Natural, toxin-free alternatives for home care and hygiene
(NC) From detergents to deodorants to diapers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find natural solutions for keeping the family clean. Many of the household cleaners we use every day contain toxic chemicals that linger on the surfaces we eat off and in the air we breathe.
Lianne Phillipson-Webb, a nutritionist, author and a mother, shares some advice to help your family kick the toxins out and replace them with natural, friendlier alternatives.
“Our modern society has become terrified of germs, and, as a result, we spend a lot of time spraying and scrubbing surfaces with chemicals that in some cases could be more harmful than the germs themselves,” she points out. “Luckily, there are many “do-it-yourself” cleaners that you can make at home, which are safe and effective alternatives to the chemical-ridden options we often purchase.”
So where can you begin? Acetic acid, or white vinegar, is a powerful natural disinfectant, safe for use on most surfaces. It also acts as a deodorizer, removes hard-water deposits, cuts grease and is completely biodegradable.
Many of us have used sodium bicarbonate or baking soda to keep nasty odours away in the fridge, but many don't realize this common house hold substance can also be added to a damp cloth or sponge and used as a multi surface cleaner. It's easy to rinse off and won't leave a toxic residue behind. You can also try fresh lemon juice, with its high antibacterial properties and fresh scent it helps kill germs, remove stains and leaves counter tops and sinks sparkling.
But don't stop with just cleaning your house. Keeping yourself and your family naturally clean is just as important, especially when considering that what we put on the skin is absorbed into the body. This is why we need to pay special attention to the products we are using on a daily basis and adopt a more natural approach to personal hygiene. “While cuddling our kids, we might forget that any residues on our skin from deodorants, detergents and perfumes can literally rub off on the little ones in our lives whose skin is much more sensitive,” adds Phillipson-Webb.
A good place to start is a trip to your natural health food store. These speciality shops typically offer a wide selection of personal care products that are all-natural, created from pure ingredients and free of petrochemicals, parabens, formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals. The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) has an online tool that you can use to find your nearest health food retailer at chfa.ca.
You can also take a trip to your kitchen pantry for gentle alternatives that are also toxin free. Organic coconut oil is a rising superstar in the culinary world, but did you know it is also great for the skin? Pregnant women can use organic coconut oil to combat stretch marks; it can help soothe infant diaper rash; and can be used at any age as a natural moisturizer. Olive oil can also be used as a soothing skin lotion and a make-up remover. Oatmeal is another great alternative with anti-inflammatory properties. When added to the bath it can help to heal irritated skin, sunburns and insect bites.
You can discover other ways natural alternative products can help to maintain your family's health online at chfa.ca.
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