Many women feel self conscious when baring their bodies at the beach or pool. At Aunt Be Botanicals we want you to FEEL BEAUTIFUL, inside and out! So please try our Cellulite Buster Kit, and don’t hide behind your towel. Everything is made with the highest level botanical actives, listed here so that you know what our ingredients can do for you!
Be Treasured Seaweed Soap – Seaweed stimulates circulation and flushes out bodily toxins, which results in a more svelte profile. Goat milk calms irritation, and makes your skin smooth and moisturized.
Be Stimulated Body Scrub – Made with ground coffee, which dilates blood vessels, and temporarily tightens and tones problem areas. (It’s also great for getting rid of those pesky bumps that can pop up on the back of your arms!)
Be Resourceful Body Cream - with Aglianico grape skins. These skins are a natural source of Resveratrol, which is an anti-aging ingredient, is also known to reduce cellulite deposits.
Berry Berry Good Skin Beautifier
1 cup blackberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup strawberries
Juice all the ingredients. Berries are high in vitamins A, C & E. I remove the stems, juice the berries and save the pulp and eat it later for fiber.
Clear Up Cheer Up
2 large carrots (tops and tails removed)
1 cup of spinach (or kale)
½ apple (cored)
1 celery stalk
1 cup of broccoli florets
Juice all the ingredients. (Alternate soft ingredients with firmer ones). Carrots are high in A, a vitamin helpful in maintaining skin cells, as well as beta-carotene and antioxidants that help prevent skin damage. Spinach contains high levels of beta-carotene, which offers free radical protection and converts into vitamin A in the body. It also has vitamins C& E. Apples are great for smooth skin and are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C. Celery is rich in magnesium, iron, chlorophyll, folic acid, C and also has B vitamins and vitamin E.
2 large carrots
1 celery stalk
Cucumbers are known to be beneficial to the skin when consumed and when used topically. Cucumbers are rich in silica, important for the complexion and skin elasticity. Try to buy organic cucumbers for juicing, so that you can juice with the peel on. Most of the silica is in the peel. If you can’t buy organic, remove the peel before juicing.
8 romaine leaves
4 celery stalks
2 green apples (you can use a sweeter apple variety)
1 small bunch of baby spinach
1 small bunch of kale
1 small bunch of parsley
1 lemon (peeled)
1-inch piece fresh ginger
Juice ingredients. Romaine and other dark leafy lettuces are rich in chlorophyll and a good source of silicon and B complex vitamins. Parsley stimulates the digestive enzymes and cleanses the kidneys, liver and urinary tract. Ginger is good for digestion, but also gives the juice a nice taste.
Ginger Orange & Berry Juice
1-inch piece of fresh ginger root
½ cup of berries (any kind)
Juice ingredients. Oranges are a source of vitamin C.
Anti-Aging Cabbage Juice
4 large or 8 small cabbage leaves
½ - 1–inch piece of ginger
Juice ingredients. Cabbage contains beta-carotene, vitamin C and selenium (which slows the aging process and encourages healthy skin).
Skin Hydrator & Cleanser
6 stalks of celery
A handful of spinach or other leafy green
A Final Note About Pesticides
Fruits and vegetables can be contaminated by pesticides. If possible, buy organic apples, celery, strawberries, lettuce, spinach and cucumbers. If you can't get organic, peel the skin when possible.
Benefits of Lemon Water for Skin:
Anti-Aging Properties: Lemon is full of natural antioxidants. It can effectively combat damaging free radicals and remove them completely from your body. Being a good source of vitamin C, the fruit also repairs the damaged skin cells as well as helps you get rid of fine lines, blemishes, wrinkles, deep furrows etc. Hence, lemon water is considered as a great anti-aging solution.
Helps Clear Skin: Apart from free radicals, lemon water also purges toxic materials from your blood and keeps the skin clear and radiant. Vitamin C of lemon plays a key role in rejuvenating the facial skin internally so that you do not ever develop age spots and can stay young forever.
Lighten Acne Scars: Regular intake of fresh lemon water is also known to help with acne, blackheads and all such skin infections easily. You need to drink it on an empty stomach in the morning. The astringent properties of the mixture are also important for fading out facial scars.
Have you heard of Coconut Oil Pulling? Try this for Acne and Eczema!
Acne can often be tied to gut issues. Gut issues are usually caused by an imbalance in the bacteria in the gut. We have trillions of bacteria in our body and guts, some of which are good, some of which are bad, and we have to keep a positive balance to stay healthy. This bacterial tango does in fact have a HUGE effect on your overall health and skin.
So what comes before the gut? The mouth. So theoretically, oil pulling could pull much of the bad bacteria from your mouth, preventing it from migrating to your gut, and resulting in a happier, healthier you.
What Is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is done to help cleanse and detoxify the body. Oil pulling helps to remove harmful toxins from the body thus keeping it healthier and functioning better. Oil pulling is done by swishing a high quality cooking oil like olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, sesame seed oil or other similar oil around in the mouth for 15-20 minutes. As the oil is being swished around it draws toxins from the mouth, blood stream and body. After 15-20 minutes has passed the oil should be spit out; the oil should never be swallowed as it contains harmful toxins and bacteria. Once the oil pulling is done the mouth should be rinsed thoroughly with water. Oil pulling is best done at least once daily, but can be done up to three times a day. It is best done on an empty stomach; before breakfast is perfect. Oil pulling helps to promote overall good health and a cleaner and healthy mouth and teeth. Almost any type of cooking oil can be used for oil pulling; however, it is best to use an unrefined organic oil as they have the most health benefits and do not contains additives, preservatives or other dangerous chemicals. It is recommended that corn oil, soy oil, vegetable oil, canola oil and cottonseed oil not be used for oil pulling as they tend to be poorer quality oils.
Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil
Oil pulling is not traditionally done with coconut oil; however, the benefits of oil pulling with coconut oil are even better than oil pulling with other oils. In addition to the wonderful health benefits in coconut oil, it tastes much better straight than many of the other edible oils and is easier to do an oil pulling with. Coconut oil, especially unrefined coconut oil, has a light coconut flavor that most people find enjoyable. When using oil pulling coconut oil the procedure is done the same way as when any other edible oil is used. The oil pulling coconut oil is swished around in the mouth for 15-20 minutes to help draw out harmful toxins and then is spit out. The mouth is then rinsed thoroughly with water. The oil pulling coconut oil should never be swallowed as it contains all the toxins it has drawn out. One of the best coconut oils to use for oil pulling is Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil which is 100% USDA certified organic, and is cold pressed, unrefined and virgin.
Coconut Oil Pulling Benefits
The benefits of oil pulling with coconut oil are much the same as the benefits of oil pulling with other edible oils; however, as coconut oil contains more health benefits than any of the other edible oils it is even better. Coconut oil pulling benefits can be seen in the teeth and mouth just after a few days of it as the teeth are cleaner and whiter, the tongue is cleaner, the gums healthier and breathe is fresher. Coconut oil pulling also helps to stop tooth decay and cure bleeding gums and gingivitis. The benefits of oil pulling with coconut oil also includes strengthening and supporting the body’s immune system, which in turn helps to prevent and fight diseases like diabetes, asthma, heart, kidney and lung disease, and cancer. Coconut oil pulling benefits also includes helping to treat and in some cases cure bronchitis, tooth pain, ulcers, allergies and premenstrual syndromes. To enjoy the full benefits of oil pulling with coconut oil it should be done at least once per day for 15-20 minutes. The best oil pulling coconut oil is one that is virgin, unrefined and organic. The benefits of oil pulling with coconut oil can be felt in just a couple of days for minor ailments, and in a couple of months of daily use for major ailments.
If you're not familiar with the Master Cleanse, it's a 30 day cleanse without food that eliminates toxins. I've done it a few times and I've gotta say, "It's HARD"! If you're diabetic or hypoglycemic it's impossible...
Better yet, try the same idea and create a daily ritual while still eating a healthy and clean diet.
Hot Distilled Water (like you're going to have tea, but without the tea bag.
Squeeze half a lemon into your cup.
Add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
Add 1-2 teaspoons pure, unheated honey OR
Grade B Maple Syrup.
This is a great way to balance the alkalinity and acidity in your system. Great for people suffering with acne and eczema as well.
Here's the link if you'd like to do the 30 Day Master Cleanse
12 Surprising Health Benefits of Honey and Cinnamon6/12/2015
From: Skinny Fiber
There are many health benefits of honey and cinnamon but it is important to know which kind of each should be used for specific purposes.
There are basically two types of cinnamon! The first one is called Cassian and has a high amount of Coumarin which could possibly cause liver problems if taken in large doses.
The second one is called Ceylon and is best used for medicinal purposes! When it comes to honey it’s hard to know which one to use even if you are just going to add it to a cup of tea. Anyways, you should use only raw one which means it has not been heated up!
The best place to find it is at a health food store or Farmer's Market. You’ll probably be able to find the Ceylon cinnamon there as well. Here are some ways that combination of these two very powerful foods can help.
Benefit #1 – Reduction of Bad Cholesterol
Each part of this natural combo has the ability to lower your cholesterol levels on their own. When you combine them, it just doubles the effect!
It was found through a double-blind study that participants who had type 2 diabetes and took from 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon were able to reduce their total cholesterol level along with their bad triglycerides.
Honey was shown to improve the entire cholesterol panel and even helped participants with type 2 diabetes regulate their blood sugar.
Daily Dosage: Recommended amounts for maintaining cholesterol under control are up to 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon daily or 1/2 teaspoon of its oil 3 times a day. You can combine that with up to 5 tablespoons of that golden miracle made by bees throughout your day!
Benefit #2 – Minimizing Joint Pain Caused by Arthritis
This combination has been found to manage the pain caused by arthritis. There are people who have identified this combination to provide a relief from pain they have had for years!
It could be the anti-inflammatory properties of each item that cuts down the pain.
Recipe: The suggested dosage is one cup of hot water combined with two teaspoons of honey as well as one teaspoon of cinnamon. You should consume this mixture daily both in the morning and evening as well.
Benefit #3 – Provides Ease for Upset Stomach
This awesome combination of foods can improve your digestion, alleviate gas & ease stomach pains.
Just a mixture of 1 tablespoon of honey and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in a glass of warm water is all you need. Make sure to mix it up well and drink it on an empty stomach.
You never know when an upset stomach is going to hit so make sure to keep these ingredients in your cupboard all the time. Both have a very long shelf life and won’t go bad anytime soon!
Benefit #4 – Reduces Hair Loss
The use of this amazing combo for reducing hair loss is a topical treatment as it might help increase the blood circulation in your scalp, which could result in more hair growth.
Paste Recipe: You need to make a paste with one tablespoon of honey, one teaspoon of that awesome spice and some warm olive oil. Mix together and apply it to your head. Leave it on for about 15 minutes then wash the mixture out.
