Reducing Our Cancer Risk: Natural Body Care

The more I study in my nutrition course, the more my family's lives are being changed forever.  Yes, I'm doing things others may think are extreme or just plain crazy.  But I don't care what others think anymore!  Our goal is to give ourselves and our children the best chance possible at a long, happy, healthy life -- reducing our risk for cancer as much as possible.  Can anyone really "outsmart" cancer?  I'm not sure, but I do know this, there are natural products we have growing around us that can actually make us healthier -- and not just products to put on our plates! 

Have you heard this before?  Your skin is your largest organ.  That means anything you put on it is absorbed directly into your body.  I heard the best advice at a Pathways Connect meeting recently:  You shouldn't put anything on your skin you wouldn't eat.  Really?!  Wow....that really has had a big impact on me and what I buy my family. 

So what does that mean, "we're trying to reduce our cancer risk"?  What are the things we are eliminating, or in some cases adding, to our household? I'm going to spend the next few blog posts describing all of the different ways we have gone from a "typical American family" to the almost "crunchy granola" one we are today, and proud of it!  I will go through, step-by-step, the areas we are changing.  It would be far too expensive for us to throw everything in our home into the trash all at once, so we are gradually replacing our "conventional" products with more natural alternatives.  It's taking a long time, but this is definitely a more economical way!

I tried making my own laundry soap which really was cost effective, but my clothes didn't come out smelling like I wanted.  The difference?  The homemade soap doesn't leave the residue behind in your clothing that normally gives it that clean smell.  Luckily, I found a great local person who makes many of these products and tests them out on her large family!  Wendy at The Best Pink Salt is a great resource.  Her laundry soap was all natural and my clothes came out smelling great!  For only $4, I get enough liquid soap to do 100 loads, so it's definitely worth it to buy from her.

 I have already replaced our hand soap pumps with about 1 tablespoon of Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap and the rest water (fill most of the way with water first so you don't create too many suds!).  He also has an almond flavored one that smells so good! So my next step is to replace all of our body washes and shampoos, too. I will keep you posted as I find great products in this category.  However, all you need to do is check out your local health food store, or go to the organic section of your grocery store to find a few commercial options that are much better for your health.
We already have a Berkey water filter for our drinking water.  Now that we consume the filtered water, I can actually taste the chemicals in our tap water!  As I mention in the last section of this post, one of the worst chemicals many of us are consuming on a regular basis in our tap water is flouride.  Because of my research, we've chosen to add on the flouride filters to our Berkey syster.

Also, we are saving up to buy a shower filter.  At our Pathways Connect meeting, it was mentioned that when we take a shower, we are putting all those chemicals in our tap water directly onto our skin that gets absorbed! 

Ever since my children were babies, I was leery of those commercial baby sunscreens with SPF 50+ as well as the widely known as dangerous DEET bug sprays.  Something just didn't seem right when I looked at the long list of ingredients I couldn't pronounce.  So from the beginning, I've been buying Burt's Bees sunscreen.  I usually do not put sunscreen on myself unless I will be in the sun for quite some time.  If I am going to the beach or will be outside for long periods of time, I prefer to cover up, or I look for natural products.  I'm not advocating going in the sun without protection!  But you'd be amazed at how many different ways you can protect yourself and your family naturally. 

Mother Earth News is a great resource, in addition to Dr. Mercola.  I found a site that published an article detailing how to DIY your own sunscreen here.  And I wanted to publish a simple recipe in this blog post, but here's a pretty in depth method to make enough sunscreen and bug spray (all-in-one!) for the summer for your family:  Sun and Bug Lotion

This is probably the easiest switch that I believe has a very big impact.  Instead of buying all those nicely scented lotions at Bath & Body Works, I will start using Trader Joe's coconut oil!  Yep, you read that right....I am going to just put straight coconut oil directly onto my skin.  There are several benefits to coconut oil.  One is that is helps raise your "good" cholesterol, and another is that is helps in the prevention of diseases that attack the brain like dementia and Alzheimers!   Dr. Oz has done several shows about the benefits of coconut oil, including how it helps with weight loss and other health problems. 

We had already made the switch to "healthy" toothpaste without flouride.  I will admit, I was saying to myself, "But don't my kids need flouride to keep them healthy?"  Turns out the answer to that is, "No!"  Dr. Mercola said, "Fluoride is in fact a systemic POISON..."  What?!  I thought in order to keep our teeth healthy we need flouride, and that it's crucial for my children's health!  A simple search on Dr. Mercola's site about "flouride" yields these articles here.    Have you ever read the warning on your tube of toothpaste about what to do if you accidentally ingest some?  That alone should clue us in to the dangers of flouride and the other chemicals used in our "regular" toothpastes.  And did you know that "[Dentists rarely mention [flouride's] toxic potential or the few studies revealing increased tooth decay after flouride use"?  And in that same article, we learn from one study that "61,000 cancer deaths in the US result from flouridation each year."  Each year!   Does that mean you'll get cancer from using "regular toothpaste"?  Not necessarily, but we are trying to reduce our risk, so ours went into the trash and we replaced it with this: 

Want to DIY your own toothpaste?  I found a great, easy and inexpensive recipe online at this site.  This recipe is from Organic Body Care Recipes  (Storey, 2007) By Stephanie Tourles.

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, finely ground
  • 1 drop peppermint, spearmint, sweet orange, clove, or cinnamon bark essential oil
  • A few drops (distilled) water
Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix them thoroughly with a toothbrush, your finger, or a small spoon until a smooth, thick paste forms. The paste shouldn’t be too runny; it has to stay on your toothbrush.  Dip your toothbrush into the paste and use as you would regular commercial toothpaste.  

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DISCLAIMER I am not a doctor or a nurse.  I am a nutritional consultant student.  Everything written is from my studies and gathered from other sources, and compiled according to my opinions.  Always consult your doctor for health care advice!  Also I have not been compensated for any of the products in this review.  All of the opinions of products are my own.