Old Fashioned Remedies: Make Your Own Toothpaste

Modern medicine has come far – but in some cases when you look at the chemical list, it doesn’t sound so great.

For instance, look at the chemicals in toothpaste. Glycerin coats teeth but it also stops cavities from self-healing. Do you really want that?

Homemade toothpaste is worth a shot. It has a different taste that you have to get used to that’s a different sort of minty freshness, but you can also change around the flavors yourself.

A popular ingredient for homemade toothpaste is coconut oil. Coconut oil is all-around great for you; it’s heart-healthy and lowers risk of heart disease. Plus it gives that tropical flavor!

Another important ingredient in homemade toothpaste is baking soda, which helps effectively clean teeth.

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Channel your inner historian with this vintage sterling silver toothbrush. We don’t recommend using it to brush your teeth — who knows whose mouth it’s been in?

Want to try some homemade toothpaste of your own like they used back in the day? Here’s a recipe (adapted from familysponge.com):

6 tablespoons coconut oil
6 tablespoons baking soda
25 drops peppermint essential oil
1 tsp stevia (or more based on taste)

Just mix together and store in a jar.

You can also replace the drops of peppermint oil with any other essential oil of your choice! That’s the fun part of making your own toothpaste. Enjoy!

Have you made your own toothpaste? How did it turn out?

Old Fashioned Remedies: Cure Your Cold with Ginger

Ginger root does a lot more than add a zesty flavor to Asian dishes. Ginger fights nausea, alleviates arthritis pain, and protects against cancer. But one of the simplest and most effective uses for ginger is its power over the common cold.

Ginger is a funky-looking root.

Ginger is a funky-looking root.

Ginger boosts the immune system. Taking ginger regularly, whether in meals or in tea, helps prevent colds or the flu with its antioxidant properties.

Ginger helps during a cold, too.

If you have a stuffy nose, a high concentration of ginger will clear it right up (if you’re brave enough)!

 

Photograph of tea by David J. Fred.

Photo by David J. Fred, CC 2.5

Here’s a simple tea that will help you say adios to your everyday cold symptoms.

The Recipe

You need three ingredients: ginger, lemon juice and honey.

Steep a tablespoon of grated fresh ginger and a splash of lemon in hot water, and add honey to taste.

Five to ten minutes steeping in the water will get you a delicious tea that will help clear the cold right up.

The ginger will clear your sinuses and soothe your throat. Lemon’s high concentration of vitamin C aids the immune system, and honey helps the throat and aids a cough if you have one.

What’s your go-to recipe for a quick cold fix?

Old Fashioned Remedies: Do-It-Yourself Lavender Oil

Is there any herb more well-loved than lavender? Its healing and calming properties make lavender the perfect herb to keep in your cupboard.

For thousands of years, people have used lavender for its relaxing properties. Smelling lavender has a calming effect on the brain, and rubbing lavender oil on wrists and temples carries that calming scent with you for high-stress situations. It’s also said that smelling lavender lowers blood pressure.

A man named René-Maurice Gattefossé discovered further healing properties of lavender when he was the victim of an explosion at the laboratory in his workplace in the 19th century. He applied lavender oil to his infected wounds – and they were completely cured.

Other benefits of lavender include:

1. Insomnia. Smooth lavender oil on your pillow and inhale to help you fall asleep.
2. Bug bites. Put lavender oil on bug bites to reduce swelling and stop itching.
3. Cuts. Put lavender oil on a wound to stop bleeding and kill bacteria.
4. Dry skin. Rub lavender oil on dry skin to relieve it – the same also goes for chapped lips.

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Lavender also adds great flavor to baked goods!

Lavender oil is not hard to find at your own local health store, but making your own oil at home ensures oil with quality ingredients.

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Lavender Oil Recipe

If you’re in the right climate, look for fresh lavender bushes in your area (be sure to ask first before picking if the bush doesn’t belong to you!). Pick your own fresh lavender flowers.

Ingredients

  • large glass canning jar
  • a mild base oil, enough to fill the container ½ inch from the top over the plants (see here for a list of carrier oils)
  • a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
  • a dark glass bottle with a stopper
  1. Put your fresh lavender in your jar and fill with the base oil. Secure the lid and put the jar in a warm place, shaking occasionally. The lavender and oil will infuse together. Let sit overnight.
  2. Strain the oil through your strainer or cheesecloth to get rid of the plants. Add more lavender to the jar and repeat step one 2-3 more times until you’ve reached the desired infusion of lavender.
  3. Store the oil in a dark glass bottle in a cool dark place. Mark the bottle with the date and store the oil for up to a year.

There you have it: your very own homemade lavender oil like they would’ve made in the olden days. It’s a useful thing to have around; you never know when lavender oil will come in handy.

See here for a fascinating history of lavender!

What’s your favorite property of lavender? Let us know in the comments!

Old Fashioned Remedies: DIY Rose Water Lotion

Nothing says nice weather like a dab of homemade rose water in your very own homemade recipe. Its light, fresh scent will make you feel refreshed.

Roses have been used for medicinal and nutritional uses since ancient times.

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The Rose Water

Making rose water is simple. All you need are fresh rose petals, preferably without pesticides, that have been rinsed off. It’s best to pluck your own, but make sure you aren’t doing anything that would anger your neighbors.

Also grab a pot, gauging the size by how much water you want.

Put the petals in the pot and fill with enough water to cover the petals (not too much!). Cover the pot and let it simmer until the petals lose their color. This is the simplest and most traditional method.

Drain the liquid into a container and you have your rose water!

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The Lotion

Now your rose water is ready to mix in with the lotion.

It’s a simple recipe: mix half rose water and half vegetable glycerin together.

Put the mixture in a nice bottle and voila! You have your old fashioned rose water lotion.

You’ve bottled the smell of spring!