I list here. However, if you are used to using all of the constituents because they are readily available in the store (e.g. pomegranate juice), then most likely your own physiology will readily accept these constituents, even if you live nowhere near where they are grown.
Use Your Muscles to Determine Weight
My recipes rarely or never give exact amounts, since you know that your unit of measurement is built into your own nervous system. The hand muscles already calculate the force needed to pick up something, but it does so based upon the brain supplying it with a memory of having picked it up before. The hand muscles also have this built-in spring gauge (muscle spindle fibers) that reset the measured amount of force on the muscle by the weight every 0.1 msec (chemists call it being “tared”) and causing an adjustment in contraction level every time.
The brain stores the amount of the weight and will even calculate what you need to pour into the bowl from the amount that satisfied you the last time subtracted from the total weight of the container you are pouring from. It then alerts you to stop when the amount you pour equals that “predicted” amount. When you first start using MRT, you will have to keep your fingers in a “check” mode, waiting for a “yes” when the forefinger becomes extended. If you taught your brain to use the blink reflex, then tell your brain to blink when the amount has been reached. I list recipes below.
Finally, the recipes will have to change in your own brain to satisfy your needs. Your brain may tell you that you can’t use one of the herbs or ingredients I list because of interactions with medicine, toxins, or some other good reason, like a child would be allergic to it. Ask if there is something you can substitute that will not be harmful and still achieve the same result. Use a “no” response to learn more about your body. Thus all amounts given are suggestions and not absolute.
Dish washing Liquid
(for use in a sink, not a dishwasher)
You need the following to make one 8 oz container-full (I use an old dish washing soap squirt bottle with removable, screw-on cap.
Basic Herbal Mix
- Pomegranate (Punica granatum) juice concentrate (approximately 18% of totalby weight)
- Burdock Root (Arctium lappa) tincture, 10 drops per cup of total
- Prickly Pear (Opuntia sp) or Cactus (Cactus or Selenicereus grandiflorus), 15 drops per cup
- Eyebright (Euphrasia sp) Root tincture, 10 drops per cup
- Turmeric (Curcuma longa) powder, ½ tsp per cup
I keep this mixture in the refrigerator, making up about 32 oz at a time. When I need some dish washing soap, I pour out about
2 ½ oz (by weight) of the Basic Herbal Mix
into an 8 fl oz container marked “Dish Washing Liquid” and add about
2 oz of Soy oil
and then add water to the top. Shake up the container well before using. Be sure to store with the cap on tight because you can lose some of the power if you don’t, but the effect is very subtle.
This fluid tends to be a lot more watery than many typical dish washing fluids which generally have a lot of gel added to thicken them. It doesn’t make as much suds, rinses off more easily, and gets rid of grease as well as Proctor & Gamble’s “Dawn”, without all that phosphate which pollutes streams, ponds and eventually, the ocean. My recipe also doesn’t include the dye. In other words, why buy a high-phosphate soap when you can make one without much phosphate that is just as effective?
Two herbs have antibiotic effects: Opuntia (or Cactus) and Turmeric (Curcurma). Both have other important effects. The cacti have enzymes (not dismantled in tinctures) which can act as surfactants. Turmeric readily combines with the proteins in grease and helps to remove them into the water.
Liquid Laundry Soap
This recipe uses close to the same mixture, but without the pomegranate juice, and has a few other herbs added to help cut through enzymes, acids, and other stain-causing chemicals.
To make 1 gallon of soap, use the following (volumes are noted, but assume most numbers given by weight, including %). When you make the teas, always boil the water first, pour desired amount into a container and steep the plant material in it for about 10 minutes. Then filter out the plant material either by using a strainer or a coffee filter.
- Soy oil, about 2.4 cups by volume (15% by wt.)
- Soap bark (Quillaja saponaria) tea, 12.8 oz (steep 3.2 oz of the bark in 12.8 oz water) = about 10%.
- German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) tea, 6.4 oz (steep 1.6 oz chamomile flowers, stems & leaves in 7 oz water)=about 5%.
- Horsetail tea (Equisetum telmateia), 25.6 oz (steep 6.4 oz in 25.6 oz water)=20%.
- Prickly Pear (Opuntia species) or Cactus (Cactus or Selenicereus grandiflorus), 20 drops
- Eyebright (Euphrasia sp) Root tincture, 10 drops, (or steep 0.125 oz root in 2.4 oz boiled water)
Pour all of the above into a gallon container. Add water to the top (should be about 50%).
