Natural mosquito (flea and ant) repellent

Ingredients:

1/2 litre of alcohol
100 gram of whole cloves
100 ml of baby oil or similar (almond, sesame, chamomile, lavender, fennel etc)

Preparation:

Leave cloves to marinate in alcohol four days
Stir every morning and evening
After 4 days add the oil
It’s now ready to use.

How to use:

Gently rub a few drops into the skin of the arms, legs and neck.
Observe the mosquitoes fleeing the room.
Repels fleas on pets too.

Natural weed killer

Anything to help the environment and prevent toxic run-off from things round-up and the like.

1 gallon vinegar
2 cups epson salt
1/4 cup dawn dish soap (blue original)

spray it in the morning and have it gone by dinner.

 

Unclog your drain without the harsh chemicals

A realtor and contractor once told me to never put draino down your drains unless you want a big problem later. This solution won’t unclog stubborn drains but it will get a slow drain flowing again.

How to Unclog A Drain With Baking Soda and Vinegar

  • Pour a pot of boiling hot water down your drain.
  • Dump in about 1/2 c. baking soda. Let that sit for a few minutes.
  • Then, pour a mixture of 1 c. vinegar and 1. c very hot water down on top of the baking soda.
  • Cover with a drain plug (to keep the reaction down below the drain surface) if you have one and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Flush one more time with a pot of boiling water.

grade: F
Getting the baking soda to go down the drain is a challenge – unless you maybe have the drain cover completely off. Once you add the vinegar it foams up the sink around the drain and doesn’t do much else. You’re better off getting a sink plunger.

Anti-Vax Movement

I’ve done my fair share of research across the web – including the CDC website and various medical articles. Now, this is just a dump of what I’ve found and weighing the pro’s and con’s of each, trying to be as unbiased as possible. What you decide to do is your choice. Personally, I vaccinate but on my own schedule of only 1-2 vaccines at a time to not overload my baby’s system. This also allows me to pin-point a reaction should she have one. An example of an alternative vaccine schedule such as one by Dr. Robert Sears can be found here: alternative vaccine schedule. If you decide to do an alternative schedule, keep in mind you will be vaccinating once a month for awhile (where well check-ups are once every 2 months for 3 months),

What I’ve found: obviously the CDC does not report every reaction because it is up to the parent or doctor to report it. The CDC vaccine reaction site (VAERS) cannot pin-point which vaccine caused the reaction, as it is typical to give shots in clusters. The anti-vax sites tend to over-exaggerate some details. One main talking point is the ingredients in vaccines such as high levels of mercury causing autism. The fact of the matter is, mercury is no longer used; aluminum took its place (it helps to stimulate a better response). The levels of mercury that were present once upon a time were less than what you would get in a can of tuna. Some other ingredients that are disconcerting: formaldehyde, monkey liver, human serum, bovine extract – most are used as preservatives in every day foods and beauty products, or in such low levels it’s barely detectable. The ingredients for each vaccine can be found here.

Herd-immunity: this is the notion that if everyone is vaccinated, then a disease cannot spread. Vaccines are not effective for everyone and can wear off, but it is less likely that a disease will spread and hit those that have an immune deficiency if their peers around them are protected. With the gaining popularity of parents not vaccinating their kids at all, there is more of a chance of disease spreading and otherwise dormant diseases to make an appearance again.

DTap – diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/dtap.html

  • what is is: Diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through cuts and wounds. Diphtheria causes a thick coating in the back of your throat. Tetanus (commonly known as lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles all over the body. Pertussis (commonly known as whooping cough) causes coughing spells so bad that its hard for infants to eat, drink or breathe and can last for weeks.
  • common reactions to the vaccine: Fever and irritability for 24-72 hours after injection. Localized swelling, redness or tenderness at the injection site and a knot under the skin lasting several weeks. Swelling of entire limb (arm or leg), fatigue, poor appetite, vomiting. High pitched screaming or non-stop crying for 3+ hours, seizures, fever over 102.5, severe irritability or neurological changes should be reported.
  • serious adverse reactions to the vaccine: Serious allergic reaction, long-term seizures, coma, lowered consciousness, permanent brain damage, very high fever, and behavioral changes.
  • The following was reported on VAERS between 2012-2013: 126 adverse reports. Death (2 reports), projectile vomiting, fever, rash, blood in stool, seizure, diarrhea, unresponsive, intussusception, fussiness, uncontrollable crying, swelling, lethargy, loss of appetite, screaming, troubled breathing, knot at injection site, sweating, dehydration, limp body, hives, touch sensitivity, gasping for air, reflux, apnea.
  • reactions to the disease if your child contracts it: Diphtheria can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and death. Tetanus can lead to locking of the jaw so the victim cannot open their mouth or swallow, and death. Pertussis can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death.

