Why I Use Magnesium Oil for Deodorant

DIY Magnesium Oil Lavender Deodorant

Body odor can be so embarrassing. I can think of plenty of times I have have found myself avoiding human contact because I felt self conscious about my smell. I love the feeling of sweating out toxins after a hard workout, but I do NOT love the smell that can often come along with it.

How you smell can be an indicator of a mineral deficiency, not a deodorant deficiency.

Similar to toothpaste, according to the FDA, deodorants and antiperspirants fall into the category of “Cosmetics That Are Also Drugs”[1]. You have probably heard by now about the dangers of aluminum in antiperspirants and their possible link to breast cancer. In this article, Chris Kresser looks at the research and finds the links are not quite so clear, but says that there IS clear evidence that aluminum can be absorbed into breast tissue and that shaving greatly increases the absorption of aluminum. He goes on to say that:

“Estrogen plays a key role in the development of breast cancer, and one study demonstrated that aluminum can interact with estrogen receptors on human breast cancer cells…There is also speculation that the blockage of sweat glands caused by aluminum-based antiperspirants could lead to the dermal absorption of abnormal levels of sex hormones and pheromones, which could contribute to cancer development.”

While today aluminum seems to be more of a contributing factor to breast cancer than a direct cause, there is a very clear link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum is the most abundant neurotoxic metal on earth. Very little aluminum is needed to produce neurotoxicity and small amounts over time accumulate in the brain[2]

The first product that came up in my search for deodorant on Amazon lists the following ingredients:

Ingredients

Active: Aluminum Chlorohydrate. Inactive: Cyclopentasiloxane, Isopropyl Palmitate, Stearyl Alcohol, Mineral Oil, Talc, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Steareth-100, BHT.

The EWG labels the risks of Cyclopentasiloxane as the following: Other HIGH concerns: Persistence and bioaccumulation; Other MODERATE concerns: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive); Other LOW concerns: Ecotoxicology, Endocrine disruption, Neurotoxicity[3]

The three types of alcohol in the ingredients above, while considered to be of low concern by the Environmental Working Group all disrupt the bacteria of your underarms. By stripping the good and the bad bacteria it leaves your underarms defenseless against harmful bacteria. A study done on the on the microbiome of the underarm recently found that people who do not use deodorant or antiperspirants that had the highest amount of Corynebacteria bacteria, which is responsible for some bad smells, but also helps to defend against pathogens. Staphylococcaceae (one of the most common microbes found on our skin) was the next most common and are considered to be beneficial as well.

Why Magnesium?

It is incredibly difficult to get adequate levels of magnesium in our diet due to our depleted soil even if you are eating a real food diet. While you can take a supplement internally the best method for optimal absorption is transdermal (through your skin) via salt baths, gels, lotions or oil. Magnesium oil is my favorite of these options for daily use. One warning however: if you are deficient in magnesium, when you first apply the oil it can sting. Try spraying a small amount first in an area that is not super sensitive and won’t be rubbing against fabric for your first time.

When I bought my first bottle of magnesium oil and sprayed it on my lower back to relieve cramping…it burned! I moved to spraying my forearms until the stinging stopped, about 2 days (It didn’t sting the entire 2 days! Just for a bit after application). Then I moved to spraying under my arms and found myself free of stink! I didn’t even realize how well it was working until it ran out. I could go without it (using my back up crystal deodorant) if I had a low activity day, but I found that if I drank coffee, particularly more than one cup, the stink would be back strong. That all made sense when I found out that while coffee and chocolate contain high amounts of magnesium, caffeine actually depletes our magnesium stores.

Sally Fallon writes in Nourishing Traditions that low levels of magnesium is one of the causes of heart disease and goes on to say that magnesium “is essential for enzyme activity, calcium and potassium uptake, nerve transmission, bone formation and metabolism of carbohydrates and minerals. It is magnesium, not calcium, that helps form hard tooth enamel, resistant to decay. Like calcium and chloride, magnesium also plays a role in regulating the acid-alkaline balance in the body. High magnesium levels in drinking water have been linked to resistance to heart disease.”[4]

Sarah Ballantyne, PHD and author of The Paleo Approach says in her book that magnesium “is important for neuromuscular contractions, and is necessary in the production of testosterone and progesterone...Magnesium is also a cofactor in methylation and is necessary for detoxification functions… Higher levels of dietary magnesium have also been correlated with decreased systemic inflammation in postmenopausal women."[5]

Katie over at Wellness Mama has written a lot about magnesium, I highly recommend you check out her articles, especially this one on magnesium deficiency.  