Benefit #5 – Remedy for Fatigue
Many people have found that taking about a half tablespoon of honey in a glass of water with a little bit of cinnamon sprinkled on top can build up your vitality in about a week.
The honey will give you a nice little boost without raising your blood sugar levels. And you won’t have to worry about a jittery feeling like you would get from coffee.
Just keep a container of this aromatic spice and a jar of that yellow sweet stuff at work and you can sip on a nice cup of tea in the afternoon. You’ll definitely feel refreshed!
Benefit #6 – Cure for Common Cold
When it comes to the common cold we’ll try just about anything when we’re sick. Next time you are down you might want to try a teaspoon of raw honey with 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon twice a day for the first three days.
It has been said to knock out a cold especially if you start this procedure when you first begin to feel ill. Both ingredients have anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial effects so it shouldn’t hurt to give it a shot.
Benefit #7 – Helps with Diabetes
Consuming this sweet and spicy mixturecan help people who suffer from type 2 diabetes.
The latter one from this combo has long been recognized for reducing blood sugar levels and honey has been found to have the same effect!
You can add both to your oatmeal in the morning and to a nice cup of your favorite hot tea as well!
Benefit #8 – Helps Maintain Healthy Heart & ArteriesIt has been found that taking this awesome combo on a regular basis along with proper diet and exercise can prevent heart problems by helping to clear clogged arteries!
Just incorporate both raw honey and Ceylon cinnamon into your daily diet! Your body and your heart will thank you soon!
Benefit #9 – Getting Rid of Pimples
Honey has many healing properties that affect the skin. One such combination might help your pimples fade away within a week or two.
Take 3 tablespoons of honey together with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Make a paste and then apply it to your pimples at night before going to bed. In the morning wash your face as you normally would. Repeat each night until your pimples are gone.
Benefit #10 – Helps with Weight Loss
You could worry that honey might have the reverse effect when using it for weight loss but don’t worry, it has a healthier glycemic index than regular white sugar.
A combination of 1 tablespoon of organic honey with 1 ts. of Ceylon type of that aromatic spice can help you drop some pounds. Boil some water then pour it over the cinnamon in a cup.
Let the mixture steep for about 15 minutes then add honey. Drink a half glass of it in the morning and second half in the evening before going to bed.
Benefit #11 – Reduces Bad BreathJust the simple combination of one teaspoon of each of these vital foods could keep your breath fresh throughout the day.
Combine the mixture with a glass of warm water and gargle with it for the full benefits. You still need to clean your teeth on a daily basis!
Benefit #12 – Curing Skin Infections
Each of these nutrients has antibacterial qualities and is effective in taking care of many bacterial infections as well as fungal ones too. Ringworm and eczema have both responded well to this kind of home treatment.
Combine the two and mix them to create a paste. Apply it topically and you will be surprised to see how quickly your infection will begin to fade.
Many of these remedies have been around for hundreds of years. During times when there were no pharmaceutical companies creating new drugs on a regular basis people had to come up with their own natural solutions, ointments and tonics to help treat their problems.
Honey and cinnamon have been around for ages and when you combine the right type of each ingredient, you might find that PERFECT home remedy for your problems.
80 Uses for Coconut Oil - Hybrid Rasta Mama6/10/2015
1. Moisturizer – simply scoop some out of the jar and apply all over your body, including neck and face.
2. Eye cream – apply under the eyes to reduce puffiness, bags, and wrinkles. Use on the lids in the evening.
3. Pre-shave – coconut oil will prep skin for the pending damage caused by shaving.
4. Aftershave – coconut oil will help heal your skin after shaving without clogging pores.
5. Deodorant – coconut oil alone can be used as a deodorant, but even more effective in combination with cornstarch/arrowroot powder and baking soda!
6. Hair Conditioner/Deep Treatment - use as a leave in hair conditioner by applying a teaspoon of coconut oil to your ends and then running your fingers through your hair to distribute the rest! For a deeper treatment, rub in a tablespoon of coconut oil onto your dry scalp and gently work through to the ends. Put a shower cap on to prevent transfer onto bed linens and leave on overnight.
7. Hair Gel/Defrizzer – rub a little between your palms and either scrunch into hair (for curly hair) or finger comb in through from scalp to ends (for wavy/straight hair).
8. Toothpaste – there are numerous recipes out there but I just mix coconut oil and baking soda and dab a little of the mix on my toothbrush.
9. Make up remover – use a cotton swab and a dab of coconut oil and you would be amazed at how well it works!
10. Chapstick – just rub a little into lips and it not only acts as a softening agent but it also has an SPF of about 4 so you get a little protection!
11. Massage Oil – pretty simple; grab some and rub!
12. Lubricant – it is an all natural, perfectly safe personal lubricant. Not compatible with latex!
13. Sunscreen – see my post on natural sunscreen for more detailed information.
14. Stretch Mark Cream – coconut oil is great at nourishing damaged skin. It may not be the magic stretch mark cure but it will help.
15. Nipple Cream – works great to nourish cracked, sore, or dry nipples. Apply to a cotton ball and leave on your nipples between feedings.
16. Diaper salve – very comforting on a rashy bum with no harsh chemicals. Also safe for cloth diapers.
17. Cradle cap – having issues with dry skin on your baby’s scalp? Coconut oil will not only nourish your baby’s skin, it also helps eliminate cradle cap. Just rub a teaspoon onto scalp daily.
18. Body scrub – mix coconut oil and sugar together and rub all over! Rinse off and your skin will be super soft! You can add in essential oils if you would like a specific smell.
