Oil Pulling – It’s a Mouth Thing

When I first heard of the term “Oil Pulling” I was like… what the…..???? Someone suggested it to me though a post I made on www.medhelp.org.

I have NO idea what in the world it was so I googled it.

In a nut shell…. It’s using oils as a mouthwash-like agent for about 10-20 minutes swishing it around your mouth and between your teeth. (No gurgling needed.)

SO what sort of oils are people using? Sesame Oil, Safflower Oil, Sunflower Oil….. and the all too popular COCONUT OIL! (I love you Coconut Oil) My husband doesn’t even get jealous because he loves Coconut Oil too!! Ha-ha!

The questions I then began asking are;  Why use coconut oil over other oils? How do you use it? How does it work? What does it do? Why use this over mouth wash? The following information is what I came across.

Q: Why use coconut oil over other oils? 
A: Quite simply the best answer is that coconut oil is flavorless. It didn’t taste funky or left any after taste. It also has great medicinal properties. (We’ll get into that answering other questions.)
 
Q: How do you use the coconut oil? 
A: I scooped out about a teaspoon to a tablespoons of coconut oil and put it in my mouth. It’s chunky at first but coconut oil melts at 76 degrees so give it about 5-10 seconds, and it’ll be completely liquid in your mouth. At this point you just “push” and “pull” the liquid through your teeth and swish it around in your mouth for about 10-20 minutes. The brush your teeth as usual. 
 
Q: How does it work? What does it do for your mouth? 
A: The oil swishing around in your mouth helps pull bad bacteria into it. It loosens the plaque around your teeth. It kills bad bacteria, and microbial substances that aid in decay of your teeth. It is also safe and easy on the enamel of your teeth. (Sounds a lot like mouthwash, right?)
 
Q: Why use oil pulling over mouthwash?
A: The answer is pretty simple. It is not as harsh on your teeth and mouth. Let’s face it doing that 30 second mouth swish of Listerine can be torture. It can erode the enamel of the teeth . Mouthwash doesn’t always kill as much as it advertises, you can find all sorts of medical studies about how affective the difference mouthwashes really are in their statistics. 
 

My Personal Experience:

Since 10-15 minutes seems like an obnoxious time I decided to try this while taking a shower.  Suddenly it wasn’t so bad, and it wasn’t really distracting me from doing my shower normals. As my shower began to come to an end I spit out the coconut oil and brushed my teeth as usual.

I noticed that the filmy plaque brushed away much easier. The biggest surprise was in the morning! When I woke up I noticed that my mouth was not as filmy and nasty feeling and my breath was not horrible! (Yes I “tested” the breath in the hand trick AND my husband agreed to be test my “morning breath”. Now that’s love right there! Ha-ha)

Before I began my regime routine to get ready for work I pop in another teaspoon of coconut oil and swished as I got ready. I spat, then brushed as normal. I noticed through out the day that I do not have as much plaque filmy build up around my teeth either, and my breath is great!

I also have a few teeth problem that I have yet gone to the dentist about fixing, but since I have used the coconut oil I have noticed my two teeth that tend to bother me have been less sensitive.

I have been doing this now for a week, and thus far I think it has been very successful.  I’ll keep you posted!

 

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Do It Yourself – “Farmhouse White Sandwich Bread”

DISCLOSURE: Home made breads are not your run-of-the-mill normal grocery store bread. It is heartier, dense, flavorful, stick to your ribs. It preserves differently as well.

After making Artisan Bread several times I felt I was adapted well enough to graduate to another standard. So I hit the google machine and type in homemade white sandwich bread and I hit the JACKPOT!!! On the first page I checked out Farm Girl Fare‘s blog site, and I fell in love with it.

I read her article on the perfect loaf of bread for beginning bakers and I was confident I could do this! The article is wordy, but it encompass information that is important to bread making. Things you need to know and also book recommendations and extra things you can do with the basic recipe to change things. In the latter part of the post is your baking directions and I suggest you read it in it’s entirety before you begin the process.