Magnesium Oil Deodorant

 

1 bottle of Magnesium Oil

(optional) ½ tsp of Essential Oils

If you choose to add an essential oil (I like adding lavender), pour oils directly into spray bottle, or choose a smaller spray bottle, like an old hand sanitizer spray bottle and add just a few drops of oil. Apply to underarms after showering. 

[4] Fallon, Sally; Enig, Mary. Nourishing Traditions:  The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (p. 42). National Book Network - A. Kindle Edition.

[5] Ballantyne, Sarah. The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease, Heal Your Body (Kindle Locations 2423-2427). Victory Belt Publishing. Kindle Edition.

 

Anti-Inflammatory Synergistic Turmeric Paste

A few years ago I was having an off day. I felt sluggish and was pretty sure I was coming down with something nasty. I had two energetic boys running around who needed to eat something, but I could hardly get off the couch. As I rested on the couch this article about golden milk came up in my feed. I had been reading a lot about turmeric so I thought I’d give it a try. I didn’t have fresh turmeric, but whipped some up with the powder I had on hand. Within minutes after drinking it I was cleaning up toys and starting dinner feeling totally fine.

As of today, when you search PubMed for articles on turmeric there are 3,854 results. If you search PubMed for curcumin (the active component in turmeric) there are almost 10,000 results of published papers. Curcumin has been studied as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal and anticancer treatment [1]. In the article Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials, the authors review much of the research that has been done in the last 25 years and highlight the promising effects “observed in patients with various pro-inflammatory diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, uveitis, ulcerative proctitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel disease, tropical pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, gastric ulcer, idiopathic orbital inflammatory pseudotumor, oral lichen planus, gastric inflammation, vitiligo, psoriasis, acute coronary syndrome, atherosclerosis, diabetes, diabetic nephropathy, diabetic microangiopathy, lupus nephritis, renal conditions, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, β-thalassemia, biliary dyskinesia, Dejerine-Sottas disease, cholecystitis, and chronic bacterial prostatitis”

Basically, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are powerful enough to produced noticeable affects on inflammation, and inflammation causes: ALL THE PROBLEMS. Headaches, cancer, depression, high blood pressure, digestive issues…all stem from inflammation. While the best course of action is to address the cause of the inflammation, turmeric can help to reduce overall inflammation while you work to address the other factors causing the inflammation.

I have taken turmeric for headaches and sore throats with great success. I also notice my mood improves when I take turmeric resulting in me being calmer and having more patience with my kids (always something I need more of). 

While there are so many potential benefits of turmeric, one downside is that it can be difficult to reap those benefits when taken on its own. In this turmeric paste I add ingredients that will work together to activate the curcumin as well as provide additional positive side effects.

Here is the run down of each ingredient and why I include it in the paste:

Turmeric – see above!

Cinnamon – Benefits include being an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer, lipid-lowering, and cardiovascular-disease-lowering compound[2]. Many studies have shown that cinnamon taken internally can reduce the glycemic index of a meal up to 29% and lower blood glucose, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides[3]. Cinnamon also adds a nice sweetness to balance the strong flavor of the turmeric.

Ginger – Aids in digestion and detoxification. It is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory[4]. It is also the flavor bridge between the cinnamon and turmeric.

Coconut Oil – Turmeric is fat soluble[5]. Adding coconut oil increases the bioavailability of the turmeric. Coconut oil is a saturated fat (that’s the best kind!). The lauric acid found in coconut oil has strong anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties[6], making a great addition to this immune boosting paste.

Raw Honey – This is not a necessary ingredient for the mixture (unless you are trying to give some to my kids, then it totally is). Honey makes a great addition when trying to soothe a sore throat or making Golden Milk. Honey also has antimicrobial properties. If you have access to local raw honey (you should always look for raw!) it can also help prevent seasonal allergies.

Black Pepper – Increases the bioavailability of the turmeric. One often quoted study[7] mentions that by adding piperine (the active compound in black pepper) to curcumin it increased the bioavailability by 2000%. You can read more about the benefits of black pepper and turmeric here.