19. Healing - when applied on scrapes and cuts, coconut oil forms a thin, chemical layer which protects the wound from outside dust, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by repairing damaged tissues. Plus, it smells a heck-of-a-lot better than anything from the pharmacy.
20. Bug Bites – when applied directly to a bug bite, coconut oil can stop the itching and burning sensation as well as hasten the healing process.
21. Skin problems – coconut oil relieves skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
22. Swimmers Ear – mix garlic oil and coconut oil and put a few drops in affected ear for about 10 minutes. Do this 2-3 times a day and it usually works within one or two days.
General Health and Wellness
23. Stress Relief - relieve mental fatigue by applying coconut oil to the head in a circular, massaging motion. The natural aroma of coconuts is extremely soothing thus helping to lower your stress level.
24. Digestion - the saturated fats in coconut oil have anti-bacterial properties that help control, parasites, and fungi that cause indigestion and other digestion related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. The fat in coconut oil also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, making you healthier all around.
25. Fitness - coconut oil has been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function, and escalate energy levels, all of which help decrease your unwanted fat, while increasing muscle.
26. Nose bleeds - coconut oil can prevent nose bleeding that is caused by sensitivity to weather such as extreme hotness and extreme coldness. This condition happens when the nasal passages become dry because of cold or dry air resulting to burns and cracks in the mucus membranes so bleeding happens. To prevent this just put coconut oil in you nostrils. Coat your finger with coconut oil and then lie down and coat your finger inside your nose. Doing this will strengthen and protect the capillaries in the nasal passages. A Vitamin C supplement will also help prevent nose bleeding.
27. For breastfeeding moms, consuming 3 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil daily will enrich your milk supply.
28. Helps with weight loss & controlling cravings.
29. Helps keep blood sugar levels stable and/or helps with cravings in those with diabetes.
Health Problems (that coconut oil is known for aiding, relieving, or even curing when taken internally)
30. Eczema – in addition to taking it internally, many have success applying it externally, some don't
31. Skin problems
32. Toenail fungus
33. Hot flashes
34. Bleeding hemorrhoids (can also be applied externally twice a day)
36. Head lice
37. Improvements in menstruation regarding pain/cramps and heavy blood flow
38. Migraines (with regular use)
42. Relieve gallbladder pain
43. Has helped some people improve symptoms of an under active thyroid gland, results have shown subsequent thyroid blood tests becoming normal
44. Energy boost
45. Flaky, dry skin
46. May relieve acid reflux and indigestion when taken with each meal
47. Adrenal fatigue
49. H. pylori
50. Candida albicans
51. Asthma, even in children
53. Cholesterol - improves HDL ('good' cholesterol) to LDL ('bad' cholesterol) ratio in people with high cholesterol
54. Chronic fatigue
55. Circulation/feeling cold all the time
56. Stronger immune system
57. Mental Clarity
59. Helps with inflammation in Crohn's Disease
Health Problems (that coconut oil is known for aiding, relieving, or even curing when applied topically)
60. Athletes foot
61. Back pain/sore muscles
62. Canker sores
65. Herpes (applied topically and taken internally)
66. Genital warts (through topical application over 6 weeks, and coconut oil enemas twice a day depending on the location of the warts)
67. Circumcision healing – although I am personally against circumcision, I have read that coconut oil is a really great healer for this.
68. Use 1 cup to 1 cup ratio when replacing other oils/butter in recipes with coconut oil.
69. Replacement for butter/lard/Crisco/PAM in it’s solid form – greasing pans, pie crusts, etc.
70. Replacement for various oils in liquid form – baking, cooking, sautéing, etc.
71. Nutritional supplement – melt and add to smoothies.
72. Insect repellent – mix coconut oil with peppermint oil extract and rub it all over exposed skin. Keeps insects off better than anything with Deet! Tons safer too.
73. Great for dogs and cats for general wellness. Just add a teaspoon to their water bowl daily.
74. Goo Gone - just mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda into a paste. Apply to the “sticky” area and let it set for a minute. Then scrub off with an old toothbrush or the scrubby side of a sponge.
75. Chewing Gum in Hair Remover – just rub some coconut oil over the stuck chewing gum, leave in for about 30 minutes, then roll the gum between your fingertip. Voila! It’s out!
76. Polish Furniture - coconut oil with a little bit of lemon juice to polish wood furniture. However, I recommend you test it first on a very small, unobtrusive part of your furniture to make sure it works the way you’d like.
77. Polishing Bronze - all you have to do is rub a little oil into a cotton towel and then wipe down the statue. It cleans and helps deepen the color of your bronze.
78. Seasoning animal hide drums
79. Seasoning cookware
80. Moisturizing and cleaning leather products
This list was created by Hybrid Rasta Mama- Check her out, she's AMAZING!!
Healthy Green Juice - Make in the Blender!6/12/2015
This is a great way to energize! Try replacing your morning coffee with this green blend or have in the afternoon when you need a little 'pick-me-up'.
All items should be thoroughly washed and organic.
Into your blender add:
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
1 large handful of lettuce spring mix
1/2 cucumber - chopped - leave peel and ends on
Roll a whole lemon on the counter to loosen up and then cut and squeeze half the lemon into your mix.
Fill about halfway with distilled water and 7-8 chucks of ice.
Blend for about 2 minutes on high.
