Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

Sharing my adventures in living a more natural lifestyle, information about essential oils and natural home, health, and beauty recipes!


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Whiter Teeth in 30 Days without Toxic Chemicals or Expensive Products? I’m all in, are you?

Orange Thieves Toothpaste - logo

Everyone wants a brighter smile.  With the popularity of coffee, soft drinks, tobacco products, and even some prescription medication our teeth have become more discolored over the years.  According to the American Dental Association (ADA), tooth whitening is the most requested procedure from dental patients 40-60 years old. Professional tooth whitening procedures are the most effective by far but are expensive, an average of $650 per treatment, and still have unpredictable results due to age, heredity, and type of staining as well as risks of gum and tooth sensitivity during and after the procedure.  This has lead to a booming market for over-the-counter tooth whitening products in the last several years, ranging from $100-400 for professional quality whitening strips or trays, to the ever-popular Crest Whitening Strips with an average cost of $20 per application, to whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes.  Prevention magazine notes that tooth whitening pastes and mouth rinses are more popular than any other comparable products.

At home whiteners usually contain a 10-20% peroxide solution as the whitening agent, most often carbamide peroxide (perhydrol urea), which is listed as a 3 on Environmental Working Group’s SkinDeep Database for concerns related to possible irritation and toxicity and has been restricted for use in cosmetics in Canada.  Data on the safety of this ingredient is limited on EWG but there are 920+ citations on PubMed that may include information on the toxicity of this product.

Since the rise in popularity of tooth whitening products there has been an increase in reports of gum and tooth sensitivity.  In 2002, the University of Southern California School of Dentistry conducted a survey that revealed that over half of their respondents experienced mild to moderate sensitivity after using an over-the-counter whitening gel (containing 15% carbamide peroxide).  1 out of 25 respondents reported significant pain (cited in Prevention magazine).

According to Dr. Gennaro Cataldo, a professor at Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, the government doesn’t regulate tooth whitening products the same way it regulates pharmaceuticals (cited in BU Today). In fact, the ADA has petitioned the FDA to classify and regulate tooth whitening chemicals due to concerns about the safety of over-the-counter products used without the supervision of dental professionals.  The ADA has noted that “chemically based tooth whitening or bleaching agents can harm teeth, gums, and other tissues in the mouth” according to Dentistry IQ. According to a study cited on PubMed, whitening toothpaste can lead to a greater erosion of enamel than regular toothpaste (Turssi, et al 2004).  And yet, we as consumers flock to the toothpaste aisle at grocery stores in a desperate attempt to whiten our teeth.  Are we unknowingly damaging the enamel of our teeth and maybe even speeding up erosion or decay as a result for this vain quest? Perhaps.

Whiter Teeth in 30 days

So naturally when I saw the above image* floating around Facebook I became intrigued.  Could adding a bit of orange essential oil really help whiten teeth? Would it be safer than the other-the-counter tooth whitening products mentioned above? I figured it was worth a shot.  So lets investigate why this works:

Orange essential oil – Orange essential oil is cold-pressed, meaning that whole oranges are pressed and squeezed between heavy plates which express the juice and essential oils from the rind and fruit.  There are tons of references that report that citrus peels, especially oranges, can be used to naturally and effectively remove surface stains from teeth. So it stands to reason that using 100% pure, therapeutic grade orange essential oil would pass along some of the same benefit to help naturally whiten teeth without harsh chemicals.  Plus, orange essential oil has tons of other health benefits (do yourself a favor and google “health benefits of orange essential oil” – you won’t regret it) so it’s must have in my house!

Thieves AromaBright Toothpaste is Young Living’s newer toothpaste they formulated in response to feedback from their original Thieves Dentarome Toothpaste.  So far it’s gotten rave reviews and many people report that they’ve noticed whiter teeth from using it alone.  But why? Let’s explore the ingredients.  Thieves AromaBright Toothpaste contains only naturally derived ingredients, including Water, Calcium carbonate, Coconut oil, Sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Glycerin (Vegetable), Xylitol, Xanthum gum, Peppermint, Spearmint, Clove, Ocotea, Cinnamon Bark, Lemon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils, Stevia leaf extract, and Lecithin (Sunflower).

  • Calcium Carbonate is a natural calcium powder that helps remineralize your teeth as well as aid in the removal of surface stains.
  • Coconut Oil as a tooth whitening agent has gotten a lot of attention lately due to the increasing popularity of oil pulling.  But if you’re like me then the idea of swishing an oil (or anything) around in your mouth for 20 minutes is exhausting and makes my cheeks hurt to even think about!  Check out this article on oil pulling from dentistry professionals on Dentistry IQ.
  • Sodium Bicarbonate, more commonly known as Baking Soda, has long been accepted as a gentle abrasive to help whiten teeth by removing surface stains and was one of the first over-the-counter tooth whitening agents used in whitening toothpastes.
  • Thieves essential oil blend (includes the Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Lemon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils listed in the ingredients) not only helps support a healthy immune system but also supports healthy teeth and gums.  In fact, Young Living has a whole line of Thieves infused oral health products, including mouthwash and dental floss, in a addition to both toothpaste formulas!

