Mommypotamus 2017-03-23T17:37:26Z https://www.mommypotamus.com/feed/atom/ WordPress https://www.mommypotamus.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/cropped-MP-logo-purple-32x32.png Heather https://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Resistant Starch 101: How To Nurture A Healthy Gut]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=35453 2017-03-23T01:44:30Z 2015-07-25T15:12:05Z It may seem like a funny way to request a spot at your favorite healthy restaurant, but it’s actually pretty accurate. In this New York Times article, Michael Pollan describes the one trillion, er, one-hundred trillion, microbes that sit down to dine with us at each meal. More than just creepy freeloaders, these guys have a profound impact on […]

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what-is-resistant-starch-benefits

It may seem like a funny way to request a spot at your favorite healthy restaurant, but it’s actually pretty accurate.

In this New York Times article, Michael Pollan describes the one trillion, er, one-hundred trillion, microbes that sit down to dine with us at each meal. More than just creepy freeloaders, these guys have a profound impact on our health – maybe even more than genetics. Here’s how Pollan explains it:

“for every human cell that is intrinsic to our body, there are about 10 resident microbes — including commensals (generally harmless freeloaders) and mutualists (favor traders) and, in only a tiny number of cases, pathogens.

To the extent that we are bearers of genetic information, more than 99 percent of it is microbial. And it appears increasingly likely that this ‘second genome,’ as it is sometimes called, exerts an influence on our health as great and possibly even greater than the genes we inherit from our parents. But while your inherited genes are more or less fixed, it may be possible to reshape, even cultivate, your second genome.”

Although the ratio of human to bacterial cells in the human body has recently been revised – the estimate is that we’re about 50/50 – the fact remains that the microbes we carry with us exert a huge influence on our health, and even on our emotions.

Unfortunately, modern life has not been kind to this second genome – often called our microbiome. Factors like processed foods, the overuse of antibiotics, environmental toxins and less time spent outdoors have drastically reduced the diversity of microbes we carry.

mice-gut-flora

Resistant Starch And Weight Loss

“Disorders in our internal ecosystem — a loss of diversity, say, or a proliferation of the ‘wrong’ kind of microbes — may predispose us to obesity and a whole range of chronic diseases, as well as some infections.” – Michael Pollan, Some of My Best Friends Are Germs

Now it’s easy to gloss over this and think “yeah, yeah, lots of factors go into metabolism.” That’s true, but get this: In this study, researchers “took two groups of mice whose digestive tracts had been sterilized. In the first group, they colonized the mice’s intestines with flora from an obese cage mate. In the second group, they colonized the intestines with flora from a lean mouse. They then fed these two groups of mice the same diet for 2 weeks.” (source) The mice who received the microbes from the obese mouse gained more weight, despite comparable food intake and intake levels.

Other studies have demonstrated that microbes implanted from lean mice into overweight mice caused the mice to lose weight. To me, this research is not really about weight loss or gain, but rather a reminder that our lifestyle choices are impacted by the health of our internal microbiome.

Psst! (March 22-27th Only)

So, true story. Five years ago, my husband came home from work and told me he wanted to start a gut healing protocol. Like, right that minute. I looked at the gluteny stuff in my pantry and then I looked at him . . . and then I decided to give everything away before he changed his mind! 🙂

Whether it’s brain fog, bloating, skin issues, food sensitivities, exhaustion, depression, frequent trips to the restroom or something else, a huge number of us experience symptoms of a dysfunctional gut. The specifics may vary, but they all have one thing in common.

Gut health has a HUGE impact on every aspect of our life – our overall health, energy levels, mood, and relationships. But when something’s off, taking steps to heal can feel really overwhelming. 

I don’t know what I would have done without my friend Cara, who held my hand and walked me through everything. Everyone should have a guide like her, which is why I want to tell you about the Gut Health Super Bundle that is happening right now.

It includes over $695 in gut healing resources – including my friend Cara’s Gut Healing Starter Pack, 4 other eCourses, 16 eBooks, 3 videos and 1 summit – for 93% off.

There’s a 30 day happiness guarantee, so if it doesn’t turn out to be a good fit for some reason just email them at customerservice@ultimate-bundles.com. They’ll issue a full refund, no questions asked.

Click here to learn more and buy the Gut Health Super Bundle

Okay, back to the post!

So how do we encourage a diverse microbiome?

By serving up hearty meals for our one-hundred trillion, of course! According to Stanford microbiologist Justin Sonnenburg, “The safest way to increase your microbial biodiversity is to eat a variety of polysaccharides.” (source)

In case you are wondering, that’s smart guy speak for the things that nourish our gut bacteria – inulin, fiber and resistant starch for example. Now, you already know what fiber is and you may have heard of inulin, but chances are you are asking yourself . . .

What is resistant starch?

Unlike probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that we take internally through supplementation or fermented foods, resistant starch is a prebiotic – or food for our bacteria.

Dr. Amy Nett explains it this way:

“Prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates, or at least indigestible to us, that reach the colon intact and selectively feed many strains of beneficial bacteria. Prebiotics are generally classified into three different types: non-starch polysaccharides (such as inulin and fructooligosaccharide), soluble fiber (including psyllium husk and acacia fibers), and resistant starch (RS). Each of these types of prebiotics feeds different species of gut bacteria, but among these, RS is emerging as uniquely beneficial.” (source)

When beneficial bacteria feed on resistant starch, they produce short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, which help to increase metabolism, decrease inflammation and improve stress resistance. (source)

what-is-resistant-starch-1

What’s the best source of resistant starch?

Bacteria have favorite foods just like we do, so I incorporate a variety of resistant starches to nourish different populations. There are three naturally occurring types:

Type 1 RS is “physically inaccessible, bound within the fibrous cell walls of plants. This is found in grains, seeds, and legumes.” (source)

Type 2 RS is “Starch with a high amylose content, which is indigestible in the raw state.  This is found in potatoes, green (unripe) bananas, and plantains.  Cooking these foods causes changes in the starch making it digestible to us, and removing the resistant starch.” (source) Tigernuts also belong to this category. They’re very sweet and can be eaten as a snack whole, or ground into a flour to make no-bake cookies with – my kids LOVE these resistant starch cookie dough bites. For info on the brand I use, check out the Pantry Staples section on this page.

Note: We don’t eat raw potatoes, but raw potato starch (not flour) can be consumed in smoothies. However, even after cooking potatoes there’s still a way to benefit from the resistant starch they contain. More info in the next paragraph.

