Beyond the Smile

Written by Miessence colleague, K.L.

I thought writing an article about toothpaste would be simple. I’ll just do some research about ingredients in common commercial toothpastes. As soon as I started, I realised I would need to provide some information about fluoride – and that’s where it gets interesting. I found myself scrolling the internet with page after page about the toxic effects of fluoride. Wanting to hear both sides of the story, I contacted a large toothpaste manufacturer who lists the benefits of fluoride on their website. I asked them to provide me with the references to support their claims. Two emails later, they have been unable to provide me with any information prior to publishing this article and asking that I be more specific with my question…

In this article, I will share with you my opinion and information about the history of toothpaste, fluoride and other toxic ingredients that you might like to avoid, as well as some receipes for mouth wash and toothpaste that you can make at home. This information is purely based on my research. Please feel free to do your own. At the end of the article are the references I have used to support my claims (unlike the large oral health corporation).

We all know that maintaining good oral health is essential to maintaining good overall health. The evidence is there on the “inter-google-web” for all to see. We know that good oral hygiene prevents tooth decay and gum disease; however, it is also associated with reducing the risk of more serious diseases including cardiovascular disease.

One theory is that bacteria from the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and set up inflammation elsewhere in the blood vessels in the cardiovascular system,” Dr Alldritt explains. “The other theory is that heart disease and gum disease have common risk factors – like stress, smoking and poor diet – so we see a link,” he adds. (1)

History of Toothbrushes and Toothpastes

Our ancient ancestors used twigs to scrape the plaque off their teeth. They even chewed aromatic tree twigs to freshen their breath. It is believed the first toothbrushes were made in China out of the hair from the neck of a pig that had been attached to a bone or bamboo handle. In 1938, the invention of nylon replaced the use of animal hair and the modern toothbrush was developed.

It is believed the ancient Egyptians and Romans used paste to keep teeth and gums clean and freshen breath. The paste was abrasive and included ingredients like burnt eggshells, crushed bones and oyster shells, powdered charcoal and bark.

In the 1850’s, early versions of toothpaste contained soap and chalk or charcoal and consisted of powders until a crème was developed with mass production starting in 1873. Fluoride toothpastes were introduced in 1914 and soap was replaced by ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulphate, to make it smooth, in the mid 1940’s.

Today toothpastes typically contain fluoride, artificial colouring, flavouring, sweetener and ingredients to make a smooth paste, foam and to keep it moist. (2)

Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral and is added to toothpaste with the aim to help re-mineralise teeth that have been demineralised by bacterial plaque. Fluoride can make mineralisation happen more quickly as it can substitute to form part of the structure of the enamel, therefore helping to prevent cavities.

Fluoride is a neurotoxin and is not an essential nutrient for humans. No disease – not even tooth decay – is caused by a fluoride deficiency. It is not needed and in fact can interfere with many biological processes.

The trials about the benefits of fluoride were conducted between 1945-55 and have since been criticised for poor methodology. (3)

Over exposure to fluoride, known as fluorosis, is a condition that affects the teeth when the enamel is forming and can lead to white spots on the teeth.

Fluoride in the water supply is a controversial topic. What is interesting to note is:

  • 98% of western Europe has rejected water fluoridation
  • 90% of the UK does not fluoridate their water
  • China and Asia do not fluoridate water
  • India install filters on their water treatment plants to remove it

It appears that Australia, USA and Canada are the exceptions to the rest of the world.

The fluoride that is generally used to fluoridate water in Australia is made of three main compounds:

This is different to the fluoride mineral found in many rocks and the source of the naturally occurring fluoride ion in water supplies, which is calcium fluoride.

Some interesting information about the harmful effects and uses of fluoride include (4):

– Active ingredient in rat poison

– More toxic than lead

– Found to cause motor disfunction, IQ deficits, learning disabilities in children

– Affects thyroid function

– Damages bones and teeth and may lead to bone cancer

– Impairs memory and concentration

– Lethargy, depression

– Increase in suicide

– Can lead to onset of diabetes

Have you noticed the fine print on toothpaste packaging or well-known brand websites advising against using toothpaste for infants under 2 years old and that young children should be supervised when brushing their teeth to ensure they don’t swallow too much toothpaste?

I was raised in Tasmania until age 9 and we had fluoride added to our water supply back then in the 1960’s (showing my age now). Without testing the water for the ingredients and levels, it’s difficult to know how that may affect my health long term. I don’t have any fillings, however my sister who was raised with the same water supply until age 5 does.

I’m not convinced that putting something in our water supply that is not an essential nutrient is good for us. I am concerned about the potential health risks that we are regularly exposed to through ingestion and absorption of toxic ingredients and what they are doing to us. The effects identified appear to be on the increase…for me, that is enough to justify my decision to avoid fluoride.

I have used filtered tap water for over 15 years and now live on a property that relies on tank and bore water. I have also been brushing with the non-fluoride Miessence toothpaste (ask your Rep for his/her shop link) for 4 years. My last regular dental check-up resulted in a clean bill of health and for the very first time, I had no gum bleed after my scrape and clean.

