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Vinaigre de toilette

Posted by Teresa Foo on

Vinaigre de toilette, popular in the nineteenth century or as we commonly know them as cosmetic vinegars are great tonics for our skin. It is usually made with essential oils or macerated with plant materials (dried ones).

Vinegar is a wonderful ingredient as it tones the skin and promotes blood circulation hence giving the skin a more even tone in the long run. It is a great antiseptic and can be used to treat infection on the skin. It can reduce scaly or peeling conditions by dissolving excessive fatty deposits on the surface of the skin. Vinegar also helps to regulate the pH of the skin. Cosmetic vinegars are suitable for most skin but we highly recommend patch testing especially for sensitive skin.

Method:
Take a clean mason jar (disinfect with rubbing alcohol or boil in hot water for 5 mins), add 5g each of dried rose buds and lavender flowers and fill up the jar with organic apple cider vinegar leaving a 1cm space between the cover and vinegar. Place the jar near a window for two weeks. Gently twist the jar once a day. After two weeks of maceration, strain and then bottle.

How to use:
Add 1 teaspoon of cosmetic vinegar to a cup of distilled bottled water to wash your face. Never use it neat. Pat dry. Tone and moisturise as usual. 

Further reading:
http://www.herbhedgerow.co.uk/apple-cider-vinegar-natural-beauty-throughout-history/


For educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Good old fashioned oats to the rescue!

Posted by Teresa Foo on

There are so many uses to the humble oats/oatmeal/colloidal oatmeal that is a staple in many households pantry. You can have it for breakfast or add it to your rice for additional fibre, minerals and vitamins, add it to your bake goods and many more. You can also use it to scrub your face. Or use the oatmeal water to wash your face.

Whether oats are in it's original form as roll oats or colloidal oatmeal, it is beneficial to providing relief to many common skin problems. It has been proven to provide relief to atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, drug-induced rash and other conditions (source). Oats has properties of anti-inflammatory and antihistamine. This is largely due to the phenol component in oats, avenanthramides. The usage of oats can help to reduce reliance on steroids creams. Oatmeal also provide some form of protection against UVA light.

Oats are especially beneficial in providing relieve for infants' nappy rash. Not only are they anti-inflammatory, they are also great moisturiser (because of the presence of beta-glucan) and also act as a barrier on babies sensitive skin.

Here are some simple ways that you can use colloidal oatmeal/roll oats. Be sure to use organic ones.

  • Oats bath for babies or adults
    Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of roll oats to warm bath water. Soak for about 15-20 minutes and gently pat dry. Oats naturally have saponins properties and it will gently cleanse the skin so there is no need for additional soap.
  • Oats facial water
    Soak about 10g of roll oats to a cup of warm water for about 10-15mins. You can use the water to gently cleansing and also use the soften oats as a mild scrub for your face.
  • Colloidal oatmeal mask
    You can use either chamomile hydrosol (floral water) or rose hydrosol for this mask. Put about 10g of colloidal oatmeal in a clean ceramic/glass bowl and slowly add the hydrosol to soak the colloidal oatmeal. You can control the consistency of the mask. If you want a paste, then don't add too much hydrosol. If you like it a bit more runny, then add more hydrosol. Note: Chamomile hydrosol is anti-inflammatory and soothing for sensitive skin. Rose hydrosol is good for aged skin and can help to balance the skin.
  • Colloidal oatmeal body powder
    To make a 30g of body powder, add 15g of colloidal oatmeal to 15g of arrowroot powder/tapoioca starch/rice flour in a clean ceramic/glass bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container and keep in a cool dry place. It should be used within a month. 

    References:

    For educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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    Power of nature

    Posted by Teresa Foo on

    Recently, my five year old son had a freak accident. He fell from his scooter onto the rough bitumen pavement. Ouch! His left side of his face hit the pavement and was covered with blood when I reached him. How my heart ached! His teeth has cut into his upper lips and it was bleeding non stop. His left cheeks were scrapped and bruised and was bleeding too. His arms and knees were scrapped too.

    I stayed calm even though my heart was racing so fast and aching to see him in such pain. I quickly took out my homemade natural sanitiser and applied it on his wounds especially his bleeding lips. And I applied pressure to stop the bleeding. Luckily it stopped within a minute. There was a deep cut on his lips. After that, my husband and I rushed him to the hospital. The nurses did an X-ray on him and luckily there were no fractures of any kind. And he didn't need any stitching on his lips. I was so relieved. The doctor gave him some painkillers and also an antibiotic cream to be applied on his wounds. 

    When we got home, I had a good look at the prescribed antibiotic cream and it has a big bold word written, POISON. Hmmm. That rang the alarm in my head. Do I want to apply the cream on his wound when I know it has the word written POISON on it especially on his lips where he will unintentionally eat it? No way hosay! So I went into my magic box (my fancy way of calling my box full of natural plant based ingredients) and took out Aloe Vera gel and Lavender essential oil. I used 1 drop of Lavender essential oil to 5ml of Aloe Vera gel and mixed it thoroughly. Then I applied it on his wounds especially his lips. It didn't sting at all.

