Posts filed under ‘green living’
Pictures from a burn treated with a home-made natural remedy that you can make too!
Since my cancer diagnosis 6 years ago (feels good to write that!) I have been researching and developing my own personal care products to use instead of submitting myself to synthetics and chemical preservatives. My research has led me to find amazing natural ingredients that are extremely powerful.
One such ingredient is sea buckthorn seed oil.
Native to Europe and Asia, the sea buckthorn bush produces a bright orange berry. Oils are taken from the pulp of the berry (sea buckthorn oil), or from the seed (sea buckthorn seed oil). The oils from both are used widely for many ailments. It seems to have strong healing properties especially on the mucous membranes, like the inside of your mouth, and many use it to heal canker sores and mouth ulcers. it also works wonders on burns. Interestingly, when the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident happened in 1986, sea buckthorn seed oil was collected and distributed by the Soviet government to those suffering radiation burns because of it’s effectiveness, low incidence of side effects, and ease of use.
There have been no reported or noted negative side effects from using the oil.
I am currently developing, through my company, MOON Organics, a healing spray for those undergoing radiation therapy for cancer. Radiation treatment can sometimes produce burns on the skin which can be irritating and painful. (anyone who has had a bad sunburn can relate) I am using sea buckthorn oil along with other powerful natural ingredients to help heal and soothe these burns.
From time to time, myself or my family will have a skin issue that needs treatment. Being a registered nurse, I know what needs medical treatment, and what I can help myself. On April 15th at about 8pm, my daughter was at a friend’s house and bit into a microwaved “hot-pocket”. The contents spilled out onto her lip and chin causing second degree burns. Second degree burns involve the second layer of the epidermis causing redness, swelling and blistering of the skin, and usually take about 2-3 weeks to heal (sometimes more if infection is a factor)
Second degree burns can leave a scar, so I really didn’t want one on her beautiful face. I knew I had to heal it fast.
I immediately made an ointment from Sea buckthorn seed oil, kukui nut oil, and aloe butter (equal parts aloe and kukui nut oil… 2.5 ml each, with 8 drops of sea buckthorn seed)….all powerful healing and soothing plant ingredients. She began applying the ointment 2-3 x /day. I instructed her NOT to pop the blisters , but let them go on their own. The trick to reducing scars is to keep the area moist. When the area was no longer “open”, she applied tea tree oil as well. (tea tree oil has been a well known healing oil used for hundreds of years…available at most pharmacies in the US) The ointment was discarded after 1 week.
Here is the same area April 20th 8pm, 5 days later.
These types of burns can sometimes take weeks to heal. She will continue to apply the tea tree oil until it is completely gone.
The purpose of this post is to show you that there are many natural ingredients that can do the same job or better in treating minor issues than over-the-top triple antibiotic ointments with chemcials and preservatives.
One example of the power of nature…my cancer was treated with a chemotherapy (Taxotere) that came from a component of the yew tree that grows in western United States.
This is not meant to be used as medical advice and I certainly , under no circumstances, mean for this to serve as encouragement to ignore medical treatment as ignoring medical treatment in certain instances can have severe consequences. For ANY burns that involve an area larger than the palm of your hand or for ANY second degree burns on children ALWAYS seek medical help as the burns can cause fluid loss and serious effects inside your body.
However, for minor issues, there are usually great remedies…sometimes in your own pantry.
For more information on burns click here
For purchasing natural ingredients go to Mountain Rose Herbs
The ingredients in “naturally derived” soaps aren’t. One such case: Method hand soap.
So I am in a rush and I pick up some hand soap at the market. I make sure it doesn’t contain triclosan, an anti-bacterial chemical that actually has it’s own law suit groupies and is currently under investigation by the US FDA for health concerns including being suspected to cause cancer.
I put it out for the family to use. After all, the label says “naturally derived” and the scent is juicy pear…how could it be bad??
But then I get looking more closely at the label. Here are the ingredients:
- water (ok so far…)
- sodium laurel sulfate (not exactly from nature, but ok)
- cocamide DEA (while it starts out as coconuts, it gets mixed with chemicals and ends up a possible carcinogen and irritant)
- cocamidopropyl betane (known skin irritant)
- glycerine (fine)
- aloe vera gel (wow! something natural!)
- vitamin E (fine)
- citric acid (OK)
- sodium chloride (salt, ok)
- benzophenone 4 (a chemical that causes a high degree of dermatitis when tested)
- sodium citrate (fine)
- methylisothiazolinone /methylchloroisothiazolinone -OK here’s where I go nuts…
Methylisothiazolinone (if link doesn’t work copy and paste: http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/factsheets/3092fact.pdf) is a registered pesticide. The EPA approval is for industrial use. (preventing mold and bacteria on heavy equipment in oil field operations, cooling systems, paints, dip tanks and sprayers) No where in the approval documentation does it list a use for “personal care products”.