So, the popular method for whitening teeth floating around Facebook lately is to add 1 drop of Orange essential oil to your AromaBright toothpaste morning and night to help freshen breath and remove surface stains from your teeth.  I hear great things about the AromaBright Toothpaste and know lots of people who have reported that this method has worked for noticeably whiter teeth in less than 1 month!  Maybe one day I’ll even convince the hubby to give it a try. But you guys know me, I’m a DIY girl! I’ve been making my own toothpaste for over 2 years now.  It’s so easy and practically free since it’s made with ingredients that I always have on hand anyway.  So naturally when I saw the above image I thought to myself, surely I can DIY this for similar results.  Perhaps you’ve made my DIY Thieves Toothpaste recipe yourself, perhaps this is your first time reading my blog. Either way, you’re in luck! I’ve modified my original recipe slightly to take advantage of the amazing oral health benefits of Thieves essential oil blend plus the tooth whitening power of Orange essential oil!

DIY Orange/Thieves Whitening Toothpaste:

Ingredients

  • 4-6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons baking soda
  • ½ – 1 small packet of stevia powder (1 packet = 1 tsp)
  • 15-20 drops Thieves essential oil blend (to taste)
  • 30 drops of Orange essential oil

Instructions 

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, using a fork. Thieves essential oil blend has a strong cinnamon flavor so add about 10-15 drops of oil to start, and test the toothpaste to see how much you want/like. The stevia gives a sweet taste (which most toothpastes have). The baking soda taste isn’t over-powering, but it is there — and the toothpaste definitely works well! It doesn’t foam, however. Since coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, the toothpaste becomes liquid when you brush, and coats the teeth well. The oil is very runny, though, and doesn’t leave the mouth feeling greasy in the least. It will, however, stick to your bathroom sink if you use cold water to rinse. I definitely recommend using warm water with this toothpaste!  Plus, Thieves oil is safe to use during pregnancy and since this recipe doesn’t contain peppermint you don’t have to worry about it impacting your milk supply like my original recipe!

I haven’t tried adding calcium carbonate to my toothpaste recipe yet but I’ve read great reports of DIY remineralizing toothpaste recipes using calcium carbonate (check out this recipe by Wellness Mama).  So that will be my next modification.

You can also add activated charcoal to your toothpaste recipe as it is incredibly effective at whitening teeth.  However, adding black powder to your homemade toothpaste is less than visually appealing and not something many people would eagerly put in their mouth.  Still, I may try adding some to future modifications.  If you are interested, here is a DIY homemade tooth powder recipe by MommyPotamus.  Keep in mind that brushing with tooth powder is a much difference experience than using a commercial, or even a DIY, toothpaste.

 

Have you made my recipe and noticed whiter teeth? Or do you have a DIY whitening toothpaste recipe you love? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below!

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils, especially in any edible recipe or recipes that I take internally because I know I can trust that their oils are pure and unadulterated due to their Seed to Seal guarantee.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount plus a chance to earn amazing promotional gifts.  Message me for more details or join today here!

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

 

* The AromaBright toothpaste image was shared with me by several members in different Facebook groups with the assurance that it was okay to share this image.  However, I have been unable to identify the original creator of the above image to provide proper citation.  If this is your image, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due! 

Whiter Teeth in 30 Days without Toxic Chemicals or Expensive Products? I’m all in, are you? was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures

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When You Vacation With an OIL Addict!

Essential oils are cool but ever wonder how often people actually use essential oils in their daily lives? It really became apparent to me the degree of oily addict I’ve become when I started packing for our recent vacation to Gulf Shores, AL. It was serious work trying to decide which oils I thought I couldn’t live without rather than just bringing my entire (growing) collection.  And I thought what better way to highlight how I actually use my essential oils in my daily life for my followers!?!  So read on to find out which oils made the vacation cut and to learn some of my favorite oily recipes that I use in my daily life!

My Bathroom Sink

Above is the picture of my bathroom sink in our beach house.  I brought many more oils and products with me but I always find it telling to see what people keep within easy reach.  You really know how much someone uses a product if it’s right there on their bathroom sink.  She here’s my list of oils on my bathroom sink:

DIY Lavender & Rosemary Detoxing Deodorant (for sensitive skin) – Seriously, I love this stuff! It really is my Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant (<– click on the link to learn more) I’m almost out of it and will have to make a new batch soon.  My only complaint is that it does leave a bit of a powdery residue on my shirts from either the Bentonite clay or the arrowroot powder, especially on black tank tops.  Read on to find out my solution for when I want a powder free deo alternative!

Deep Relief roll-on – This was the first (and so far only) thing I spent my Essential Rewards points on (I’m saving the rest for high $$ oils) and who doesn’t love FREE oils!?!  Deep Relief is Young Living’s proprietary blend of Peppermint, Lemon, Balsam Canada, Clove, Copaiba, Wintergreen, Vetiver, and Dorado Azul in a coconut oil carrier.  It comes in a 10 ml roll-on bottle for ease of application and helps provide support for head and muscle tension and helps ease minor aches and pains.  I love this stuff for when I get a crick in my neck from either long drives or sleeping funny.  Gulf Shores was an almost 7 hour drive from our home and its never the same sleeping in a bed that isn’t your own so this one I knew I couldn’t leave home without! Deep Relief is highly coveted because of Young Living’s commitment to quality and sustainable farming practices which means that the sometimes the ingredients have to wait to be harvested and distilled.  As a result, Deep Relief is often out of stock and members rush to order it as soon as it comes back!  Message me for a DIY “Ache Away” recipe which I use as an alternative to Deep Relief when I can’t get my hands on the real stuff!

