It’s back to school time. Yay!
Well, at least for us parents! ;)
I’m sure that you’re scrambling to get school supplies ready, new clothes purchased and lining up your new routine. Whew, it’s a lot to manage! And I’m sure that the last thing you want to worry about are health and safety issues. That’s why I want to help put your mind to rest and give you the best Abundant Life Tidbit that you’ve ever heard of during the back-to-school season: Ditch the hand sanitizer!
Yep! There’s absolutely NO benefit in arming your kids’ backpacks and lunch boxes with the stuff. In fact, if you keep it off of their skin, you’re helping boost their immune systems and they probably won’t battle with all the back-to-school sniffles that go around every year!
“I Thought Hand Sanitizer Was Good For Me!”
If you are one of the millions of Americans convinced that hand sanitizer is good for you, don’t hate me for saying this, but you’ve been duped! And I was too, just until about a year ago. Then, after considerable research, it dawned on me: We NEED bacteria! When we use antibacterial hand soaps, lotions, and potions we’re actually dousing the fire that our immune system is constantly keeping aflame. We were designed by God to live in harmony with microbes and (not to gross you out) most of the cells in your body are bacterial cells. In fact, the bacterial cells in your human body actually outnumber your human cells 10 to 1!
Consequently, our obsession with “cleanliness” has not served us well at all, and has been linked to a slew of health concerns like allergies, autoimmune disorders, gastrointestinal complaints and the list goes on…
Warning: Dangerous Chemicals!
If killing off all of our healthy bacteria weren’t bad enough, the dangerous toxins in antibacterial products puts them on the definite “No, No” list. One chemical, triclosan, is particularly harmful. It has been reported that up to 75% of the cleaning supplies we buy at the store contain this antibacterial and anti fungal agent. Interestingly, the FDA has been on the fence about its safety and has even issued a proposed ruling that would make manufacturers using triclosan “prove” that their products are safer than using good ol’ fashioned soap and water. In the words of Sandra Kweder, FDA Deputy Director of the Office of New Drugs,
“We want companies to actually test these products so that consumers that purchase them have a sense whether there really is any benefit at all over plain soap and water.
When you start digging into the history of triclosan, things get a little scary. It has actually been a registered “pesticide” since 1969 and is commonly used in manufacturing everything from adhesives to caulking and carpeting to floor wax emulsions. Doesn’t sound too safe to put on the largest organ of our body, does it!?!
DIY Natural Hand Sanitizer With Essential Oils
So what’s the solution to this mess?
Therapeutic grade essential oils!
Essential oils are the most potent antibacterial compounds on the planet. Countless clinical trials have proven that they either outperform or do just as well as conventional cleaners and medicines, yet without all of the dangerous side effects. This DIY recipe not only takes advantage of their medicinal power, but benefits from coconut oil (a fantastic moisturizer and anti-fungal agent that absorbs into your skin quickly) and aloe vera (a powerful anti-itch, healing juice). Simply mix these ingredients together, put inside your old hand sanitizer bottles and voilà!
- 1 ounce organic extra virgin coconut oil.
- 1 ounce aloe vera gel
- 20 drops of your favorite therapeutic grade essential oils
Be careful not to use the cheap, synthetic stuff at the store. They are basically useless for natural healthcare purposes and lack the antimicrobial properties pure oils have. We like to use these in our homemade hand sanitizers:
- A citrus blend – a pleasant blend of wild orange, lemon, grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, tangerine, and clementine with a hint of vanilla
- An immunity boosting blend – a powerful blend formulated to support healthy immune function that includes wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary
I recommend making a batch of each and have them on hand as needed:
- If your children struggle with behavior issues at school, consider using lavender to help calm and cool their rumbustious spirits.
- If they’re battling a cold or flu, give them an an immunity blend mix.
- If they battle fungus overgrowth, as a lot of children with ADD/ADHD do, use malaleuca.
Use as you normally would store-bought hand sanitizers. Simple as that!
How about you? What homemade hand sanitizer recipes do YOU and YOUR family use?
Link Up for Family Friday!
- Weise E.. FDA: Antibacterial soaps could pose health risks. Internet. Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/16/fda-antibacterial-soap/4038907/
- Stromberg J. Triclosan, A Chemical Used in Antibacterial Soaps, is Found to Impair Muscle Function. Internet. Available at: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/triclosan-a-chemical-used-in-antibacterial-soaps-is-found-to-impair-muscle-function-22127536/?no-ist=.
- Cherednichenko G, et al. Triclosan impairs excitation-contraction coupling and Ca2+ dynamics in striated muscle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Aug 28;109(35):14158-63.
- Adolfsson-Erici M, et al. Triclosan, a commonly used bactericide found in human milk and in the aquatic environment in Sweden. Chemosphere. 2002 Mar;46(9-10):1485-9.
- Moss T, et al. Percutaneous penetration and dermal metabolism of triclosan (2,4, 4′-trichloro-2′-hydroxydiphenyl ether). Food Chem Toxicol. 2000 Apr;38(4):361-70.
- Veldhoen N, et al. The bactericidal agent triclosan modulates thyroid hormone-associated gene expression and disrupts postembryonic anuran development. Aquat Toxicol. 2006 Dec 1;80(3):217-27.
- Ackerman J. How Bacteria in Our Bodies Protect Our Health. Internet. Available at: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ultimate-social-network-bacteria-protects-health/.
- NIH. NIH Human Microbiome Project defines normal bacterial makeup of the body. Internet. Available at: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jun2012/nhgri-13.htm