Thursday, August 15, 2013

Homemade DIY Deodorant

In a previous blog post, I talked about the possible link between common deodorants and the incidence of breast cancer - a topic that deserves more recognition. I have been buying deodorant that contains no aluminum for several years. Aluminum acts like a plug, at the cellular level, when it is absorbed into the body tissues. This causes toxins in the tissue to accumulate and can actually cause damage to DNA. Aluminum also has an estrogenic effect in the body, making it a Xenoestrogen and causing Estrogen Dominance 
Since posting the blog about deodorants, I have been trying many different DIY recipes with no success. The homemade ones left me smelly after a long day or a hard workout. But sweet smelling hope came to me at my friend's 40th birthday party a few months ago (happy birthday, Missy!) One of the guests and I were speaking about natural beauty care products and she shared her recipe for homemade deodorant, which included coconut oil and baking soda. After doing a little research and some experimentation of my own, I finally came up with a recipe that is effective, all-natural and super easy to make. This recipe will fill one deodorant tube. If you wish to make more, simply double the recipe.  
Here is what you will need:  
  • A new or recycled deodorant tube
  • 2 Tbs of coconut oil  
  • 1/8 cup of baking soda  
  • 1/8 cup of arrowroot powder or cornstarch  
  • 10 to 20 drops of essential oils   
And this is how you make it:   
  • Clean out an old deodorant tube. You can also buy new ones online, but, by recycling an old tube, you are being super green. Reduce, reuse, recycle!  
  • Mix the baking soda and the arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) together.  
  • Slowly mix in the coconut oil until you achieve the desired consistency. You may need to add more coconut oil or baking soda/arrowroot powder.   
  • Once you achieve the right consistence, mix in essential oils. I like to use tea tree oil for its antiseptic/antimicrobial properties and lavender for its appealing aroma.   
  • After adding the essential oils, scoop the mixture into the deodorant tube.   
  • Because coconut oil is a solid when cool and a liquid when warmed, I find it easier to keep my deodorant in the refrigerator (at least during the warmer months). This ensures that my deodorant is a solid and not a messy liquid.   
NOTE: It is important to realize that this recipe is not an antiperspirant. Sweating is a natural elimination and temperature regulating process. Interfering with the process of sweating disrupts the balance of the body and can lead to illness.   
I hope you find this recipe as appealing as I do! It has been workout tested and Kacie approved! 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring into Spiritual Growth

The Focus here at the Verbal Herbal is typically on physical and mental health and rarely addresses the importance of spiritual health. However, in order to live a truly healthy life, one must be balanced in all 5 areas of health: physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. Spring is a wonderful time to take inventory of your spiritual stance and progress. In spring, as the world continues to grow and blossom around us, it is important to make sure the seeds within have been planted and continue to grow as well. 

In the book “The Circle of Life: The Hearts Journey Through the Seasons” the authors, Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr, list “Questions for individual reflection” for the springtime. I recommend taking the time to contemplate your answers to the questions below. If you find you do not like your answers, Spring is a wonderful time for growth and change in all aspect of one’s life.  
  1. What is the condition of your spiritual flower bulb? 
  2. Who or What has planted you in the rich soil of growth? 
  3. What helps you to wait with hope when growth is gestating in you? 
  4. What is now blooming in your life? 
  5. Can you sense anything that continues to be in the darkness, still awaiting birth? What might this be?  


Rupp, J., & Wiederkehr, M. (2005). The circle of life: the heart's journey through the seasons. Notre Dame, Ind.: Sorin Books.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

5 Herbs for Spring

As I described in my previous blog, Spring Cleaning for your Body, the lack of movement in the winter and slowed metabolism decrease the body's ability to rid itself of toxins, and make spring a great time to do some internal cleansing. Herbs can be extremely helpful with detoxification, and, at the same time, nourishing for the body with essential vitamins and minerals needed for health and growth. The great thing about the herbs listed below is that they all naturally become available in the spring time - a perfect example of the  connection between the earth and the body. 