25 Everyday Uses for Tea Tree Oil6/13/2015
From: Everyday Roots
Tea tree oil is one of the most extensively researched essential oils, and one of the most backed by the findings and conclusions discovered from the studies done on it. It is produced from a shrub like tree by the name of Melaleuca alternifolia, which is found along streams and in swampy areas in its native land of Australia. In the 1920’s a chemist by the name of Arthur Penfold was busy exploring the properties of native volatile oils, isolating their properties, exploring their molecular structure, and contributing to the chemical understanding of variations within plant species. During his studies in phytochemistry, he found that tea tree oil appeared extremely promising due to its powerful antiseptic properties. But well before Mr. Penfold kick started the commercial tea tree oil industry, native aboriginals were using and benefitting from tea tree oil, and passing their knowledge down throughout generations. Tea tree oil uses are endless, with a long and rich history which continues to this day.
Safety Concerns: Essential oils are powerful, and tea tree oil is no exception. The greatest concern when it comes to using tea tree oil is chiefly skin irritation. Some people, especially those with sensitive skin, may experience a reaction when they come into direct contact with the oil. If this is a concern for you, always dilute the tea tree oil in a liquid neutral oil such as olive oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil, etc. etc. Mixing with water does no good-it’s an oil, and will therefore separate-so you must give it another fat to grab onto. There isn’t a whole lot known about ingesting tea tree oil, so internal usage/consumption is not mentioned in this list.
1. Clear up A Sore Throat
Tea tree oil can help with some inflammation of the mucous membranes, which contributes to thepain of a sore throat, but most importantly it can help fight off an infection. If caught in time, it can also possibly prevent it from really taking hold in the first place.
Put 1 drop of tea tree oil into a glass of warm water, swish it around and gargle with it at least once a day. Don’t panic if you swallow a little bit, but try to spit out most of it. You can also add 2 teaspoons of salt which, thanks to osmosis, will draw excess water out of the mucous membranes that can create pressure and add to discomfort.
2. Fight that Head Cold
When you have a cold that develops into a sinus infection, the resulting pressure and discomfort can be miserable. The sinuses, air filled cavities in the front of the skull, are lined with mucous membranes, and when an infection sets in, an excess of mucous in the cavities creates painful pressure. In addition to this, inflammation of the membranes makes it difficult for said mucous to drain. The anti-bacterial action of tea tree oil can be airborne, which means it can be effective via steam bath. I know I mention this remedy a lot, but it really is the bee’s knees. To clear up a sinus infection, add roughly 5-8 drops of tea tree oil (you can adjust the amount to suit your preferences, but it is powerful stuff) to a bowl of freshly boiled water. Lean over the bowl, being mindful of the steam, and cover your head and the bowl with a towel. Breathe the steam for a good ten minutes at least twice daily to wipe out that nasty bacteria. Keep tissues on hand.
3. Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
You’re out to a nice dinner and as you settle into the booth your mother-in-law whips out a little bottle of hand sanitizer. “Would you like some?” she asks-but you know it’s not a question. Obligingly you hold out your hand and try not to cringe as she squeezes out a giant dollop that floods your palm. That situation-or some take on it-has happened to many of us at some point or another. Now, thanks to the antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil, you can make your own (much more pleasant) hand sanitizer. Click here for the simple recipe.
4. Fight the Fungus
Nail fungus is an unpleasant condition that can cause both physical and psychological discomfort. You can use tea tree oil mixed simply with water, or you can mix it with coconut oil. Coconut oil also has fungus fighting properties that complement the tea tree oil. Melt down a tablespoon of coconut oil and then mix in 4-5 drops of tea tree oil. Store in an airtight glass container out of direct sunlight, and apply faithfully to the affected area once in the morning and once at night every day. You don’t need to use much-you don’t want greasy toes after all-and be sure to wash your hands between applications to avoid spreading the fungus.
5. Clean Minor Cuts and Abrasions
Minor cuts and abrasions can benefit from the antimicrobial action of tea tree oil, which cleanses the area and wards off infection. Clean the area thoroughly with plain soap and water, and rinse any soap off, making sure there is no dirt or debris left over. Mix a drop of tea tree oil with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and apply a small dab directly to the cut. Rinse clean and reapply 1-2 times daily as needed. You can also smear a bit of the tea tree/coconut oil mixture on the inside of a regular adhesive bandage and place it over the cut.
6. Repel Pests
The smell of tea tree oil is often times enough to deter pests. In nature, the essential oil in the plant may play a role in warding off potential creatures that would otherwise enjoy it as a tasty snack, so why wouldn’t it work as a bottled essential oil? Add 20 drops or so to a spray bottle and fill with water. Shake and spray around cracks, doorways, and any other potential pest entrances.
7. Fight Bad Breath
Your mouth is home to a host of bacteria, most of it good, but some of it that’s not so welcome. A common cause of bad breath is an overgrowth of unwanted bacteria. Tea tree oil, being so effective at wiping out bacteria, can be hugely helpful in preventing bad breath at the source. It’s not a cure, but it is a helpful tool to have for your care regime. Much like you’d do for a sore throat, mix a drop with a cup of warm water and swish around your mouth, through your teeth, and gargle. Gargling is important, as bacteria likes to reside at the back of the throat. Repeat 1-2 times daily.
8. DIY Deodorant
If it can deodorize your garbage can, it can deodorize you. There are two types of sweat glands on our body-apocrine and eccrine. Eccrine sweat glands cover most of the body, and really, the vast majority of sweat doesn’t smell at all (truly, the next time you find yourself with a sweaty leg or palm, sniff it. You won’t smell anything.) Apocrine sweat glands, on the other hand, lurk in culprit areas around the armpits and genitals. They are inactive until puberty and then they decide to make that awkward time of your life even more awkward. The sweat secreted by these glands is thicker than typical sweat, and feeds the bacteria on our skin. It is the bacteria breaking down and decomposing the sweat that releases the odor. See where this connects to tea tree oil? Since tea tree oil fights bacteria…the less bacteria breaking down sweat…the less odor you have to contend with. The Everyday Roots Book has a great recipe for a DIY stick deodorant featuring tea tree oil that works wonderfully.
