When we started our GAPS journey, I quickly realised that a huge part of the problem that needed to be solved, was the toxins that we had surrounded ourselves with. Part of the recommendations when you start GAPS, is to have a good look at your home: your medicines, your cosmetics, your cleaning products. The reason for this is beautifully put in the book: "Your skin is as absorbent as your mouth." This means that if you aren't willing to eat your cosmetics, you probably shouldn't put it on your skin.
Because we all had leaky guts, meaning that any toxins that went through the GI tract also leaked into our bloodstream, our bodies were completely overloaded with toxins. Now that we have been on the journey of detoxing our bodies, I can see how many symptoms were a sign that we were all toxic to our gills. And if I was going to go to all the hardwork that GAPS entails, I didn't want to do it in an environment that was just 'retoxing' our system.
So while we were on the GAPS diet, I started to look into our cupboards and drawers, and I started to find replacements and solutions for all these chemicals that I had come to believe I needed to keep our family clean and healthy.
Here are a few examples that may help you on this journey.
Cookware: I got rid of anything that had a coating of teflon on it, and anything that leached chemicals into our food. This included cookware with lead or aluminum, and all our plastics. I have still kept useful plastic containers that I will only ever use for cold or frozen food, but I hardly use it anymore. I replaced our cookware with stainless steel, graded at 18/10. This is the safest grading, and most good quality stainless steel is at this grade, but always check.
I found many sources of stainless steel lunchboxes, thermoses, and storage containers. We sold everything in our kitchen that we were no longer going to use, in order to afford this huge change, and we did it slowly too!
Replacing our cleaning products was quite easy: we invested in as product called Norwex cloths, which you can use to clean your house without chemicals. The cloth fibres are tightly woven, and are also laced with silver, which is a known antibacterial, so the cloths pick up everything, and then clean themselves! They definitely only start smelling after about a week, so I think this works! I also use their washing powder, because it is so safe and free of fillers. (Note: I am in no way affiliated with Norwex, or any other product, I'm just sharing our experience).
My online research showed me how powerful a cleaner and detoxifying agent baking soda is, and we use this along with the cloths to clean surfaces, baths, floors and toilets. I also soak any soiled clothes in water and baking soda before washing. Apple Cider Vinegar is also incredible, in combination with baking soda, for picking up stubborn grime.
As well as replacing cleaning products with either baking soda or safe, eco-friendly brands, I also started making a lot of things myself, like toothpaste, deodorant, and a balm for use on infected cuts and insect bites instead of the chemical-drenched medical options.
Did you know that the cosmetic industry was born after the second world war out of a need to use up all this excess petroleum that was created during the war? We don't need this stuff, it's been a huge sales job.
For personal hygiene, we use baking soda as a deodorant. It is INCREDIBLE how well it works: perfume free, but you end the day with no body odour! I have tested this theory on a friend who had to work in small tunnels, fully clothed in protective clothing, during the Queensland summer. He is still using the baking soda option because he never ever smells sweaty. It is also incredible for detoxing your armpits: drawing toxins out of the lymphatic system around our breasts is starting to look like a really good idea, especially with the dramatic increase in breast cancer.
I keep a jar of cotton wool swabs on the counter next to my bathroom basin, along with a ramekin of baking soda.
I wet the cotton wool swab, then dip it in the baking soda and wipe it on my underarms. Keep it within the hairline, especially if you have recently shaved your armpits, or it will sting.
For toothpaste, we use a good oil and baking soda.
I keep a ramekin of olive oil in winter and coconut oil in summer, because in winter coconut oil is too solid to use. I also put a drop of peppermint essential oil in the carrier oil, to give us minty fresh breath.
In the morning, I dip my toothbrush in the oil, then in the baking soda, and brush. Bad bacteria binds to the oil to keep the mouth clean, and the baking soda helps to keep the teeth nice and white, as well as pulling toxins out of the mouth.
If my teeth are ever feeling sore, I use a technique called 'oil pulling'. I literally swish one of these oils in my mouth for at the most 20 minutes, then wash my mouth out with salty water. This technique has a growing interest as a way of pulling infection from teeth and keeping the mouth really healthy. I had a toothache recently and did this for a week. The toothache went away. So freaking weird, but it works! And it is cheaper than the dentist ha ha!
I also recommend using activated charcoal to brush your teeth every now and then. It is also a fantastic detox agent, and your teeth will never look whiter!
I do want to comment here on how important broth and fat in your diet are in keeping you healthy from the inside. I have not used a moisturiser in 2 1/2 years, but my skin is better than ever. The antioxidants and vitamins in the broth and fat are also helping to protect our skin from burning: we don't get sunburnt anymore, and we don't use suncream unless we are out in the midday Australian sun. We celebrate the sunshine for the first 15 minutes, soaking up the vitamin D, then we cover up with rash vests and hats. The suncream we use is zinc only, free of heavy chemicals like titanium dioxide and other awful toxins that we have been putting on our skin in order to protect it? This is a rabbit hole of nonsense...
Other techniques we have employed to detox our home are putting good indoor plants around the house, they are amazing at soaking up toxins. I laugh as I write this, because I kill plants, but maybe you will have better luck.
At least I'm good at keeping kids alive!
Salt lamps are also a handy addition to any home looking to keep toxins at bay, they are also good for reducing synthetic electro-magnetic frequency, and because of the minerals they release into the air when they are warmed up, they are fantastic for colds and flu. I am a salt lamp convert!
It has been such a revelation that we don't need to spend our money on all these toxic things that we are told we need to have a clean home. The opposite is true! Now we spend our money on good organic food, and beautiful natural products and ingredients for keeping our home low tox.
So I started making this balm for the family, and I soon found that it could be used for everything: rashes, eczema, burns, including sunburn, nappy rash, cracked nipples, stretch marks, dry skin, dry lips, hair moisturiser, to name a few. I have been able to get rid of almost all the synthetic medicines in my first aid box, and I have been giving tins of this miracle balm to friends, with wonderful feedback! I had to develop a balm to help my son breathe when he presented with asthmatic symptoms in 2014 and 2015, so I added some essential oils to my balm, like a homemade Vicks, and this has proved so successful that we have had only 1 mild chesty episode in 2016 so far, and we turned it around without medication or the usual hospital visit!
I made a decision recently, egged on by my sister-in-law who healed a burn that wouldn't heal in one week with my balm, to start making these little tins of goodness as a business venture. And that's what I've done! I have developed 3 balms, that I wouldn't leave home without:
All purpose healing balm - GMF Healing Balm can be used for: calming eczema, burns, rashes; treating septic cuts, painful scrapes and insect bites; drawing out thorns and splinters; soothing cracked nipples; reducing the appearance of stretch marks; calming nappy rash, plus more.Ingredients: Beeswax, Cold pressed Olive Oil*, Coconut Oil, Jojoba oil.
Chest sole balm - my homemade Vicks that you rub on the soles of the feet, and it literally opens your sinuses and eases your cough.
and Sleep sole balm - my personal favourite: it has magnesium and lavender in it, to ease aching muscles, settle the nervous system in overstimulated babies and adults, and assists the adrenal system to calm down so that you can fall asleep when your body needs to.
I am so excited to offer these balms to you now, and if you would like to order one, click here for details.