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Thursday, July 18, 2013

All Natural Baby Care for Mom and Baby

 If there ever is a time when women focus on the care of their bodies, inside and out, it is when they are expecting a baby. It is very normal to worry about every little thing we do and how it can affect the health of the baby. The absorption of chemicals introduced into our bodies via food, water or topical skin products should always be a concern, but pregnant women need to be especially careful.
According to a post by Healing Anthropology, it is a fact that newborns come into this world already unavoidably exposed to chemicals that we worry could interfere with the endocrine system.

Being it is our responsibility to give our babies the best start possible, it is wise to be aware of what products you are putting in and onto your body. Anything put onto the skin is absorbed into the bodily system.
We live in a world where it is imperative that we take charge of our own health by being an informed consumer with the items we purchase.


Success with the transition from commercial, off the shelf products to handmade, natural, organic products has become a lot easier today as access to such quality products are easier to be found.
Sites such as Meadow Muffin Gardens began with a quest similar to your own; from a mom with a young family, frustrated with flimsy labeling laws, she began to make her own personal care items. Utilizing herbs, flowers, aromatherapy, and natural oils to create natural solutions to personal and family care needs, without the use of parabens, phthalates, triclosan, propylene glycol, artificial colorings, or synthetic fragrances. Also important, without the concern as to whether the products were tested on animals.

Stretch Mark Balm

 Pregnancy should be a happy time when we see our bodies as beautiful, not as a burden. It is very normal to worry about losing our figures as we watch in awe as the abdomen seems to stretch to amazing proportions. Those dreaded stretch marks are caused by changes in the elastic supportive tissue that lies just beneath the skin. To some extent it is very difficult to avoid stretch marks and they usually do disappear over time, but the best thing you can do is moisturize with an oil based oil or balm. Oils are preferable over a water based cream because they penetrate much deeper into the skin.
The chosen oils for our Pregnancy Belly Balm are Calendula-infused olive oil, wheat germ oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. All skin-nourishing oils and butters to pamper your body as it goes through such amazing change.



Breast Balm
If you are planning on breastfeeding, this balm utilizing the herb, Calendula, would be great to have on hand.
Valuable as both an all-purpose healing salve for minor wound care or rashes, this balm is ideal for sore breasts and nipples due to breastfeeding.
In ancient times, flowers that followed the sun by opening and closing according to the solar progression were called "brides of the sun", one of these sacred flowers symbolizing life and deliverance.



Sleep Aid Linen/Air Spray
We all have those days when we just can't put our minds to rest which ends up depriving us of much needed sleep. Too many things still on our 'to do' list, too many worries draining our resources, all take their toll. Add that to the discomfort of trying to get comfortable while pregnant and a little help from the world of aromatherapy could be wonderful.
The Sleep Aid Dream Mist Linen Spray consists of a combination of essential oils that are safe before and after the birth of your baby. Therapeutically known for their value in relaxing nervous excitability and emotional conflict. This blend helps to create a feeling of peace as our whirling thoughts settle down.
Lavender, chamomile, sweet orange, and ylang ylang are an excellent combination for anxiety, jangled nerves and trouble sleeping. Lightly spray your sleeping area and enjoy the bliss of drifting off into the serenity of sleep.



Gentle Baby Liquid Soap
While in the hospital with your newborn baby, one of the first things you learn to do is how to bathe your infant. Babies usually love water and the bath routine can be so very rewarding.
Children's immature systems are very sensitive so you want to be sure the products you are using are free of toxins, chemical scents and petroleum by-products.
Look for a baby soap that is organic and gentle enough for the delicate skin of your baby.  This Mild Unscented Body Wash ensures a clean without the concern over sulfates, preservatives or additional chemicals. Containing only two basic ingredients: Castile soap and Aloe vera gel,  gentle to both baby and the environment.



Baby Body/Massage Oil
Following a bath, replace lost skin oils with a good quality herbal oil.  Babies love to be touched, stroked and swaddled. What a wonderful moment for both mom and baby to share the bonding experience of a body massage in readiness for sleep or cuddle time. Flower Fairies Baby Oil uses apricot seed oil rather than the mineral oil often found in commercial baby oils. Mineral oil is a petroleum based lubricant. Apricot seed oil is a light, odorless, non-greasy oil very gentle for childrens skin care products. Being it is not a nut oil you needn't worry about a possible nut allergy. The three herbs chosen for this oil infusion are calendula, lavender and elder flowers. All very safe for use with young children. This baby oil does not contain synthetic fragrance oils. They are unnecessary and may cause irritation to a baby's sensitive skin.



