homemade toothpaste

Simple Homemade Toothpaste

Simple Homemade Toothpaste

When making the change to low-tox living, swapping out your toothpaste with this homemade toothpaste is a great first step. While it's very overwhelming once you begin to learn how toxic the products in our home are, taking small steps can lighten the load and make things easier. As you run out of items, swap them out for low-tox options. 

Why Switch to Homemade Toothpaste?

Conventional toothpaste is filled with chemicals that disrupt our body and do more harm than good. Fluoride is a known neurotoxin. It can cause a number of serious adverse health effects, including endocrine dysfunction in addition to neurological dysfunction. It's also been shown to negatively affect cognitive development in children. Parabens can disrupt hormone function by mimicking estrogen and has been linked to breast cancer. Triclosan has been linked to antibiotic resistance and skin cancer. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) has been shown to cause skin irritation and can aggravate aphthous ulcers. Propylene Glycol is linked to damage of the central nervous system, liver, and heart. Artificial Sweeteners have links to bladder cancer, brain tumors, and lymphoma. Diethanolamine (DEA) is found in antifreeze and brake fluid and has been linked to cancer in test animals. 

Simple Homemade Toothpaste Recipe

6 TBS Coconut Oil
2.5 TBS Baking Soda
35 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil

1. Melt coconut oil on low heat
2. Once heated, remove the heat and stir in baking soda
3. Add essential oil
4. Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight glass jar. 
5. To use, place 1/2 TSP of the paste on your brush and brush for two minutes. 


thieves laundry soap

Thieves Laundry Soap Recipe

Laundry detergents love to market themselves as cleaner than they actually are. Many that are marketed as extra clean, safe for sensitive skin, and safe for babies are actually filled with SLS, SLES, dyes, petrochemicals, formaldehyde, phosphates, and synthetic fragrances. All of which are known skin irritants and hormone disruptors. Known. Being marketed to us as clean, safe, and even great for our babies. 

Why I Switched to Thieves Laundry Soap

Just a few days after the birth of my son, I started to develop a very itchy widespread rash on my hips, knees, and elbows. Rashes are so mysterious, aren't they? I couldn't figure out what was doing it, where it came from, or how to get rid of it. Terrible. Especially on top of the usual postpartum healing and care, figuring out nursing, and caring for a brand spankin' new baby.

After days of narrowing it down, I finally figured out that it was the Baby OxyClean. Marketed as the most sensitive. I learned that when you are nursing, your resistance to irritants is routed to your baby, and you are left with diminished defenses. So this awful rash was what my body was defending against all day long, and I washed all of the blankets, swaddles, and baby clothes in it. 

I threw the Oxy Clean in the trash, got some Thieves Laundry soap from a friend while I waited for mine to arrive, and rewashed everything three times with the Thieves. The rash that had me taking oatmeal baths and coating myself in salve went away in less than 48 hours. 

The Dilution Recipe for Thieves Laundry Soap

Young Living sells most of their Thieves cleaning line products as concentrates. That means you get a lot of bang for your buck. Especially with the Thieves Laundry soap

At first, I was skeptical on how well it would work. Between farming, hunting, gardening, exercising, raising babies, these clothes are dirty, y'all. This works wonders on our clothes. If they are really gross, I'll add a couple of bloops of vinegar to the washer in addition to my Thieves Laundry soap mixture to give it a boost. I know some people like to use an oxygen booster to their clothes. I love Molly's Oxygen Boost for a clean option on Amazon; otherwise, Branch Basics Oxygen Boost is a great option. 

Since the Thieves Laundry soap is super concentrated can be diluted. Here's the recipe below. 

thieves laundry soap

Thieves Laundry Soap Recipe

Ingredients

  • Three 32 oz glass pump bottles
  • Thieves Laundry Soap
  • Thieves Household Cleaner
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil

Instructions

  1. Split the Thieves Laundry soap into thirds into each glass pump bottle until the Thieves Laundry soap is empty. Measure with your eyes.
  2. Once each bottle has 1/3 of the Thieves Laundry soap in it, pour two capfuls of the Thieves Household cleaner into each bottle.
  3. Add the lemon essential oil (or your fav EO - I love eucalyptus or lavender here!)
  4. Fill the rest of the bottle with water
  5. Give it a shake to mix
  6. Add 6-8 pumps per load.

fire cider

Homemade Fire Cider

Homemade Fire Cider

If you've never heard of fire cider before, it is a spicy tonic that is used to fight colds and flus and boost the immune system. It's a mixture of fruits, vegetables, and herbs all topped with vinegar. After steeping for a few weeks, all of these beneficial ingredients are strained out and the liquid is used to add to soups, stews, sauces, marinades - but I most often use it as a tea or as a shot. 