In addition to all that amazingness, each of the spices in this mix contain polyphenols. Have you read about polyphenols? They are amazing you should. This article on Chris Kresser’s blog discusses the ability of polyphenols to improve your gut bacteria.


anti-inflammatory turmeric paste

Anti-Inflammatory Synergistic Turmeric Paste

¼ cup organic powdered turmeric

2 tbs cinnamon

1 tbs ginger

¼ cup melted coconut oil

2 tbs raw honey (or more to taste)

pinch of black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a glass jar (turmeric can stain plastics and ceramics). Adjust spices and honey to taste.

Makes great turmeric milk as well! Just add a tablespoon to a warm cup of the milk of your choice.

We usually take a teaspoon of this paste after dinner to aid with digestion (and reduce the glycemic inde, while the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory affects help to detox and boost our immune system over night. 

How do you use turmeric? Let me know!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and have no medical training. I do my own research and enjoy sharing what I have learn here, but I encourage you to do your own research and discuss with a doctor you trust before making changes to your diet and lifestyle.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17569205

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/

[3] Ferriss, Timothy (2010-12-14). The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (Kindle Locations 3199-3202). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16117603

[5]http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/curcumin

[6] Fallon, Sally; Enig, Mary. Nourishing Traditions:  The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (p. 20). National Book Network - A. Kindle Edition.

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/961912

Remineralizing Tooth Powder with Cloves

 
toothpowder
 

Did you know that toothpaste is considered to be both a cosmetic and a drug by the FDA?[1] I often talk about not putting things on my body that I would not want to put in my mouth, but when it comes to conventional toothpaste, I don’t want to put in my mouth what wouldn’t put on my skin.

Tooth powder is an extremely economical and non-toxic alternative to toothpaste. You can mix and match ingredients to your taste preference. My favorite combo so far has been the following:


Remineralizing Tooth Powder with Cloves

4 tbs Bentonite Clay

2 tbs Calcium Carbonate

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp unrefined salt

½ tsp clove powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp activated charcoal

Sift all ingredients and pour into a small jar. To use: wet toothbrush, dip in powder and brush on teeth as usual.

(Some people add stevia for sweetness, but the cinnamon and cloves are sweet enough for me. I have also seen essential oils suggested, but make sure you do your research on the safety of the oil before you use it internally)

The main ingredient in toothpaste that triggers it for FDA approval is fluoride. The claim is that fluoride prevents cavities, but the data does not back up the claim. In fact, fluoride seems to do more harm then good. There have been many large studies world wide that have shown no difference in tooth decay with fluoridated drinking water and even the American Dental Association has published data showing similar results. [2]

In his book Cure Tooth Decay Ramiel Nagel says about fluoride: “Fluoride is an enzyme and hormone inhibitor, affecting the nervous system as well as digestion. Fluoride is the major cause of brittle bones and teeth, and is responsible for causing mottled enamel, producing white, light gray or brown spots on the teeth. Fluoride actually alters the natural biological creation of tooth enamel and creates false, more brittle tooth enamel (which now contains fluorapatite)… Fluoride may cause brain and kidney damage, a decrease in I.Q., and may cross the placental barrier in pregnant women. Water fluoridation has also been linked to cancer.”

Have you read the warning on a box of toothpaste recently?

Allergens & Warnings: Keep out of reach of children under 6 yrs. of age. If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.

Fluoride is the reason toothpaste needs a warning label, however, it is not the only reason to avoid conventional toothpaste. Glycerin, sodium laurel sulfate, titanium dioxide, sorbitol, saccharin, sodium hydroxide and propylene glycol are common ingredients in toothpaste.

Glycerin is added to toothpaste to prevent it from drying out, but it also coats your teeth and create a barrier that prevents your teeth from being re-mineralized by the mineral content of your saliva.

Sodium Laurel Sulfate is a foaming agent that strips surfaces of oil. Most of us are so used to the idea that foaming = cleaning, but removing oils are not necessary for a healthy mouth and can be harmful.

Titanium Dioxide is a pigment that is commonly used in paint and paper and exposure has been linked to cancer.[3]

Sorbitol and Saccharin are artificial sweeteners that should be avoided in food as well as topical application.

Sodium Hydroxide is a highly caustic substance that is used to neutralize acids and make sodium salts.[4] Let’s rub it on our teeth! (jk, let’s not)

Propylene Glycol is a preservative and a solvent that lowers the freezing point of water. The toxicity of propylene glycol is debated.

