Category Archives: Natural health

Homemade Natural Toothpaste

I probably wouldn’t have bothered with homemade toothpaste if organic, fluoride-free natural toothpaste was easy to get here, but it isn’t and I just couldn’t bring myself to buy the commercial stuff.  So, I started to look for natural, easy options for which I could find all the ingredients.

We used plain baking soda for a while.  It’s certainly easy, reasonably effective and not unpleasant, but I thought we could do better.  I found a recipe for baking soda with coconut oil and it is fantastic.  Easily the best toothpaste we’ve ever used!  Within just a few weeks, virtually all my plaque has gone.  My teeth feel smooth and clean for much longer and I actually enjoy brushing my teeth now.  It makes you wonder what they put in that stuff doesn’t it?

The recipe:

  • find a small screw-top jar
  • half fill it with coconut oil
  • fill it with baking soda mixed in to a fairly stiff paste

Options:

  • add a few drops of peppermint oil
  • I didn’t have peppermint oil, so I used mint leaves steeped in olive oil for a couple of days – about a teaspoon and it turned the paste a light green and gave it a slight minty tang and a good creamy texture

Coconut oil is antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial.  Baking soda removes stains and odours, helps neutralize acid and has a slightly abrasive texture that helps remove plaque.

No fluoride, no other chemicals, cleaner teeth, fresher breath and it’s cheaper.  Beat that!

 

 

Natural coconut milk shampoo

I’ve been working to get as many chemicals out of our lives as possible.  Every other day a report comes out about cancer-causing chemicals in shampoo, toxic ingredients in the laundry detergent or asthma and allergies triggered by common household cleaners. We’ve been programmed to think that these synthetic products do a better, more thorough job than their natural equivalents.  Is this true?  No, it isn’t, but there are so many ‘natural’ options that it helps to know what actually works.

Shampoo is an issue if you’ve been used to the sleek, glossy, full-volume, untangled hype of the chemical stuff, especially if you have long hair.  But it’s not worth dying for!  Most commercial, non-organic shampoos contain SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) & SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (SLES) and they are probably the most dangerous of all personal care products.  Just because there is no immediate noticeable effect doesn’t mean that it isn’t harmful in the long-term.  Why take the risk?  In animal tests ( and why have that on your conscience for a shampoo?) they have been found to cause eye damage, depression, breathing difficulties, diarrhoea, severe skin irritation, immune system damage, corrosion and death. According to the American College of Toxicology states both SLS and SLES can cause malformation in children’s eyes.

DEA (diethanolamine) MEA (momoethanolamine) TEA (triethanolamine) are also in most main brand shampoos, often appearing as Cocamide DEA or MEA, Lauramide DEA, etc. These are hormone disrupting chemicals and research has shown that they are implicated in the increase in liver and kidney cancers.

I’ve been mostly underwhelmed with the organic shampoo options.  They are comparatively expensive and tend to leave my hair feeling life-less and just not that clean.  And it’s even harder to find organic shampoo here, so I decided to try my own!

This is simple and works brilliantly.  My hair has suffered severe sun-damage over the summer, it hasn’t been conditioned and was tangled, life-less, dull and straw-like.  (I know, it’s only hair, not important, but allow me this vanity.)  In just one shampoo, it was bouncing back and has become stronger and shinier by the day.  And here’s the big bonus: at least half of my grey hair has reverted back to brown.  It is so obvious that my husband thought I’d coloured it!  I don’t know whether this is because I’m no longer poisoning my scalp with commercial shampoo or the nourishing effect of the coconut oil, but it has happened within a few weeks.

Here’s the recipe:

  • one can of organic coconut milk
  • 500ml liquid castille soap
  • 50ml organic aloe vera
  • a few drops of essential oils of your choice ( I used chamomile and lavender)

Mix the ingredients and pour into a used shampoo bottle.  This makes quite a bit, so I’ve put the rest in the freezer.  You only need to use a small amount and don’t be put off by the fact that it’s quite runny.  It lathers really well and smells gorgeous.  You might want to vary the amounts, or add something like almond or jojoba oil for dry hair.  I didn’t use aloe vera in the first version I made, but it improves the texture of the shampoo and neutralises the pH somewhat.