9. Deodorize Garbage/Diaper Pail
If you dread opening the trash (or a diaper pail, if you happen to use one) a dash of tea tree oil might be just the thing to solve the problem. It also helps prevent bacteria from growing. I make a scented baking soda for extra odor killing power. Add roughly ¼-1/2 teaspoon of tea tree oil to a half or one cup of baking soda and mix the lumps out with a fork. Simply re-cycle a shaker (such as one used for parmesan) and shake into the bottom of a fresh bag to help keep the odor down.
10. Banish Mildew
Mildew is made up of little fungal filaments and tends to look white (sometimes black), “powdery”, or fuzzy. It likes to grow on surfaces (particularly organic ones such as wood) that are damp and warm. Luckily, most cases are superficial, and can be wiped away easily. In addition to avoiding conditions that encourage mildew (e.g. opening the windows after a shower to avoid dampness and humidity), mix 5-10 drops of tea tree oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake well before each application. Spray directly onto the mildew and allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes before wiping it clean with a damp cloth. Wipe the spot dry when everything is spick and span. The tea tree oil should inhibit the growth of future bacteria, as long as the conditions are well managed.
11. Ease Itchy Bug Bites
I am from Minnesota-I can handle hordes of Jurassic mosquitos without batting an eye. But when I recently left my frigid northern climate to enjoy some time in warmth and sun, I was taken down by sand fleas. The nasty buggers just ripped my ankles and lower legs to shreds and I have never felt so tormented in my life. Normally I am prepared with some sort of remedy on hand, but for some reason I failed this trip. I attempted to use a bottle of that roll on anti-itch stuff, which burned with the fire of ten thousand suns, and then didn’t work at all. I needed my tea tree oil (which of course I didn’t have on this time.)
Early studies have shown that tea tree oil can play a role in decreasing the severity of what is known as the wheal and flare reaction. When an allergen or irritant comes in contact with the skin-such as the substance secreted by mosquitos-, the body releases histamine-a neurotransmitter that causes reactions such as itchiness, redness, and swelling. The reaction on the skin will take place in two parts. First, a raised, red or flesh colored lump, will raise. This is the wheal part of the reaction. Following this is the flare, which is a ring of red, irritated skin that surrounds the wheal. Tea tree oil doesn’t appear to have much effect on the flare, however it did significantly reduce the volume of the wheal. So, it has some effect on taming histamine induced skin irritation. This means that dabbing a bit of tea tree oil (diluted in coconut oil) onto a bug bite can reduce the severity of the initial reaction and soothe the burning itching sensation that is so torturous.
12. Ease Psoriasis
Psoriasis is characterized by “plaques”, or areas of red, scaly sometimes inflamed skin. These areas develop when skin production is faster than the body’s ability to shed it. There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are things you can do to ease the discomfort and possibly speed the healing of the effective area. Thanks to tea tree oil’s anti-inflammatory properties, it is precisely what some people need to find relief. Mixed with coconut oil-which acts as a carrier for the oil and provides moisture to the skin-it can make a healing salve. Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil. Apply just enough to cover the affected area. Repeat 2-3 times daily as needed.
13. All-Purpose Surface Cleaner
It’s a bit counterproductive to try and make your counter tops more food-friendly by wiping them down with caustic chemicals. For a gentle and effective all-purpose cleaner, mix 20-25 drops of tea tree oil with ¼ cup of water and a ½ cup of distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake well, spray directly onto surfaces, and wipe down with a clean cloth. Remember the oil won’t mix with the water or vinegar, hence the shaking. Also be aware that it will not be diluted in water or vinegar, so avoid spraying directly onto your skin. While plenty of people are fine-and it has never personally bothered me- some people are irritated by the oil in its “neat” form.
14. Make a Stuffy Nose Salve
When you find yourself with a terribly stuffed up nose, doing the tea tree oil steam bath is a great way to clear out the blockage. But for the times when it’s not convenient to put a towel over your head and lean over a bowl of steaming water, try making a handy little salve to dab under your nostrils to ease the stuffiness. Simply mix 3 drops of tea tree oil with 2 drops of peppermint and 2 drops of eucalyptus oil with 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil. Pour into a lip balm tin and allow it to cool. Apply sparingly under nose when needed.
15. Make Mouthwash
Bacteria in the mouth-it can be a good thing and a bad thing. Mostly it’s a good thing, but when there’s an overabundance, it can lead to halitosis, or chronic bad breath. By now I probably don’t even need to say it, but I’ll say it anyways-tea tree oil with its antibacterial properties can help kill off excess bacteria that is leading to bad breath. Mix 2 drops of tea tree oil with 1 drop of peppermint oil in 1 cup of fresh water. Swish, gargle, and make sure to spit it out!
16. More Ways to Freshen Up
There are many uses for tea tree oil when it comes to freshening up. In addition to making a great ingredient in homemade deodorant, when added to bath water, tea tree oil can help freshen you up. Unlike many soaps and washes, it keeps you truly clean, rather than simply covering up odor. Add 15 drops to 2 tablespoons of liquid oil. When the tub is halfway full, add the oil. As you bathe swish it around to break it up. While the oil won’t mix with the water, you want it as a carrier. Soak for 20 minutes and then dry off with a clean fluffy towel.
