I have touched on many areas of wellness so far, now it is time to dive into health. I promised myself at the beginning of this year that I would do everything I could to lead a healthier life. One of the things that has been plaguing me for a while is all that I have learned about the chemicals we expose ourselves to on a daily basis. Research done by the Environmental Working Group has shown us some scary truths. The average woman is exposed to 168 chemicals a day – most often before breakfast – in our cosmetics and personal care products. Read about the highlights of the study here. I am sure that many of you will want to argue this, and that is fine. Just do me a favor and look up what is in your care products, and then Google that shit. You might learn something surprising.
This leads me back to the title of this entry. Every journey begins with just one step. What will yours be? My first step was to eliminate essentially all of my household cleaners. This happened with the pregnancy of my first child back in 2011. There was this ah-ha moment in my life where we were putting all of these child proof locks on our cabinets that contained your run-of-the-mill household cleaners. All of a sudden, I thought to myself; if I have to protect him from these, but then I am still using them to clean the surfaces that I prepare his food on, how does that make sense? Well, many will argue that the residue leftover by these cleaners is not significant enough to cause any of the same hazards that cause us to lock these away. What about over time? We are preparing food multiple times a day on these surfaces, and we are also inhaling these chemicals when we clean with them. None of this was good enough for me.
I started using vinegar, which I promise smells nowhere near as pleasant as some of the chemical-laden, pine scented cleaners out there. It is incredibly difficult to inhale deeply if you use it straight. At least its natural, right? I have used vinegar in place of all of my cleaners until I discovered this:
This changed my entire world. My bathroom no longer smells like pickles. I no longer have to squint at the smell of vinegar, and I can still rest assured that I am not exposing myself or my family to any unnecessary harmful chemicals. Not to mention the fact that it is incredibly cost-effective. The smaller bottle shown above only costs $22 – and you only need a cap of cleaner diluted with 2-3 of water for most of your all purpose cleaning. I have used this on my counters, in my bathroom, even on my wood table. It actually has a polishing effect on the wood. You can dilute less for heavier cleaning and more for things like windows. While I have yet to try this myself, I have heard amazing stories about mixing a cap of Thieves Cleaner with baking soda for mold removal and carpet stains. What CAN’T this baby do!?
So, what’s in this magical stuff? Here is the list of ingredients taken straight from the Young Living website:
Water, Alkyl Polyglucoside, Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate, Disodium 2-Sulfolaurate, Thieves [Eugenia Caryophyllus† (Clove) Bud Oil, Citrus Limon† (Lemon) Peel Oil, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum† (Cinnamon) Bark Oil, Eucalyptus Radiata† Leaf Oil, and Rosmarinus Officinalis† (Rosemary) Leaf Oil], and Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate.
Let’s break these down as some of these ingredients do sound a little scary.
Alkyl Polyglucoside is a non-ionic, biodegradable agent that are derived from sugars and fatty alcohols. The EWG rates this product as a B+ and is not known to cause irritating effects on the skin and is also considered environmentally friendly. (Another PLUS!) Read what EWG has to say about that ingredient here.
Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate – there is not much that I could find on this one other than it is an ingredient in many “green” and organic cleaners. The EWG lists it as a low hazard, but there is not much else on it. The only thing that I found on the Internet was that some blogs had listed it was derived from coconuts. While this isn’t as reassuring as I’d like, it is also not listed on any toxic chemical sites that I can find either.
Disodium 2-Sulfolaurate – same as above. While I cannot find anything that is waiving flags at me stating what this is exactly, every website that I have come across that has this listed has it listed as mild or not known to be harmful.
Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate is a preservative. It is plant based and biodegradable. EWG lists it as a low hazard.
As for the rest of the ingredients? They are all essential oils that are found in Young Living’s Thieves blend of oil. This oil is magical. It has definitely helped my home combat all kinds of nasties this winter. We use the cleaner, we diffuse it at the first sign of an illness, and I made it into rollers that we apply if we feel the sniffles coming on. I won’t rave too much about the oil, as it really needs to speak for itself. As far as Thieves as a cleaning agent, check this study out. This absolutely blew my mind. It is an experiment done by a woman with a PhD in biochemistry and the results are amazing. If that is not enough to convince you that this product can stand up to many of the household cleaners you are currently using, then read this. This is a list compiled of a number of studies done on Thieves as an antimicrobial substance.
How do you get Thieves? Click here to become a member of Young Living. By becoming a member you get a lifetime 24% discount off of all of their products. Best of all? You get to take your first step on the journey to wellness. I can tell you after taking the plunge and buying my Premium Starter Kit from Young Living in November of 2016, I have used my oils every single day and I have never felt better, physically and emotionally. It is a purchase that pays for itself.
You might be thinking: “what if I just want the cleaner?”. Did you know that Thieves has an entire line of home cleaning and personal care products? It never ends. They have laundry detergent, dish detergent, hand soap, lotion, even tooth paste! That’s right, tooth paste! Thieves is 100% safe to consume! Young Living also has an entire personal care line including shampoos, conditioners, body wash, make up remover, and even kids’ shampoos and washes. They also have supplements and a whole line of weight loss support called Slique. When you follow the link above to become a member, select other premium kits to get yourself started with a Thieves kit that includes 2 Thieves Household Cleaners, a 15 ml bottle of Thieves essential oil, Thieves Aromabrite tooth paste and mouth wash, 2 Thieves hand soaps, 2 Thieves sprays, 2 Thieves waterless hand soaps, and a 5ml bottle of Stress Away essential oil. What are you waiting for?
When I say I have taken my first step, there are many left to go but we all have to start somewhere. What do I plan on tackling next? I am going to make some natural deodorant! Stay tuned!