Honestly there is a lot more reading and waiting than actually doing work.

What do you need?
-4 cups all-purpose flour
-1½ Tablespoons Instant Yeast
-2 Tablespoons granulated or brown sugar
-2 Tablespoons your favorite neutral oil, or melted butter (neutral flavored oils being Canola, Safflower, Vegetable, etc)
-4 cups warm milk or water, about 85° F (Milk is the best imo)
-About 6 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
-1½ Tablespoons salt (VERY IMPORTANT)
Tips:

 
1. Read her blog post entirely.
2. I like using 1 TB of instant yeast. I just let it sit and meld longer.
3. Don’t leave out the salt. I forgot it once and the whole batch taste like cardboard.
4. Honey is a nice addition to the bread.
5. It really is true that the longer the bread sits and goes through its process the better it tastes. 
6. Once you do this a couple of times you’ll become pro. It really is not as hard as it originally looks like. 
7. If your bread dries out, using a damp non-terry cloth type towel to wrap the loaf of bread, turn the oven to about 200 and give it about 8-10 minutes. It brings back in the moisture. 
8. When you store your bread, it’s good to wrap it in surran wrap and then put it into a zip lock baggy. 
9. If your bread becomes hard and stale don’t throw it away! There are 100 things you can do with that stale bread like making croutons or stuffing! 

This has been my go to recipe, and I LOVE IT. 

Give bread making a shot! Skip out on the preservatives, have a heartier lunch sandwich, and it cost less in the long run.

 

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Do It Yourself – Artisan Bread

As I had mentioned before I began this journey by the undoubtable need to save money and become more frugal. So here we are with bread! Lots of people will rave on that there is nothing like a loaf of freshly baked bread, and they are not wrong!

Bread making can be VERY intimidating so I knew I need to start simple and I have found it! Artisan bread is easy peasy! I found this GREAT recipe from The Italian Dish Blog. (Which BTW is my FAVORITE Italian Recipe Got To Place.)

I’m not going to post the entire instructions here so I recommend you visiting the page directly. She has it very clean cut, nicely place pictures, and a video showing you how to fold the bread. I can’t make it any more simple than what she has already. 

Artisan Bread / Peasant Bread / Italian Bread… etc etc etc. 

What do you need?
  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated fast acting (instant) yeast (2 packets)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
  • 6-1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached all purpose white flour

THAT IS IT! That’s all you need. (See posted link above for directions)

You get a nice crispy outside and warm moisture inside.

If you have NEVER baked a loaf of bread a day in your life, this is where I suggest you start! Make a big pot of spaghetti, salad, and some artisan bread and your family will be begging you for more!

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Do It Yourself – Fly Paper (Fail)

Last week I had a swarm of flies enter my home. I decided to finally do this quick DIY project I had seen by one of my favorite bloggers, One Good Thing by Jillee and another blogger Going Home to Roost.

What do you need? 
  • A paper grocery bag
  • Scissors
  • A single hole punch
  • Twine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey or corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons water
What to do: Cut the grocery bag into strips. Punch a hole and string through some twine. (Or like me, I used a pen to punch a hole and used some very thick thread). On your stove in a pan add sugar, honey, and water. Put it onto low heat and let the sugar completely dissolve. Then add it to a shallow bowl and slide your strips through and let dry. 
 

This sound like a great idea! Super easy peasy. Unfortunately,the mixture never stopped dripping or dried. Plus the flies were not interested in it at all, as they were drying in the kitchen. After the third day of “drying” I called it quits and tossed them out.

I’m sure this works for lots of other people, but it didn’t do it for me. Back to the drawing board. Anyone have fun ideas to catch some flies inside the home?

 
 

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Do It Yourself – Face Moisturizer

I live in an area that has horribly hard water. I thought I had hard water from where I was from…. oh heck no where I am now is by far worse.

I used to only use coconut oil on my face after a shower or face wash. Now I need even more moisture, and this is what I now do and keep at my sink.

(PS Largely influenced by One Good Thing by Jillee.)