DIY Thieves Toothpaste – Seriously one of my favorite recipes! I’ve been making my own toothpaste for almost 2 years now (I haven’t had any cavities and my oral hygienist approves!).  I modified my recipe when I joined Young Living back in April to include Thieves essential oil because of all the awesome properties that support oral health and help fight bad breath! I’ve already shared my recipe, but in case you missed it you can find it in my blog post Are you brushing your teeth with toxic toothpaste?

DIY Natural Sunscreen – protecting your skin from the sun is important every day, but especially at the beach! But I don’t like using sunscreen on my face because I find that the ingredients in store bought sunscreen tends to clog my pores and cause breakouts, so I made my own, with essential oils of course! I use this as an alternative to moisturizer every day to help nourish and moisturize my skin every morning as well as providing 40+ SPF protection from the sun! In case you missed it, find my recipe here: DIY Natural Sunscreen.

DIY Facial Serum – I have a lot of scarring from my crazy hormonal acne that I had when I went off birth control back in 2013.  So when I started my essential oil journey it was important to me to find something to help minimize the appearance of these scars.  Frankincense oil was the answer! This stuff is amazing! So after doing a bit more research I found a great combo and created my own facial serum to use to help heal and nourish my skin at night. You can find my recipe on my blog post My All Natural Skin Care Routine: Plus My Favorite DIY Facial Serum Recipe (using essential oils)!  I will add that since I wrote that blog my skin started breaking out somewhat so I modified my original recipe by using jojoba oil instead of fractionated coconut oil and that seems to have fixed the problem.

DIY Astringent – Historically I have just used Thayer’s alcohol free witch hazel toner as my astringent.  I have always loved the Rose scented one.  But recently I’ve been using the unscented with aloe and just adding my own healing oils.  Young Living’s Melrose essential oil blend, which includes Tea Tree, Rosemary, and Clove is the perfect addition to my DIY Astringent because it helps cleanse and nourish the skin while providing natural protection against occasional breakouts.   I fill a 2 oz travel container with witch hazel and add about 8-10 drops of Melrose. Shake well before use and squirt a little on a cotton round to apply all over your (clean) face morning and night.

Stress Away – one of my FAVORITE essential oil blends, Stress Away combines Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea, and Lavender for a unique combination to help reduce every day stress and provide mental clarity.  I added the roller fitment that came in my Premium Starter Kit to my bottle of Stress Away and use it almost daily as a perfume alternative.  It’s lovely and was the perfect, almost tropical fragrance to wear on my beach vacation and help keep my mind relaxed and carefree!

Rosemary – So Rosemary essential oil is technically a dietary supplement that can be added to cooking but a quick google search (check out NIH, Mercola, and Dr. Axe for some interesting facts about Rosemary and other essential oils) will turn up dozens of other uses (that may not technically be FDA approved but who doesn’t love to experiment!?!).  A friend of mine had shared with me that she was using Rosemary as a deodorant alternative so I excitedly ordered my first bottle to give it a try before I found the recipe I linked above for my Detoxing Deodorant. Since I was wearing a lot of tank tops at the beach and didn’t want to walk around with powdery residue on my shirts I brought my trusted bottle of Rosemary with me as a deodorant alternative. And I must say, it didn’t let me down!  Just a couple drops on my fingers rubbed into the pits kept me odor free!

 

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NingXia Red – I started my 30 Day NingXia Red challenge on September 21 as part of my morning routine and Oily Support for Healthy Weight Management: A Supplement to My 10 Day Detox. My detox may be over (and Lord knows I wasn’t “dieting” on my vacation!) but I’ve enjoyed continuing to take my shot of NingXia Red in the mornings.  NingXia Red is Young Living’s propriety blend of Wolfberry with pure Orange, Yuzu, Lemon, and Tangerine essential oils, along with blueberry, aronia, cherry, pomegranate, and plum juices and it does help provide a bit more energy and get up and go in the mornings (although admittedly I started drinking coffee again every morning on vacation because I just missed the taste and having my warm cup of yummy coffee while swinging in a porch swing and watching the sunrise over the lagoon was priceless!) and helps keep you healthy!

DiGize – In addition to my morning shot of NingXia Red I’ve been adding 2 drops of DiGize to help promote healthy digestion and keep me regular.  DiGize is Young Living’s blend of Ginger, Anise, Fennel, Peppermint, Tarragon, Lemongrass, Patchouli, and Juniper essential oils.  It contains naturally occurring constituents like menthol, citrol, and zingiberen which can help soothe stomach discomfort, calm burning sensations after meals, and promote regular movements and healthy GI function.  I’ve been taking it daily since starting the NingXia Red challenge and honestly I do believe that it helps keep my tummy comfortable throughout the day.  It was especially important on vacation because for the last month or so I’d been eating really healthy but I was bound and determined to eat my weight in fresh seafood on this trip and didn’t care if it was greasy and fried!

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Our beach house rental had an amazing Jacuzzi tub! I’m a big fan of hot baths for relaxation, always have been, and have long since swore that whenever I can afford to renovate my house I am SO adding a Jacuzzi tub to my bathroom! So I planned ahead and made myself some relaxing aromatherapy bath salts to bring with me so that I could really reap the benefits of the tub at our rental.  I’m blessed to have a hubby who gladly accepted baby duty to give mama some personal tub time to rest and relax on our vacation!

Aromatherapy Muscle Soak:

  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 10-12 drops Aroma Siez essential oil blend – Aroma Siez is Young Living’s blend of Basil, Marjoram, Lavender, Peppermint, and Cypress specifically formulated to help reduce tension and ease aching muscles.

