Black Cumin Seed Oil

Nigella sativa

Black Cumin Seed Oil is cold processed oil from the seeds and is part of the primrose family.

This oil has been tagged a miracle oil and is under instense study due to the benifits it has afforded people. It can be taken internally but we use it externally in our soaps, lotions and salves. It has a slight mild peppery smell and is a clear green tinged grey color. It contains over 100 chemical compounds. It’s primary ingredient is crystalline nigellone but it also contains thymoquinone, beta sitosterol, myristic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorous. It is being used and studied in cancer therapy. Black cumin has been found to boost the auto immune system and is being studied to see how it can benefit medicine in this area also.

Black Cumin Seed Uses:

  • Can help quiet itching and pain.
  • Skin conditions such as allergies, eczema, acne, psoriasis and abcesses
  • Anti-parasitic so may help ringworm
  • Anti inflammatory and can help ease joint pain due to arthritis like conditions
  • Tired and aching muscles Backache, arthritis, bruises, and rheumatism
  • Skin fungus
  • Antioxidant: Prevents or delays the damaging oxidization of the body’s cells – particularly useful against free radicals.
  • Provides shine to hair.

Other various names: Ajenuz, Aranuel, Baraka, Black Cumin, Black Caraway, Charnuska, Cheveux de Vénus, Cominho Negro, Comino Negro, Cumin Noir, Fennel Flower, Fitch, Graine de Nigelle, Graine Noire, Kalajaji, Kalajira, Kalonji, La Grainer Noire, Love in a Mist, Mugrela, Nielle, Nigella sativa, Nigelle de Crête, Nigelle Cultivée, Nutmeg Flower, Poivrette, Roman-Coriander, Schwarzkummel, Small Fennel, Toute Épice, Upakuncika.

 

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Karanja Seed Oil Skin Benefits

Karanja Seed Oil is cold pressed from the seeds of the Pongam Tree that is native to India. It is a cousin to Neem oil and is used in place of neem in soaps and lotions to avoid the pungeant smell of neem oil. Karanja Oil has a pleasant nutty aroma and golden color.

In skin care, Karanja Oil is used to treat eczema, psoriasis, skin ulcers, dandruff and promotes wound healing. It has been found to be antibacterial, antimalarial, antitumor and antiulcer properties. High Oleic (Omega-9) Fatty Acid Content that is usually over 50% which makes it good for intensive skin care.

Karanja Oil is also prized for its insecticidal and antiseptic properties and is utilized in pet care for the treatment of fleas, mange, and scabies. Its insecticidal properties also make Karanja Oil great for agricultural use, serving as a natural pest repellent.

Uses of Karanja Seed Oil:

  • Eczema
  • psoriasis
  • Dandruff and scalp itch
  • promotes healing of wounds
  • Good for pets to relieve itchy conditions
  • Treats mange when mixed with Neem Oil.
  • Insecticidal used in agriculture also.

Antibacterial Activity of Karanja Seed Oil & Neem Oil

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Tamanu Oil Skin Benefits

Tamanu Oil

Tamanu oil originates tropical areas and goes by many names according to where it is. Tamanu orginates from Tahiti but it is called Kamani in Hawaii, Dilo in Fiji and Ballnut in Australia. The oil is green in color, with rich, woody-spicy oil bouquet. The oil is rich in fatty acids and is full of compounds that are still being found such as antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal and antioxidant.

Some of the compounds in this oil include calophyllolide which is known to possess anti-inflammatory properties, and delta-tocotrienol which is a form of vitamin E, as well as a number of antioxidants. It is reputed to have wondrous wound-healing properties, and is reduce inflammation and destroys bacteria, as well as being a cure-all for every skin ailment you can think of, from acne to eczema to psoriasis.  It is a powerful healer for burns, cuts, eczema, burns, rashes and insect bites. It can be applied neat to the skin or blended with a carrier oil. Absorbs into skin at average speed, slight oil feeling left on skin.

History: Natives believed the Tamanu tree was a sacred gift of nature and that gods hid in its branches. It was their answer to skin protection from hot sun, high humidity and ocean wind. Since the 1930s the effectiveness of Tamanu oil has been studied in hospitals and by researchers in Europe, Asia, and the Pacific islands

Some of the things people use Tamanu Oil for:

  • chapped lips
  • insect bites
  • athlete’s foot
  • scabies
  • anti-aging
  • wound infections
  • abscesses
  • boils
  • burns
  • jock itch
  • ringworm
  • athlete’s foot
  • scars
  • acne
  • eczema
  • dermatitis
  • psoriasis

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Tamanu Oil has antimicrobial qualities, contains powerful bactericide and fungicide agents, and can be applied directly to skin, undiluted. Cautions: Persons with nut allergy should not use this oil.