Use a variety of ingredients in your fire cider, whatever you have on hand or prefer. Common additions are ginger, honey, lemon, oranges, red onion, elderberry, garlic, horseradish, turmeric, and cayenne. Other beneficial ingredients that can be used are black pepper, jalapeno, echinacea, cinnamon, rosemary, oregano, thyme, rosehips, pomegranate, and limes. 

A large glass 64-70 ounce jar is best. Apple cider vinegar is going to be the best tasting and beneficial vinegar to use. As always, use high quality ingredients. 

fire cider

Homemade Fire Cider

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 month
Total Time: 1 month 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 64 oz jar with lid, sterilized
  • 2.5 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 orange
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 cup horseradish
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 inch knob of ginger
  • 2 inch fresh turmeric root
  • 2 TBS rose hips
  • 2 TBS elderberries (boil these in water for 10 min and strain, first)
  • 1-2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1.5 cups of honey

Instructions

  1. Chop onion, jalapeno, garlic into large rough chunks
  2. Grate turmeric, horseradish, ginger
  3. Slice lemon, lime, and orange
  4. Add all ingredients to jar, except apple cider vinegar. While adding, smash ingredients with a muddler.
  5. Pour apple cider vinegar over ingredients to cover.
  6. Shake well
  7. Cover and set on counter for 4-6 weeks.
  8. Strain through a cheesecloth lined strainer
  9. Store liquid in glass bottle
  10. Drink 1-2 tablespoons a day alone, add to tea, soups, stews, etc.

starbucks medicine ball

Homemade Starbucks Medicine Ball Recipe

Homemade Starbucks Medicine Ball Drink

Let's make this popular order - the Starbucks Medicine Ball - into a drink that is actually nourishing for the body. Kick your winter cold with this homemade version.

The Starbucks version has 30g of sugar. There is honey in the Starbucks version, but it is not up to the standards you would want to provide a medicinal benefit. It contains potassium sorbate (a preservative), gums, and "natural flavors" (can be a unknown variety of lab-made flavorings). Nothing about those ingredients set your body up healing. 

Let's stick to the good stuff that will actually support our bodies. That's the whole reason we would order the Starbucks Medicine Ball over your usual double-pump, cold foam, latte-blah-blah triple espresso, right? 

Ginger, honey, lemon, and peppermint are the ultimate tried and true threat for cough, cold, flu, congestion, and overall funkiness. Take a drink if you feel something coming on or if you need a little immunity boost. 

I like to swap out the tea depending on how I'm feeling or what I have on hand. Ginger, honey, and lemon - you really can't go wrong adding it to any tea blend. I prefer loose leaf tea. You can typically find it for much cheaper than bagged tea, plus you avoid chemicals and bleach that are used in most tea bags. My favorite tea balls are durable and reusable. Plus, you can mix and match single varieties of tea to make your own custom blend, depending on your needs. 

starbucks medicine ball

Homemade Starbucks Medicine Ball Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ginger root, chopped into small sections. Peel, if preferred.
  • 3 lemons, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey, preferably local
  • plash of water
  • High quality peppermint tea

Instructions

  1. Blend the ginger, lemons, honey, and water
  2. Pour into an ice cube tray
  3. Freeze until solid
  4. Add a cube or two to your hot peppermint tea

 

 


natural laundry boost

Natural Laundry Boost

Natural Laundry Boost

Going the natural route for your laundry doesn't meant you have to sacrifice on having a nice fresh scent. Trust me, after Dylan cleans out the pig pen (or leaves his bottle of elk estrus in his hunting pants, IYKYK) - we need a little (a lot) help in the scent department. Plus, kids, exercising - you get it.

We aren't short on reasons to have a laundry scent boost. Plus, we can trust that it isn't filled with chemicals and synthetic fragrance that will disrupt our hormones and cause skin and respiratory irritation. And, most importantly, safe for my bebe. 

