The following came from a newsletter from Dr. Weil:
Baking soda: An all-purpose cleaner; especially effective on glass coffee pots and glassware; removes red-wine stains from carpeting. A paste (made with water) can shine stainless steel and silver; the paste also can remove tea stains from cups and saucers. Make a paste with a castile- or vegetable-based liquid soap and a drop of essential oil (tea tree or lavender) to clean sinks, countertops, toilets and tubs.
Coarse salt: Cleans copper pans and scours cookware. Sprinkle salt on fresh spills in the oven, then wipe off. Sprinkle salt on rust stains and squeeze a lime or lemon over them, let sit for several hours and wipe off.
Grapefruit-seed extract: Add to water in a spray bottle for an odorless way to kill mold and mildew.
Lemon juice: Use as a bleaching agent on clothing, and to remove grease from your stove and countertops. Add 2 Tbsp lemon juice to 10 drops of (real) lemon oil and a few drops of jojoba oil to clean and polish wood furniture.
Olive oil: Use to lubricate and polish wood furniture (three parts olive oil to one part vinegar; or two parts olive oil with one part lemon juice).
Potatoes: Halved potatoes can remove rust from baking pans or tinware - follow with a salt scrub or dip the potato in salt before scrubbing.
Tea tree oil: Can be added to vinegar/water solutions for its antibacterial properties. Use it to kill mold and mildew, and on kitchen and bathroom surfaces instead of chemical products. Add 50 drops to a bucket of water to clean countertops and tile floors.
White vinegar: Cleans linoleum floors and glass (from windows to shower doors) when mixed with water and a little liquid soap (castile or vegetable). Cuts grease and removes stains; removes soap scum and cleans toilets (add a bit of baking soda if you like). Pour down drains once a week for antibacterial cleaning. Add to water in a spray bottle to kill mold and mildew.
to keep the vinegar from smelling ... February 26, 2005 4:57 PM
I add a drop of either lavender or lemon essential oil to the vinegar/water mixes - especially if I am mopping a floor ... works great with those rewashable pad thingies .... lightweight and non-toxic... my kind of cleaning
I just recently started using vinegar to clean with... have been using antibacterial sprays for years. I wish I wouldve started this a long time ago! I will try the lavendar too, or other scents...? Simple & healthy way to make the house smell good!
I also read somewhere recently that most store bought candles are toxic. I dont know much about it, except that Beeswax candles are safe in that aspect. I am guessing that incense would be toxic also...
Reminder about the dangers of plastics and microwaves
No plastics in microwave
No water bottles in freezer
No plastic wrap in microwave
Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in their newsletters worth noting... This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Dioxin Carcinogens cause cancer,especially breast cancer. Don't freeze your plastic water bottles with water as this also releases dioxins in the plastic.
Dr. Edward Fujimoto from Castle hospital was on a TV program explaining this health hazard. (He is the manager of the Wellness Program at the hospital) He was talking about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers.
This applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat and plastics releases dioxins into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Dioxins are carcinogens and highly toxic to the cells of our bodies. Instead, he recommends using glass, Corning Ware, or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, without the dioxins.
So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper.
He said we might remember when some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.
To add to this, Saran wrap placed over foods as they are nuked, with the high heat, actually drips poisonous toxins into the food, use paper towels.
It's just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc.
The 5 Basics for Nontoxic Cleaning April 13, 2005 12:35 AM
From the Care2 Daily Action Site...
Learning to clean from scratch—making home-made recipes—can truly work if you take time to understand a bit about the chemistry behind how the materials work. Here are the five ingredients that I find to be the safest, most effective, and useful for cleaning.
Baking Soda A commonly available mineral full of many cleaning attributes, baking soda is made from soda ash, and is slightly alkaline (it’s pH is around 8.1; 7 is neutral). It neutralizes acid-based odors in water, and adsorbs odors from the air. Sprinkled on a damp sponge or cloth, baking soda can be used as a gentle nonabrasive cleanser for kitchen counter tops, sinks, bathtubs, ovens, and fiberglass. It will eliminate perspiration odors and even neutralize the smell of many chemicals if you add up to a cup per load to the laundry. It is a useful air freshener, and a fine carpet deodorizer.