Directions: Combine ingredients in glass container.  Mix well.

To Use: Fill tub or jacuzzi with hot water and add 1/2 container bath salts for a relaxing aromatherapy bath to ease aching muscles!

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Do you sleep well when you aren’t in your own bed? I know I don’t.  Plus, we had our 9 1/2 month old daughter with us who was sleeping in her pack ‘n play rather than her crib so it was especially important to me to bring ALL the sleepytime oils in my collection to help!  We haven’t found the perfect sleep inducing combination to help our daughter sleep through the night but we do diffuse oils in her nursery nightly and I feel like she sleeps “better” on the nights we do compared to the nights we don’t.  So I wasn’t about to leave the diffuser at home!

Cedarwood – Cedarwood helps promote a calm, grounding, relaxing state of being when applied topically or diffused.  Plus, I just love the earthy, woodsy smell! There is a lot of research on how Cedarwood can help promote restful sleep so do yourself a favor and google it – them PM me to order some Cedarwood essential oil! 😉

Lavender – Lavender is another soothing oil that can help promote rest and relaxation.  Often called the “Swiss Army Knife” of essential oils because of all the amazing properties that Lavender oil has, helping with sleep is perhaps the most cited use of the oil.  It is great to add to your bath or lotion to help your mind and body wind down  before bedtime or diffused to promote relaxation and make it easier to fall asleep.  Lavender and Cedarwood are probably my favorite sleepytime diffuser combo!

Stress Away – I love Stress Away so much I brought not one, but TWO bottles with me! lol! My first bottle (pictured in the Bathroom Sink graphic) I added the roller fitment attachment to so that I could wear as a perfume.  But I keep a second bottle of Stress Away to use in recipes and diffuse.  I love the way it smells and it also couples well with Lavender or even a little extra Cedarwood to help you relax at bedtime!

(not pictured) SleepyIze – SleepyIze is part of Young Living’s KidScents oil collection.  It is a proprietary blend of Lavender, Geranium, Roman Chamomile, Tangerine, Bergamot, Sacred Frankincense, Valerian and Rue pre-diluted and safe to use topically as is on children ages 2-12.  I occasionally diffuse this at bedtime but do prefer to use it topically in conjunction with diffusing other oils.  Since my little one is under 2 I do dilute with just a touch of coconut oil (I keep a baby food jar with CO on the changing table to use for diaper rash and diluting oils so I just grab a small little dab and put one drop of any of the KidScents oils and rub my fingers together to mix before applying to feet, chest and/or belly and/or behind the ears, depending on the oil and purpose).

(not pictured) Gentle Baby – Gentle Baby is Young Living’s blend of Geranium, Rosewood, Coriander, Palmarosa, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Roman Chamomile, Lemon, Jasmine, and Rose designed for babies and mother.  It is specifically formulated to calm emotions and is particularly soothing for the skin, making it not only a good oil to add to sleepytime blends but also for DIY Diaper Rash Ointments (one day I’ll get around to writing a blog post about that too!).  It’s not only safe for use with babies but also pregnant (and nursing) mothers to use to help alleviate anxiety and promote a feeling of calmness and can be a great addition to your homemade Belly Butters to help prevent stretch marks!

 

Other Oils That Made the Cut (but aren’t pictured):

Abundance – Abundance is one of my recent favorites and perfect for Fall! It is a blend of Orange, Frankincense, Patchouli, Clove, Ginger, Myrrh, Cinnamon, and Spruce.  It smells a little like Constant Comment’s orange spice tea and I love, love, love to wear it like a perfume.  Abundance was specifically formulated to enhance the magnetic energy field around us.  This higher frequency creates a “Law of Attraction.”  Therefor, Abundance essential oil blend is supposed to help us open ourselves up to what we attract to ourselves.   Who knows, we could all use a little more abundance in our lives, right?  May sound like hocus pocus but I do love the way this oil smells and wear it often since I purchased it in August.  I admit, I didn’t wear it as much on our beach vacation as I’ve been wearing it at home.  It seems much more fitting to wear as my daily perfume while home watching the changing of the seasons in my little mountain community rather than lounging at the beach.  Stress Away’s somewhat tropical vibe just spoke to me more on vacation but now that I’m back at home Abundance has re-emerged as my daily fave!

Lemon – I love to add Lemon essential oil to my water because it ensures that I drink enough water throughout the day so I always have it with me! I just add 1-2 drops of Lemon essential oil to my 20 oz glass water bottle and fill with ice and water.  Once I’ve drank all 20 oz I can refill my water bottle with ice and water and don’t even have to add more essential oils, although you could if you wanted to, because I can still taste a little bit of the lemon! A little goes a long way and it tastes really yummy!  Plus, Lemon is one of three oils in the “Seasonal Relief Trio”: Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon.  I had my Seasonal Relief roller bottle with me (see below for recipe) but also like to have them on hand to diffuse together if something triggers a sneezing attack or gives me that itchy throat feeling.

Peppermint – Peppermint is by far my favorite instant headache remedy! I have my Headache Remedy roller bottle blend (see recipe below) that travels with me but a drop of Peppermint on a q-tip applied neat to my temples often will help get rid of more severe headaches.  You can also layer it with the Headache Remedy blend for an extra strength formula! Some people love to put a drop or two of peppermint in a spray bottle with water to help cool them off in hot climates or a drop or two in their water for a cooling sensation, both of which would be excellent for use at the beach! (Note: Peppermint is a “hot” oil which means it can tingle or burn the skin where applied.  Always do a patch test before using any oil neat but especially hot oils! More about essential oil safety here –> What are Essential Oils? (And why you will want them as part of your natural lifestyle!))

