The iconic medicine cabinet concealed behind the bathroom mirror could not hold the many products and medicines we use today. On average, women apply 168 unique ingredients to their skin daily. Men apply 85, and children are exposed to 61. Chemicals in the products we use on our skin, the largest organ in the body, not only penetrate the skin, but also enter the bloodstream. What we ingest or apply topically shouldn’t be detrimental to our health. A key component in living a healthy lifestyle is using truly natural products. In an effort to eliminate the use of harmful chemicals there are many healthy products and natural solutions that we can make at home.
According to the 2015 edition of the Farmers’ Almanac, there are five basic ingredients every household should have on hand; on this list is bentonite clay (read what the other 4 ingredients are that you should have in the medicine cabinet on pages pp. 50-53). So what exactly is it?
Bentonite, also referred to as Montmorillonite, is one of the most effective and powerful healing clays. Like activated charcoal, bentonite clay absorbs toxins and can be taken internally or used topically as a poultice to treat insect bites. It also makes an effective cleansing toothpaste.
- Toothpaste – Mix ¼ cup of bentonite clay with ¾ cup of hot water in a glass container and stir with a wooden spoon, to form a smooth paste. Stir in 10 drops peppermint essential oil, if desired. Store in a glass jar with lid. Apply paste to toothbrush with a wooden craft spoon, or dip directly into individual jars. Do not allow metal or plastic to come in contact with the toothpaste to prevent toxins from leaching into the mixture.
- Facial mask – Dampen your face with water. Using fingertips, apply a thin coat of the above paste mixture, without essential oils, avoiding the eye area. Allow the mask to dry for five minutes to remove impurities and to soften the skin. Remove from face with a wet washcloth.
You can buy bentonite clay at most health food stores or online, where natural foods and products are sold.
This story is an excerpt from “5 Basic Ingredients For Natural Health Care,” which appeared in the 2015 Farmers’ Almanac.
Deborah Tukua is a natural living, healthy lifestyle writer and author of 7 non-fiction books, including Pearls of Garden Wisdom: Time-Saving Tips and Techniques from a Country Home, Pearls of Country Wisdom: Hints from a Small Town on Keeping Garden and Home, and Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. Tukua has been a writer for the Farmers' Almanac since 2004.