Toothpaste Ingredients

“Over the course of your life it can be expected that you will use approximately 75 litres (20 gallons) of toothpaste!” (5,6)

“Whilst you spit most of it out (and then it goes down the drain and ultimately into our waterways), some of the ingredients will end up in your blood stream. What are these ingredients and could brushing your teeth potentially be causing you harm?” (7)

“Mainstream supermarket brands are full of toxic ingredients, some of which actually undermine teeth and gum health.” (8)

One of the main ingredients that I want to avoid in all products, not just toothpaste, is sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS). SLS is a surfactant that makes toothpaste (and other products) foam. It can irritate the mucous membrane in the mouth (mucosa) and cause white sores known as canker sores.

Another nasty ingredient that can be found in toothpaste is triclosan. This is an antibacterial agent, used in a range of antibacterial products and is bad news for both us and our environment. It is an endocrine disruptor, which means it affects our hormones. It also causes damage to the environment when it gets into our waterways. It has been removed from most brands due to safety concerns, however there are still one or two toothpastes on the shelves that contain it, so check the ingredients folks!

Brushing and Flossing

Dental plaque is a build up of the bacteria on our teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing our teeth helps to remove food debris and plaque. Brushing also helps create healthy gums by massaging and stimulating circulation. Even brushing without toothpaste helps promote good oral health.

Flossing is an important part of your oral hygiene routine which reduces your risk of periodontal disease. Depending on the brand of floss you use, it may increase your exposure to toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals which are used to make the floss glide easily between your teeth.

PFAS are a group of industrial, man-made persistent chemicals found in food packaging, household products and cosmetics, and are associated with some cancers, thyroid disease and ulcerative colitis. (9)

A healthier option is to use a dental floss free from toxins. There are several on the market with some containing beneficial ingredients like activated charcoal.

Homemade Baking Soda Toothpaste

This is all you need to make your own toothpaste at home:

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2–4 tablespoons baking soda or a combination of baking soda and sea salt
  • Up to 1 tablespoon xylitol powder (optional)
  • 20 drops cinnamon or clove essential oil (optional)
  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil (optional)
  • small glass jar

Mouthwash

Most mouthwashes contain alcohol, which actually dries out the mucosa. Having a dry mouth can increase the risk of cavities. (10) There are healthy alternatives such as the Miessence Mouthwash (again, ask your Rep for his/her shop link). You could also try making your own with this DIY recipe:

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. xylitol
  • 8 drops peppermint essential oil or other oil, optional
  • 20 drops mineral drops
  • 1 cup distilled water

Add all of the ingredients to a storage bottle and mix thoroughly. Shake before each use to help disperse the oils and any baking soda or traces of salt that may have settled to the bottom of the bottle.

Healthy Diet

The saliva in our mouths helps to maintain the right pH to look after our teeth and prevent demineralisation. Our digestive tract has a delicate balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria and includes our mouth. An acidic environment in the mouth caused by the ‘bad” bacteria can lead to cavities and poor oral health.

We can support the healthy bacteria in our mouth by limiting the food and drinks that cause an acidic environment by making sure we eat plenty of nutritious whole foods. Click here for a list of alkaline and acidic foods.

Closing

You now know a little more about what lies behind the smile. Whether you decide to ditch and switch your current oral health hygiene products is up to you. If you are interested in sourcing hand-crafted, truly natural products without harsh ingredients, please contact your Miessence Rep for more information.


BONUS: Click here to hear Narelle Chenery, founder of Miessence, explain why she will never use fluoride in the Miessence oral health products.


References

1- https://www.hcf.com.au/health-agenda/health-care/common-conditions/the-importance-of-oral-health

2- www.colgate.com

3-https://edgecastlo.onegrp.com/mwc/miaccount/business/en/resources/Product/Fluoride.pdf

4-https://fluoridealert.org

5-http://theconversation.com/four-myths-about-water-fluoridation-and-why-theyre-wrong-80669

6-https://edgecastlo.onegrp.com/mwc/miaccount/business/en/resources/Videos/FridaysWithNarelle-Fluoride.m4v

7-https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/09/toxic-toothpaste-ingredients.aspx

8-https://holistictoothfairy.com/optimize

9-https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/01/23/dental-floss-toxic-chemicals-exposure.aspx

10-https://thethingswellmake.com/diy-homemade-mouthwash/

From Illness to Wellness

The following is the personal testimonial of a Miessence colleague
regarding her transformation from illness to wellness…


Until several years ago, the concept of a plant-based, or vegetarian diet was considered alternative by most people, mainly due to some experts advising against it.  Recently, the vegan movement has exploded across the internet, with many people joining programs to try a vegan diet for 30 days.

But what is the difference between vegetarian and vegan? And what are the benefits and potential pitfalls around this way of eating?