Always shake up the container well before pouring out what you need. (This recipe is very similar to the stuff sold in organic food stores, which you have to shake up as well).
All percentages given are by weight. Be sure the Jojoba oil is pure, and not mixed in with other chemicals.
- Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) oil, 20%
- Coconut (Cocos nucifera) oil, 5%
- Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) tincture, any part(s) of the plant, about 20 drops/ 8 fl oz
- Wheat Germ oil, 2%
- Basic Herbal Mix, 10%
- Aloe Vera (Aloe vera) gel (pure), 10%
- Fragrance oil as desired (e.g. a few drops of aromatherapy oils)
Add water (about 40% of the total weight) to the container to reach the top and shake well before using. This shampoo is somewhat watery. You can add guar gum in small amounts to very warm water to thicken it, stirring thoroughly before adding any water to the mixture. Coconut oil doesn’t stay fluid in cold rooms, so use the shampoo when you can warm the bottle up to above 70̊F, e.g. a steamy shower, or toss the bottle into the tub while it is filling up.
Jojoba Conditioner Rinse
The following is also made in the same way that the Jojoba shampoo was done. Determine how much you want to make ahead. You will want to vary the oil to fit what your needs are, the drier your hair, the more oil you will need. This conditioner adds only a tiny bit of odor to your hair and should smell faintly like flowers. You can add other scents if you want your hair to smell that way, but be conservative, e.g. rosewater or elder flower tincture in small amounts.
It is assumed that you are only making 8 oz (by weight) total, so proportionately increase the ingredients that are not represented by percentages in the list below if you are making more than 8 oz.
- Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) oil, 2-5%
- Pomegranate juice (Punica granatum), 18%
- Prickly Pear (Opuntia species) or Cactus (Cactus or Selenicereus grandiflorus) tincture, 10 drops
- Turmeric (Curcuma longa) powder, ½ tsp
- Burdock Root (Arctium lappa) tincture, ½ dropper
- Linden Flower (Tilia species) tincture, 10 drops
- Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) Tincture, 5 drops
Add water to the top (about 80% of total by weight)
Always shake well and apply in very small amounts. This conditioner is not thick and gooey but very watery. If you can’t afford Jojoba oil (it cannot be that which is combined with a lot of other ingredients, just pure jojoba oil), you can substitute it with soy oil.
Teeth Cleaning Solution (Liquid), Potassium-free
I figured out that I needed this kind of cleaning solution because I could not have potassium while I was removing a lot of toxins. As a stop-gap measure, it did the job and did it well. Because of the coconut oil in it, you have to be sure to warm up the container to at least 70̊F before shaking it up. All numbers are weight measurements. The numbers following the % sign refer to the amount to make 16 oz by weight.
- Organic Virgin Coconut (Cocos nucifera) Oil 30%, 4.8 oz (136.1 g)
- Baking Soda, 22%, 3.5 oz (99.8 g)
- Guar Gum, 5%, 0.8 oz (22.7 g)
- Wildcrafted Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) Powder, 0.03%, 0.0048 oz (0.136 g)
- Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), 1%, 0.16 oz (4.5 g)
- Organic essential oils 2%, 0.32 oz (9.1 g)
- Purified water, 40%, 6.4 oz (181.4 g)
The guar gum should be thoroughly stirred into the water which has been heated to very warm before adding it to the rest of the mix. You can always add more to adjust the desired consistency. Suggested organic essential oils are cinnamon, clove, peppermint, or spearmint. All are good at getting rid of bad breath.
Myrrh is considered a powerful antibiotic. It was used extensively in the Middle East for preservation of bodies for burial precisely because of this property. It was also used in medicine, and still is in many parts of the world. Since myrrh is prepared from the sap of a tree, that sap can contain pollen of many other species of plants. That may spell “allergy” for some people, not because it is myrrh but because of that other pollen.
The following recipe is made up of herbs that are good at cleaning off plaque and preventing it. This recipe is not going to replace the annual trip to the dentist, however, but will help keep the plaque down. It also does not remove the calculus that the body naturally produces to protect the teeth if you are constantly exposed to toxins or are breathing out toxins all the time. I use alcoholic extracts in the form of tinctures in water in this recipe. The alcohol is greatly diluted with water and pretty much vaporizes in your mouth.
