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Natural Homemade Deodorant: It really works

May 21, 2013 • Paige

There are a lot of reasons to stop using commercial deodorant and antiperspirant.  Here is a place to start reading, if this is the first you’ve heard:  http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/aluminum-and-breast-cancer/

Let’s face it: Everybody sweats and there is nothing that any of us can do to stop it, but we CAN easily control body odor with natural homemade remedies.  Body odor is caused by bacteria, not by sweat, so the key is to use an antibacterial deodorant that doesn’t irritate your skin.  I’ve tried several natural commercial products, and none of them worked for me, so now I make my own.  I’ve been making moisturizer from coconut oil for a long time, so why not?

Making your own natural deodorant is incredibly easy, but it may take a little trial-and-error to find what works best with your body.  Write down what you put into your deodorant so that you can make it again without having to guess.  The first time you try this, make a small amount so it is easier to adjust it.

There is no “the best recipe”.  Most are based on baking soda with arrowroot powder, corn starch, or salt and a little essential oil in a base of virgin coconut oil.

natural deodorant

A note about the ingredients:  Use the good stuff whenever you can because it makes a world of difference.

Virgin coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, so it makes a great base.  Some people just use straight coconut oil and stop there, but I live in Louisiana so I need something more powerful.

Tea Tree oil is my preferred essential oil due to its antibacterial properties, but you can use whatever you like.  Sweet orange and lavender essential oils are also popular.  Word to the wise: Don’t use peppermint oil.

Get Started:

Choose your ingredients, and mix them in equal parts:

Baking soda +  corn starch

or

Baking soda  + arrowroot powder

    or

Baking soda  +  salt*
(Salt was awful for me, but others swear by it)

Add just enough coconut oil to form a thick paste, about the consistency of commercial deodorant.  Add a few drops of essential oil and thoroughly mix everything together.   Be careful not to add too much essential oil, as some of them can burn the skin.

For every 1 cup of natural deodorant, I can only add about 3 drops of essential oil or my skin will develop a hot red rash that is not fun.  I’ve seen a lot of recipes contain 10 drops of this, 15 drops of that, so it’s possible that I’m more sensitive than the average person.  Better safe than sorry!  You can always add more later.

Store your deodorant in a wide-mouth container that you can easily get your fingers into, and keep it in a cool place.  Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, so consider keeping it in the refrigerator in the summer time.

To apply, rub a little bit of deodorant onto your fingers and spread it under your arms – pretty simple.

This stuff really works.  If you’re nervous, try it on a weekend.  That’s best if you don’t know what is going to work for you anyway.  I was very nervous at the idea of ditching my Ultra Maximum Strength antiperspirant for an entire work day, but it has been 85 degrees in Shreveport, Louisiana for the last week and I’ve been doing just fine the whole time!   I’m sure I’ll use the commercial stuff from time to time but I’m not soaking myself in aluminum every day any more.

Troubleshooting help:

If your arm pits develop a red rash, or start burning, you likely have too much baking soda or too much essential oil.    Dilute it with some more coconut oil, and/or more arrowroot or cornstarch, and adjust until you’re comfortable.   This is why you start with a small batch.  You also might get irritated skin if you apply deodorant too soon after shaving, but that happens with commercial brands, too.

At the end of all this…  If you still feel like you need the commercial products, don’t sweat it. (har har)  There are so many other ways to simplify and make healthier choices.  The sky is the limit!

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Growing your own sprouts

May 12, 2013 • Paige

sproutinglentils-fivedays07How to Sprout Lentils

Sprouting is something that everyone can do to grow fresh nutritious food for very little cost.  For about five years, the Gustos have been growing our own sprouts and eating them every day.

At this point, we have developed our own method of sprouting, which is what I am going to show you.

To start things off, we’ll focus on lentils.

What’s a Lentil?

Lentils are a small brownish green legume found with the dry beans and rice. The store brand usually costs about $1.40 per pound.

Note: You can sprout several different types of dry beans, but some of them are poisonous, so make sure you choose something you can safely sprout!  Example: NEVER eat sprouted kidney beans.

SoroutingLentils01

What do I need to start sprouting lentils?


A bag of dried lentils

A wide-mouth glass jar

A lid and a screen

  • Metal ring lids that come with a canning jar (they rust, only use them once or twice).
  • Plastic lid, cut with a hole-saw
  • Metal screen from hardware store, cut with heavy duty shears. You need this for sprouting small seeds.
  • Plastic screen, cut from craft store “Plastic Canvas”.  Large holes, lots of air-flow

If you don’t have any of that stuff, a rubber band and some window screen works pretty well, too!

SproutingLentils02

Getting Started:


Prepare your materials

Wash and sanitize the jar, lid, and screen to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Do this before each new sprouting “crop”

  • Wash in hot water by hand or in a dish washer.
  • Rinse in a light vinegar or bleach solution.


Start with about  1/4 cup of dry lentils.

Pick through them and remove any small stones and debris, and rinse well with cool water.
Note: I used a half cup for this tutorial – it was way too much!


Soak

Cover lentils with water and soak for 8 – 12 hours. 

Leave lots of room for lentils to expand.

SproutingLentils03


Rinse and Drain

Drain and rinse your lentils well with cool, clean water. They will have doubled in size.

Rinse and drain lentils every 8 – 12 hours.

Place jar upside down in a bowl or rack at an angle steep enough to prevent water from pooling. Ensure there is plenty of air-flow through the lid. We keep our sprouting jars in a dish drying rack with a drainboard that drains into the sink.

Photo below – Left: Lentils               Right: Black Eyed Peas.
We have switched to all plastic lids now, this photo is a few years old.

dish-rack-for-sprouting

At approximately 24 hours, the lentils are beginning to sprout. 

If you are going to cook them, you could stop here.  I like to sprout them a lot longer so that I can eat them raw.

Sprouted lentils after 36 hours:

SproutingLentils04-36hrs

Sprouts are Ready to Eat!

At 3 days, (below), the sprouts can be eaten raw.

SproutingLentils05-3days

……..

At 3 to 3.5 days, the sprouts begin growing little leaves.

That is when we start eating them!


Five Days

SproutingLentils-fivedays

……..

Stopping the Sprouting Process and Storing your Sprouts

Refrigerating lentils almost stops the growing process.
Rinse sprouts and drain very well, gently pat dry with a towel.

  • Store sprouted lentils in a clean, dry jar secured with an airtight lid.
  • Rinse and drain well once per day.
  • Eat within a few days.

Lentil sprouts smell heavenly when you lightly saute them, but we usually eat them raw, sprinkled into our salads.  We usually have two jars going so that we have a constant supply of fresh sprouts.

(Article also appears on StandSuperhero.com)

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