The Switch

One of the things that pushed me over the edge into low-tox living and questioning the products and foods I was putting in and on my body was laundry detergent. When I was early postpartum, I started to develop an incredibly itchy rash on my legs, waistline, and arms.

If you're a mama, you know how physically challenging those first few weeks are already. Add the lack of sleep, cracked and sore nips, sweaty, in a diaper, changing diapers - oh, and trying to keep a new human alive. Add a rash that made you want to rip your skin off. I mean, off, y'all. And rashes can be so mysterious. Was it internal? Was it external? It took finally realizing that the rash was the most dense on contact areas where my clothes hit.

That's when I realized. The laundry detergent. I just bought the Oxyclean baby brand that was rated pretty well on EWG. That was it. The shoddy synthetic fragrances. Curses! 

I threw it all away and completely switched everything to Young Living's Thieves cleaning line - it was the cleanest stuff I could find. The rash went away almost immediately. I was skeptical with how effective it would actually be. The liquid laundry detergent is great - super concentrated, lasts forever. I split the bottle of liquid detergent into three one-liter bottles, fill the rest with water, add some oils, and done. With the farm and baby, I knew I needed a little extra boost in our laundry. I'd read articles about Borax that I wasn't quite sold on and I wasn't sure on washing soda. 

In comes this natural laundry scent boost. My favorite oils to add are eucalyptus, lemon, or lavender. 

Natural Laundry Scent Boost

Natural Laundry Scent Boost

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of Baking Soda
  • 1.5 Cups of Epsom Salt
  • 35 drops of essential oils

Instructions

Dump, shake, done!

Sprinkle 2 TBS in each load.

Notes

I love eucalyptus, lemon, or lavender essential oils.


bath bombs

Essential Oil Bath Bombs

Essential Oil Bath Bombs

Doesn't it just add to the relief to have bath bombs that aren't filled with toxic chemicals and fragrances? While a lot of self-sufficiency is learning the basics - growing and preserving food, natural remedies, etc. it is nice to learn those things that make you feel like you're at a fancy spa. Minus the hormone disruption. 

These bath bombs can be customized using whatever essential oils that make your skirt fly up. I'll throw a few of my favorite blends at the bottom, but these make great gifts. Once you get the hang of the texture, they are easy peasy. 

Some things you may not have on hand are linked: citric acid, bath bomb molds, and jojoba oil.

Bath Bomb Essential Oil Blends

All essential oils can be found at Young Living.

Relax: 
4 drops of Lavender
4 drops of Cedarwood
2 drops of Grapefruit
2 drops of Marjoram

Deep Breath, great for stuffy sinuses or cough
4 drops of Eucalyptus
4 drops of Lavender
2 drops of Peppermint
2 drops of Tea Tree

Sleepy Time, great for kiddos
2 drops of Orange
4 drops of Lavender
2 drops of Gentle Baby (Young Living)

Moody
4 drops of Evergreen Essence (Young Living)
3 drops of Copaiba
2 drops of Pine
2 drops of Bergamot

bath bombs

Non-Toxic Bath Bombs

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2-5 teaspoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil
  • 10-14 drops of essential oils
  • Bath Bomb mold
  • Dried flowers, optional

Instructions

  1. Place all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk
  2. Add the jojoba oil and essential oils in a separate bowl
  3. Very slowly, add the liquid to the dry mixture a little at a time, whisking as you go.
  4. The mixture should hold together well when squeezed and should not crumble, similar to the texture of sand you need for a sand castle.
  5. Add a few more drops of water if needed to achieve the correct texture
  6. Pack the molds tightly, add your optional dried flowers
  7. Molds will set and dry in 48 hours.

garlic salve

Homemade Garlic Salve

Homemade Garlic Salve

It's only been in recent years that modern pharmaceuticals have been the only avenue for healing. Garlic was actually the preferred method to treat bacterial and viral infections up until the wave of vaccinations and medications. This homemade garlic salve will be a staple during cold season. 

Garlic (specifically the compound allicin) is an incredible healer of the lungs and respiratory system. And, since it's from nature, this homemade garlic salve is safe to use on everyone in your family - from babies to the elderly. 