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Shea Butter Skin Benefits

Known as African karite butter, it is derived from the pits of the fruit of the African Butter Tree which grows in Africa. Used for centuries for foot and body care, Shea Butter is able to moisturize and nourish the skin. Native to Western Africa, this is a beautifully rich & decadent ingredient. Shea butter is known for it’s regenerative, emollient and protectant properties. Shea butter aids in the prevention of premature aging and offers a unique characteristic of providing extra sun protection. It nourishes and treats dry, chapped, sunburned and irritated skin.

Shea butter has a vast number of proven healing properties stemming from its physical makeup of vitamin E, vitamin A and cinnamic acid to name a few. Shea butters ingredients increase the healing of wounds and improve scars. It is commonly used in the treatment of eczema, rashes, burns, and severely dry skin.

Shea butter contains natural UV sun protection or has a variable SPF value. Daily use of shea butter on the face and body drastically reduces sun exposure, which in turn slows down the rate of aging due to external factors.

Here is a quick reference list of the benefits of shea butter:

  • scars, burns, and stretch marks.
  • chapping, and skin rashes.
  • hair dressing that protects the scalp from sores and rashes and prevents dandruff.
  • prevents weak hair from breaking, fading, or thinning out.
  • Fortifies cuticles and nails.
  • Seals and moisturizes and is used widely in baby product.
  • dry skin, dermatitis, eczema, sunburn and athletes foot.
  • aging skin and helps clear wrinkles.
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Bathroom Cleaner From Your Cupboard

Here is a great bathroom cleaner from your cupboard to replace those commercial brand bathroom cleaners that take your breath away. Made out of all natural ingredients. It is easy to make and very economical.

Ingredients:

  • Baking Soda 1 Cup – in baking section
  • Borax 1 Cup – in laundry soap section
  • Washing Soda 1 Cup – in laundry soap section of the store – not the same as it’s sibling Baking Soda.
  • Liquid Soap 2 Tbsp.
  • Essential Oil 2 Tbsp. – Lemon, Orange, Lavender, Cedar Wood, Eucalyptus, and *Tea Tree are all good oils to use as they all have various properties that kill germs, fungus etc. Usually available at Health Food Stores or Craft stores. In a pinch you can leave these out.

*Tea Tree has the broadest element that kills germs, fungus, and virii, etc.

If mixing with your hands wear rubber gloves because these ingredients will dry out your skin. Get a container such as a pail, bowl to mix the ingredients in. A small re-purposed food container with a cover is a good choice that will hold 3-4 cups.

Combine baking soda, washing soda and borax in the container. Blend in the liquid soap and the essential oil until completely mixed and powdery. (Food processor, electric mixer, hand blender can be used but will cause a dusty fog you do not want to breathe in!)   To use: Wet surface and sprinkle a small amount of powder on the surface or on a wet sponge. Wear rubber gloves because the sodas and borax can dry out your skin, scrub surface with a sponge or cloth. Rinse well. Your surfaces and fixtures will sparkle!!

Do not use on aluminum or fiberglass. On these surfaces a paste of baking soda mixed with dish soap will work without scratching.

Need an extra punch to get off that calcium hard water build up? Lemon Juice. Wet sponge and put on build up. Let sit. Come back and wipe off.   Do not use on aluminum or fiberglass. On these surfaces a paste of baking soda mixed with dish soap will work without scratching.

 

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Soap vs. Detergent

Soap

Soap is made of natural fats and lye. When lye hits the fats it changes the makeup of the fat into soap. There is no such thing as soap without lye. Its pH level is between 9 and 10, meaning it is alkaline. This makes it an effective as a cleaning agent. Soap is generally available through small businesses and made in small batches but for a very few larger companies. Our soaps are safe enough that the government does not regulate them.

vs. Detergent

Detergent is made from petroleum products and chemicals with very little if any natural oils or ingredients. Detergents contain preservatives and antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral agents, which do not have an agreeable smell. They also contain other chemicals to get consistency, hardness, etc. to what you expect in that product. As a result, detergents usually contain heavy perfumes to counteract the odor. Even your unscented detergent has scent in it to mask the objectionable odor of the chemicals. I have worked for a couple of soap manufacturers and cosmetic companies in sales. Toured one facility and saw the bags of chemicals used back in the mid 1970s. Sneezing fits galore through the warehouse part of the tour and my nose became a faucet. Recent studies have found deposits of those same chemicals in the human body in fat layers. Your skin absorbs what you put on it. Their products are regulated by the government due to the chemicals.