What do you need:
-6 tablespoons coconut oil
-2 tablespoons olive oil
– 4 capsules of Vitamin E Supplement Oil (Or Straight Vit E Oil)
– (Optional) 3 drops of lavender essential oil & 3 drops of lemon oil
 
What to do: Poke holes in your Vitamin E Capsules and squeeze out the oil into a bowl. Take all remaining ingredients and mix them together in a bowl. Once everything is mixed well put everything in an air tight container and put into the freezer for approx 10 minutes. (This is so the coconut oil can solidify again.) 
 
After a shower apply about a dime size (more or less) amount to your finger tip and rub between your fingers, then message into your face in circular motions. Don’t forget under your eyes and your neck!  Let the mixture soak into your skin. If you absolutely must, only blot with a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt.

FYI: Coconut oil’s liquify point is 76 degrees, so after a hot steamy shower could begin to melt your moisturizer. Don’t worry if doesn’t so anything to the chemical make up to it, just changes to a liquified state. The oils do not separate.

FYI: A 3:1 ratio is the best when you use coconut oil to olive oil

FAQ:

Q: Susan, will these oils cause me to have break outs? A: Here is the thing, OIL isn’t the culprit to out breaks per say. Dirt, Bacteria, and Unhealthy oils are your culprits. 

S: This made my face way too oily I can’t use it. A: Wait! Give it a chance. What happens is we use very harsh sulfates on our skin and face and most of the time we’re using moisturizers that actually cause more drying or have silicone filers in them. Your face then works extra hard to try and replenish it’s natural oils. It takes a transitioning time to become accustomed your face and skin not having to constantly over compensate. 

S: I have waited and waited for this transitioning time to end and I still feel like a grease bucket! A: Don’t fret! We’re all made differently, and some people have naturally much oilier skin. Here are some alternative oil suggestions to replace the olive oil with. 

Almond Oil – Medium oil, absorbs semi-quickly.
Grapeseed Oil – Very light Great for skin that breaks out easily or clogs easily. This is a good start Oil.
Jojoba Oil – Light and silky oil, absorbs very well.
Safflower Oil – Light oil with healing properties. This is best for scars and acne healing. It has the highest levels of nutrients than other carrier oils.

So you see? We can work with this mix pretty well! Experiment.

Did You Know? 

Vitamin E Oil helps decrease the visual of scars and helps decrease wrinkles. 
Coconut oil contains Lauric Acid which has properties of being antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and offer free-radical-fighting antioxidants.
Vit E, Coconut Oil, and Olive Oil act as a super punch for healing wounds! Oh and let us not forget Honey on that one too!
 
 

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Do It Yourself – Skin Exfoliating, Shaving, and Brightening Solution

This is one of my favorite finds. It’s another goody brought to you by One Good Thing by Jillee. (slightly altered)

Men, you can use this mixture too! Don’t knock it before you try it!

Firstly, I’ll start with my mistake. When I applied this mixture I did not let my skin soak in the water and become saturated first. I found that the mix was too harsh then! Thus this being the reason why it was in the instructions for using this scrub!

What you need: (NON sensitive skin)
-1 & 1/4 cup of sugar 
-1/2 cup of Olive Oil
-1/4 cup liquid coconut oil
-3 tbs of lemon or lime juice OR 3-5 drops of lemon essential oil
-Optional – Your preferred scented oil. I used Acacia for my last batch
 
What you need:  (FOR sensitive skin)
-1 & 1/4 cup of BROWN sugar 
-1/2 cup of Olive Oil
-1/4 cup liquid coconut oil
-3 tbs of lemon or lime juice OR 3-5 drops of lemon essential oil
-Optional – Your preferred scented oil. I used Acacia for my last batch
 
What to do: Melt your coconut oil in the microwave for 10 seconds or until melted. Gather all your ingredients and add them into a bowl mixing them all together. One mixed thoroughly place the mix into an air tight container and head off to the bathroom! 
 