Burdock (Arctium lappa) 
Burdock root purifies the blood by helping the body to rid itself of metabolic waste via many elimination pathways. It was used heavily during the industrial revolution to help the body deal with the intense pollution of the time. It is considered a vegetable in Japan and if it collected in early spring it can be added to soups and stir fries.  

Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica) 
May of you may know nettles from the awful sting they provide if you happen to stumble in to a patch of them, but any herbalist will tell you that this plant in no nuisance. David Hoffmann, a well known herbalist, once said "when in doubt, use nettles" and it really is helpful for just about everything. It helps to clear toxins, energize the body and build blood, and it is so high in vitamins and mineral that it is more nutritious than spinach. It also helps to improve the body's resistance to pollution and allergies and can tone blood vessels, skin, muscles and tissues. It is a diuretic and helps to remove acid metabolites from the body via the kidneys. The leaf can be cooked (which deactivates the sting) or the fresh leaf can be juiced. 

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinal) 
Dandelion is one of the most amazing plants around. I find it humorous that so many suburban dads fight so hard to rid their lawns of dandelions (this was my dad growing up), when in fact it is a valuable food and medicine. Dandelions are one of the 5 most nutritious veggies on the planet, and the whole plant can be used. The leaf is a diuretic and a wonderful remedy for the kidneys and bladder. Many pharmaceutical diuretics deplete potassium but dandelions have a built in buffer because they are very high in potassium. Pick the leaves before the plant flowers and you can add them directly to your salad. Once they flower, the leaves become extremely bitter (great medicine but not great food). The root stimulates the liver and gall bladder helping to cleanse the hepatic system and can be made into a tea or tincture. The flowers are delicate and tasty. I like to batter and fry them for a delicious treat.  

Alfalfa (Medicago sativm) 
Alfalfa is very nutritious. High in vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll, when fed to cows they produce more milk and when fed to chickens, they produce more eggs. The leaves and flowers can be added to salads and the sprouts (which are super easy and cheep to produce yourself with a sprouting jar) are very tasty! 

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) 
Red clover is the final herb we will discuss today. It can help purify the blood by clearing toxins, stimulating lymphatic drainage and providing nourishment 

I feel that the best way to take advantage of these 5 herbs is to make a tea. Because many of these herbs are diuretics, releasing toxins through the process of urination, it is important to make sure you flushing your system with proper water intake. Making a tea allows for extra fluid intake and is also an excellent vehicle for the vitamins and minerals that these herbs provide. This is the recipe that I follow: 
  • 2 Parts Nettle Leaf 
  • 2 Parts Red Clover 
  • 2 Parts Alfalfa 
  • 1 Part Dandelion root or leaf 
  • 1 part Burdock root 
Mix all the ingredients in a glass jar. For every 1 cup of boiling water steep 1 tbs of herb mixture for at least 10 minutes. Enjoy 1 to 3 cups a day.  

Before closing, I would like to speak to the side of caution. Extreme toxicity can build in body tissues and cells If you do not practice regular cleansing measures. These herbs, especially dandelion root and burdock root, help to dislodge toxins from the tissues so that they may be eliminated from the body. This process can produce a worsening of toxic symptoms. When I was taking an herb class, one women did a liver flush and became violently sick for several days. This happened because the toxins stored in her body were being uprooted from their hiding places in the body and released into her blood stream where they could be excreted from the body. Although taking these herbs in tea form and at this quantity should not result in such extreme effects, it is possible and if it should happen consult your local herbalist or health care professional. 

I hope you can take full advantage of the spring foliage while assisting your body with some internal spring cleaning! 


Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical herbalism: the science and practice of herbal medicine. Rochester, Vt.: Healing Arts Press.  

Mars, B. (2007). The desktop guide to herbal medicine. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications.  

Mills, S. (1993). The essential book of herbal medicine. London: Arkana.