Type 3 RS is “Also called retrograde RS since this type of RS forms after Type 1 or Type 2 RS is cooked and then cooled.  These cooked and cooled foods can be reheated at low temperatures, less than 130 degrees and maintain the benefits of RS (6).  Heating at higher temperatures will again convert the starch into a form that is digestible to us rather than ‘feeding’ our gut bacteria.  Examples include cooked and cooled parboiled rice, cooked and cooled potatoes, and cooked and cooled properly prepared (soaked or sprouted) legumes.” (source)

To recap, some whole-food forms of resistant starch are:

  • Cooked and cooled potatoes
  • Cooked and cooled beans
  • Cooked and cooled rice
  • Tigernuts (eaten whole) or tigernut flour
  • Yams
  • Raw tapioca starch
  • Uncooked oats
  • Green bananas (often tossed into smoothies or dehydrated into chips)
  • Raw green banana flour (made from whole green bananas that have been dried and ground into flour)

Can I just throw a bit of potato starch into a smoothie? That seems easiest

Since resistant starch hit the nutrition scene, recommendations to consume isolated forms of it like potato or tapioca starch have become very popular.  This is understandable: throwing a spoonful of starch into a smoothie or in your oatmeal is super easy.

However, although there are times when it may be appropriate to incorporate isolated forms of resistant starch, here are a few points worth considering:

  • Research shows that too much isolated resistant starch can throw off our gut population (source)
  • Many of the research-supported benefits of resistant starch, including decreased insulin resistance and reduced cancer risk, have only been shown when the resistant starch is mixed with other forms of soluble fiber – aka whole-food form. (source 1, source 2)
  • Different beneficial bacteria prefer different forms of resistant starch. For example, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria aren’t big fans of potato starch. They like beans and bananas. (source)
  • The RS3 form of resistant starch (cooked and cooled potatoes, rice and beans, etc.) ferments more slowly in the gut. The fact that it takes longer to break down means that more of it arrives intact in the large intestine, where the majority of our bacteria live.
  • Consuming a variety of prebiotics in whole-food form is the best approach to supporting a thriving and diverse microbiome. See the bottom of this post for recipes to get you started.

How do I incorporate resistant starch?

In my kitchen, the preferred sources of resistant starch are cold potato salad with homemade mayo, tigernut flour cookies, rice and bean salad, dehydrated green banana chips, and smoothies made with green bananas or plantains – sometimes with an additional resistant starch flour added in. (Options are tigernut flour, green banana flour, plantain flour, and organic potato starch.)

We take care to vary the sources so that we don’t overfeed any particular population, and we include both soluble and insoluble fiber from lightly cooked, raw or fermented vegetables. Research suggests it works synergistically with resistant starch to encourage a diverse microbiome, and is especially important to include with RS2 starch found in green bananas, plantains and raw potatoes.

Of course, I also include high quality probiotics (you can find info on the two I take here) and fermented foods to increase the number good guys in my gut.

what-is-resistant-starch

Is resistant starch compatible with a gut healing diet?

Several gut healing protocols restrict intake of resistant starch. The goal in doing so is to rebalance the gut microbiome before giving it lots of food to feast on – that way, the resistant starch nourishes a wide variety of beneficial gut bacteria.

This is often the approach taken with small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which is exactly what it sounds like – an overgrowth of normal bacteria or the presence of pathogenic bacteria in the small intestine. The goal in restricting resistant starch is to starve the bacteria, however some practitioners have found that supplementing with resistant starch improves SIBO in some cases. (source)

Like most things, there’s probably not a one-size-fits-all approach that will work for everyone. Here’s what I mean:

A traditional Inuit family eats a day’s worth of food consisting of raw and cooked seafood and fermented foods. Basically, they ate a 0% starch diet and most of their calories came from fat. But they are famous for their lack of chronic diseases like tooth decay, heart attacks, cancer and diabetes. So, that must mean that carbohydrate is unnecessary for good health and might actually be one of the reasons our western populations are so sick right?

Well, let’s take a peek at the meals of a Tukisenta family. The majority of the meal is carbohydrate, mostly starch from sweet potatoes. At an average of 94.6% carbohydrate, it would appear they follow the opposite approach of the Inuit. And yet they have great health, too. This group of people destroys the simple argument that carbohydrate from starch are inherently bad or disease causing.” Steven Wright, SCD Lifestyle

Bottom line: We’re all biologically unique. Maybe it makes sense for some people to incorporate resistant starch into a SIBO or autoimmune protocol, while for others it won’t. It’s important to listen to our bodies and make adjustments as needed.

That said, if restricting resistant starch seems like the best approach, it’s important to remember that gut healing diets are meant to be temporary. Long-term avoidance of resistant starch – and other fermentable forms of fiber – appears to have a negative impact on the gut microbiome. In other words, starving gut bacteria can be beneficial when trying to kill off pathogenic populations and replenish them with beneficial ones. However, starving them on an ongoing basis appears to result in a a less robust microbiome.

How much resistant starch should I eat?

According to Dr. Amy Nett, “Studies indicate that the benefits of resistant starch may be seen when consuming around 15 to 30 grams daily (equivalent to two to four tablespoons of potato starch). This may be too much for some people to tolerate, particularly in the setting of gut dysbiosis, and going above this amount is not necessarily beneficial.” (source)

If using potato starch, he recommends starting with about 1/4 teaspoon and working your way up if it’s well-tolerated. Because my family incorporates whole food forms of resistant starch into our meals, I didn’t worry about measuring the exact amount each of us was eating. Instead, I just served small portions at first and increased our intake as long as we didn’t experience any digestive issues. (We didn’t except for once when we ate WAY too many resistant starch cookie dough bites.)

Tips for incorporating resistant starch into your diet

  1. Start slow and work your way up. If you experience bloating or digestive discomfort, reduce your intake for a few days and then try again. “If you experience marked GI distress with even small amounts of RS, this may be an indication of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) or microbial dysbiosis, and you may need to consider working with a healthcare practitioner to establish a more balanced gut microbiome through the use of herbal antimicrobials and probiotics before adding RS or other prebiotics,” writes Dr. Nett.
  1. Make sure and consume fermented foods and/or probiotics along with resistant starch. It’s not necessary to always consume them at the same time, but it’s important to populate the gut with good bacteria while also providing food that helps them thrive.

Resistant Starch Recipes

  • Bacon & Ranch Potato Salad (recipe coming this week!)
  • Southwestern Rice & Bean Salad (recipe coming this week!)
  • Potato Salad With Bacon & Egg (recipe coming soon)
  • Resistant Starch Cookie Dough Bites
  • Very Berry Resistant Starch Smoothie
  • Black Bean Dip (recipe coming soon)
  • Strawberry Tigernut Smoothie (recipe coming this week!)
  • Garlic & Potato Soup (recipe coming soon)
  • Hummus

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Heather https://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[20 Uses For Diatomaceous Earth]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=31674 2017-03-19T15:58:35Z 2014-11-19T03:16:16Z So, the other day I was talking to a friend about this homemade deodorant for sensitive skin, and she wondered aloud if she really needed to buy “a whole bag of this diatomaceous earth stuff just to make deodorant.” And I was like, WAIT, YOU DON’T HAVE SOME ALREADY?? Clearly I have failed as a […]

Continue Reading...20 Uses For Diatomaceous Earth

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Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Uses

So, the other day I was talking to a friend about this homemade deodorant for sensitive skin, and she wondered aloud if she really needed to buy “a whole bag of this diatomaceous earth stuff just to make deodorant.”

