October 2016 is Organic Awareness Month
There is growing awareness of the benefits and a huge move towards eating Organic foods – dairy, meat and vegetables – we know it makes sense but what about other things we regularly use? Cotton clothing, deodorants, moisturisers, make-up, toothepaste, tampons; all full of chemicals to assist with production, to create an acceptable colour, to assist with non-creasing and imported goods are sprayed with chemicals for our ‘safety’. Anything that touches our skin absorbs directly into our blood stream so what we wear, sleep on or in, apply to our body or breathe in affects our health.
You might be surprised to know that conventional cotton accounts for nearly 25% of the insecticides and 10% of the pesticides used throughout the world, although is it grown on only 3% of the total cultivated area. Cotton crops have been plagued by numerous diseases and pests over the years and rank fourth in the list of most heavily chemical fertilised crops. Unfortunately, the excessive use of chemicals in conventional cotton production has led to a great deal of environmental pollution.
As our awareness grows, manufacturers have been forced to change ingredients in many cotton products. In the case of sanitary products, for example bleach was used to make the products pure white. No-one would want to use a grey coloured product right? We want pristine white but that involved a highly poisonous bleaching agent which caused toxic shock leading to death in many women. Whilst that bleach has now been banned, many other toxins remain in these products.
The same situation applies to deodorants with many still unaware of the hidden dangers in the active ingredients of modern day deodorant. These products use potentially hazardous chemicals as a way of reducing perspiration and odour with the primary ingredient being aluminium. Working to block the underarm pores, Aluminium has been linked to several potentially life threatening diseases.
As awareness rises manufacturers are forced to be more open with their labelling; not fully open but improving. Not all ingredients are required to be listed if they are in low enough measures but, of course, when a product is used on a daily basis there is a build up in the body and the levels can reach catastrophic proportions in some people.
Even supposedly natural products need to be screened carefully. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is toxic manufactured chemical and is used in many beauty and body products including those for babies. As public awareness grew, manufactures began to substitute Sodium Laureth Sulphate, a plant based chemical, proffered as a ‘natural’ alternative. However, the interaction with the other chemicals in the product, it becomes as toxic as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate.
There is a great little book called the Chemical Maze which lists every chemical used in manufacturing and the level of danger they represent to our health. Simply laid out, it is very quick to check out the ingredients of any product and clearly shows levels of toxicity. None of this is to create paranoia that we are slowly being poisoned but it is our awareness that creates change and puts the control of what we are exposed to firmly back into our hands.
Australian Organic Awareness Month at The Purple Dragonfly
At the Purple Dragonfly we carry The Chemical Maze, natural salt deodorants, soap, healthy cookware, bedding and other clothing items. Also we can obtain any other natural and safe products you would like to introduce into your family.
Try this out!
Homemade Natural Deodorant with Coconut Oil
- 3 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil
- 2 tbsp shea butter
- 3 tbsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 5 drops preferred essential oil (good ones to try are lavender, orange or clary sage)
- Make a double boiler by placing a half-pint glass jar in the middle of a small pot of water. Bring water to a simmer. Add coconut oil and shea butter to the jar and let melt.
- Turn off the heat, add baking soda and cornstarch, and stir until completely smooth. Mix in the essential oil of your choice. Let cool.
- At room temperature, the deodorant is hard. You can scrape out a small ball and apply it directly to your armpits, or transfer it to an old deodorant tube for easier application.In warmer months, you’ll need to keep this deodorant in your refrigerator to prevent the coconut oil from liquefying.
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