MMR – measles, mumps, and rubella
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/mmr.html

  • what it is: Measles causes rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation and fever. Mumps causes fever, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite and swollen glands. Rubella (commonly known as German measles) causes rash, arthritis and mild fever. This is the main vaccine targeted by anti-vaxxers regarding autism. There was an article published by Dr. Andrew Wakefield linking MMR to autism that has since been redacted and disproven. The article is still at the forefront of the argument.
  • common reactions to the vaccine: Rash, cough, irritability, fever for 7-14 days following injection. Mild measles infection lasting no more than 2-5 days. Swelling of glands in cheeks or neck. Seizure, low blood platelet count, and stiffness of the joints.
  • serious adverse reactions to the vaccine: Deafness, long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness, permanent brain damage, serious allergic reaction, very high fever, and behavioral changes.
  • reactions to the disease if your child contracts it: Measles can lead to ear infections, pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death. Mumps can lead to deafness, meningitis, painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries, and sometimes sterility. Pregnant women with Rubella can miscarry, or have a child born with serious birth defects.

Polio (IPV) – inactivated polio virus
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/ipv.html

  • what it is: A virus that enters through the mouth and causes paralysis and meningitis. The disease is virtually non-existent in the US but can easily be brought from another country.
  • common reactions to the vaccine: Redness or swelling at the injection site and mild/moderate fever. The anti-vax sites tend to say that your child contracts a mild case of polio with vaccination – this is incorrect. The vaccine that was given orally used to have activated polio but is no longer used.
  • serious adverse reactions to the vaccine: Serious allergic reaction, very high fever, behavioral changes, and sometimes death.
  • The following was reported on VAERS between 2012-2013: 53 adverse reports. Death (2 reports), fussiness, lethargic, diarrhea, seizure, apnea.
  • reactions to the disease if your child contracts it: Can cause paralysis and deformity of the limbs, and can cause death by paralyzing the muscles that help us breathe.

HIB – haemophilus influenzae type b
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hib.html

  • what it is: A serious bacteria that can cause meningitis is children under 5.
  • common reactions to the vaccine: Redness or swelling around the injection site. Fever of 101 or higher within 24 hours after immunization. Any fever over 102.5 should be reported.
  • serious adverse reactions to the vaccine: Serious allergic reaction, fainting, ringing in ears, vision changes, very high fever, and behavioral changes.
  • The following was reported on VAERS between 2012-2013: 649 adverse reports. Death (16 reports), fever, seizure, unresponsive, lethargic, apnea, low heart rate, vomiting, intussusception, breathing issues, screaming, bloody stool, sepsis, poor circulation, dehydration, swelling, hives, rash, fussy, hair fallout, muscle separation, weight loss, cold sweats, knot at injection site, heart attack.
  • reactions to the disease if your child contracts it: Can cause brain damage, deafness, pneumonia, severe swelling of the throat, infections of the blood, joints, bones, and covering of the heart, and death.

Prevnar (PCV 13) – pneumoncoccal conjugate
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/pcv13.html

  • what it is: A disease caused by streptococcus pneumoniae and is spread from person to person
  • common reactions to the vaccine: Loss of appetite, redness, swelling or soreness at injection site, fussiness or irritability, mild to moderate fever, and drowsiness.
  • serious adverse reactions to the vaccine: Serious allergic reaction, very high fever, and behavioral changes.
  • The following was reported on VAERS between 2012-2013: 621 adverse reports. Death (35 reports), fever, cold sweats, loss of sleep, screaming, diarrhea, unresponsive, rash, dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting, fussiness, breathing issues, swelling, hives, bloody stool, intussusception, apnea, seizures, heart attack, blue color, weight loss, lethargic
  • reactions to the disease if your child contracts it: Can cause pneumonia, blood infections, meningitis, deafness, brain damage, and death.