17. Cleanse the Washing Machine
I am ashamed to admit that I used to use those disgusting packets of chemical powder to deodorize my washing machine. I just liked the smell of a fresh machine so much, and it felt so great to wash clothes in it that I was a bit…blinded. Given the dog blankets and saddle pads that go through my machine, it was also kind of necessary to freshen it up in some way. Needless to say, that phase is well behind me. If you want to freshen up your washing machine, add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil to the empty drum and run it on the hot cycle to get rid of any bacteria and odor.
18. Fight Acne
Our skin is a thriving environment full of living microbes. Like the mouth, certain bacteria on the surface of the skin is necessary. On the other hand, some bacteria, such propiobacterium acnes (P. acnes)*can cause breakouts that aren’t so welcome. More so than fighting bacteria (which is only minor cause of acne) tea tree oil’s terpenes penetrate your pores, loosening up blocked oil and dirt that cause whiteheads, blackheads, and those painful red breakouts. Mix a drop or 2 with a smidge of coconut oil and use a cotton swab to apply. Avoid using your fingertips, which just introduces more dirt. Coconut oil may seem counterintuitive, but most people don’t have a problem with it on their skin.
19. Athletes Foot (anti-fungal) Powder
Arrowroot powder is obtained from the rhizome of several tropical plants, and it is useful in quelling odor as well as providing a moisture absorbing base for this anti-fungal powder. The moisture absorbing part is important, as the fungus that causes athletes foot loves damp, moist places-aka sweaty shoes! The baking soda will also help with odor, sweating, and soothe any itchiness. Tea tree oil is of course the star here, doing battle with the actual fungus itself, and inhibiting its ability to replicate. Rustle up a shaker (you can buy plain ones, or re-purpose one of those parmesan shaker containers) and add ¼ cup of arrowroot powder, and ¼ cup of baking soda. Add 20 drops of tea tree oil to the powder, spreading the droplets out as best you can. Use a fork to mash in the little lumps and then add it to your container. Rinse your feet and pat them dry, then apply powder afterwards. Repeat twice daily. It is easiest to do this in the bathtub or show because it can make a bit of a mess! Use (clean) hands to evenly spread the powder. Shake well before each use, and store in a cool dark place.
20. Sore Muscle Soak
As it seems to help with inflammation, it makes sense that tea tree oil would provide welcome relief from sore, tight, inflamed, muscles. As someone who suffers from tension headaches rather frequently, anything that helps release tension in my muscles is a friend. Epsom salts, thought to help relax muscles because of its magnesium content (magnesium plays a vital role in the contraction and relaxation of muscles) makes the perfect carrier for the tea tree oil. First dilute 10 drops of tea tree oil in any neutral oil, and mix into the Epsom salt. Fill the tub halfway with warm water, add the salt, and top off the tub. Relax, enjoy, and unwind.
21. Freshen Dryer Loads
Tea tree oil works in more than just the washing machine. If your clothes have a damp mildew smell to them, add several drops to wool dryer balls to freshen up the clothes if you don’t have time (or don’t want to) re-wash them. If you don’t have wool dryer balls, you can simply recycle a clean cotton t-shirt. Cut it into 5 inch squares, and add 5 drops of tea tree oil to it. Toss it in the dryer with your clothes as you would any other dryer sheet. When you find the scent starts to lose its potency, simply refresh with a few more drops. I like to wash these every few weeks before re-scenting them-it’s not necessary, but does ensure everything feels extra clean all the time.
22. Fight Foot Odor
As bacteria and/or fungus is often times the culprit behind foot odor, a little soak with tea tree oil can help freshen up your feet. Bring several cups of water to a boil and pour into a basin. Steep several sprigs of rosemary for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, add 15 drops of tea tree oil to 2 1/2 tablespoons of liquid oil (grapeseed, almond, jojoba, olive, etc.) When the rosemary has finished steeping add the tea tree oil mixture to the water. Yes, it will separate-oil and water tend to do that. Simply swish the water around with your feet now and again. Soak for 15 minutes twice daily and pat your feet dry.
23. Draw Out A Splinter
A little splinter seems harmless enough, until the skin around it gets hot, swollen, and too tender to touch, making it difficult to work the splinter out. To ward off bacteria and potential infection, add 3 drops of tea tree oil to a teaspoon or so of liquid neutral oil. Add this plus 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt to a bowl of warm water. Soak your finger for 5-10 minutes to soften up the skin and loosen the splinter, and then work it out by applying pressure just below it. Use a tweezers to grab it when it protrudes, but be sure to get the whole thing and not just break off a piece of it!
24. Keep Your Garden Mildew-Free
A more specific use for tea tree oil and our fight against mildew. Over the summer I was tending to a friend’s magnificent garden while they were out of town, and noticed some powdery mildew that was taking over. If tea tree oil can fight mildew in the home, why not in the garden? Use the same formula as above and spray lightly on plants with mildew. Reapply daily as needed, but test it on a few leaves first. Most plants are fine, but don’t go dousing them-there’s always too much of a good thing.
25. Toothbrush/Retainer Cleaner
Where does bacteria love to congregate? Moist surfaces. What tends to be moist and then locked into cupboards or plastic cases? Toothbrushes and retainers. Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with 1 cup of water. Once a week for your toothbrush, or every other day for your retainer, swish it around in the water to kill bacteria, then rinse with plain water and allow it to dry before locking it back up.
