Over the years with lupus, I have been on and off medications using natural supplements to control the disease and for my health. I have always been interested in more environmentally (and body) friendly products. I have never understood why we haven’t focused more on natural ways to help ourselves – versus man-made products that we know are filled with harmful things. Of course, there is a place and use for traditional medicine and it’s vital to our society today, as well as products we create. However, if we can live a healthier life and minimize those man-made things and use more natural products, why not help our environment and ourselves?
I recently decided to refocus myself on these methods again. Unfortunately I do not believe I am in a place to switch to 100% supplementation for my lupus treatment, although I truly plan to transition back to that again. It has worked for me before and I believe it will work again. When I say it works or doesn’t work – it has really depending on my level of flares and disease. The less active my disease, the better supplementation has worked, the more active, the more medication I need. But I decided to try to change other pieces of my life that might help me get back to using supplementation instead of medication.
I recently started looking for natural methods to clean my house, do laundry, and all of my personal products. I have always been interested in more natural cleaning products and even did a very large college project focused on this only. Then when I had my son all I could see in my house were very dangerous chemical products. They were dangerous in so many ways – dangerous in the case he decided to drink it, and dangerous to his health from exposure. I will admit due to life and convenience I couldn’t get myself into this until 3 years after he was born – but I always say better late than never! I do think that this new change will be permanent this time, as I set myself up for a nice behavior change and transition. We are taking this step-by-step.
Here is what we are doing (now I saw we because I like to think that but I have not converted my husband fully. He’s slowly coming around to some change).
I started with laundry. I found some links on Pinterest (a lovely start to most projects). I started with a natural approach that will save me money (always good when you only work part time and don’t have much income). I will not take credit for any of these recipes unless I truly discovered them or a better method – but I WILL link you to all my searching!
Here is what I decided on :
I then started searching cleaning and body products recipes and stumbled upon a really terrific site – wellnessmama.com. A mom worried about the same things as myself! She has some really terrific recipes up there and some good background about why they may be better than chemicals.
I have been using this all-purpose cleaner for about a week now and it is LOVELY! Not only does it smell fresh and clean (without chemicals) it cleans terrifically. I was able to clean some stains on my stove not previously cleaned by other store-bought products. I will note that I did add a bit of extra baking soda to the surface of those set in stains I am referring to, but other than that it was the cleaner straight up. I also have been using it in my bathroom and it works great. The sink shined longer and stayed cleaner for at least 1-2 days longer than store-bought cleaners.
Not only did I mix up the cleaner, but used her natural cleaning tips for stains, and other household items that needed cleaning!
Here is where I have really gone nuts! I have started replacing all my beauty and body products!
I started with my deodorant, then moved to shave cream, then body scrub, lotion, lip balm, then hair products and I plan on moving through it all (and more!). I will admit here there is a bit of an upfront expense to buy the ingredients – HOWEVER – in the long run you get more for your money. The quantity of products I have created with very little ingredient is awesome!
I created the deodorant listed here:
I made the shave cream version listed here:
I made this lotion (and lotion bar:)
Hair Color Ideas: Note here: I combined these ideas with some other reading and did actually create a slightly different recipe which I will share in the future once I know the sure results. I just started using it a few days ago and it is def. lightening my hair but I am not sure where I will end up. I want to give it a few weeks. But I can tell you I have (dye) color treated hair (previously) and it is creating the same types of effects as on a natural color so far.
Foaming Hand Soap:
(This is where money ran out for a few weeks so I will be doing this for the future).
Shampoo – I am planning this in the future but need more ingredients.
Toothpaste: I am planning on this when I get the ingredients I need.
Skincare – Raw Honey, Coconut Oil and Lavender w/ a toner of apple cider vinegar and water. (This is not from wellnessmama.com and will post the link if it proves to be worthy).
Another natural skincare method is oil cleansing, which looks very good for skin and makes scientific sense. I decided to start with a honey coconut oil method and see how that goes. I may try the oil cleansing eventually, but the honey is a nice step for me between. (And I do have awful oily and acne-prone skin).
I am also looking into making my own extracts and essential oils. In the summer, I grow enough herbs and flowers to make some of these things all year. I am able to harvest the leaves and dry for use. Some of the items are as simple (and inexpensive) to make from store-bought items (like lemons, oranges). And of course, with summer approaching (I think but not sure in Upstate NY this year!!) we will have our vegetable and herb garden going for natural cooking also.
You want to be looking for product ingredients to use that are single ingredients, pure herbs and oils, unrefined and organic.
All the products I have used that are listed above as having been created, work exactly as they are listed and described on the site. I have not been disappointed or felt misled by any of the recipes, or results. In fact, the complete opposite… I found far more positive results on myself than I had anticipated going into the transition.
My hope and goal with all these changes is to cut down on our chemical exposure and hopefully boost natural defenses to stop flares, or at least reduce them. I will be writing in the upcoming weeks (months) about which natural supplements I used that helped me (previously) control my lupus symptoms and flares.
Do some reading on natural products and methods for your home, and the worst case is you decide it doesn’t fit your lifestyle and you go back to what you were doing! But I think you will feel so good you will never go back!