Washing Soda A chemical neighbor of baking soda, washing soda (sodium carbonate) is much more strongly alkaline, with a pH around 11. It releases no harmful fumes and is far safer than a commercial solvent formula, but you should wear gloves when using it because it is caustic. Washing soda cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, removes wax or lipstick, and neutralizes odors in the same way that baking soda does. Don’t use it on fiberglass, aluminum or waxed floors—unless you intend to remove the wax.
White Vinegar and Lemon Juice White vinegar and lemon juice are acidic—they neutralize alkaline substances such as scale from hard water. Acids dissolve gummy buildup, eat away tarnish, and remove dirt from wood surfaces.
Liquid Soaps and Detergent Liquid soaps and detergents are necessary for cutting grease, and they are not the same thing. Soap is made from fats and lye. Detergents are synthetic materials discovered and synthesized early in this century. Unlike soap, detergents are designed specifically so that they don’t react with hard water minerals and cause soap scum. If you have hard water buy a biodegradable detergent without perfumes; if you have soft water you can use liquid soap (both are available in health food stores).
Mold Killers and Disinfectants For a substance to be registered by the EPA as a disinfectant it must go through extensive and expensive tests. EPA recommends simple soap to use as a disinfectant There are many essential oils, such as lavender, clove, and tea tree oil (an excellent natural fungicide), that are very antiseptic, as is grapefruit seed extract, even though they aren’t registered as such. Use one teaspoon of essential oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle (make sure to avoid eyes). A grapefruit seed extract spray can be made by adding 20 drops of extract to a quart of water.
Caution: Make sure to keep all home-made formulas well-labeled, and out of the reach of children.
Reduce Your Brain's Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation May 09, 2005 1:00 PM
How Cell Phones expose you to dangerous radiation
In essence, your cell phone is a radio. When you talk on your cell phone, your voice is transmitted from the antenna as radio frequency radiation (RFR) between 800 MHz and 1,990Mhz. This frequency falls in the range of microwave radiation and, when you are exposed to it, there is a significant chance you can have serious health consequences.
... The radiation actually penetrates the area around your head and is absorbed, with some radiation reaching an inch, to an inch and a half, into your brain.
Health problems caused by radiation
Neuroepithelial (tissue in the brain) tumors
Altered memory function, concentration and spatial awareness
Many Americans - up to 80 percent - drink water that has chlorine in it. While many people now use water filters in conjunction with their faucets for drinking water, many do not consider the amount of chlorine absorbed through a shower. Skin absorbs water; by some estimates a 10-minute shower is equivalent to drinking two gallons of chlorinated tap water. To combat the effects of chlorinated water (which may include an increased risk of cancer and reproductive problems), purchase a water filter for your showerhead. Carbon-based filters and KDF filters made of copper and zinc both help to remove chlorine.
Vinegar is a mainstay of the old folk recipes for cleaning, and with good reason. The vim of the vinegar is that it kills bacteria, mold, and germs.
Heinz company spokesperson Michael Mullen references numerous studies to show that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar—such as you can buy in the supermarket—kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses). He noted that Heinz can't claim on their packaging that vinegar is a disinfectant since the company has not registered it as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, it seems to be common knowledge in the industry that vinegar is powerfully antibacterial. Even the CBS news show 48 Hours had a special last December with Heloise reporting on tests from The Good Housekeeping Institute that showed this.
Just like antibiotics, common disinfectants found in sponges and household sprays may contribute to drug resistant bacteria, according to researchers of drug resistance at Tufts New England Medical Center. Furthermore, research at the Government Accounting Office shows that many commercial disinfectants are ineffective to begin with, just like antibiotics.
Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5 percent vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board, and in your bathroom, and use them for cleaning. I often spray the vinegar on our cutting board before going to bed at night, and don't even rinse, but let it set overnight. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.
Hey group ~ I always had a terrible feeling about teflon and now here it is in black and white........
P.S I am DEFINITE about going out to buy new cookery now!
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
Teflon-coated cookware does offer a certain level of convenience that is difficult to find elsewhere. But are you willing to sacrifice your health for ease in kitchen cleanup? I know I certainly am not, and there are many practical tricks you can use to achieve virtually the same benefit as you do with non-stick cookware.
In case you weren't aware, those non-stick finishes vaporize when you turn up the heat and can cause some very serious health symptoms. I am surprised to tell you that this Web site was one of the first to report the health consequences of this.
It has been known for some time that volatile gases were released when the non-stick pans were heated, but it wasn't until earlier this year that energy psychology pioneer Gary Craig identified that it had not been previously documented. Since this article ran in February, we have received dozens of reports of people's bizarre symptoms that have completely resolved once they stopped using the Teflon non-stick pans.
So, obviously, my strong recommendation is to ditch the pans and avoid non-stick finishes.
The best and safest cookware you can use is ceramic-coated metal, as ceramic is virtually inert and will not transfer any metal ions to your food. I am actually researching specific brands to recommend and may have some shortly.
Care2 Daily Action - Adapted from Green Remodeling, by David Johnston and Kim Master (New Society Publishers, 2004).
The news about plastics has been pretty alarming lately, causing some of us to go dashing for the water bottles to see what kind of plastic they are--and find out if we’ve been unwittingly poisoning our children and ourselves with chemicals leaching into the water from them.
If you’ve been concerned, here is a handy chart that identifies the good, bad, and ok plastics and where they are found. Find out here:
1. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) Used to make soft drink, water, sports drink, ketchup, and salad dressing bottles, and peanut butter, pickle, jelly and jam jars. GOOD: Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones.
2. High density polyethylene (HDPE) Milk, water, and juice bottles, yogurt and margarine tubs, cereal box liners, and grocery, trash, and retail bags. GOOD: Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones.
3. Polyvinyl chloride (V or PVC) Most cling-wrapped meats, cheeses, and other foods sold in delicatessens and groceries are wrapped in PVC. BAD: To soften into its flexible form, manufacturers add “plasticizers” during production. Traces of these chemicals can leach out of PVC when in contact with foods. According to the National Institutes of Health, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), commonly found in PVC, is a suspected human carcinogen.
4. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) Some bread and frozen food bags and squeezable bottles. OK: Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones, but not as widely recycled as #1 or #2.
5. Polypropylene (PP) Some ketchup bottles and yogurt and margarine tubs. OK: Hazardous during production, but not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones. Not as widely recycled as #1 and #2.
6. Polystyrene ( PS ) Foam insulation and also for hard applications (e.g. cups, some toys) BAD: Benzene (material used in production) is a known human carcinogen. Butadiene and styrene (the basic building block of the plastic) are suspected carcinogens. Energy intensive and poor recycling.
7. Other (usually polycarbonate) Baby bottles, microwave ovenware, eating utensils, plastic coating for metal cans BAD: Made with biphenyl-A, a chemical invented in the 1930s in search for synthetic estrogens. A hormone disruptor. Simulates the action of estrogen when tested in human breast cancer studies. Can leach into food as product ages.
And just reminds me of the many more reasons i use stainless steel and pyrex glass....at least most of the time....the teflon sometimes just is too easy to say no to...and i won't mention the many other things that call my name...that make me feel like a sorry excuse for a person who desires a healthy lifetstyle. If only i could find balance...and where is that in these troubled times. With that I'll close, peace and love to all, Carmen.
[ send green star]
Hey Guys, what great healthful hints you all have given. I need to make alot of changes, thats for sure. Thanks to you all for taking the time to write up your hints and educating me. What an eye opener. Take care, toni
[ send green star]