Lavender Baby Powder

Commercial baby powders may contain ingredients you really don't need.
Two things we can do without are talc and zinc stearate. These additions do help create a powder with ease in pouring and help to reduce friction but the problem lies in the risk of being inhaled and irritating young lungs.
Lullaby Lavender powder consists of cornstarch, arrowroot powder, and kaolin clay powder. These simple ingredients are meant to help prevent chafing and diaper rash in a gentle natural manner by absorbing moisture.  The lavender used is therapeutic grade pure essential oil, meaning it is the natural essence of the plant, not the synthetic perfuming agent so often found on store shelves.



Diaper Rash Balm
A sore bottom can turn the most pleasant disposition into one of misery. Wanting only the most natural, gentle products against your baby's delicate skin, herbal solutions are ideal in comparison to chemical-laden commercial products. We took our Flower Fairies Baby Massage Oil and turned it into a healing balm by adding pure lanolin, beeswax, and additional vitamins A, E and D.
Lanolin is secreted from the sebaceous glands of sheep into their wool. It is very soothing and provides a barrier against moisture.


 



 Enjoy yourself! They grow up so fast!




Friday, July 12, 2013

Are Your Cabinets Full of Toxins?





Walk into a beauty salon, cosmetic section, or skin care line aisle and it is easy to get enveloped in the wonderful smells and appealing promises of slick packaging and advertising. You may wonder what the big deal is with the ingredients. I mean, you would think if there was something potentially harmful in these products they wouldn't be on the shelves in the first place.

It was very surprising for me to learn how vague the labeling laws are in the perfume and cosmetics industry. Unlike the food industry, there are no legal standards for organic or natural personal care products sold in the United States. The words natural and even organic are vague and companies can put whatever they want on their labels.


 The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics is a great place to start, a real eye opener.
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to you and your family's health. Don't think there isn't a problem just because the majority hasn't yet balked and made a fuss. Don't let the influence of the glamour and subliminal messaging behind the cosmetic industry cause you to doubt yourself just because you seem to appear the odd one in your circle. Sure, when you look around, people seem just fine. But if you or someone you love develops a condition where you find yourself far too often in some doctor's office, take another look around you. Our society really does have a lot of health issues.

Don't wait until a loved one develops a condition to pay attention to all the red flags!
My sister is now going through her second battle with breast cancer. Now why? She never smoked, is a vegetarian, has an active lifestyle, yet still has to face this again. To witness what it does to a woman to lose her hair is heartbreaking. All those hair products we pile on our heads to maintain that crown of glory before we feel attractive enough to go out in public, all for naught when just like that it is lying in a heap for the trash.

It is time to fight back and take control of your health and that of your family. Read labels and educate yourselves. Don't expect the FDA or the government to have your family's best interests in mind as long as our society is so influenced by big business. Read this article about what is being found in the tissues of women (and men) who develop breast cancer. Could something as simple as switching your antiperspirant make a difference? Who knows, but it's a start.

Natural Worry Free Deodorant, stick form

Natural Worry Free Deodorant in a 2 oz jar

In the past, I hadn't gotten into making my own deodorant because I just cannot stand wet armpits and assumed without the aluminum it wouldn't work to help with wetness. I really wanted the antiperspirant part included in my deodorant. But the constant worrying about aluminum increasing the risk for alzheimers disease and parabens increasing the risk for breast cancer made me seriously think about making the switch.

Containing arrowroot powder and baking soda, this deodorant cream does absorb moisture, and does its job for a typical day. However, if doing hard physical work or under extreme stress, every body is different, and not being an actual antiperspirant, a deodorant may not totally eliminate sweating under the arms. Give your body time to adjust to the switch and you may be very surprised.