And I was like, WAIT, YOU DON’T HAVE SOME ALREADY??

Clearly I have failed as a friend, because you guys, this stuff is awesome. Not only can you use it to nourish hair, skin and nails, rid your pets and home of critters, and keep your garden healthy, you can use it in your beauty routine. I’ll tell you how in this post, but first you’re probably wondering . . .

What Is Diatomaceous Earth, Anyway?

diatomaceous-earth-close-upGood question! Food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) is a fine powder made from diatoms, a type of fossilized phytoplankton. It looks like Rice Chex under a microscope, only in cylindrical form. Weird, right?

Here’s what makes it so unique:

Diatomaceous earth carries a negative ionic charge. This study suggests it helps to reduce parasites in chickens, and many experts believe this is due to its negative charge and cylindrical shape. The thinking behind this is that positively charged bacteria and parasites (plus some viruses) may be attracted to it like magnets are attracted to one another. Because of its shape, the pathogens get trapped in the center and carried out of the body.

It’s rich in silica, which is essential for healthy teeth, bones, hair, skin and nails.

It’s incredibly hard.  On the hardness scale, diamonds are a 10 and diatomaceous earth is an 8. There are several benefits associated with its hardness, which we’ll cover below.

How Is Diatomaceous Earth Different From Bentonite Clay?

If you’ve been around for awhile you know that I use clay for everything from washing my hair to brushing my teeth – even making soap. Clay is incredibly versatile and can sometimes be used interchangeably with diatomaceous earth, but the two powders are different. Bentonite clay typically comes from volcanic ash deposits, while diatomaceous earth is a powder made from fossilized phytoplankton.

Because it is made up of tiny, hard phytoplankton, DE works well as a gentle abrasive. It attaches to the protective waxy outer coating of bugs/pests and absorbs it or scrapes it away, causing them to dry out and die. Likewise, it can be used to mechanically remove stains from teeth or slough off dry, dead skin. I have found it to be slightly more effective in controlling odor in my homemade deodorant than clay, though I have used clay with success.

Bentonite and other clays such as rhassoul work primarily by absorbing (drawing within the clay) and adsorbing (drawing to the outside of the clay) impurities, which makes it ideal for gentle applications. For example, it also helps to remove stains and whiten teeth, but it does so by drawing stains out rather than removing them physically. Diatomaceous earth would be too drying for something like washing hair, but because of its silica content it’s actually very good for hair if taken internally. So as you can see, there’s a lot of crossover in terms of benefits but they are not quite the same.

What’s the difference between food-grade diatomaceous earth and non-food grade DE?

“There are two general sources of diatomaceous earth, marine deposits (from places where there once was salt water) and freshwater deposits, which provide food-grade DE. This latter sort is what we are interested in, as it is the only kind safe for mammals – i.e., you and your pets. Marine (non-food grade) DE has a crystalline structure that makes it unsafe to be inhaled or ingested, while freshwater DE lacks this jagged crystalline structure, making safe for use in the home where pets and humans live,” writes L.A. Nicholas, PhD, Naturally Healthy Living With Diatomaceous Earth
There are many uses for diatomaceous earth. It can nourish hair, skin and nails, rid your pets and home of critters, and keep your garden healthy.

20 Uses For Diatomaceous Earth

There are so many ways to use DE in the home, for personal care, with pets and more. Here are a few of them:

1. Deodorant

Though our primary detox pathways are through the liver, kidneys, colon and lymph system, our skin and lungs also assist with detoxification. We don’t want to block our body’s ability to sweat with antiperspirants, but we can keep things sweet in the underarm area by neutralizing odor. Diatomaceous earth is great for this. And because it tends not to be quite as alkaline as baking soda – which is commonly used in homemade deodorants – it is often preferred by individuals who have experienced rashes or irritation after application. Here’s my deodorant recipe.

2. Toothpaste

Sprinkle a little DE over your tooth soap, toothpaste, or homemade tooth powder for extra deep cleaning power. Because it is gently abrasive only a little is needed to effectively remove stains, and it should only be used every once in awhile.

3. Facial Scrub & Mask

Because it is very fine, diatomaceous earth makes a gentle facial exfoliant and mask. In addition to it’s main component, silica, DE also contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium and phosphorous. Since minerals can be absorbed through the skin, this is a wonderful way to complement a mineral-rich diet.

To use: Mix about 1 tablespoon of  diatomaceous earth with water, milk, aloe vera juice or diluted honey to make a thick paste. Using your fingertips, lightly massage  the paste onto your face using small, circular motions. Allow the paste to set for 1-2 minutes, then gently remove with a warm washcloth using small, circular motions. This last stage is when most of the exfoliation occurs.  Follow with toner (if you use it) and a moisturizer like tallow balm or my hydrating skin repair serum recipe.

Special note: Avoid using this scrub near the eyes or on chapped skin.

4. Supports Collagen Production

Yeah, you read that right. Silica, which is a type of silicon, is essential for collagen formation. In one study, animals that were supplemented with a small amount of highly bioavailable silicon had a 12% higher collagen concentration than animals who weren’t. (Source: Jarrow Formula’s application to FDA for their silicon supplement, BioSil)

Silica is found in many foods, such as  leeks, green beans, garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, and asparagus, and of course diatomaceous earth is about 80-90% silica.

5. Nourishes Hair

In this study, supplementing women with a bioavailable form of silicon (choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid) increased the strength and thickness of their hair. Because it is less bioavailable, the silica found in diatomaceous earth has to be consumed in higher quantities than the choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid. However, some people think this is a good thing because it is thought to have cleansing properties.

6. Strengthens Nails

Along with gelatin and biotin, silica is essential for building strong, healthy nails.

7. Supports Healthy Cholesterol Levels

This study suggests that diatomaceous earth may be beneficial for lipid metabolism and cholesterol levels. Who knew?

8. Strengthen Teeths and Bones

Silica is essential for the formation of the hard outer enamel that protects our teeth, and according to this PubMed article it is likewise beneficial for overall bone formation and health.

9. Food Storage

DE is added to grains and legumes such as wheat, maize, beans and barley to prevent spoilage. It keeps food dry, prevents mold, and protects against pests like weevils and beetles.