R.C. – R.C. is Young Living’s blend of Cypress, Spruce, and three types of Eucalyptus (E. Globulus, E. Radiata, and E. Citriodora) oils which includes the naturally occurring constituent Limonene (do yourself a favor and google uses of Limonene! You won’t regret it!!!).  RC was specifically designed to support healthy respiratory function.  I love to diffuse it when I am stuffy or having difficulty breathing for any reason.  It’s also the main ingredient in my Breathe Easy roller bottle blend (see recipe below).  My daughter seems to come home frequently with colds from day care so we often diffuse a little bit of R.C. with some Lavender and sometimes even Cedarwood to help her breathe easier and have a more restful night’s sleep!

SniffleEase – SniffleEase is part of Young Living’s KidScents collection and is pretty much the children’s version of R.C.   It is a blend of Eucalyptus Blue, Palo Santo, Lavender, Dorado Azul, Ravintsara, Myrtle, Eucalyptus Globulus, Marjoram, Pine, Eucalyptus Citriodora, Cypress, Eucalyptus Radiata, Black Spruce and Peppermint essential oils prediluted for use topically, as is, on children ages 2-12.  I occasionally diffuse SniffleEase but prefer to diffuse R.C. and apply SniffleEase topically to the Vita Flex points on her feet and a little on her chest to help her breathe easier.  Just like with SleepyIze I dilute more with a little coconut oil since my little one is under 2.

Thieves – Thieves is one of those oils you should seriously never leave home without! I use it in so many ways! I brought it with me on this trip specifically because the hubby had been a bit under the weather before we left home and I wanted to have the option of diffusing to help keep me and the little one healthy.  Plus, gargled with some water or added to hot tea, Thieves is excellent to help relieve a minor sore throat! Learn more about Thieves in my blog post All About Thieves!

 

Celia’s Personal Collection of DIY Roller Bottle Blends (that travel with me daily, even when not on vacation):

All of these recipes are intended for a 10 ml glass roller bottles (stainless steel roller balls are preferred because essential oils can break down plastics).  Add your drops of essential oils first then fill with the carrier oil of your choice (I find having a small funnel and a pipette helps).  I prefer fractionated Coconut Oil as my carrier but if you are allergic or want an alternative, Sweet Almond Oil is a good choice.  But any carrier oil will do. I usually fill halfway with carrier oil and test my blend before filling the rest of the way.  This way I can add more essential oils for a stronger blend or more carrier for a more diluted blend, especially for children or those with sensitive skin.

Ouchie – 30 drops Tea Tree, 20 drops Lavender, and 15 drops Frankincense essential oils.  Apply to any minor cut, scrape, blister or sore to help cleanse, promote healing, and reduce that stinging sensation! It’s also great to apply to scaly, itchy patches of skin to help provide relief! See my previous blog post about this blend here –> Ouchie! For Life’s Scrapes & Bruises: An Essential Oil Roller Ball Recipe

Itch Relief – 20 drops Purification essential oil blend and 10 drops each of Lavender and Frankincense essential oils.  Apply to any bug bite, minor rash, or itchy spot to help provide relief.

Seasonal Relief Blend – 15 drops each of Peppermint, Lavender, and Lemon.  Bonus: Add 5-10 drops of Copaiba to enhance the effectiveness of this blend!  I apply this to my throat to help calm that itchy throat sensation or to the bridge of my nose to help with a runny nose.  Be careful to avoid the eyes as peppermint can irritate and sting a bit if it gets too close! 

Breathe Easy – 15 drops each of R.C., Peppermint, Lemon, and Frankincense.  Bonus: Add 5-10 drops of Copaiba to enhance the effectiveness of this blend!  I apply this blend to my chest or bridge of my nose if I’m extra stuffy! Just like with the Seasonal Relief blend, be careful to avoid the eyes as peppermint can irritate and sting a bit if it gets too close! 

Headache Remedy – 10-15 drops each of M-Grain, PanAway, and Peppermint.  Bonus: Add 5-10 drops of Valor.  You can also add more Peppermint to the blend or layer with Peppermint for more severe headaches.  I apply directly to my temples, forehead, and/or back of my neck for relief from sinus or tension headaches.

 

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Totally forgot to pack my DIY Bug Spray (<– click link for recipe) which was a pretty Doh! moment.  I could’ve kicked myself when we were sitting outside on the porch enjoying our impromptu boiled (fresh caught) Blue Crabs for lunch one day.  I don’t know if it was sand fleas or biting flies or what but the hubby and I were getting eaten up! Thankfully, I had my trusty bottle of Eco Diva’s “Bug Me Not Bug Spray” in the diaper bag so I ran inside real quick to grab it and sprayed us both from the knees down.  The biting stopped and the best part was our lovely daughter who was also outside with us in her booster seat didn’t get one single bite! Winning! See my review of Eco Diva’s “Bug Me Not Bug Spray” and find out how to order yours here –> Want an eco-friendly, chemical-free, safe and effective bug spray but don’t want to DIY it? Check out Eco Diva’s Bug Me Not Bug Spray!