Now that we know what ingredients we want to avoid putting on our teeth. Let’s look at what we do want to put on our teeth. Here is some background on the ingredients I like to use when making my tooth powder.

Bentonite Clay – In Nourishing Traditions Sally Fallon says: “clay particles carry a negative electric charge and attract positively charged pathogenic organisms along with their toxins and carry them out of the body. Clay compounds not only provide minerals, but also can be used as detoxifying agents. They will also bind with antinutrients found in plant foods such as bitter tannins and prevent their absorption.”[5] The mineral content of clay can aid in the re-mineralization of teeth.

Calcium Carbonate – Aids in the strengthening and remineralization of teeth.

Baking Soda – Studies have shown toothpaste with baking soda whitens teeth better than toothpaste that does not.[6] It deodorizes and is slightly abrasive which aids in the removal of tartar and build up. Sometimes I find baking soda to be too abrasive and will leave it out of my mix every other batch of tooth powder I make.

Unrefined Salt – Truly unrefined sea salt contains sodium chloride, macro-minerals, magnesium and about 80 trace minerals[7] In Cure Tooth Decay Ramiel Nagel discusses the use of unrefined salt to prevent and reduce most tooth and gum disease and prevent bad breath.

Clove Powder – Cloves were historically used to freshen breath in originating in ancient China over 2000 years ago.[8] Clove oil contains eugenol which is responsible for the analgesic and anti-inflammatory affects of clove. Dentist today use clove oil as an analgesic.

Ground Cinnamon – Cinnamon has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It is also used as an analgesic and has antioxidant properties.

Activated Charcoal – A fine black powder that is odorless and tasteless. It binds to chemicals and toxins to move them safely through the body.[9] Activated Charcoal binds to tannins which helps to whiten teeth (particularly helpful if you drink wine, coffee or tea), but does not bind to beneficial minerals like calcium and iron.[10]

Since using my tooth powder my teeth are less sensitive and parts where they were my gums were receding have started to heal. I love how clean my teeth and mouth feel after I use the powder. It is like a spa day for my teeth.

Have you used tooth powder? Let me know your experience!


[2] Nagel, Ramiel (2010-11-01). Cure Tooth Decay: Heal And Prevent Cavities With Nutrition - Limit And Avoid Dental Surgery and Fluoride [Second Edition] 5 Stars (Kindle Locations 3647-3650). Rami Nagel. Kindle Edition.
[5] Fallon, Sally (1999-10-01). Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (p. 41). National Book Network - A. Kindle Edition.
[7] Fallon, Sally; Enig, Mary. Nourishing Traditions:The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (pp. 48-49). National Book Network - A. Kindle Edition.

I Drink Mud

Everyone knows that mud masks and mud baths are fantastic for keeping your skin looking clear and youthful, but most of you I'm guessing, don't mix up the left over mask from your bowl and drink it. Am I right?

Clay has been used medicinally for as long as medicine has been around. In Ancient Egypt it was used by Cleopatra to preserve her complexion, by their physicians to treat intestinal problems as well as being used to preserve mummiesGeophagia (eating earth or soil like substances) has been found in almost all tribal communities.

In her book Nourishing Traditions*, Sally Fallon discusses using clay internally as a way to supplement trace minerals (in addition to mineral water, nutrient dense foods and beverages like bone broth) and as a detox:

"Analysis of clays from Africa, Sardinia and California reveals that clay can provide a variety of macro-and trace minerals including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc.138 Clay also contains aluminum, but silicon, present in large amounts in all clays, prevents absorption of this toxic metal and actually helps the body eliminate aluminum that is bound in the tissues.139...

Clay particles, defined as having a size less than 1-2 microns, have a very large surface area relative to their size. They carry a negative electric charge and can attract positively charged pathogenic organisms along with their toxins and carry them out of the body,140 Thus, clay compounds not only provide minerals but also can be used as detoxifying agents. As such, they facilitate assimilation and can help prevent intestinal complaints, such as food poisoning and diarrhea. They also will bind with antinutrients found in plant foods, such as bitter tannins, and prevent their absorption."

Fallon, Sally (1999-10-01). Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (p. 41). National Book Network - A. Kindle Edition.

I personally have had times when I ate something that was questionable and ended up with an upset stomach, at which point I drank a bit of clay in water and very quickly felt relief. I have also used clay for myself and both of my children to help with constipation. While I haven't done any reading this particular area, I have found when I ingest something that doesn't typically do well with my guts (gluten for example) I find the effects to be very mild if I drink a bit of clay, less bloating, etc. I also use the clay as a way to prevent illness if we come in contact with a stomach bug or sick kids at a park. I ask the boys to "Drink your dirt!" and they actually like it!