10. Bed Bugs

Diatomaceous earth is registered with the FDA for use against bed bugs, fleas. Here is a tutorial for applying it throughout the home.

A couple of notes: First, the product in this tutorial contains 2% synthetic ingredients. Though it is certainly better than some pesticides used to eliminate bed bugs, I would go with 100% DE before trying it.

Second, there are a lot of cautions against breathing in diatomaceous earth. While I would definitely use a mask to apply using the method in the video, I found this statement over on I Breathe, I’m Hungry helpful:

I received an email from Larry Smith, the President of Earthworks, who wanted to clear up the misconception about any dangers of inhaling food grade diatomaceous earth – here’s what he wrote:  ‘This is a misunderstanding about food grade DE.  There are 2 kinds of DE—food grade and filter grade (used in swimming pool and other filters)   Only the filter grade is dangerous to breathe.  The “dangerous” part of DE is the amount of crystalline silica that is in it.  Filter grade is 65% crystalline silica while food grade is less than 1/10 of 1%!  The world health org. has said that diatomaceous earth is safe to breathe as long as the crystalline content is under 2%.  Food grade is 20X lower than even that level!!’

So no need to be concerned about any danger associated with using DE for pets, bedding, consumption or anything else – as long as it’s FOOD GRADE! “

11. Garden Pest Control

Diatomaceous earth can be used to kill slugs, beetles, and other unwanted pests in the garden. Here’s how to use it. However, please keep in mind that it should be used wisely, because most bugs are beneficial and we want to preserve their habitats.

12. Fleas

I can’t help but giggle a little when watching this video on how to treat pets for fleas using diatomaceous earth, but it has some very good info . . .


Something to keep in mind is that it’s also important to treat any carpet pets come into contact with, plus areas they like to nap in, etc. Here’s how to treat your carpet and home for fleas using DE.

13. Natural Flea Powder

Speaking of fleas, guess what the main ingredient is in this natural flea powder for dogs and cats? Yep, DE. I’ll be sharing the homemade version I make for Duke, my family’s English shepherd, soon.

14. Cockroach, Spider, Tick and Earwig Control

Diatomaceous earth is approved for use against all of these home pests. Experts recommend using a hand duster to puff it into cracks and crevices where bugs are likely to hang out.

15. Fridge Deodorizer

Just like baking soda, a small container/box of diatomaceous earth can be left in the fridge or freezer to neutralize odors. Needs to be replaced every 1-2 weeks.

16. Garbage Can Deodorizer

Sprinkle in the bottom of the can to help neutralize odors.

17. Stain Remover

Because of it’s highly absorbent nature, diatomaceous can be sprinkled on oil-stained clothes to help soak up the oil. I like to pair it with this homemade stain remover for stubborn stains.

18. Spill Clean Up

Just like with clothes, diatomaceous earth can help soak up oil stains on carpets, driveways and garage floors.

19. Scouring Powder

The gentle abrasive nature of DE has long made it a favorite for polishing silverware, serving pieces and jewelry before buffing. (source 1, source) It can also be used on other hard surfaces such as sinks, bathtubs and countertops. When I make up a batch of homemade scouring powder, I typically use a 50/50 mixture of diatomaceous earth and baking soda.

17. Detoxification Support

The ability of diatomaceous earth to attract and bind to bacteria and parasites has made it very popular in the water filtration, and many people believe that this quality also makes DE a helpful supplement for detox support. Although there isn’t much research available on this subject, some physicians have found it helpful in clinical practice and recommend it for this purpose. For example, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of Gut & Psychology Syndrome, recommends it for general detoxification, although she notes that it should not be taken by individuals with severe digestive conditions such as Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. (source)

What Kind Of Diatomaceous Earth Should I Use?

Only food grade, never the stuff you find at the pool supply shop. Here’s what I buy.

How I Take Diatomaceous Earth Internally

Most people say diatomaceous earth should be taken on an empty stomach. What this means is somewhat vague, but from what I can tell best practices are to take it either:

1. First thing in the morning, then wait 30 minutes to eat

-Or-

2. Three hours after eating

When I take DE, I started with one teaspoon in a tall glass of water (8 oz.) and worked my way up to one tablespoon over the course of a week. Like all of the supplements I take, I scheduled breaks from DE so that my body doesn’t get overwhelmed. In the case of DE, I prefer to use it for about a month continuously, then I take 1-2 teaspoons once or twice a week after that.

Also, it’s not technically a use, but if you call Home Depot and ask for food grade diatomaceous earth it can lead to some pretty funny questions. 🙂

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Please see my full disclaimer here.

Microscopic diatomaceous earth photo credit: Camelia TWO

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Heather https://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Homemade Air Freshener And Linen Spray]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47301 2017-03-16T04:53:17Z 2017-03-16T04:53:15Z You know what goes well with a preschooler meltdown, the discovery of an unidentifiable squishy substance on the living room floor, and the realization that dinner is in T minus 30 minutes and you’re not sure what it’s going to be yet? The crisp, clean “fresh laundry” scent of this homemade air freshener and linen […]

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linen-spray-recipe

You know what goes well with a preschooler meltdown, the discovery of an unidentifiable squishy substance on the living room floor, and the realization that dinner is in T minus 30 minutes and you’re not sure what it’s going to be yet?

The crisp, clean “fresh laundry” scent of this homemade air freshener and linen spray recipe, because whether you’re spritzing it throughout the house as you put things away or sinking into your pillow for a good night’s sleep, it’s like an invitation to breathe deep and let go of the day’s stress.

The scent reminds me of line-dried sheets, ripe lemons and lavender, plus deeper notes like pine and sandalwood. It makes drifting off to sleep so much sweeter, brings a bit of crisp freshness into every room it’s used, and complements this Lemon & Lavender All-Purpose Cleaner well.

Tip: Children love to spray their own pillows, which can be helpful if they’re sometimes resistant to going to bed. Here are some other ways to help kids get a good night’s sleep.

linen-spray

Homemade Air Freshener And Linen Spray

Ingredients

* Another relaxing essential oil can be used, but you’ll want to make sure that it’s clear so that it doesn’t stain your linens. I don’t recommend using oils such as sweet orange in pillow sprays because they have a slight yellow tint. It may not cause a problem, but I prefer to be on the safe side.

To Make

Make drifting off to sleep so much sweeter with a relaxing pillow spray. Pour essential oils and vodka into a 4 ounce spray bottle and shake well.

To Use

Spray on linens/pillows or use as a refreshing room spray.