I use an apple cider vinegar rinse after the shampoo, as hair is acid and the alkaline soap leaves a build-up unless its neutralised.  I also found that I had a ‘detox’ period of a couple of weeks, for my hair to adjust to the loss of fake-feelgood chemicals.  It’s worth it though.  We’re only at the beginning of discovering the real harm caused by chemicals we take for granted and use everyday.  Do you really want these absorbed through your scalp if there is an easy, cheap and healthy option available?

Castille soap is made from olive oil and caustic soda.  Dr Bronner’s is the most well-known brand, but there are others.  You can make your own, and I’ve tried this, but it makes it a lot more work and the result has been inconsistent for me so far.

Healing

Do you need healing, or are you a healer?  These are the only choices available right now on this planet and if you can’t say you are a healer, then you definitely need healing!

The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well.   Hippocrates

The truth is that we are all healers.  We all have a ‘natural healing force’ within us that is as automatic and unconscious as breathing. All we have to do to access it is, quite literally nothing.  Healing is what the body does when it is sick or injured.  It is a natural and often invisible process, happening continuously as we and the planet struggle to recover from our mistakes. If you cut yourself, you don’t have to tell your body to produce platelets and begin clotting, it just happens.  So why don’t we self-heal from every injury or disease?  The terrible truth is that we can do this, but only if we truly believe it to be possible.

Belief is healing’s magic bullet and it can kill you or save you.  If the doctor says you have terminal cancer and you will be dead in six months and you believe him, YOU will make this prophesy true.  If the doctor says you have terminal cancer, but you believe you will beat it, you will prove the doctor wrong. A prognosis is a prophecy that will come into effect only if you believe it to be true. The power of belief in the healing process is well-researched but rarely mentioned in the medical context, except for the occasional vague mentions of ‘keeping positive.’ But here is the kicker: what do you really believe?  And do you have faith in your belief?

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right!   Henry Ford

 

Belief is a default concept.  We tend to believe what we were brought up to believe, without thinking about it until something changes and we begin to question that belief.  I had a stomach ulcer for 25 years.  I believed that it was incurable and had had all the tests to confirm that belief.  I believed that I needed medication to keep it under control, for the rest of my life.  The one day doubt appeared.  Doubt has a bit of a bad reputation.  “Don’t doubt yourself”, we are told. “Trust your intuition.”  But doubt has an important role to play in the story of our lives.  If we did not doubt, would we question?  Would we accept change? Doubt had been gnawing away at something in my mind for quite a while, not to mention my stomach!  How could I be a healer and not heal myself?

One day, something shifted.  I found myself in the GPs office, going through the same rote questions to a locum so I could get my prescription and I heard myself say, “You know what, I’ve changed my mind.  I don’t want this. I’m going to heal myself.”  I clearly remember the GPs slightly shocked, slightly amused, slightly patronising look, as he kindly said he would make out the script for me anyway, but I never went back.  I healed completely within three months.

The healing of my stomach ulcer began with doubting the belief that it was incurable, because there was no truth in that belief.  By that time I had read many accounts of people healing themselves completely from much more serious conditions, so why not me?  Then I began to question what the doctors actually knew about my particular condition. After the discovery of the Helicobacter Pylori bacteria in 1982, no one was interested in stomach ulcers anymore and I was one of the 10% not apparently infected with H. Pylori. Yes, it was worse with stress, affected by diet and maybe genetic – who knew?  I began to doubt whether anyone knew anything useful about what was going on in my stomach, because experiments in a lab thousands of miles away just didn’t feel relevant.

Then I questioned the diagnosis and prognosis.  The diagnosis part was pretty clear at the physical level.  I’d vomited blood and the ulcer showed up on ultrasound and barium tests.  But I’d also been infected by the black swan meme.  I could believe that my ulcer was incurable, but no matter how many cases were studied, this could never be proved for certain.  So how did that though impact the prognosis, my personal prophecy?  It no longer had any power over me. Wouldn’t it be more useful for me to believe that I could be healed? We have many beliefs, conscious and unconscious, individual and collective and they can all be activated to produce thought-forms that we make real. I discovered that the information I had accepted regarding my stomach ulcer did not agree with my core beliefs.  I had accepted other people’s beliefs, such as “the doctor knows best”.  It was time to discover my own beliefs, or at least switch to something more useful in terms of my health and healing!