Here is our go-to recipe for this homemade garlic salve. Use lard or coconut oil depending on what you have on hand and your family's sensitivities. Make it before the sickies hit so you have it on hand. Salve lasts four weeks or until completely used. Store in pantry or fridge for a longer shelf life. 

garlic salve

Homemade Garlic Salve

Yield: 4 oz jar

Natural remedy for RSV, croup, cough, etc.

Ingredients

  • 8-10 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup of lard or coconut oil
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TSP beeswax
  • 8 drops of lavender or eucalyptus essential oil, optional

Instructions

  1. Mince garlic and measure out the remaining ingredients
  2. Add garlic, oils, and beeswax to glass measuring cup
  3. Use a double boiler to infuse the above over low heat for 40-60 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Strain oil, wax, and garlic through cheesecloth into a 4 oz glass jar.
  5. Add essential oils, if desired.


Apply to chest, back, and feed 4-6 times per day. Use salve within four weeks of creating. We like to make this right before the cold season hits.

Notes

Apply to chest, back, and feed 4-6 times per day. Use salve within four weeks of creating. We like to make this right before the cold season hits.


oregano infused oil

Homemade Oregano Oil

Homemade Oregano Oil

Make your own culinary oils is such an easy and simple skill that makes you feel like you've made leaps and bounds toward self-sufficiency. If you're like me, you'll think, "How did I not realize it was this simple sooner!?". You can apply this homemade oregano oil recipe to any culinary herb oil. Be sure to always use dried herbs though, or it will spoil. This homemade oregano infused oil makes a great gift for your favorite home-cook in your life. It's also a great way to add a depth of flavor to any dish. 

In addition to being a great culinary addition, oregano has incredible medicinal benefits. Note that this is a homemade oregano-infused oil, not an essential oil. 

Oregano-infused oil is also great for your livestock - particularly chickens. Add a few drops to their water to ward off any respiratory issues. 

Benefits

  • Respiratory Support
  • Skin Issues
  • Muscle Pain
  • Insect Repellent
  • Cramping
oregano infused oil

Homemade Oregano Oil

Yield: One Pint Jar
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 21 days
Total Time: 21 days 5 minutes

Delicious infused oregano oil, perfect for a variety of dishes and packed with medicinal benefits for you and your livestock.

Ingredients

  • Dried Oregano
  • High quality olive or coconut oil
  • One pint jar and lid

Instructions

  1. Fill a pint jar 3/4 of the way with dried oregano
  2. Pour in oil until herbs are completely covered
  3. Let sit for 3 weeks
  4. Strain out herbs
  5. Return oil to jar
  6. Label and enjoy!

Notes

Use any oil you have on hand. If you plan to use this mostly for cooking, use olive oil. If you plan to use this for medicinal benefits, use coconut oil. It doesn't really matter which oil you use, you just might smell like pizza if you use olive oil :)

In a rush? Warm your oil and oregano over low heat for 20-30 minutes to infuse rapidly.


How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade vanilla extract was one of those things I spent years intending to make and never got around to doing. Plus, I'm not a huge baker - how would I ever use all of it? Turns out, I'm not the only one who has it on their long list of to-dos. This makes a perfect gift for any holiday! 

Short on time? Put it all together and gift it with a note that says "Use in Six Months". A jelly jar with a cute burlap ribbon is all you need for a sweet homemade gift. This homemade vanilla extract is a great addition to your kitchen in your step towards cleaning up ingredients, making things yourself, and taking one more step toward self-sufficiency. 

Snag these vanilla beans from Amazon. This 10 pack of Tahitian Vanilla Beans will get you through a batch of this recipe, with a few to spare. Dust off that bottle of rum you've never cracked open and you have everything you need. This recipe is so simple, you'll wonder why you hadn't tried it sooner. Trust me - you'll be amazed at the difference!

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

Yield: 750ml+
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 6 months
Total Time: 6 months 5 minutes

Delicious homemade vanilla extract. No fillers. Great for gifts or to hold onto for unlimited baking needs.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of white rum or vodka, 750 ml
  • 8 vanilla beans

Instructions

  1. Cut beans in half, lengthwise
  2. Add 8 beans to the bottle, or add beans and alcohol to your own glass jar
  3. Let sit out of direct sunlight for six months.
  4. Pour off 50% of the alcohol in a jar to use, refill, and reset the six month clock for even more extract.
  5. Refill 2-3x max.