Continue Reading...Homemade Air Freshener And Linen Spray

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Heather https://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Yellow Dock Detox Tea]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=54986 2017-03-20T13:47:20Z 2017-03-14T15:54:42Z ((Happy Dance)) <— That’s what I used to do every time a few of my friends tried to talk me into doing a “detox” and I couldn’t participate because I was pregnant or nursing. Although there are circumstances where I would consider a more intense protocol, the reality is that I really love food. Like . […]

Continue Reading...Yellow Dock Detox Tea

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detox-tea-recipe

((Happy Dance)) <— That’s what I used to do every time a few of my friends tried to talk me into doing a “detox” and I couldn’t participate because I was pregnant or nursing. Although there are circumstances where I would consider a more intense protocol, the reality is that I really love food. Like . . . a lot.

That said, I do make an effort to support gentle detoxification in my daily life. There roughly 85,000 chemicals currently registered in the U.S. for use, and most have not been adequately tested for safety. I don’t live in fear of them, but a growing body of research suggests they are connected to hormone imbalances, weight gain immune system dysregulation, and an increased risk of certain diseases.

A well-functioning detoxification system is essential for hormone balance, healthy skin and a strong immune system. Unfortunately, both our environment and certain genetic factors can sometimes cause our detoxification capacity to become sluggish. For example, approximately 30-50% of us (including me) have the MTHFR mutation, which can impair our natural detoxification system.

Fortunately, while optimizing detox may sound like a daunting task, there are things we can do frequently, even daily, to support our body’s natural detox mechanisms. This tea blends one of the superstars for detox support – yellow dock root – with nutritive and adaptogenic herbs. Let’s take a look at some of their benefits.

When creating your own home herbal apothecary, yellow dock root is an excellent herb to keep on hand for detoxification support. Let’s take a look at some of its benefits, along with the other nutritive and adaptogenic herbs in this recipe shared with my by Dr. Lori Rose, who holds a PhD in biology and is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition. She currently teaches biology and nutrition at the college level and is also a practicing clinical herbalist/holistic nutritionist.

Yellow Dock Root

Yellow dock (Rumex crispus) contains several unique herbal constituents that make it a powerful stage-2 liver detoxifier and digestive aid. It’s a bit bitter – which is one of the reasons it’s so good at its detox job – so when drinking it in tea form we want to combine it with some more neutral, yummy, but still helpful herbs.

Because herbs are plants and not pharmaceutical drugs there are no dosages. However, herbalists do share knowledge about what methods of consumption seem to produce a beneficial effect for most people, and for yellow dock a therapeutic amount is generally thought to be 1-2 tablespoons per day.

Oatstraw

Oatstraw, which is the the grass/stem part of Avena sativa, is high in silica, vitamin B-1 and B-2, calcium, and magnesium. (source) It supports all body functions, but is often used to nourish brain cells and decrease stress and anxiety, which can take a negative toll on our detox organs.  Oatstraw has a pleasant, mild flavor and is considered very safe. (source)

Rosehips and Hibiscus

These herbs are the beauties of this tea.  Research shows that the more enticing our food and drinks look to us, the more nutrients we absorb, so we are going to use rosehips, Rosa spp., and hibiscus, H. sabdariffa, for a little color enhancement in our tea. (source)

But beauty isn’t the only thing these red-hued rock stars add – they are both high in antioxidants, which decrease the glutathione demand from the rest of our body, leaving the liver to use that glutathione for detox.  Nature is magical like that. 🙂

Holy Basil and Licorice root

Our last two herbs are the best supporting-actresses of this detox tea.  Tulsi, aka Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum), and licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) are both adaptogens, or herbs that balance the stress response.

Their balancing effect on the body is thought to decrease the the amount of stress hormones that need to be detoxed in our liver. This frees up space in the liver to detox more important toxins, allergens, and left-over hormones, and also leaves more nutrients for the liver to use during detox.

As a side benefit, they both taste super yummy! A few important notes: Licorice root might cause issues for people with high blood pressure caused by excessive potassium excretion, so take care.  Also, as discussed in this post on the benefits of licorice root, it is considered a harmonizer and is most often taken in small amounts with other herbs.  According to Ethnobotanist David Winston and herbal expert Steven Maimes, who co-authored  Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief:

The key to using licorice safely is to use small amounts combined with other herbs. This is how it is usually used in Chinese and has been used safely for millenia.” (Source: Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief)

Five grams is the maximum amount of licorice that is considered appropriate for use should be used per day. (source) The amount in this recipe is approximately 1-2 grams so well below the maximum.

Ready to make this beautiful, yummy yellow dock detox tea? Instructions are below!

homemade-detox-tea-recipe

Yellow Dock Detox Tea

For teas and herbal infusions I prefer open basket infusers rather than tea ball because they allow the tea leaves/herbs to circulate more, resulting in a stronger infusion. I use this teapot for making double batches to share with my husband or this stainless steel basket infuser nestled in a 16 ounce mason jar for myself.

If you use the mason jar add the herbs, pour water till the jar is full, and allow to steep. You’ll have a little water left over but after you remove the herbs you can add it in to dilute the tea if desired.

Yellow Dock Detox Tea
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon yellow dock root (find it here)
  • 1 tablespoon oatstraw (find it here)
  • 1 tablespoon rosehips, deseeded (find them here)
  • 1 tablespoon hibiscus, crumbled (find it here)
  • 1 tablespoon tulsi, aka holy basil (find it here)
  • ½-1 tsp licorice root powder, depending on how sweet you like your tea (find it here)
  • 2 cups of just-boiled water.
Instructions
  1. Pour water over the herbs, cover and allow to steep for about 20 minutes. Strain and sip throughout the day.

Other ways to naturally support detoxification

Want more research-backed natural remedies?

No problem, I’ve created a free ebook for you – Kitchen Apothecary: 25+ Natural Remedies Using Ingredients From Your Pantry – as a gift for signing up for my newsletter. You’ll also get updates when I post about safe essential oils for pregnant/breastfeeding mamas, exclusive gifts and coupons (I was able to give away a jar of free coconut oil to anyone who wanted it recently!), plus other goodies.

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Heather https://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Thousand Island Dressing Recipe]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=23080 2017-03-15T01:52:54Z 2013-08-06T16:04:47Z To try this recipe. Or actually, one-thousand eight-hundred and sixty-four. In a delicious twist of fate, this special homemade sauce made it’s way from beachside feasts all the way to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where it made it’s world debut. Unfortunately, just like with ranch dressing, ketchup and other family favorites, store brands usually contain […]

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To try this recipe. Or actually, one-thousand eight-hundred and sixty-four. In a delicious twist of fate, this special homemade sauce made it’s way from beachside feasts all the way to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where it made it’s world debut. Unfortunately, just like with ranch dressing, ketchup and other family favorites, store brands usually contain notoriously unhealthy ingredients – soybean and/or canola oil, high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors to same a few. No problem, though: It’s incredibly simple to make at home, and oh-so-much tastier, too.

Where Did The “Thousand Island” Name Come From?

