Are you one of those people that carry antibacterial gel with you everywhere? I was one of those people until I found out how toxic those chemicals really are. Obviously, they should be, but the problem is not only what they are made with but the fact that the body can possibly get used to them which in turn can make them non-effective. Anytime I can, I try to just use good ole’ soap and water. That’s really the most effective thing you can do to battle germs throughout the day.
The most toxic of the antibacterial chemicals is Triclosan. It’s been linked to various types of cancer and even hormonal disruption. Another common ingredient in hand sanitizer is ethyl alcohol and it’s linked to cancers and birth defects. Keeping that in mind, there are alternatives for those trying to go a more natural route.
The use of Essential oils has been around for thousands of years and is extracted from flowers, leaves, roots, seeds, bark, and fruit. They provide natural alternatives that can be very effective in fighting bacteria. These plant extracts are extremely concentrated and used correctly can be a safe and powerful alternative for most people without any side effects. The best part is they can internally, topically and by aromatics by helping your body to heal naturally.
Lavender is probably one of the most common of the essential oils and more often known for its calming effects but also its antibacterial agents. It can be used topically for killing bacteria but excellent for it’s ability to soothe and calm the skin. It’s found in a wide variety of products but it’s a great oil to keep on hand from its various uses.
Oregano and thyme oil are two other potent antibacterial agents. These aromatic and woodsy, scented herbs are powerful in treating bacteria and even infections. Oregano oil can be extremely powerful and I’ve been told it can even remove skin tags so use with caution and do your research on dilution. Thyme oil is known for effective cleansing and purifying of the skin and perfect during the flu months for better health. The uses of the oils can be topical, internal (make sure it’s food grade in that case), mixed in a carrier oil or water spray, or put some drops in an aromatherapy diffuser around your house.
Various citrus oil are great antibacterial oils as well. I like all the citrus oils and there’s quite a few. Sweet orange, grapefruit, lime and one my favorites to clean with is the lemon oil. It’s very refreshing and uplifting while being a natural disinfectant.
Lastly, tea tree oil is a must have. It’s antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, seriously I could go on. Warning: don’t use this on pets! (Always check before using any essential oils on pets.) This is useful for so many types of inflictions, but make sure to read up more.
There’s many different ones out there to try but this is a good beginner recipe for a natural and toxin-free hand sanitizer to try.
Aloe Vera Gel ½ c.
Witch Hazel 1 ½ t.
Tea Tree Oil 15 drops
Lavender Oil 5 drops
So try this out and then start experimenting. No fear, there’s plenty of great recipes online to find your favorite!
When using essential oils, always begin by testing skin sensitivity to a small area. Always use a high quality, pharmaceutical grade essential oil from a trusted source.
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