There is clay in our toothpaste* (as well as my toothpowder recipe), in my shampoo* and it is always in my first aid kit. Strange rashes, bee stings, bug bites...clay is always my first line of defense. I recently had a friend over and her son got a bee sting while standing in my son's bedroom (we think it stowed away on his sweater) I grabbed the clay, mixed it in to a paste with water and as we put it on his finger, we could actually see the sting site start to bubble as the venom was drawn out of the wound. My son had some mysterious night time bug bites a few weeks ago and to relieve the itching I grabbed our toothpaste* (since it was the middle of the night) rubbed it all over the bites and he was able to stop itching and get some sleep.

As a beauty treatment I use a clay mask once ever week or two. My skin always feels fresh and clean and I notice less dark circles and puffiness under my eyes when I wake up. I occasionally will get dry patches on my forehead (usually after drinking too much coffee...) and find that the morning after using a mud mask the dry patches and redness have gone, my skin feels smooth and looks clear. Then I mix the remnants of the clay with water and drink it up!

There are a few options out there for clay to use internally and externally. The one I use Aztec Secret* Bentonite Clay (I'm sure you've seen it at Whole Foods). Our toothpaste is made by Redmond Clay, and while I haven't tried their clay personally (they also sell capsules of clay to take internally), I have read great things about it and never mind if my children swallow their toothpaste!

How do you use your clay?


*The links included in this posts are affiliate links, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from this company. I only recommend products that I use or have personal experience with. TheHomeCraft.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.*

I Wash My Face With Oil

Would you eat your face wash? Over the past few years I have been trying to follow the rule: if I wouldn't put it in my mouth, I won't put it on my body. Have you ever tried the trick where you rub garlic on your foot, or tape it to your wrist and you get garlic breath? Our skin absorbs everything that we put on it and can affect our bodies internally as well.

Chris Kresser recently wrote a series on Toxic Skincare Products where he discusses the dangers of many common ingredients we find in skincare products available today. While so many people today are trying to eat organic, non-GMO and eliminating processed foods, they are still using Oil of Olay and Ponds on their face. In his article Chris talks about our skin having a microbiome, similar to our digestive system. When this microbiome is compromised by antibacterial soaps, or hand sanitizer, we loose the natural resistance our skin provides us against bad bacteria.

I had horrible skin all through junior high and high school (I also had a horrible vegetarian diet, that directly contributed to that skin, but that is another story). I remember my mom taking me to get facials, do skin peels, all sorts of fancy masks, different types of cleanser and nothing made a difference until I stopped washing my face. When I was about 20 I stopped using moisturizer or face wash all together, but continued to just use water and do a mask or scrub every week or two. I had the best skin I had had in years (a better diet too, but not by much). 

When I heard about the OCM it made a lot of sense to me since I had gone a few years with no face wash. The concept is: like dissolves like. So if your skin has oil on it, using oil on yours skin will help to remove that oil as well as the dirt that is caked in to your pores. By not stripping your face of it's natural oils you are also preventing wrinkles and sun damage! I love how my face feels when it is freshly cleaned with the OCM. The whole process is very spa like. Another bonus is that I find I can actually go a day or two without washing my face, as long as I haven't used any of my home-made face powder on those days. Being a busy mom of two young boys getting to skip a personal care step and still feel clean and fresh is lovely!

How to wash your face with the Oil Cleansing Method:

Ingredients

  • Oil or oil blend that works well with your skin type (the wellnessmama has a good outline of different blends for different skin types). I use an avocado/almond blend

  • Soft wash cloth

  • Hot water (hot enough to steam and soften the oil, but careful not to burn yourself!)

Steps

  1. Place a small amount of oil on your fingertips (about a dime, a little goes a long way).

  2. Rub oil on to your face. The more you rub, the more dirt you break up, spend extra time on problem areas.

  3. Soak your washcloth in your extra hot water. Wring out the excess water

  4. Place the washcloth over your face and let it steam open your pores until it cools down, then wipe off the oil.

  5. Rinse out your wash cloth with very hot water

  6. Repeat step 4 at least once, twice of you still feel oily.

  7. Your skin should feel clean and lovely!

Let me know how it works if you try it!