The active ingredient used in most antiperspirants is aluminum. Aluminum minimizes wetness by blocking the pores which prevents sweat from escaping. Our bodies are designed to sweat and it may be harmful to force the body to hold in harmful toxins that should be excreted. Remember that diet has a lot to do with how much we sweat and how that sweat smells. Keep in mind that raw apple cider vinegar and honey (1 tbsp. each) added to a glass of water and drank once or twice a day can help the body absorb toxins. As far as the concern with aluminum contributing to the risk of alzheimers and cancer, The FDA continues to have the "wait and see" attitude until definitive studies are released.

Two other ingredients to look for in commercial products are propylene glycol and phthalates. Propylene glycol is a petroleum based material that is added to soften and give that glide which makes skin care products more easily applicable to the skin. Phthalates are another class of chemicals used to dissolve ingredients so that they blend efficiently. The argument for these ingredients is that they are not in large enough amounts to be a safety issue. The concern is that we use these products every day, therefore these chemicals are always present in our tissues. Kidney problems, cell mutations, hormone disrupters...why worry. Made with all natural ingredients, this deodorant cream has its own nice, creamy consistency that goes on smooth and absorbs quickly.


Arrowroot powder is used for its smooth texture and effectiveness at absorbing moisture.
Aluminum free baking soda also helps absorb moisture, but it is an effective deodorizer as well.

Coconut oil and Shea butter are the two oil bases used. The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties of coconut oil along with the way it softens the skin, have earned coconut oil such a positive reputation that people don't seem to mind dealing with its tendency to melt in warm temperatures. Coconut oil begins to liquefy at around 76 degrees. Beeswax is added to help keep the cream firm, but if your home tends to become very warm during the summer months, you may need to place the jar in the refrigerator to firm it back up. Whether in a solid or loose state the quality of the product is not affected. Needless to say, don't keep it in a warm car.

Shea butter is a wonderful moisturizer and blends very nicely with coconut oil. A rich, therapeutic butter, Shea is gentle on the sensitive skin under the arms. Shea butter also helps add body to the cream.
****For those allergic to Coconut oil, using only Shea butter or adding some Cocoa Butter is an alternative. Just let me know if you need the substitution.****

Being both Coconut oil and Shea butter have a long shelf life of up to two years, no preservatives are added to this cream. Synthetic preservatives such as parabens can be avoided with "made to order" items that are usually used up long before problems arise. Being this cream contains no water, and the chosen ingredients used contain antibacterial properties, you should have no problems. The concern with parabens is that absorption of these chemicals can disrupt delicate hormonal balance and build up organ toxicity. Be aware of this when you see the words methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl.

Rather than be exposed to things like triclosan for its anti-bacterial and odor killing actions, why not utilize the power of our plant world. Certainly safer than using a known carcinogenic pesticide.

A touch of neem oil is added as it soothes irritated skin, and studies show it is very useful for killing harmful bacteria on the skin.

Sage essential oil has antimicrobial qualities and its sharp, clean smell add a scent appealing to both men and women. The actual herb is said to reduce perspiration if drank in tea form.

Rosemary is another very good deodorizing essential oil. It's antiseptic properties help with healing skin, sensitive from shaving.

Tea tree oil is not only a deodorizer and acts as an antiseptic, but also contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

When you make the switch to a natural deodorant, it may take your body a few weeks to get used to the ingredients and eliminate chemicals already in the pores.

Should you be sensitive under their arms after shaving, perhaps you could shave the night before and apply the deodorant in the morning rather than immediately after shaving.

Some people are sensitive to baking soda in that it irritates their skin. The pH of sodium bicarbonate is around 8.3 and skin has a pH of around 5.5, therefore this imbalance can cause sore armpits for some people. Everybody is different so there is no way to know until you try it. If irritation is the case for you, I can reduce the amount of baking soda or substitute.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is a natural, easy on the skin souce of silica which absorbs moisture and toxins. Personal opinion differs on whether it works as well as baking soda. If you prefer the switch all together or just want to reduce the amount of baking soda the choice is yours.


******Should you be pregnant or suffer with seizures from epilepsy, please let me know and we will leave out the rosemary and sage essential oils. Lavender would be a safe alternative.************

Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Deodorizing Cream comes in a 2 oz. plastic jar with a small wood applicator or as a 2.5 oz Stick Deodorant.


Choose for yourself your own blend