Oil Pulling Chewables

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So I started oil pulling about 3 months ago.  What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice of swishing 1-3 teaspoons of oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes daily.  This is thought to draw out toxins from your body which not only improves your dental health but your overall health as well.  It also reduces harmful bacteria that are present in your mouth.  Oil pulling can reduce plaque formation, gingivitis and even bad breath.  It can also relieve sinus and nasal congestion and pressure as well as headaches.

I prefer to use coconut oil for my oil pulling as coconut oil has been shown to be antimicrobial, tastes better than the other oils and…..it’s easy with these chewables!  I first started out by just digging a spoon in my coconut oil jar and sticking the oil in my mouth and letting it melt in my mouth as I slowly swished the oil between my teeth.  Then I started adding some tooth healing and breath freshening essential oils to the coconut oil before I swished.  So I would melt a tablespoon of coconut oil and add in a few drops of the essentials oils and then swish.  This became somewhat cumbersome to do on a daily basis.  Since coconut oil is solid about 76 degrees, I thought about making premeasured coconut oil chewables.  These chewables make it so easy to oil pull every morning.  Just pop one out of the fridge and swish.  The coconut oil is easier to handle texture wise because it’s cold and the taste and smell is improved because of the essential oils.  Win win situation!

What you will need:

  • 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 12 drops of peppermint essential oil  (like this one)
  • 12 drops of germ fighter essential oil (like this one)

The essential oils are not only for taste.  The germ fighter essential oil contains Lemon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon and Rosemary oils.  These are known for their “germ fighting” abilities.  Peppermint essential oil helps to combat bad breath.

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Mix the coconut oil and the essentials oil together.  Pour 1-3 teaspoons into a silicone mold.  Stick the mold in the fridge for 20-30 minutes until the coconut oil has hardened.  Pop the coconut oil chewables out of the mold and stick them in a mason jar or any container of your choice.  I prefer to store mine in the fridge during the summer months as the coconut oil can melt.  It’s fine to store at room temperature during the winter months.

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Every morning before brushing or eating, take one chewable and pop it in your mouth.  Wait a few seconds for it to start melting, then start swishing it between your teeth for 15-20 minutes.  Then spit in a trash can so you don’t clog our drains with the oils.  Rinse your mouth with warm water and brush your teeth as usual.  You’re done!

Quick easy simple remedy to improving your oral and overall health.

Homemade pH balanced shampoo

I decided to stop using commercial shampoo and hopped on the “no poo” bandwagon about 4 months ago.  It made sense to me that commercial shampoos contain detergents that strip your scalp of oils.  This is turn makes your scalp want to produce more oils to compensate.  Your natural oils never get a chance to condition your hair because they are being stripped off so now you need to use a conditioner.  So you end up in a vicious cycle and end up having oily hair, fine hair, flat hair, frizzy hair etc.  I started out with the baking soda/apple cider vinegar combination and while it was okay, I didn’t love it.  Then I started using a shampoo bar from JR Liggetts (like this one) which worked great as it left my straight, thin hair full of volume. But my hair was a little dry.  I was able to cut down washing my hair to 3 times a week which was so nice!.  I also tried Dr. Bronner’s castile soap (like this one).  It worked okay but it also left my hair dry and sort of “knotty”. But I was determined not to use any chemicals on my hair so I continued on.

Then I learned about pH.  Soap is made by the use of lye to saponify oils and hence is alkaline by nature.  Your scalp pH is around 4.5-5 which is acidic.  Baking soda, JR Liggetts and Dr. Bronner’s castile soap are all HIGHLY ALKALINE and will destroy your hair with continued use.  Your hair will become brittle over time and your scalp will become irritated and flaky.  By using alkaline soaps to wash your hair, you are causing the hair follicles to open and damage the hair cuticles.  Over time, this leads to dry damaged hair and an itchy scalp.

So if soap is too alkaline for the scalp, how do you make a pH balanced, chemical free, homemade shampoo that also makes your hair feel clean and soft and voluminous?  Well, my friends, I have found the answer!

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SOAPNUTS

What are soapnuts?  Soapnuts contain saponins which are a natural surfactant.  People have been using these for thousands of years in Asia for cleaning.  I’ve been using soapnuts in my washing machine for the past 2 months and my clothes come out clean and smell good.  Keep tuned for a post about using soapnuts in your laundry soon.

Coming back to shampoo!  Soapnuts can also be used to wash your hair.  It leaves your hair clean and soft without using any sulfates, parabens or chemicals.  And the pH of soapnuts is between 4.5-5 (just like your scalp!)

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Shikakai and Amla are two other herbs that is extremely beneficial for the hair.  Shikakai makes your hair super soft and amla helps strengthen your hair.

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What you will need:

  • 3 soapnuts (I use these) or 1 TBS aritha powder (soapnut powder like this one)
  • 1 TBS shikakai powder (like this one)
  • 1 TBS amla powder (like this one)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 5 drops essential oil (optional)

If using soapnuts, then grind them into a powder using a spice or coffee grinder or your food processor.  If using aritha powder, then just add to the other powders.  Boil 1 cup of water and then add it to the powder mixture and let it steep for 30 min to 1 hour.  After that, strain the liquid into a bottle and discard the pulp.  You can add any essential oils at this time to the bottle if you wish.  I added lavender essential oil to make it smell divine.  Shake up your bottle and squirt it on your scalp and massage.  Note that this shampoo will not lather but it will clean.  This shampoo leaves my hair super soft and it feels so thick!  You will be amazed!  Be extra careful not to get this in your eyes because it burns!

This is a one time use shampoo.  Prepare a new batch every time you want to wash your hair or prepare a bigger batch and keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

Please also read “How to restore the pH of your scalp” for more information about how important pH is.

Hope you enjoy!  Thanks for reading 🙂

Homemade Lavender Sugar Body Scrub

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I’m so excited to share this body scrub recipe with you guys.  This is the best way to unwind after a long day!  It’s really easy to make and lasts for a long time.  I usually use mine up within a month but it should last about 6 months in a sealed container.

Let’s get started 🙂

You will need:

  • 1 cup of organic granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used avocado oil because it’s so moisturizing)
  • 1 TBS fresh lavender buds (optional but recommended)
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil (or your favorite blend)

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Mix everything together in a bowl and store in a jar of your choice.  Super easy!

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To use:

Take a small amount in wet hands and gently rub on your skin.  Rinse off with warm water.  Your skin will feel soft and smooth.  And you will smell like lavender….very relaxing!

Thanks for reading!  I hope you make this scrub soon 🙂