What the Thinker thinks, the Prover will prove.   Dr Leonard Orr

Dr. Leonard Orr observed that the human mind behaves as if it were divided into two parts, the Thinker and the Prover. The Thinker can think about virtually anything. It can think of itself as mortal, immortal, as both mortal and immortal (the reincarnation model) or even as nonexistent (Buddhism). The Thinker can think itself sick and can think itself well again. The Prover works with only one rule: Whatever the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves.  If the Thinker thinks it has an incurable illness, the Prover will obligingly organise all perceptions to conform to that thought.  What do you think about this?  How about turning the proposition on its head?  What are you experiencing and what does this show you about what you are thinking?

There is no fixed, objective reality, so there’s no point looking for it.  We create our own reality, which is actually our experience in the world, with every thought and feeling.  As hard as this may be to hear if you are seriously ill, focusing on your illness will only create more illness.

You become a healer as soon as you recognise that you can heal yourself and begin to act in accordance with that belief.

Rosehip syrup

This week I made rosehip syrup.  Our hedgerows have masses of wild roses and at this time of year the hips are bright red.  Rosehips are an excellent, natural and local source of vitamin C through the winter, much of which is retained in the syrup if the hips are prepared immediately after picking.

It’s been raining here for the past week, so I picked the hips in the rain and quickly stopped being too selective and just picked bunches on the stem to sort out inside, out of the rain.  I don’t have any scales, so son’t know how much I picked. It took around an hour and it is not as easy as it looks.  These little berries hide amongst the thorns very well.  Maybe a kilo?

IMG_1094

It took at least another hour to cut off all the stems and top and tail each one with kitchen scissors.  Then I ended up with about half as much by volume, but that filled the blender so was just the right amount!

Topped and tailed rosehips

 

I’ve never made rosehip syrup before, so I looked up a few recipes on the internet.  Many suggest chopping the hips by hand or in a food processor.  I haven’t got a food processor, but I’ve got a blender so I used that and it worked fine.  I just added a bit more water as the pulp mushed down.

Blended rosehips

It’s OK to guess at amounts for recipes if you are making something relatively simple and you can taste it as you go along – I thoroughly recommend this approach as this helps develop your intuition.  So I put the pulp in a large saucepan, added about half as much raw cane sugar as pulp and topped the pan up with water and brought it to the boil.  I then simmered it for around 15 minutes, until the flesh began to break down.

Simmering rosehip syrup

 

The next stage is straining the syrup.  All the recipes talk about using a jelly bag, I have no idea what that is and doubt whether I’d be able to find one here, so I used a piece of clean white cotton from a pillowcase.  (I save the IKEA pillowcases that come in a set with a duvet cover just for something like this, as the pillowcases don’t fit our pillows.)

Straining rosehip syrup

 

The strained pulp then goes back into the saucepan with a bit more water and a bit more sugar and is brought to the boil, simmered again and strained again, through a fresh piece of cotton.

That’s it.  I then bottled it in bottles and jars that I’d kept and sterilised by boiling them for about 20 minutes in salt water.  I ended up with about a litre of delicious syrup.  It tastes sweet, fruity and slightly exotic.  Well worth the effort!

Bottled rosehip syrup

 

Lessons from water

In the developed world we take water for granted; we don’t appreciate it and we brutalise it, alternately contaminated it and then treating it with harmful chemicals.  We barely stop to think that without it we would not exist, many of us don’t even like to drink it.  This is the result of our deep disconnection from nature, from life and from ourselves – we are after all at least 70% water, just like our planet.  This disconnection has allowed us to pollute the oceans and poison our fresh water supplies with toxic chemicals, while we pretend that somehow this is not causing any harm.  I’m writing this a few days after the news about the continued and escalating emergency at Fukushima and the commencement of fracking at Balcombe in the UK.  The water systems of the world need our help.