Varicella – chicken pox
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/varicella.html

  • what it is: A blistering of the skin much like hives that can be serious for young infants and elderly.
  • common reactions to the vaccine: Soreness or swelling at the injection site and fever. A mild rash up to a month after vaccination. Slight possibility of child being able to infect others.
  • serious adverse reactions to the vaccine: Pneumonia, seizure, severe brain reactions, low blood count, serious allergic reaction, very high fever, and behavioral changes.
  • reactions to the disease if your child contracts it: Rash, itching, fever, and tiredness. It can lead to severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage, and sometimes death. If a child contracts chicken pox, they may contract shingles as an adult.

Hepatitis B
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hep-b.html

  • what it is: A serious infection that affects the liver and is spread by contact with infected blood or bodily fluids, or from mother to child during birth.
  • common reactions to the vaccine: Mild to moderate fever and soreness at the injection site lasting 24-48 hours.
  • serious adverse reactions to the vaccine: Serious allergic reaction, very high fever, and behavioral changes.
  • reactions to the disease if your child contracts it: Can cause loss of appetite, tiredness, pain in muscles, joints, and stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, and death.

Hepatitis A
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hep-a.html

  • what it is: A serious infection that affects the liver and is contracted by infected stool.
  • common reactions to the vaccine: Soreness at the injection site, fatigue, headache or loss of appetite lasting 24-48 hours.
  • serious adverse reactions to the vaccine: Serious allergic reaction, very high fever, and behavioral changes.
  • reactions to the disease if your child contracts it: Can cause a flu-like illness, jaundice, severe stomach pains, diarrhea, and sometimes death.

Rotavirus
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/rotavirus.html

  • what it is: A stomach virus that can cause diarrhea. This is an oral dose that is giving the child a small dose of the virus to build up immunity.
  • common reactions to the vaccine: Irritability, mild temporary diarrhea or vomiting.
  • serious adverse reactions to the vaccine: Intussusception, severe allergic reaction, very high fever, and behavioral changes.
  • The following was reported on VAERS between 2012-2013: 865 adverse reports. Death (21 reports), bloody stools, screaming, diarrhea, seizures, intussusception, swelling, heart attack, loss of appetite, mucous.
  • reactions to the disease if your child contracts it: Can cause severe diarrhea that can lead to dehydration, and sometimes death.

MCV4 – meningococcal vaccine
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/mening.html

  • what it is: The leading cause of bacterial meningitis is children aged 2-18 in the US (most commonly children under 1 years of age and ages 16-21). Meningitis is an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord.
  • common reactions to the vaccine: Redness or soreness at injection site, and mild fever.
  • serious adverse reactions to the vaccine: Serious allergic reaction, very high fever, and behavioral changes.
  • reactions to the disease if your child contracts it: Meningitis, blood infections, loss of limb (arms or legs), nervous system problems, deafness, mental retardation, seizures, strokes, and sometimes death.

HPV – human papillomavirus
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hpv-gardasil.html

  • what it is: A sexually transmitted disease that can cause warts.
  • common reactions to the vaccine: Redness, pain and swelling at injection site, headache, fainting, and mild to moderate fever.
  • serious adverse reactions to the vaccine: Serious allergic reaction, very high fever, and death.
  • reactions to the disease if your child contracts it: Can cause warts, cervical cancer, vulvar and other vaginal cancer, anal cancer, and oropharyngeal cancer.

Inactivated Influenza – flu
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/flu.html

  • what it is: Flu is an infectious disease that is usually spread between the months of October and May. It lasts for several days and can be severe in young infants, elderly or those with a weakened immune system.
  • common reactions to the vaccine: Redness, soreness, and swelling at injection site, hoarseness, sore, red or itchy eyes, cough, fever, aches, headache, itching, fatigue.
  • serious adverse reactions to the vaccine: Seizures, severe allergic reaction, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), and sometimes death.
  • reactions to the disease if your child contracts it: fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, runny or stuffy nose, pneumonia, diarrhea, seizures, and sometimes death.

No matter what side you choose to be on, here are two good articles to read:
pro-vaccine
response to above article

 

The no poo movement

The no poo movement is not what it sounds, it’s in reference to ditching the suds in shampoo during your bathing routine. While this still sounds pretty disgusting, it’s really not. The shampoo industry wants you to believe that your hair will not be clean or manageable unless you lather up with their product. What shampoo actually does is strip your scalp of your natural oils called sebum – a natural conditioner; your scalp then goes into over drive to produce more oil, thus making you want to wash your hair more – the vicious cycle. It’s the foaming agent in shampoo that does the most harm, the chemical called sodium lauryl sulfate which is a toxic detergent that irritates the skin causing dandruff and itching. Heck, the stuff even stays detectable in your body for 5 days after use! So the movement began to ditch the poo (or we’re just getting back to our roots /pun).