****Soak your skin in the shower or bathtub for at least 5 minutes****
****Caution, you bathtub will become slippery from the oils****
****Sugar on the outside of your skin will not cause outbreaks in acne****
 
Scoop out a small amount of mix into your hand and begin to work over your skin in circular motions. The sugar will begin to break down from the water. Rinse at your leisure with cool water. (Why cool water? It closes up your pores. Always rinse you conditioner and your face with cool water.)

I do use this to shave with. I just rub it into my legs and go. I find that it is not only VERY moisturizing, but I last longer in between shavings! I went from once every week to once every two weeks. I believe it also lightened the hair on my legs.

My legs turned out very smoothe, moisturized, and no red bumps. Ill never use shaving cream again.

I have used this mixture on my face. I highly recommend using the brown sugar sensitive skin version as it is not as harsh. I just rub and rinse. I often do not even need to add moisturizer to my face after my shower. I blot lightly with an old cotton t-shirt (that is mostly used for hair) and go on my merry way.

Let me know how this works for you!

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Do it yourself – Bug Repellents for the Home

I LOATHE bugs. I freak out about bugs. Bugs do not belong in my house. However it is inevitable that we get them.

What bugs do I have problems with? Ants, Earwigs, and Flies.

ANTS

  • Apple Cider Vinegar mix with distilled water. I have this spray as a universal spray. It’s just 1/4 cup acv and water w/ some lavender oil. It kills ants, gnats, and spiders. The caustic kills the pests, and it’s good for your hair! 
  • Citrus reigns king. Take a little sachet and fill it with some lavender, mint, eucalyptus, cinnamon sticks, clove, bay leaf and lem0n basil for ants in drawers, closets, and pantries.  This goes for a whole line of other pests too like Moths! Plus it all smells yummy. 
  • Ant Poison. (WARNING: Although this isn’t an extremely toxic remedy to humans or pets it can be irritating to the stomach. So, keep pets away from this and children) What do you need? Borax 20 mule blue team, sticky sweet yumminess, index card. Thanks to Kitchen Stewardship  for this gem. I use Syrup on an index card and sprinkled the borax on it and set it in the path of my ants. They eat it and take the “Poison” home. Our Ant problem in the master and guest bedroom has dropped dramatically. (Thanks Heavens)

FLIES

  • We have a horrible unnatural problem here with flies in Dela”Where”. It was never this bad in VA. So there is this HUGE cycle going on about how to build the cheap Mosquito trap from a 2-liter soda bottle. Well it’s not a new thing. The same general principle applies for flies too. Here is a nice blog post with illustrations on how to create said flies, mosquito and miscellaneous insect trap. (Even bugs attracted to LEDs) Thanks EcoBites.com and The Walden Effect for great visual guides. 
  • Sticky Wicky Fly paper. I have not tried this yet, but from the blog I read this from I am very confident it should work. This evening I will give it a try!  Check out this nice DIY post from Coming Home To Roost
  • Good Old Fashioned Fly SwatterThis is for the humor factor. Hand your fly swatter to your three year old and tell him to be the big smasher. He’s quite good!
  • CATS and Dogs. Do you think I’m kidding? My cats are brilliant fly catchers. It’s also very entertaining to watch! Someday I’ll get it on video. My Dog is a good fly eater too. (YUCK!)

EARWIGS

  • These guys aren’t horrible, but they are creepy. They are attracted to dark dank places. They help keep the slug population under control and birds help keep them under control. Bird Feeders around your garden. 
  • Shoe Box Trap. Poke decent size holes into a shoe box and add some oatmeal or bran to the bottom and set it out at night or in a dark place you have problems with. Check each morning and dump it out. Rolled up newspaper trap works too! 
  • Check weather stripping and seals around doors and windows. They come in from the outside, and they do not breed in doors. Making sure these things are done and sealed up helps. 
  • Cockroach Roach Traps. Add them to dark places and toss them when you have a few. 

The good thing is they don’t want your food they want plants and other bugs they eat. They come inside on accident, and they don’t hurt anything and disease isn’t a real issue with them. Best of all, again they do not breed in doors.

 

 

 

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