Water has been communicating with me for several years.  She (water is a feminine being) first came into my consciousness through the work of Dr Masaru Emoto who showed how water formed different shaped crystals according to the intention underlying specific words, thoughts or music.  Then I began dreaming about water and this led me to meditate on water.  I became more aware of water. In the shower I found myself saying, “Thank you beautiful water.  I love you.”  Often before drinking a glass of water I’d hold it to my heart chakra and simply breathe in and out.  In the technocratic disconnected world of illusion, this is pure looney tunes, but Dr Masaru has shown that water forms the most beautiful crystals of all in response to love and gratitude.

Love and Gratitude

Water crystal after receiving Love and Gratitude

In London I began lasering our drinking water with the Quantumwave laser.  I used kinesiology to test what was best for our water at the time (Thames Water) and found that it needed 4 minutes on the Unwind setting followed by 4 minutes on Quantum.  Unwind dissolves cellular memory and the new biological sciences are discovering more and more amazing properties of water, memory being just one of them.  Quantum setting is for de-stressing.  I found that the water tasted softer and had the slippery, silky feel of softened water, so it was easier to drink.  Clients who had not previously liked to drink water sucked it down.  I felt more hydrated, like my thirst was being quenched for the first time.  When we moved to Spain I continued to laser our water, but our water came from a well and it only needed the 4 minute Unwind.

I still had lots more to learn about water though.  Learning about things isn’t enough these days.  It’s a good start, but real learning has to be coupled with physical action; it has to be learned in the body.  So in the midst of the rainiest winter in 40 or 70 years (depending on the age of the person telling us) our well ran dry.  At the same time the roof leaked, directly onto our bed.  Yet we were having to buy bottled water to drink and had a hose pipe from the neighbours for household uses.  When we bought our land and moved here we were determined to get the water issue under control.

We moved here in the rainiest spring in living memory.  The access road was like a river.  It was impossible to get the cabin down here for a week.  Eventually we managed it with 14 loads on a trailer with a neighbour’s tractor. There were two wells already on the property and we were told that this is a good area for water – it certainly looked as though it was.  We rigged up a pipe to the well that was in the field, so that we could have a gravity feed to the cabin; no electricity and kinder to the water.  For three weeks we just had a stand pipe outside; more learning on the importance of water.  Luckily the weather was warm.

The first shower inside with water from our well was glorious, just like warm gentle rain.  However, we’d lost quite a bit of water from the well in putting in the pipe and as summer rolled on the level was dropping and we knew we wouldn’t have enough water to last until the next rains.  We decided that we needed a new well as we weren’t sure how deep the other existing well was and it was also contaminated with bacteria.  So we have had a new well drilled, but the pump hasn’t arrived yet and we are on water rations again as the other well is nearly dry.  How many times do we need to learn this lesson?

The new well is deep and we need a pump to bring up the water, so it’s not quite as ‘natural’.  I decided to ask the water what it needed, so I went out and laid in the field next to the well with my question and waited.  The answer came quickly and clearly.  We’ve bought a tensor ring from The Energy Garden to go around the well head and I will be making three triskelions out of granite to go next to the well and where the pipe joins the cabin.  The triskelion is an ancient symbol with the ability to raise the vibration of water and neutralise harmful energies.  I didn’t know this before, but the water communicated with me so clearly that I was able to Google the spiral shape with connection to water.

 

Triskelion anticlockwise

I then downloaded and read Dancing with Water.  This is probably the most important book I’ve read in the past 10 years.  It honours water as sacred and life-giving and provides references to the hard science that provide evidence of its extraordinary properties.  It is also very practical and reviews the wide range of devices that are available to help restructure water back to its full, living, spectrum.  Full spectrum, living water is not just more hydrating, it is actually healing.

The last step in this stage of my learning about water was from a documentary:  Water: The Great Mystery  This is a wonderful film, well-made and wee-researched and both informative and enjoyable.

We are still waiting for a pump and our well to be connected, so perhaps we still have more lessons to learn.  Only time will tell!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chamomile/manzanilla

Chamomile/manzanilla grows wild around here and I’ve been picking and drying it.  It smells beautiful and fresh and tastes much nicer than any of the commercial versions.  Only a few heads are needed for a cup, which I sweeten slightly with local honey.  I also use it when it’s cooled down as a compress for tired or irritated eyes – especially for the dogs.

 

Chamomile/manzanilla