 

Also in the diaper bag (not pictured) is my DIY Alcohol Free Thieves Hand Sanitizer (<– click link for recipe) which I love having with me at all times because you never know when you will need to clean gunk off your hands or get rid of germs but aren’t near a bathroom or sink! Plus they put all sorts of nasty chemicals in store bought hand sanitizers and the alcohol dries my hands out.  So this recipe is perfect!

 

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So there you have it! The oils I can’t live without and use in my daily routine, both at home and while on vacation! Can’t get away to your own beach vacation? No problem! Grab a bottle of Stress Away to help the stress melt away and promote a relaxing sense of calming!

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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Are you brushing your teeth with toxic toothpaste? (Plus a DIY Thieves Toothpaste recipe!)

In 2013 I had to have oral surgery, a gum graft behind my lower front teeth to correct a receding gum line… Having only had 2 cavities in my entire life (don’t hate me) I was devastated.  (Interesting side note: according to my dental hygienist, apparently people who are not prone to cavities are often prone to periodontal disease… who knew?).  As a result of my gum loss I developed sensitivity to heat/cold as well as when brushing my teeth.  So like all good little patients I began using the recommended toothpaste, Sensodyne. It helped but is expensive compared to regular toothpaste so when I would run out I would often just use what we had on hand and my sensitivity would come back.  By this point I had started to embark on my crunchy journey so I started doing a little research into toothpaste.

What I first discovered is that my Sensodyne did not have one ingredient common in nearly all toothpaste brands, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).  SLS, along with Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLES) and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALS), are detergents that are commonly added to personal hygiene products such as shampoo, toothpastes, mouthwash, body wash, soaps, etc. to help create a lather and make the products more effective at cleaning.  In fact, these ingredients are so effective that they are often included in industrial strength detergents and engine degreasers!!! Say what!?! By this point I had already begun my low-poo journey (more on that at a later date) because I wanted to avoid SLS and similar sulfates in my shampoo but I was still putting it in my mouth!?! So naturally, I vowed to never use an SLS toothpaste again! But my research wasn’t over yet.

Next I began to read about fluoride.  I’m a child of the 80’s and remember getting fluoride gel treatments as a regular dental procedure to help strengthen my teeth.  Walk down any toothpaste aisle at the supermarket and it’s all about “Now with added Fluoride for extra cavity protection!” So, fluoride is good right? Not necessarily.  Fluoride does help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities but in excess can be toxic.  In fact, before it was used in toothpaste it was also used as an insecticide and rat poison.

But first, a history lesson: Tooth powders and toothbrushes came into popular use in the 19th century in Britain. By the 1900’s a mixture of using a baking soda and hydrogen peroxide was the general recommendation for use with a toothbrush.  Pre-mixed pastes were available but did not gain in popularity until after WWI, most likely due to lack of financial means, access, and/or education on proper dental care.  Fluoride was first added to toothpaste in the 1980’s by a German company based on the research of chemist Albert Deninger.  Surprisingly, a similar recipe was developed by a US company in 1937 and was highly criticized by the American Dental Association (ADA). It wasn’t until the 1950’s that a fluoridated toothpaste was approved by the ADA and Proctor & Gamble’s original Crest formula entered the market as the first fluoridated toothpaste in America.

As awareness of the potential benefits of fluoride for dental health began to spread, the US Public Health Service (PHS) realized that many American’s didn’t have the financial means to purchase the new fluoridated toothpaste or access to proper dental care and in the 1940’s and 50’s they started added fluoride to community drinking water under the assumption that it was the main way that many US residents would have access to fluoride.  Since that time the incidents of dental decay have, in fact, decreased in the US and thus “led to the development of fluoride-containing products, including toothpaste (i.e., dentifrice), mouthrinse, dietary supplements, and professionally applied or prescribed gel, foam, or varnish. In addition, processed beverages, which constitute an increasing proportion of the diets of many U.S. residents, and food can contain small amounts of fluoride, especially if they are processed with fluoridated water. Thus, U.S. residents have more sources of fluoride available now than 50 years ago (CDC, 2001).”

But is the decrease due to the addition of fluoride in the water or to increased education about proper dental hygiene? During the same time frame, the incidents of dental decay has also decreased in most industrialized nations, including France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Iceland and Greece – yet the ONLY one that adds fluoride to the public drinking water is the US.

Why is this a concern? The PHS has set recommendations for the “optimally adjusted concentration of fluoride” in public drinking water as ranging from 0.7 ppm to 1.2 ppm.  Being aware that too much fluoride can be toxic, and having a responsibility to protect the safety and quality of our drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has come in and set a maximum limit of 4 ppm and a “secondary limit (i.e., nonenforceable guideline)” at 2 ppm (CDC, 2001).  This doesn’t take into account any of the additional fluoride that we are exposed to in our daily diet and hygiene.  So clearly, we are getting more than the “optimally adjusted concentration of fluoride” daily.

So what happens if we are exposed to too much fluoride?  Ironically, too much fluoride can cause your teeth to yellow and crumble.  In addition, it can enhance the absorption of aluminum which presents concerns of Alzheimer’s disease, and has even been linked to cancer deaths (I don’t know the specifics of these studies so I can’t comment on the research).  And the FDA knows that fluoride in excess can lead to significant health problems, as evidenced by the FDA’s warnings on toothpaste read: “Keep out of the reach of children less than 6 years of age. In case of accidental ingestion, seek professional assistance or contact poison control center immediately.”  In fact, the ADA advises to only use a “smear” of fluoridated toothpaste with children 24 months and older (although they are now encouraging prevention beginning even younger than 2 due to a rising number of cavities in youth) to prevent enamel fluorosis, a developmental disturbance of dental enamel caused by the consumption of excess fluoride during tooth development. Since children often do swallow their toothpaste while learning about proper dental hygiene, several non-fluoride children’s toothpastes have entered the US market.