Liquid Soap

How much cleaning product are you actually getting? Something I haven’t brought up about soaps made in the way we make them and other small businesses make soap compared to what the manufacturers actually have in the products they produce. The percentage of actual product you get in small business soaps compared to big manufacturer detergents is very different. The amount of actual soap in our liquid soaps are at 20-28% soap which is dependent on the oils we use. The manufactured soaps you buy are under 10% of actual detergent the rest is chemicals, preservative, thickeners, etc. that are not soap and a huge amount of water in the liquids.

Our liquid soap when fully cooked is a mass of vaseline like gel. To get it to a liquid we have to add a certain amount of distilled water so it is pourable and let it sit for a day or two. We only dilute as much as that particular soap needs. I could add more distilled water like the manufacturers do and charge lower prices, but prefer not to sell you water with a little soap in it. So you have to use a lot less of our product to get clean. I do have liquid laundry soap that we have been using for quite a while and we only use 2 oz. per large load of laundry. Our laundry room has our soap, borax and washing soda in it and a bottle of vinegar. Our clothes are clean, have no odor and soft. Static? We do not use fabric softener because we don’t need to anymore. We also use this soap as a spot remover ahead of time. Our shampoo you only need about the size of a nickle dollop to even wash my long hair. The lather is outstanding on the liquid soaps.

Bar Soap

Our bar soap is above 90% soap while the manufactures have 10% or less in theirs and the rest is fillers and chemicals. The lather is phenominal in my opinion compared to commercial brand soaps and the way your skin feels afterwards is great. I don’t feel like my skin is pulling and tight at all when I rinse which is an indicator that the soap dried out your skin and stripped some of the natural oils from it.

 

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Old Time Lye Soap’s Many Uses

Grandma’s lye soap was used as a pre-wash to help get dirt and grime from the laundry. Dampen the spot and rub the bar on the area. Then throw the item in the wash. In the old days it was claimed that lye soap made the clothes come out cleaner and brighter. The whites were whiter. You can grate a few tablespoons of lye soap into hot water and let sit to liquefy the soap and use that instead of commercial laundry detergent. I have tried this for stain removal myself and it works on those little stains from cooking.

This soap was used every day as a body soap and said to help with acne, eczema and psoriasis. People who have changed back to lye soap say their skin is softer, it makes hair shine and helped eliminate dandruff.

Hunters and sportsmen used it to bathe as they said it helps eliminate the human scent and does not add any scent. Did you know that the commercial brands of soap that say they are unscented actually are? They add scent to cover the smell of the chemicals to a point that we can’t smell it.

They used it when someone got into some poison oak, poison ivy or poison sumac. Lather up the area and let the lather dry on your skin. It will eliminate the burning and itching. This application also works for mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, sunburn and athlete’s foot. They claimed it also killed head and body lice. Our ancestors also used it on their pets to kills fleas and reduce dander.

Grandma also used it in various other ways. She would tie a bar into and old sock and hang it near the porch to keep bugs away. The scrapings from the big iron kettle in which she made the soap, were spread around the outside of the home to keep ants and termites away. Boy I can use that around here! Our house sits on the edge of the woods and ants are a problem. Hate putting down poisons to stop them.

Some men swore that homemade lye soap made good fish bait, and that it would keep snakes, spiders, and roaches away from the house. They used soap as a degreaser when they worked on equipment. A little lye soap rubbed on the bottom of drawers made them open easier. Door hinges would get lye soap rubbed into them to stop squeaking. Grandma stuck her pins into it when sewing to make the pins glide into the fabric. I have even done that. Can’t get a ring off a finger rub the bar of soap on that finger.

I am sure there were more uses for this wonderfully simple soap. After a request for us to make it we started doing some research while it was curing. Then I began to wonder, why did we run to the store over and over and buy all that stuff to do all the things above and pay out a lot of money on some of that stuff, when we just had to have one bar of old fashioned lye soap?

If you have any further uses for old fashioned lye soap please leave a comment below.

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Cleanser For A Savings

Soft Scrubs or cleansers were brought to the public to replace the cleansers that scratched surfaces. You only need two ingredients to make your own which will save you money. It also has no chemicals in it that will harm you. I have tested this home made version against the top brand and the home made version worked great and took less scrubbing.