The EPA, in it’s own document reviewing methylisothiazolinone states,
“it is highly acutely toxic when applied dermally or to the eye and is considered to be corrosive”
Workers handling methylisothiazolinone making products that are category I or II toxicity level must wear:
- long sleeves
- chemical resistant gloves
- protective eye-wear
- chemical resistant apron
Under “safety recommendations” it states if exposed:
“users should wash hands before eating, drinking, chewing gum, using tobacco or using the toilet”
Wait, I’m confused….should they use this hand soap containing methylisothiazolinone to wash their hands after being exposed to methylisothiazolinone ?
Wait we’re not done with the list of ingredients
- parfum (fragrance that could contain up to 50 different chemicals including formaldehyde)
- yellow #5 (this artificial color also known as tartrazine, was associated with hyperactivity in children and removed from the UK safe list)
- green #5 cl 61570 (the safety data sheet states ” wash hand thoroughly after handling” more confusion…)
Well at least the bottle is 100% recycled plastic. It also says “recycle for good karma”.
Well, Method hand soap-that-says-you-are-naturally-derived-but-you-lied, karma can be a bitch.
Granted, you are not eating this stuff, you are merely washing with it, but remember: your skin is a carrier, not a barrier. If you think you are washing this stuff off before it has a chance to be absorbed, you’re wrong.
It turns out “naturally derived” has no meaning on labeled goods. Only 5 out of the 16 ingredients could be considered to be “naturally derived” if we stretch it in this product, so if you see “naturally derived”, don’t be fooled.
You can use just simple castile soap to clean your hands. I am in love with Dr Bronner’s soaps and use them in mixtures all over the house. Using just coconut oil (for real), jojoba oil, olive oil and hemp, they add essential oils (pure oil) to scent the soap with lavender or peppermint. Nothing artificial. Fair trade. All natural. Family owned. USA made. I get mine at my local supermarket with the body washes and loofahs.
For great 100% natural products click here
Study on how early exposure to microbes reduce inflammation and disease later in life.
I started looking at these ultraviolet light disinfectant wands because they looked pretty cool. I liked the idea that I could kill bacteria without the use of bleach and other harmful sprays and liquids. (see my household chemical post here)
I also could see myself waving this magic light around like Luke Skywalker killing bacteria with every pass.
These hand held wands when passed slowly over a surface, kills (allegedly) 99.9% of bacteria and viruses on the surface. They come in different sizes…larger for larger surfaces…about 20 inches of light area…smaller for travel.
I got very excited (it doesn’t take much) when I saw the travel size because I HATE touching stuff in a hotel room. I usually bring a zip lock baggie and immediately bag the remote, turn the bedspread inside out and try not to touch the phone. I thought, “Great! I can just wave my magic wand and kill everything!”
But like anything that seems too good to be true, it may be.
Ultraviolet light has been used for over 100 years in water disinfection, and we have one on our pond filtration to take care of the algae. The technology uses UV-C rays (not like what comes out of a black light) that damage the structure of bacteria, virus and mold cells. But it isn’t as easy to disinfect all surfaces.
The surface must be exposed to the UV light at a height of 1-2 inches for a 2-10 seconds for it to be effective. This is assuming that the surface is flat. If you are trying to disinfect a phone or a remote, the light won’t get into the little nooks and crannies, and you won’t get full disinfection to the whole item. It seems the more number of passes, the more it is effective.
A report done by a lab (paid by the manufacturer) stated that on a hard (flat) surface the UV light wand killed 99.98% of the H1N1 virus. But it wasn’t tested on irregular surfaces.
Guardian Technologies is one of the manufacturers of these magic wands. They claim their wand kills 99% of all viruses and bacteria. (considering there is usually over 1 million bacteria in a colony, that still leaves 10,000…just saying)
- they are lightweight and easy to use
- relatively inexpensive ($39-150.00 USD)
- no need for chemical cleaners
- kills germs that cause odor as well
- kills bacteria, viruses, mold, dust mites
- the UV light is dangerous and can burn you if exposed for a few minutes
- the more powerful ones can emit ozone which is bad for people with lung issues and bad for the environment
- there are conflicting reports on efficacy…some say 99% and some say 78%.
- does not kill air born germs
- it would take you a long time to clean your house 20 inches at a time
I think I’ll stick with my castile soap and vinegar.