For a 5 fl oz container:
- German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) Flower Tincture, 6%, 99 drops
- Fresh Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis) tincture, 6%, 100 drops
- Gingko biloba tincture, 6%, 99 drops
- Peppermint (Mentha × piperita) tincture, 4%, 69 drops
- Wild Cherry (Prunus serotina) tincture, 4%, 69 drops
- Purified water, 4.5 fl oz or 27 tsp.
Always shake well before using it.
This salve has been a blessing for me, since I suffered from dry lips all my life, not knowing that my lips kept getting damaged from breathing out all those toxins inside me that kept going to the lungs.
This healing salve depends on a 50:50 mix of coconut oil and beeswax for a base. I use a washed, used, tuna can for a melting container and carefully weigh out the wax first. Let it melt and then weigh out the coconut oil and add it. If the room is cold, the coconut oil has to be heated up as well to melt. Melt over a low heat to control it better. All other ingredients are alcoholic extracts in the form of tinctures. The heat will chase off the water and alcohol content of the extract, leaving the essential oils and other plant ingredients.
I also bought several small plastic containers, that are generally sold in the travel cosmetic section of some stores. They can be as small as pill boxes but I have also seen containers the size of cold cream containers that can also be used. I found a small container in an import store made of stone with a hinged lid, probably meant also for pills. The size determines how much you will make, and the amount of wax and coconut oil you will melt. I usually make no more than about 2 Tblsp equivalents at a time. The following recipe assumes that amount.
- Coconut (Cocos nucifera) oil, 1 tblsp
- Beeswax, 1 tblsp
- Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), 10 drops
- Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra), 10 drops
- Marigold or Calendula (Calendula officinalis), 10 drops
- Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis), 40 drops
- Chickweed (Stellaria media), 10 drops
- *Comfrey Root & Leaf (Symphytum officinale), 4 drops
- White Willow (Salix alba), 10 drops
- German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), 10 drops
- Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), 10 drops
- Linden Flower (Tilia species), 4 drops
- Elder Flower (Sambucus species), 4 drops
- Vitamin E oil (pharmaceutical grade), 4 drops
- Olive Leaf (Olea europaea), 4 drops
- Mullein Leaf (Verbascum thapsus) in Olive Oil, 10 drops
Stir the oils over heat until the herbs are well-mixed. I use a popsicle stick or wooden cuticle stick, or even a chopstick or bamboo skewer. You will see tiny particles of plant material in it, which will darken it. DO NOT overheat to the boiling point, so you need to keep pulling the can off the stove and stirring. Pour it while it is still liquid into your container and let cool.
This healing salve is safe if you ingest it.* It heals sores on the lips and anywhere on the surface of the body very fast, too and is antiseptic as well (Comfrey). If you want more antiseptic value, you can add Echinacea root, clove (Syzygium aromaticum), myrrh (Commiphora myrrha), or chaparral (Larrea tridentata) to the mix. Use only one or two of these latter if you do, and only add 4 drops of the first 3. Chaparral (Larrea tridentata) is so potent that you only need to add 1 drop to any amount you make.
*Comfrey was put on a list of herbs by the US Food and Drug Administration considered dangerous to swallow. They even suggest not using it topically for more than 10 days in a row and more than 4-6 weeks a year. That is based on rat research (see below). You must use your own judgment and can drop it from the list if you choose to not substitute it. Much of the evidence against its safety has not taken into account interactions with drugs or other herbs or with common dietary items or spices. Furthermore, the work showing that one of the components of Comfrey, symphytine, may cause cancer or precancerous cells, used amounts on rats whose equivalence in humans would be incredibly enormous (Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Comfrey), and far higher in amount than I suggest above. So much of the research needs to be rechecked.
Child Reaching for Pesticide, from EPA
Girl Pouring Tea 219740, © Antony Rufus, Dreamstime Stock Photos
Pomegranate, Punica granatum. Illustration by Otto Wilhelm Thomé, 1885, (Public Domain, PD-1923, PD-old-70)
Horsetail (Equisetum telmateia, from Wikipedia)
Vial of pure Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), from Wikipedia
Turmeric Powder (Spice, Curcuma longa) from Wikipedia
Tooth Brushing (from Flowers Dentistry)
Gingko biloba from Wikipedia
Chickweed (Stellaria media), a Healing Herb for Skin (from Wikipedia)
Some of my favorite internet sites for buying nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruits, oils, and other foods in bulk are below:
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