Ingredients:

Baking Soda

Liquid Soap

Put some baking soda in a sealable container. Try 1/2 cup to 1 cup. Stir in liquid soap until it makes a paste. Seal the top when you are done. If you find that the paste has dried up a bit the next time you use it just add some more liquid soap.

I used this to clean an oven and it worked on some bad over burned spots and the oven came out shiny clean. I applied the paste without much effort and let it sit. Then took my sponge and rinsed. The majority of the crud came off and those spots left took one more application done in the same way. Baked on grease be gone! Then I scrubbed my sink, stove top, under the stove top with the same ease. It worked so well I threw out the bottle of commercial stuff that took my breath away when bleach and chemical smells came wafting out.  One more detergent gone.

Look at the ratings on some cleaners and how unsafe they are at Enviromental Home Cleaning

 

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Why We Are Making Natural Soap

The last few years have been a medical nightmare for our family. Heart problems and bowel problems. Each of them led us on ways to help take care of these conditions with some natural changes to our diets. It worked for both of those conditions and our doctors encouraged it throughout. Both conditions are now under control with less medicine and natural organic foods. We are getting back to living without the added stress. Through our journey of eating more natural foods and going with organically grown veggies I had a thought. The stuff we put on our bodies is just as important as the stuff we put into our bodies. Our skin does absorb the chemicals that are in the detergent bought in the local store. We were still using the big manufacturers detergents on our bodies (the men)  and in our laundry and dish detergents, etc. around the house. Those chemical effect us and our environment and we are seeing more and more reports of this in the media.

Years ago I was lucky enough to have a seed planted by my husband’s grandmother. She told us about how they used to make soap and how she missed it and the smell. They used lye or potash they made themselves and the fat rendered from the cows and pigs they raised on the farm. I have on occasion smelled some old fashioned soaps made that way and while the scent was strongly soapy it was not displeasing and made me think ‘clean’. But, I also heard others say that those soaps burned their skin. I have learned since why that happened. Today soaps are made from very carefully crafted recipes that are measured precisely and the some of this and that looks about right methods of making soap back then are not used. That some of this and that looks about right caused the problems.

I found a place to purchase all natural soaps from that I loved. Vermont Soaps but I lived in Michigan. I would buy their wonderful bar soap in bulk when it was on sale. But, the men here prefer liquid soap and refused to use it. To tell the truth I prefer it too for convenience. Grandma’s story kept swimming around in my head and I got the book by Catherine Failor titled “Liquid Soaps”. It all sounded daunting so I put it away. Then as I had that thought about putting chemical stuff on our bodies I got the book back out and actually read the procedures and the recipes sounded great. I researched and joined some wonderful online message boards and viewed tutorials at YouTube by soap crafters. I can do this!!!

While researching ingredients and where to get them I came across a recipe that was so simple it made my head spin. The directions for a laundry soap was dump three ingredients into a bucket and stir. Then stir two times a day for five days. Failed! That lump of white slimy gunk that I made served its purpose, I had to do this the way the professional soapers did it and measure my ingredients by weight, use a calculator to get the correct amounts, and cook and stir at my witch’s cauldron. My first batch of liquid soap was dish soap. My husband thought it cute that I let out a laugh each time I used it on something out of amazement at how well it worked and said I sounded like a happy witch. He was referencing my mother’s family that has ties to the Salem Witch Trials. Yes, genealogy and family history is something I love to do, too.

After that first batch of dish soap I started to craft and test more types of liquid soaps. I research each ingredient I want to put into my creations to make sure they will do what I want that particular soap to do. I also have a huge yard and love to garden and do it organically. We grow herbs and fruits mainly and buy our organic veggies from a local farmer. This year I am expanding the garden to include more herbs in larger quantities to put into our soaps. Going to have to ask a neighbor to use his tractor for the first tilling and I will offer an exchange of soap for his time and trouble, of course.

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Natural Glass Cleaner For Pennies

Mix your own glass cleaner from ingredients you already have in your home. This cleaner is more natural and it is economical. It even works on those dried splashes on the bathroom mirror quite well. Cleans films from cooking and smoke off also.

1/4 c. rubbing alcohol

1/4 c. white vinegar

1 Tbsp cornstarch

2 c. warm water

A couple of drops of natural dish soap can be added for a boost to cleaning. Don’t use too much as it can leave a film.

Put in spray bottle you can purchase one or just re-use an old one from large brand cleaner you have bought in the past to save even more money.  Get cleaning windows, mirrors and chrome and any shiny surface you can think of. Produces no suds but suds actually are not what is grabbing that dirt and getting if off.

 

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