There are various benefits to no poo including no dandruff, beautiful healthy hair, lustrous shine (read: not greasy), more body, more manageability, holds a style, less fly-aways, seriously – the list goes on! There are many ways to get to this goal and it all depends on hair type really. Some just use water to wash their hair, others add in a weekly or 2x a week baking soda scrub (equal parts baking soda and water) and apple cider vinegar conditioner (equal parts ACV and water) and brushing your hair before showers to loosen the oil. Hair type will also factor in ease and time it will take to get these gorgeous results. At minimum, expect a few weeks of ick for your scalp to get back to normal (before you started abusing it every day with abrasives). The followers are largely women with thick wavy or curly hair, but I decided give it a go regardless of my limp baby fine thin hair.

Well before I started this, I was washing my hair every other day for 2 years beforehand. I still got greasy on that day that I shampooed! Now I ‘wash’ with water every day, taking the time to massage my scalp as if I were shampooing. Here’s my experience:

Day 1: I started after a no-wash day so my hair had a definite grease factor to it. I keep my hair in a ponytail most of the day anyway

Day 2: I noticed that my hair tends to stick together in the shower like one big long clump, and when I wake in the morning it is a bit crunchy (I shower before bed)

Day 3: Holy dandruff! I brushed before my shower to get everything loose and even then my nails collected some scalp cheese during my wash

Day 4: Dandruff is gone, grease is there about 2″ down the hair follicle. ponytail it is

Day 5-7: No change. Unless my hair is down, you can’t really tell that it’s greasy

Day 8-16: Still 2-3″ of grease factor but you can’t tell when it’s up. There is no smell. I do notice a bit of wave coming to my otherwise straight as a board hair. And I’m getting more volume further down the follicle. Hadn’t had a need for conditioner which is surprising

Day 16-33: Every now and again I’ll get an itchy scalp with a very little dandruff. I’m still on water only and still have a grease factor. I noticed my white pillow case was getting a little yellow so I washed the sheets and then washed my hair with half baking soda and half water. It came out like I washed it, and the next day was not greasy. May be worth it to do every other week.

Month 2: I’m using baking soda and water once a week, I’m still a little greasy the couple days leading up to the baking soda wash. I use coconut oil the day before a wash to condition my hair ends. I have some frizziness that will hopefully resolve.

Month 3: Switched to every other week on baking soda, grease has gone down finally. Debating on dying my hair but I’m not too comfortable with adding chemicals. Arrgh.

Month 4: Ended up dyeing my hair and guess what? The color came out just as fast as shampooing. I found out the baking soda essentially strips the color. Oh well. I cut out the baking soda almost completely (except after I came in contact with a possible tb patient at work and felt like I needed to extract any yuckies). After doing baking soda I notice that my hair spends a few days being greasy shortly after a day of wonderful fluff.

Month 5-7: I’ve been experimenting, mostly just washing my hair with water only and using coconut oil to condition. Today I found this article and am baffled! http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/13831-baking-soda-destroyed-hair.html?c=jer I noticed the ends of my hair was starting to go dry versus the lustrous shine I read about, getting breakage and some dander which was promised to disappear. Now I’m on to finding a baking soda alternate, though it’s doing wonders for my face washing with it. This article might be worth a shot.

Month 8: I tried egg and that is full of trial and error so far. I read that you use with cool water so the egg whites do not “cook” and stick in your hair. I took a hot shower first and saved the hair for last, maybe the room was too steamy or I thought the water was cooler than it was but I still ended up with a few bits of white. Also, the process of getting the egg in my hair was full of fail – I cracked it in a cup after shaking it to scramble (thanks pinterest), then shook the cup to actually scramble it and started to pour on top of my head which promptly went right down to the floor. I have a game plan for next time as this shouldn’t be done more than once every 2 weeks.

Month 9: I have added in rye flour once a week, my hair still would like to be washed with at least water every day, but I’ve been washing with water every other day. The days of no water are still greasy.

1 year update: I still haven’t found the happy medium for my hair but I do have a routine down now. I alternate between 1 day of sulfate free shampoo a week and the next week do 1 day of rye flour. I love the rye because it works and leave my hair silky but it’s a mess and sometimes makes my scalp itchy if I don’t get it all out.