Ahh, good question. The Thousand Islands are a collection of 1,864 little gems along the U.S./Canada border. Some are 40 square miles wide while others are just a few square feet. All have at least one tree.

Chances are you and I would have never heard of the creamy goodness that is Thousand Island if it weren’t for a well-known New York actress named May Irwin. Although she didn’t invent this creamy delight, she did “discovered” it on a New England tour of the islands with fishing guide George LaLonde, whose wife Sophie served it up with the day’s catch.

May raved about the sauce, so Sophie sent her home with the recipe. May named the recipe and gave it to the owner of the Waldorf Astoria, who immediately put it on the menu. The rest, as they say, is delectable, savory, mouth-watering, Thousand-Island-on-everything history.

5.0 from 6 reviews
How To Make Thousand Island Dressing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Condiments & Sauces
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1.5 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup homemade mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons organic or homemade ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish or chopped pickles
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced white onion
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and add more relish if desired.

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Heather Dessinger and Dr. Lori Valentine Rose (PhD), Certified Nutrition Professional (CNP), Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition https://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[7 Health Benefits of Yellow Dock Root]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=54382 2017-03-20T14:44:26Z 2017-03-08T16:56:45Z Awhile ago I shared a photo of my pantry apothecary on Instagram, and you immediately asked for a list of what’s inside. I’m working on that for you – after all, curiosity makes us happier and I definitely want to encourage that  – but while I’m pulling that together I want to share one of my current […]

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yellow-dock-benefits-uses

Awhile ago I shared a photo of my pantry apothecary on Instagram, and you immediately asked for a list of what’s inside. I’m working on that for you – after all, curiosity makes us happier and I definitely want to encourage that  – but while I’m pulling that together I want to share one of my current favorites. Yellow dock root is an herbal ally worth considering if you’re looking for support with:

Before we jump in, though, I want to introduce you to Dr. Lori Rose, one of my favorite herbalists to collaborate with.

Dr. Rose holds a PhD in biology and is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition. She currently teaches biology and nutrition at the college level and is also a practicing clinical herbalist/holistic nutritionist. In her spare time we chat about everything from intermittent fasting and heat shock proteins to adaptogens and detoxification support herbs, and I am thrilled to be co-authoring this article (and several more to come) with her. Now, on to the post!

yellow-dock-uses-benefits

7 Health Benefits of Yellow Dock Root

Yellow dock is a fabulous herb for modern life. Not only does it support stage-2 detoxification of the liver – which most of us need because it’s not practical to live in a bubble – it also promotes healthy digestion, a diverse microbiome, and more.

Yellow dock contains a unique combination of constituents such as anthraquinones, tannins, minerals, and inulin that together synergistically to support overall health. (source 1source 2source 3) Here are just some of the benefits:

Yellow dock is a digestive bitter

You’ve probably heard about digestive bitters such as Urban Moonshine’s pregnancy-friendly chamomile bitters. When taken about twenty minutes before a meal, the bitter components of certain herbs can stimulate an increase of digestive enzymes and bile flow from the liver.

Yellow dock is considered a bitter herb due to the presence of tannins, and like other bitters it makes digestion and absorption of nutrients more efficient. The bitter flavor also regulates blood sugar by decreasing sugar cravings and increasing feelings of fullness. (source)

Yellow dock supports liver detoxification

Perhaps even more amazing is the benefit consuming bitters has on stimulating liver detoxification. While almost all people could benefit from detox support, those with the MTHFR mutation have genetically decreased detox efficiency. Adding detox-supportive herbs like yellow dock can assist an under-functioning liver get rid of toxins, waste products, and excess hormones. (source)

Yellow dock supports hormone balance and clear skin

The bitter components in yellow dock can also be a very useful ally for naturally balancing hormones by supporting the elimination of excess estrogen during the luteal and menstrual phases of our monthly cycles. Because many skin issues originate from sluggish detox of hormones and waste products, the benefits of consuming bitters can also result in clearer skin! (source)

Yellow dock helps with diarrhea

Yellow dock is considered helpful for nudging the body back toward balance in cases of both constipation and diarrhea (as discussed in the next section). The tannins in yellow dock are astringent, which is an herbal term for drying, healing, and toning to tissues – this is the quality which is thought to be helpful for diarrhea. (The Earthwise Herbal, Matthew Wood)

Yellow dock helps with constipation

The anthraquinones in yellow dock stimulate peristalsis of the intestines, which increases bowel transit time.  Usually, people tend to use harsh, addictive laxatives to address constipation.  Even naturally-occurring strong herbal laxatives can result in dependency and damage to the mucosal lining of the intestines. Because yellow dock has a smaller percentage of peristalsis stimulating ingredients, it can be used for a longer period of time with more gentle, yet still effective, benefits to digestive transit time. (source 1, The Earthwise Herbal, Matthew Wood)

Here are some other constipation and diarrhea remedies that may help as well, and here is a recipe for “constipation candy” that was shared by a mom in our community.

Yellow dock is a prebiotic

Most people have heard by now that including probiotics in the diet is just the first step to supporting a healthy microbiome.  We must also include prebiotics, the food for the probiotics.  The inulin in yellow dock is a prebiotic, feeding the beneficial bacteria that are essential for digestive health.  (source)

Yellow dock is high in minerals

Yellow dock is believed to accumulate beneficial minerals from the soil into its roots and leaves. (source) These minerals are then passed on to the lucky consumers of yellow dock!  Knowing the prevalence of mineral deficiency in our country due to modern farming practices impact on soil quality, this nutritive aspect is just one more reason to make yellow dock your herbal companion.  It’s high in iron and is considered a useful herbal companion during menstruation and pregnancy. (source 1, The Earthwise Herbal, Matthew Wood) It is also sometimes used to improve iron status when needed.

How safe is yellow dock?

According to the Botanical Safety Handbook: 2nd Edition, Safety Class 1A adaptogens can be described as:

“Herbs that can be safely consumed when used appropriately.

  • History of safe traditional use
  • No case reports of significant adverse events with high probability of causality
  • No significant adverse events in clinical trials
  • No identified concerns for use during pregnancy or lactation
  • No innately toxic constituents
  • Toxicity associated with excessive use is not a basis for exclusion from this class
  • Minor or self-limiting side effects are not bases for exclusion from this class”

Is yellow dock safe for pregnancy?

According to The Herbal Academy, “Despite its gentle laxative effect, yellow dock has not been found to stimulate the pregnant uterus (Romm, 2010). Considered safe to take in pregnancy, traditional midwives have made syrups combining dandelion and yellow dock roots with black strap molasses for added iron (Romm, 2010). To this day, I prefer that a woman take a teaspoon of yellow dock tincture rather than Feosol (a commercial ferrous sulfate supplement).” (source)

Yellow dock root has been historically used as an iron-building syrup by pregnant women. Always check with your doctor before adding herbs to your diet, and listen to your intuition to help you make the best choice for yourself.