Another concerning ingredient in traditional toothpaste is Triclosan.  Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that is also often found in soaps, hand sanitizers, as well as detergents and other cleaning agents. It has received a great deal of media attention lately because it has been linked to health concerns, such as liver and thyroid dysfunction.  In addition, the American Medical Association has even discouraged the use of Triclosan in the home as it’s antibacterial properties may contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Given the concerns with a number of ingredients in traditional toothpaste I thought surely I can DIY this… besides, plenty of people brush their teeth with baking soda – hell, it’s even an added ingredient in many toothpaste brands. So I set out to find the perfect toothpaste recipe.  I’ve been using the same recipe for over a year now and I’m proud to say that I have no cavities and even my dental hygienist approves! I’ve recently modified my toothpaste recipe to add Thieves oil because it helps kill germs and bacteria that can thrive in the little nooks and crannies between your teeth.  Below is my new and improved DIY toothpaste recipe!

DIY Thieves Toothpaste:

Ingredients

  • 4-6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons baking soda
  • ½ – 1 small packet of stevia powder (1 packet = 1 tsp)
  • 2-5 drops Thieves oil – buy it here
  • 10-20 drops of peppermint oil* – buy it here

(oils can be adjusted to taste)

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, using a fork.

*Add about half of the amount of peppermint oil to start, and test the toothpaste to see how much you want/like. Using part spearmint oil will make the toothpaste not as “hot” as using all peppermint oil.  The stevia gives a sweet taste (which most toothpastes have). The baking soda taste isn’t over-powering, but it is there — and the toothpaste definitely works well! It doesn’t foam, however. Since coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, the toothpaste becomes liquid when you brush, and coats the teeth well. The oil is very runny, though, and doesn’t leave the mouth feeling greasy in the least. It will, however, stick to your bathroom sink if you use cold water to rinse. I definitely recommend using warm water with this toothpaste!

Note: If you are a nursing mom you may want to avoid using peppermint oil as there is some evidence that it can cause a decrease in your milk supply.  That stated, I’ve used it every day since I had my baby and haven’t noticed any difference (but I produce milk like a Jersey cow!).

–Modified from several sources, including http://www.tammysrecipes.com/homemade_toothpaste and http://www.growing4hisglory.com/homemade-thieves-toothpaste.html

See the CDC’s “Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States” (2001) here: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm

Get more information about Triclosan here from the Environmental Working Group: http://www.ewg.org/research/ewgs-guide-triclosan

Read more about sulfates in your personal hygiene products here: http://slsfree.net/

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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Are you brushing your teeth with toxic toothpaste? (Plus a DIY Thieves Toothpaste recipe!)

In 2013 I had to have oral surgery, a gum graft behind my lower front teeth to correct a receding gum line… Having only had 2 cavities in my entire life (don’t hate me) I was devastated.  (Interesting side note: according to my dental hygienist, apparently people who are not prone to cavities are often prone to periodontal disease… who knew?).  As a result of my gum loss I developed sensitivity to heat/cold as well as when brushing my teeth.  So like all good little patients I began using the recommended toothpaste, Sensodyne. It helped but is expensive compared to regular toothpaste so when I would run out I would often just use what we had on hand and my sensitivity would come back.  By this point I had started to embark on my crunchy journey so I started doing a little research into toothpaste.

What I first discovered is that my Sensodyne did not have one ingredient common in nearly all toothpaste brands, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).  SLS, along with Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLES) and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALS), are detergents that are commonly added to personal hygiene products such as shampoo, toothpastes, mouthwash, body wash, soaps, etc. to help create a lather and make the products more effective at cleaning.  In fact, these ingredients are so effective that they are often included in industrial strength detergents and engine degreasers!!! Say what!?! By this point I had already begun my low-poo journey (more on that at a later date) because I wanted to avoid SLS and similar sulfates in my shampoo but I was still putting it in my mouth!?! So naturally, I vowed to never use an SLS toothpaste again! But my research wasn’t over yet.

Next I began to read about fluoride.  I’m a child of the 80’s and remember getting fluoride gel treatments as a regular dental procedure to help strengthen my teeth.  Walk down any toothpaste aisle at the supermarket and it’s all about “Now with added Fluoride for extra cavity protection!” So, fluoride is good right? Not necessarily.  Fluoride does help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities but in excess can be toxic.  In fact, before it was used in toothpaste it was also used as an insecticide and rat poison.

But first, a history lesson: Tooth powders and toothbrushes came into popular use in the 19th century in Britain. By the 1900’s a mixture of using a baking soda and hydrogen peroxide was the general recommendation for use with a toothbrush.  Pre-mixed pastes were available but did not gain in popularity until after WWI, most likely due to lack of financial means, access, and/or education on proper dental care.  Fluoride was first added to toothpaste in the 1980’s by a German company based on the research of chemist Albert Deninger.  Surprisingly, a similar recipe was developed by a US company in 1937 and was highly criticized by the American Dental Association (ADA). It wasn’t until the 1950’s that a fluoridated toothpaste was approved by the ADA and Proctor & Gamble’s original Crest formula entered the market as the first fluoridated toothpaste in America.