The Low Down on Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil (TTO) is typically extracted from the leaves via steam distillation, and maintains its potency for roughly 1 year from the date of distillation when properly stored in a dark glass bottle and out of direct sunlight. Tea tree oil is noted for its anti-microbial properties, fighting bacteria, inhibiting the growth of fungi, and potentially wiping out certain viruses. Research has determined that it derives its benefits from terpene hydrocarbons. While there are numerous terpenes (approximately 100) that make up tea tree oil, terpinen-4-ol is largely responsible for its antibacterial properties. A standard for TTO is maintained that requires all commercially available oil to have a minimum amount of terpinen-4-ol, with no upper limit, to maximize its broad spectrum antimicrobial activity.
TTO works in several different ways to fight microbes. When studying the mechanism of its actions on E. coli, S. aureus (bacterium that can lead to staph infections) and C. albicans (a yeast) it was found that it mainly affected two things-cellular respiration, leading to decreased oxygen intake, and increased cell permeability. The decreased oxygen harms the cells as it is a vital component in the electron transport chain that makes up the process of cellular respiration. Without this process, there is no way to create usable energy, and no way for the cell to continue functioning. When cell permeability is increased, foreign substances can penetrate the cell membrane more easily, and the cell can “leak” vital components. There is some tentative research into how tea tree oil has anti-viral properties, particularly when it comes to the herpes-simplex virus. And while it’s true that there really isn’t much to be done once the virus takes a hold of your body, when outside floating around in the environment, some can be rendered ineffective by tea tree oil. In short-tea tree oil is an awesome tool with a powerful array of anti-microbial properties at its disposal. It’s not an almighty cure-all, but it is pretty dang handy.
P.S. Take a look at the Everyday Roots Book. It's a Book that we created to help you replace the toxic products and medications in your home with healthier, all-natural alternatives. It contains 215+ effective home remedies and covers everything you will need to protect your family and save money every month.
Environmental Working Group - List of Worst Sunscreens6/13/2015
EWG Sunscreen Hall of Shame
There are a lot of sunscreens on the market: some good, some bad and then the shameful.
Those in the last category are not only a waste of money and time but also potentially harmful. Here are our picks for products to banish from your beach bag.
These sunscreens are aerosol sprays with SPFs above 50+ and the harmful additives oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate.
Banana Boat Clear UltraMist Ultra Defense MAX Skin Protect Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 110
Coppertone Sport High Performance AccuSpray Sunscreen, SPF 70
Coppertone Sport High Performance Clear Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100+
CVS Clear Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100
CVS Sheer Mist Spray Sunscreen, SPF 70
CVS Sport Clear Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100+
CVS Wet & Dry Sunscreen Spray, SPF 85
Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Sunscreen Body Mist, SPF 70
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Spray, SPF 85+
12 Worst Sunscreen Lotions
These sunscreen lotions claim SPFs above 50+ and contain oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate.
Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen, SPF 75
Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+
CVS Sport Sunstick Sunscreen, SPF 55
CVS Sun Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 100
CVS Sun Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 70
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Daily Liquid Sunscreen, SPF 70
NO-AD Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 60
NO-AD Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 85
Ocean Potion Protect & Nourish Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
11 Worst Sunscreens for Kids
These terrible kid and baby sunscreens have at least three strikes against them: 1) oxybenzone, 2) retinyl palmitate and 3) SPFs above 50+. Two have a fourth strike: they’re aerosol sprays that can harm sensitive young lungs. Convenient? Yes. Good for kids? Absolutely not.
Banana Boat Clear UltraMist Kids Max Protect & Play Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 110
Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
Coppertone Kids Wacky Foam Foaming Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 70+
Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+
Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
Equate Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
Kroger Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
Kroger Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Beach & Pool Sunblock Spray, SPF 70+
Up & Up Kid’s Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
How we picked the Hall of Shame
1) Spray sunscreens
One in every four sunscreens in this year’s database is a spray. People like sprays because they’re easy to squirt on squirming kids and hard-to-reach areas. But they may pose serious inhalation risks, and they make it too easy to apply too little or miss a spot.
The FDA has expressed doubts about their safety and effectiveness but hasn’t banned them. As long as they’re legal, sunscreen manufacturers will make them.
2) Sky-high SPFs
One eighth of the sunscreens we evaluated this year boast SPFs above 50+. SPF stands for “sun protection factor,” but that outdated term refers only to protection against UVB rays that burn the skin. It has little to do with a product’s ability to protect skin from UVA rays, which penetrate deep into the body, accelerate skin aging, may suppress the immune system and may cause skin cancer.
The worst thing about high-SPF products is that they give people a false sense of security and tempt them to stay in the sun too long. They suppress sunburns but raise the risk of other kinds of skin damage. The FDA is considering barring SPF above 50+.
Half of the beach and sport sunscreens in this year’s guide contain oxybenzone, an active ingredient in sunscreens. But it penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body. It can trigger allergic skin reactions. Some research studies, while not conclusive, have linked higher concentrations of oxybenzone to disorders, including endometriosis in older women and, lower birth weights in newborn girls.
4) Retinyl palmitate
Nearly 20 percent of the sunscreens and SPF-rated moisturizers and 13 percent of SPF-rate lip products in this year’s guide contain retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A. Night creams with this chemical may help skin look more youthful. But on sun-exposed skin, retinyl palmitate may speed development of skin tumors and lesions, according to government studies. Why does the FDA allow this “inactive ingredient” in sunscreens intended for use in the sun? The agency has been studying the chemical for years but hasn’t made a decision. We have. The definitive study may not have been done, but we think we know enough to believe you’re better off without sunscreens with retinyl palmitate.