How to use yellow dock root

All parts of yellow dock are edible, including the leaves and the seeds, but the root is the part most often used therapeutically. (source) The root can be:

What else do I need to know?

The leaves of yellow dock contain oxalates, which bind to minerals like calcium and magnesium, rendering them unavailable to the body. (source 1, source 2) If you want to consume yellow dock leaves, your safest bet is to boil them, throw out the water, and then boil them again before eating them.  A small amount of raw yellow dock leaves is probably safe, but take special care if you have kidney stones.

Yellow dock may interact with some prescription drugs – more info here.

Want more research-backed natural remedies?

No problem, I’ve created a free ebook for you – Kitchen Apothecary: 25+ Natural Remedies Using Ingredients From Your Pantry – as a gift for signing up for my newsletter. You’ll also get updates when I post about safe essential oils for pregnant/breastfeeding mamas, exclusive gifts and coupons (I was able to give away a jar of free coconut oil to anyone who wanted it recently!), plus other goodies.

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Heather https://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[How To Dye Easter Eggs Naturally With Everyday Ingredients]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=10349 2017-03-08T14:14:32Z 2016-03-13T13:00:00Z Hey mamas! I published this tutorial last year but wanted to re-share since spring is just around the corner. 🙂 So true, Mr. Lincoln! And I would say the same is true for advice on dyeing Easter eggs with natural ingredients. Take, for example, hibiscus. When I compiled a list of natural dyes a few years […]

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How To Dye Easter Eggs Naturally With Everyday Ingredients

Hey mamas! I published this tutorial last year but wanted to re-share since spring is just around the corner. 🙂

So true, Mr. Lincoln! And I would say the same is true for advice on dyeing Easter eggs with natural ingredients. Take, for example, hibiscus. When I compiled a list of natural dyes a few years ago, it was said to make a beautiful pink. However, when I actually tested it the egg turned dark green. Oops. 

After experimenting with everything from lemon peels and carrots to raspberries and grape juice, I’ve narrowed down my list to a few ingredients that consistently yield beautiful, vibrant colors. You’ll find them below along with the specific recipes I used.

Also, when the hunt is over, you can use the eggs to make my friend Jenny’s pesto egg salad!

How To Dye Easter Eggs Naturally

homemade-easter-egg-dye-beets

Pink

Two cups water + two cups peeled, grated beets + vinegar (1 tablespoon per cup of liquid that remains after you simmer the grated beets and water)

natural-easter-egg-dye-onion

Orange

2 cups yellow onion peels + enough water to cover skins by 1 inch + vinegar (1 tablespoon per cup of liquid that remains after you simmer the onion peels and water)

natural-easter-egg-dye-turmeric

Yellow

Two cups water + 1 tablespoon turmeric + 2 tablespoons vinegar creates this vibrant yellow on white eggs and a deep gold on brown ones. The egg to the left of the one marked “turmeric” above is an example of what a brown egg looks like.

Other options: Strongly brewed chamomile tea creates a soft yellow.

Green / Blue

natural-easter-egg-dye-purple-cabbage

2 cups shredded purple cabbage + enough water to cover cabbage by 1 inch + vinegar (1 tablespoon per remaining cup after the dye is boiled)

Brown eggs will turn green and white eggs will turn blue.

Other options: Strongly brewed hibiscus tea (with one tablespoon vinegar per cup) will create the dark green pictured in the photo at the top. Blueberries will  create a slightly marbled blue color.)

Purple

1-2 cups beet kvass – as much as is needed to cover the eggs. Here’s how to make it.

Natural Easter Egg Dye Recipes

How To Dye Easter Eggs Naturally

Ingredients/Tools Needed:

  • Natural dye materials (shredded beets, turmeric, etc)
  • Filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar per dye color
  • pots for simmering ingredients and boiling eggs
  • mesh strainer
  • small bowls or mason jars (order mason jars here)
  • eggs
  • coconut or olive oil (optional – for adding luster to eggs)

Directions For Making Easter Egg Dye:

  1. Bring dye matter and water to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 15-60 minutes until desired color is reached. Keep in mind that the eggs will be several shades lighter so it’s best to go for deep, rich hues.
  2. Remove liquid from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Pour dye through a mesh strainer into bowls/mason jars and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar for each cup of dye liquid.
  4. Add hardboiled eggs to dye and place in fridge until desired color is reached. I started mine in the early afternoon and let them set overnight.

Directions For Eggs:

  1. Add eggs to a medium pot and cover with cold water.  Bring pot to a boil. Once it’s rolling turn off the heat and cover the pot. After 10 minutes, place eggs in a bowl of cold water and let sit until they’re cool to the touch.
  2. Drain bowl and replace with warm, soapy water  – I use castille soap. Gently rub eggs with a washcloth or your thumb to remove oils that prohibit natural dyes from adhering as effectively to the egg shell.
  3. Lower egg into the dye and place them in the fridge. Soak until your desired color is reached.
  4. When the eggs are ready scoop them out with a spoon and place on a drying rack or an upside down egg carton.
  5. Naturally-dyed eggs have a matte finish. If you’d like to add a little luster, rub with a drop or two of coconut or olive oil.

Want a printable guide that you can refer to later?

No problem, I’ve created one for you as a gift for signing up for my newsletter. You’ll also get exclusive gifts and coupons (I was able to give away a jar of free coconut oil to anyone who wanted it recently!), plus other goodies.

Download link appears right here after you submit the form!

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Heather https://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Homemade Diaper Rash Cream With Bentonite Clay]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=54920 2017-03-09T04:29:31Z 2017-03-03T00:12:40Z Oops. I didn’t think anyone would notice when I quietly removed my diaper rash cream recipe from this diaper rash treatment post. My goal was to troubleshoot an issue some of y’all were having and replace it before anyone was the wiser, but within hours I started getting messages about it. “Your Clay Bottom Balm recipe has changed, […]

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homemade-diaper-cream-bentonite-clay

Oops. I didn’t think anyone would notice when I quietly removed my diaper rash cream recipe from this diaper rash treatment post. My goal was to troubleshoot an issue some of y’all were having and replace it before anyone was the wiser, but within hours I started getting messages about it.

“Your Clay Bottom Balm recipe has changed, what happened it was my favourite,” wrote Davina, adding that she had “started using it for all sorts of ‘itchy’ spots that my kids complain about and it works amazing. my son 1year old will bring me the jar, before he brings me his diaper. and both daughters ask for it (I think the 4 year old invents itchy spots so she can put some on)”

Mary Lou added that she loved it as well, and that was all the motivation I needed to put reworking this recipe at the top of my to-do list. It was a simple fix, really, and I’m thrilled to share it with you . . . again. 🙂

Why Clay?