    Lavender essential oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, analgesic (pain relieving), antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and many more (According to source). Aloe vera gel contains two hormones: Auxin and Gibberellins. These two hormones provide wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin inflammation. Giberellin in aloe vera acts as a growth hormone stimulating the growth of new cells. It allows the skin to heal quickly and naturally with minimal scarring (According to source). He slept well without complaining of any pain during the night.

    This is how he looked like the next morning after the nasty fall.

    And four days later after daily application of the Aloe Vera gel with Lavender essential oil (three times a day).

    The wound have healed so beautifully and partly because my son is young and their healing rate is faster. I guess the prescribed antibiotic cream would have done the same job (I can't really give an accurate review as I never use it) but I'm glad I chose the natural method to do the wound healing. 

    Now my dear boy is back to his normal self. Scooting around as if he didn't had that fall (he has forgotten how bad it was). And there is absolutely no scar on his cheek except a little scar on his lips where it was cut. 

    I love the gifts mother nature has given us. 

    29/09/2014 Update: Some interesting reads below.

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    It's cleaning day!

    Posted by Teresa Foo on

    I love cleaning day! My home smells wonderful and everything is tidied up and thoroughly clean naturally, the non-toxic way.

    Many supermarket brands of household cleaners are laden with toxic ingredients such as Triclosan, SLS, SLES, MPEs, DEA, Ammonia, and many more synthetic chemicals. Sure some of these synthetic chemicals clean well (or rather too well), some are anti-bacterial, and many uses artificial fragrances. We want to clean our home but not have to worry about little hands and legs crawling on the floor, licking or chewing furnitures with all the toxic residues from the cleaning agents.

    We have been so obsessed with cleanliness that we must have anti-bacterial this and anti-bacterial that. We are certainly overdoing it. What we have been doing for so long have many impacts in our immune system. We get sick easily, take a longer time to recover and then we fall sick again after recovering. Then we wonder why. We are taking too much bacteria away. We want to reduce it to an acceptable level where we can build immunity against it. Yeap, you heard me right. We need bacteria. The good ones. Like those Lactobacillus acidophilus that are found in cultured milk drinks and yoghurts which aids in digestion and maintain a healthy environment in our gut system. When we remove 99.999999999% of bacteria, we are also clearing away the good ones which help to build up our immune system. So according to some reseachers reported on NBC News, being too clean is bad for us especially our children.

    So, what do I clean my home with, you may ask. The answer is simple. In fact, it has always been simple to clean. Our ancestors have been using baking soda, vinegar, hot water, lemon juice, soap nuts, among other natural stuff to clean. I will share with you a natural and simple cleaning method that your body will thank you for it.

    Things you need:

    • Vinegar (white or apple cider)
    • Plant based dish detergent
    • Essential oil of your choice (e.g. lemon, orange, lavender, tea tree)

    Method:

    For cleaning the floor.

    1. Fill your regular pail 3/4 high with hot or cold water.
    2. Add a teaspoon of vinegar or two to it (depending on your floor area).
    3. Add two teaspoon or a tablespoon of the plant based dish detergent (same depending on your floor area).
    4. Add 20 - 40 drops of essential oil to the mixture.
    5. Start mopping away!

    For cleaning of surfaces.

    1. Take a small pail and fill with a litre of warm or cold water.
    2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar.
    3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the plant based dish detergent. 
    4. Add 10 - 20 drops of essential oil to the mixture.
    5. Start cleaning away!

    Vinegar is a great cleaning ingredient. It is natural and biodegradable. It has great antimicrobial properties making it a perfect choice for natural cleaning the non-toxic way. You don't have to worry too much about the smell of the vinegar. Once the floor or surface has dried, the smell would have dissipated by then. The essential oil in the cleaning mixture helps to scent the room too!

    Have fun cleaning, the natural way of course!

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    Homemade hand sanitiser

    Posted by Teresa Foo on

    I love fridays! It means the end of a crazy week and the start of a wonderful weekend! Today I am going to share with everyone my favourite homemade natural hand sanitiser. It has none of those drying alcohol or hormone-disrupting toxic synthetic chemicals found in many conventional hand sanitisers. This hand sanitiser will come in handy when washing with water and soap is not available. It has only three ingredients: water, aloe vera gel and essential oils. Yes only three ingredients and you can keep germs at bay, naturally. The 50ml bottle is a good size to keep it in your bag. 

    Things you need:
    • 1 spray bottle (about 50ml and you can get it at those Japanese dollar shops)
    • Pure aloe vera gel
    • At least 40% proof Vodka (alcohol is still the most effective disinfectant)
    • Lavender essential oil
    • Tea Tree essential oil
    • Lemon essential oil

    Method:
    1. Add 30g of pure aloe vera gel.
    2. Add 10 drops of Lavender and Tea Tree essential oil each and 5 drops of Lemon essential oil.

    3. Fill the bottle with vodka. 
    4. Tighten the spray dispenser to the bottle and give the bottle a thorough shake.
    5. Done! You can start using your homemade natural hand sanitiser! Shelf life is no more than 6 months.

    Have a great weekend! 

    Note: Lavender and Tea Tree essential oils have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Thus making it perfect for use as a natural germ disinfectant. Lemon essential oil has great cleansing properties. 

     

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