As awareness of the potential benefits of fluoride for dental health began to spread, the US Public Health Service (PHS) realized that many American’s didn’t have the financial means to purchase the new fluoridated toothpaste or access to proper dental care and in the 1940’s and 50’s they started added fluoride to community drinking water under the assumption that it was the main way that many US residents would have access to fluoride.  Since that time the incidents of dental decay have, in fact, decreased in the US and thus “led to the development of fluoride-containing products, including toothpaste (i.e., dentifrice), mouthrinse, dietary supplements, and professionally applied or prescribed gel, foam, or varnish. In addition, processed beverages, which constitute an increasing proportion of the diets of many U.S. residents, and food can contain small amounts of fluoride, especially if they are processed with fluoridated water. Thus, U.S. residents have more sources of fluoride available now than 50 years ago (CDC, 2001).”

But is the decrease due to the addition of fluoride in the water or to increased education about proper dental hygiene? During the same time frame, the incidents of dental decay has also decreased in most industrialized nations, including France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Iceland and Greece – yet the ONLY one that adds fluoride to the public drinking water is the US.

Why is this a concern? The PHS has set recommendations for the “optimally adjusted concentration of fluoride” in public drinking water as ranging from 0.7 ppm to 1.2 ppm.  Being aware that too much fluoride can be toxic, and having a responsibility to protect the safety and quality of our drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has come in and set a maximum limit of 4 ppm and a “secondary limit (i.e., nonenforceable guideline)” at 2 ppm (CDC, 2001).  This doesn’t take into account any of the additional fluoride that we are exposed to in our daily diet and hygiene.  So clearly, we are getting more than the “optimally adjusted concentration of fluoride” daily.

So what happens if we are exposed to too much fluoride?  Ironically, too much fluoride can cause your teeth to yellow and crumble.  In addition, it can enhance the absorption of aluminum which presents concerns of Alzheimer’s disease, and has even been linked to cancer deaths (I don’t know the specifics of these studies so I can’t comment on the research).  And the FDA knows that fluoride in excess can lead to significant health problems, as evidenced by the FDA’s warnings on toothpaste read: “Keep out of the reach of children less than 6 years of age. In case of accidental ingestion, seek professional assistance or contact poison control center immediately.”  In fact, the ADA advises to only use a “smear” of fluoridated toothpaste with children 24 months and older (although they are now encouraging prevention beginning even younger than 2 due to a rising number of cavities in youth) to prevent enamel fluorosis, a developmental disturbance of dental enamel caused by the consumption of excess fluoride during tooth development. Since children often do swallow their toothpaste while learning about proper dental hygiene, several non-fluoride children’s toothpastes have entered the US market.

Another concerning ingredient in traditional toothpaste is Triclosan.  Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that is also often found in soaps, hand sanitizers, as well as detergents and other cleaning agents. It has received a great deal of media attention lately because it has been linked to health concerns, such as liver and thyroid dysfunction.  In addition, the American Medical Association has even discouraged the use of Triclosan in the home as it’s antibacterial properties may contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Given the concerns with a number of ingredients in traditional toothpaste I thought surely I can DIY this… besides, plenty of people brush their teeth with baking soda – hell, it’s even an added ingredient in many toothpaste brands. So I set out to find the perfect toothpaste recipe.  I’ve been using the same recipe for over a year now and I’m proud to say that I have no cavities and even my dental hygienist approves! I’ve recently modified my toothpaste recipe to add Thieves oil because it helps kill germs and bacteria that can thrive in the little nooks and crannies between your teeth.  Below is my new and improved DIY toothpaste recipe!

diy toothpaste

DIY Thieves Toothpaste:

Ingredients

  • 4-6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons baking soda
  • ½ – 1 small packet of stevia powder (1 packet = 1 tsp)
  • 2-5 drops Thieves oil – buy it here
  • 10-20 drops of peppermint oil* – buy it here

(oils can be adjusted to taste)

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, using a fork.

*Add about half of the amount of peppermint oil to start, and test the toothpaste to see how much you want/like. Using part spearmint oil will make the toothpaste not as “hot” as using all peppermint oil.  The stevia gives a sweet taste (which most toothpastes have). The baking soda taste isn’t over-powering, but it is there — and the toothpaste definitely works well! It doesn’t foam, however. Since coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, the toothpaste becomes liquid when you brush, and coats the teeth well. The oil is very runny, though, and doesn’t leave the mouth feeling greasy in the least. It will, however, stick to your bathroom sink if you use cold water to rinse. I definitely recommend using warm water with this toothpaste!

Note: If you are a nursing mom you may want to avoid using peppermint oil as there is some evidence that it can cause a decrease in your milk supply.  That stated, I’ve used it every day since I had my baby and haven’t noticed any difference (but I produce milk like a Jersey cow!).

–Modified from several sources, including http://www.tammysrecipes.com/homemade_toothpaste and http://www.growing4hisglory.com/homemade-thieves-toothpaste.html

See the CDC’s “Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States” (2001) here: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm

Get more information about Triclosan here from the Environmental Working Group: http://www.ewg.org/research/ewgs-guide-triclosan

Read more about sulfates in your personal hygiene products here: http://slsfree.net/

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

Are you brushing your teeth with toxic toothpaste? (Plus a DIY Thieves Toothpaste recipe!) was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures