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As a mindful parent, I try to reduce my family’s exposure to harmful toxins whenever possible. Instead, I strive to use natural and safe products to clean our home, for our skin care, and for natural remedies.
Try these unique uses for my top 5 favorite common household items.
Why Use Natural Products?
Most items that are commonly found in stores are loaded with harmful toxins and chemicals. Many common household cleaning supplies release volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). VOCs can lead to liver and kidney damage, nausea, vomiting, loss of coordination, and cancers.
Also, exposure to many common household cleaners and products leads to respiratory illnesses, headaches, allergies, and possibly cancer.
Ammonia and bleach are two of the worst offenders. Additionally, a
It doesn’t end there, a lot of lotions and skin care products contain chemicals that have also been found to increase the chance of cancers with long term exposure.
In order to avoid these risks, you can start using natural products which are very effective, but much safer.
Not All Natural Products Are Created Equally
Natural products are a great alternative to the common cleaners, medications, and skin care products you find in stores. However, keep in mind that these products are not closely regulated by the FDA or a governing body.
Since they are not regulated, all brands are not created equally. Always read labels to see where your product come from and try to find brands which provide their own quality controls.
One source that I use regularly is the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). This site is run by the federal government and contains the latest research and safety information on dietary supplements, vitamins, and alternative medicine.
Be a smart consumer and read labels! Make sure what you’re putting into your body or bringing into your homes is safe and effective.
Top 5 Natural Products for Your Home:
- Coconut Oil
Lemons are one of the most versatile natural products around. They can be ingested, diffused, or used as a cleaning product.
The easiest way to use lemons is by making lemon water. Now that we are entering summertime, remaining well-hydrated is more important than ever.
Add half of a lemon to 8 ounces of water every day to reap health benefits. Lemons contain V
Also, studies found rats who consumed lemon water lost statistically significant weight over time. Although this benefit is still being studied in humans, it doesn’t hurt to try!
Lemon water or lemons
Additionally, lemons can be purchased as an essential oil. Diffuse this in the mornings to uplift your mood and for a burst of energy.
If you are interested in making your own natural cleaning products, lemon is a must! The acid from lemons provides antibacterial properties while the citrus scent naturally deodorizes.
Mix lemon juice or lemon essential oils with vinegar to remove difficult countertop stains and to clean and degrease surfaces. Also, you can use it without vinegar to clean windows and remove stains from clothes.
The next must-have natural product is lavender. Similarly to lemons, lavender is incredibly versatile. Lavender is readily available as a plant or essential oils, both providing great benefits.
When diffused or applied topically, lavender provides a calming and relaxing state.
Lavender oils may be useful for difficulties with sleeping and stress. You can diffuse lavender essential oils, drink lavender and chamomile tea, or apply skin care products or diluted oils with lavender.
Additionally, lavender plants are excellent natural insect repellents. Lavender repels mosquitoes, houseflies, and fleas from your pets.
You can use the oils to create natural insect repellents or just benefit from the plants around you.
Plant a few lavender plants by your house and favorite outdoor areas to enjoy time outside without worrying about pesky bugs.
Ginger is another product I always keep on hand. It is available as raw ginger root, lozenges, teas, candies, oils, or powders.
Ginger has been used in Eastern and Alternative Medicine for many years. The main component of ginger root, gingerol, is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects.
This means that ginger may be helpful for joint pain or inflammation. If you have
Also, during cold and flu season, add more ginger to your diet to boost your immune system.
I personally fell in love with ginger during my pregnancy. Ginger is very soothing for morning sickness and nausea.
I preferred to drink Yogi Ginger Tea as opposed to other forms, but find what works best for you. If you are pregnant, always consult with your doctor before taking any over the counter supplements, especially in large quantities.
Even if you are not pregnant, ginger may help with nausea due to a stomach bug or motion sickness. If you suffer from motion sickness, bring some ginger along on your next flight to help combat nausea.
Also, ginger may help relieve symptoms of heartburn. Try eating some ginger or drinking ginger tea after a heavy meal if you begin to feel symptoms.
Lastly, ginger is a delicious spice that can be added to a multitude of dishes including curries, soups, and meats.
Coconut oil is one product that we use every single day. We use it when cooking as an alternative to vegetable oil or butter.
Coconut oil is a type of saturated fat, which typically increases your bad cholesterol (LDL) quicker than unsaturated fats. However, coconut oil contains lauric acid which has been shown to increase good cholesterol (HDL) at a higher rate than other fats.
Another useful form of coconut oil is fractionated coconut oil. This is a liquid form of coconut oil which is an excellent base for essential oil blends.
Fractionated coconut oil is odorless so it does not change the scent of your other oils. Also, it adds some extra skin hydration, to help your skin shine.
One of my favorite uses for coconut oil is as a moisturizer. This is especially beneficial during the dry winter when your skin is especially dry.
Coconut oil can be safely applied to babies and adults alike for a moisturizer.
Also, coconut oil may have anti-inflammatory properties. For teething babies, apply a small amount to their gums or teething toys for
Lastly, coconut oil is excellent for nursing mamas! If you have ever breastfed, you will know that the first few weeks are unpleasant for your nipples.
Apply coconut oil a few times per day to help reduce dryness and irritation.
The last of my favorite natural product
Honey is my favorite sweetener for baked goods. I use it in place of refined sugar which is heavily processed and high in empty calories.
Also honey has a lower glycemic index which means it doesn’t cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar. This is important for diabetics or pre-diabetics because it does not cause as much of jump in your blood sugar.
Honey is also excellent to keep on hand during cold and flu season. It has been shown to relieve sore throats and reduce the frequency and severity of coughs. It even promotes sleep in children who are ill.
One study compared the use of honey versus guaifenesin (a common expectorant) in children who had a respiratory illness or cough. The children who consumed a spoonful of honey before bed slept better than those who had taken the over-the-counter medication!
Local raw honey may also provide some benefits during allergy season. Although studies provided mixed results, many people believe this may lessen the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
Additionally, honey has antimicrobial properties. Apply it directly to burn wounds to help them heal faster.
A quick warning about honey though. Although it provides many great benefits, it should not be consumed by children less than one. They are at a risk of botulism which is a rare but serious infection.
Uses For Common Household Items
These are just some of my favorite natural common household items. If you are new to living a cleaner and more natural life, remember, changes do not occur over night.
Pick one product to replace or one area of your life to focus on at a time. For us, I started with improving our diet. Once eating clean and healthy became a normal part of our life, then I started to tackle our cleaning supplies and beauty products.
Become a smart consumer and read labels as much as possible. Just because something is available in a store, does not mean it is safe.
For more tips on living a healthier lifestyle, you may enjoy this post on my daily healthy habits.
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