Clay has long been prized for its healing and detoxifying properties, and studies are now confirming the wisdom of its use for soothing tummy aches, baby bottoms, and other concerns. According to this study, babies whose diaper rash was treated with hydrated bentonite clay improved seven times faster within six hours of application than those who were treated with calendula cream. In addition, “complete healing in the first 3 days was more than five times in the SC [bentonite clay] group.”

Interestingly, in this study calendula cream improved diaper rash symptoms more quickly than an aloe vera preparation, so it does appear to help, just not as quickly as bentonite. If you have some homemade calendula salve on hand, you can use it instead of the recipe below along with my homemade clay baby powder and get the benefits of both calendula and clay. Like with most natural remedies, there are lots of ways to accomplish what’s needed with what you happen to have on hand.

Using Essential Oils With Children Under Two

As I mentioned in Safe Essential Oils For Babies And Children, I personally would not apply essential oils topically to a child under three months old, and I only consider topical application for children under two when there is a true reason (as opposed to routine application).

According to Robert Tisserand, who co-authored Essential Oil Safety:

Great caution is necessary for infants. Since neonatal skin does not mature until three months of age, it is more sensitive and more permeable to essential oils. A newborn is also less equipped to deal with any adverse effect than an adult because of a lower metabolic capacity, i.e., enzymes present in lower concentrations. These cautions apply even more to premature babies, and here it would be prudent to avoid use of all essential oils.”

In the recipe below, I’ve diluted the essential oils to 0.25% – the recommended amount for children from 3-24 months. However, in some cases it may be appropriate to use the maximum amount recommended, which is 0.5% (double the number of drops). Or you can skip them completely – it’s up to you!

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Homemade Diaper Rash Cream With Bentonite Clay

Ingredients

To Make

Place all ingredients in a glass bowl and whip with a hand mixer until well combined. Store in a clean glass jar.

To Use

Apply with clean hands as needed. I usually sprinkle a little homemade baby powder over the area as well.

Shelf Life

Up to 1 year if kept in a tightly sealed container, though the therapeutic benefits of the essential oils will be most effective if used within 6 months.

* * Lavender and tea tree essential oils are sometimes said to mimic estrogen. However, Robert Tisserand disagrees, and according to three doctors representing Wake Forest, Yale and Harvard respectively, “Traditional use and clinical trials have not suggested estrogenic effects of tea tree or lavender oil, though estrogenic effects have been reported for other essential oils and plants.” You can read more about the original study and subsequent studies here.

Want more research-backed natural remedies?

No problem, I’ve created a free ebook for you – Kitchen Apothecary: 25+ Natural Remedies Using Ingredients From Your Pantry – as a gift for signing up for my newsletter. You’ll also get updates when I post about safe essential oils for pregnant/breastfeeding mamas, exclusive gifts and coupons (I was able to give away a jar of free coconut oil to anyone who wanted it recently!), plus other goodies.

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Heather https://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[DIY Natural Baby Powder Recipe]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=54915 2017-03-09T04:28:23Z 2017-03-03T00:02:43Z So, you’re standing in the baby aisle holding a bottle of popular baby powder, and then you remember that the brand recently paid to $72 million to women who say the powder caused ovarian cancer. You pick up the next bottle, see “parfum,” and wrinkle your nose because according to the Environmental Working group, fragrances often contain “chemicals […]

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diy-baby-powder-recipe

So, you’re standing in the baby aisle holding a bottle of popular baby powder, and then you remember that the brand recently paid to $72 million to women who say the powder caused ovarian cancer. You pick up the next bottle, see “parfum,” and wrinkle your nose because according to the Environmental Working group, fragrances often contain “chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.” (source)

Although there are safe options out there – this baby powder for example – you can save quite a bit by making your own, and it only takes a minute or so to make. This clay-based baby powder worked wonders as a diaper-rash remedy, especially when combined with my clay-infused diaper cream, zinc-oxide infused diaper cream, tallow balm or calendula salve. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t use all of these at once – I just made up a batch when needed with whatever I happened to have on hand.  🙂

diy-natural-baby-powder-recipe

DIY Natural Baby Powder Recipe

Note for cloth diapering mamas: This powder is compatible with cloth diapers.

Ingredients

* Like cornstarch, arrowroot powder is a starch and can help feed yeast. Since it’s not the primary ingredient in this recipe I don’t know that it would cause a problem for yeast-based rashes, but if you suspect yeast you may want to omit it.

To Make 

Combine clay and arrowroot and pour into a clean glass jar with holes in the top for sprinkling – I use an old spice jar.

How To Use

Powder lightly after a diaper change as needed.

*Special Notes

Powders of any kind are not recommended for children under three months because they can inhale particles into their very sensitive lungs. Use only with older babies.

Want more research-backed natural remedies?

No problem, I’ve created a free ebook for you – Kitchen Apothecary: 25+ Natural Remedies Using Ingredients From Your Pantry – as a gift for signing up for my newsletter. You’ll also get updates when I post about safe essential oils for pregnant/breastfeeding mamas, exclusive gifts and coupons (I was able to give away a jar of free coconut oil to anyone who wanted it recently!), plus other goodies.

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Heather https://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[White Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo)]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=54896 2017-03-01T00:20:29Z 2017-03-01T00:19:18Z White chocolate was my dad’s not-so-secret love language. Whether it was Valentine’s Day, my birthday or a dance recital, he almost always had a box of white chocolates stashed somewhere for me. These days I’m more of a cauliflower pizza or steak or jalapeno poppers girl, but lately I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic for the creamy, […]

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white-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe-gluten-free-paleo

White chocolate was my dad’s not-so-secret love language. Whether it was Valentine’s Day, my birthday or a dance recital, he almost always had a box of white chocolates stashed somewhere for me. These days I’m more of a cauliflower pizza or steak or jalapeno poppers girl, but lately I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic for the creamy, vanilla-infused sweetness of white chocolate.

Adapted from this paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe, these white chocolate chip cookies are perfect for dunking in a cold glass of milk. I hope you love them!

white-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe-paleo-gluten-free-a

White Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
 
Author:
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Melt butter and set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, arrowroot powder, white chocolate chunks, macadamia nuts, cream of tartar and baking soda.
  3. Add egg, maple syrup, vanilla and butter to the bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
  4. Place dough in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes. While it's chilling, preheat the oven to 325F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  5. When the dough is ready, scoop out a heaping tablespoon and roll the dough into a ball. It will be stick but should be firm enough to roll. Press it flat onto a baking sheet and repeat the process until all the dough is used.
  6. Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes, depending on how chewy/crisp you prefer your cookies. Enjoy!

 

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