Many non-western people know the benefits of a plant-based diet.  In the western world, the word “vegetarian” was coined by the founders of the British Vegetarian Society in 1842 and comes from the Latin word vegetus, meaning “whole, sound, fresh, or lively; a mentally and physically vigorous person.” The original meaning of the word implies a balanced philosophical and moral sense of life, a lot more than just eating a plant-based diet.

The word “vegan” was originally derived from vegetarian in 1944 when Elsie Shrigley and Donald Watson, frustrated that the term vegetarianism had come to include the eating of dairy products, founded the UK Vegan Society.

The original meanings were about removing all animal products (meats, dairy, eggs, gelatine etc) from the human diet, and were about improving human health and well-being.

Over the past few years, animal liberationists have exposed the mistreatment of animals involved with the production of food and other products for human consumption and use such as leather and honey, with the result that today, the meaning of vegan appears to be changing from its original meaning.

The animal liberation movement is primarily concerned about the welfare of animals, and appears to downplay the human health benefits. There appears to be little comprehension that their version of vegan foods may contain harmful synthetic chemicals and additives such as sugar (and sugar substitutes), gluten, and flavourings in commercially-produced animal-free foods, or about the health impact of micro-waving plant-based foods.

This can clearly be seen in the offerings from many new vegan cafes, restaurants and shops, and discussions about veganism on many websites and particularly, on social media.

For me, it was my own health issues.  I am naturally inquisitive and in my research, I found that commercially produced human foods which most impacted me, contained many chemicals. This included supermarket items, meats and soft drinks (soda-pop). I began to eat more fruits and vegetables, reduced my intake and use of chemically-laden products, and my health began to improve.

I learned that all disease thrives in an acidic human body, but cannot live in an alkaline human body. I discovered that almost all plant foods for human consumption were alkaline (several are not, including peanuts), and that all animal products produced for human consumption were not only highly acidic, but many were loaded with chemicals such as preservatives, colouration, and farm chemicals.

I discovered that all animal, bird and fish flesh are a lower vibration than human vibration. As well, I learned that all meats no matter what the source, turn putrid in the human intestinal system, and eventually cause problems. That is why we have such an epidemic of gut health problems like I had, in the western world today.

I reduced my intake of acidic foods, steamed my vegetables instead of micro-waving them, and my health continued to improve.

The last to go were sugars, eggs, dairy products and certain bakery items I loved. A friend introduced me to the Miessence probiotic superfoods, and my immune system went into overdrive.  I stopped getting sick from the headaches, nausea, colds, flus, lack of energy, irritable bowel, leaky gut syndrome, and more. No more illness or sickness!

Next, I discovered the taste and health benefits of 100% pure water. I now have my own reverse-osmosis filtration system, which produces about 10 litres or 2.5 gallons per hour. The filter membrane is 0.0001 microns; there are absolutely no chemicals or minerals in the water, and an ultra-violet light kills any remaining bacteria or viruses, and with perfect 6.5ph level for the human body.  I feel alive and vibrant, and my well-being is getting better all the time.

Minerals? I get mine from sea salt and many vegetables. I learned that sea salt crystals have 84 organic minerals, in a consistent ratio and proportion.  From a blood-scientist, I learned that healthy human blood has 84 organic minerals in it, all in the exact same ratio and proportion. What a co-incidence!  My minerals are all now well-balanced – including iron.

Then, I discovered the key to great health and well-being is in the mind. I learned that (for example), an acidic mind craved acidic foods – meats, dairy, gluten and sugar in particular! I discovered that when I became judgemental or emotional about something, I was drawn to certain acidic foods. What I thought, believed and felt was affecting my body. As the result of learning to listen to my body (aches, pains, injuries etc), I was able to let go of the thoughts and emotions that were impacting me through my taste buds. 

When I stopped being judgemental, I no longer wanted the acidic foods I was craving. What a revelation! I began to take meditation more seriously than I had, and I started to relax a lot more, letting go of stored emotions. And now, with my immune system in top gear, I rarely get sick or ill any more – from anything.  This is still a work-in-progress, and I know I’m on the right track.

There are many opinions on the internet about the impact of various diets on human health. I discovered that almost all diets threw the human body out of balance, did not address the real reason the diet was started, and the above information show the reason most diets do not work, and are discontinued.  I know that from personal experience.

I have been mostly vegetarian for the past 8 years, and today am almost vegan. I supplement only with the Miessence Superfoods, and I love my certified organic Leatherwood honey in my herbal tea (no bees were harmed or mistreated).

Being brought up on a dairy farm, I had my own pets – horses, cows, lambs, dogs, calves, pigs and wildlife, and learned to love and respect our animals. We treated all our animals in a humane and respectful way. However, while I do support those exposing the unethical treatment of animals, my love and caring for animals had little to do with me becoming vegetarian or vegan – it was for my own health.

My partner has been vegetarian, then 99+% vegan for almost 20 years, with no supplements other than the Miessence Superfoods.  He is fitter, looks younger and is certainly more healthy than most people I have met of similar age. He has had his body tested on several bio-feedback systems, and has been told from the results, that he has the strongest immune system of anyone they have tested, and he does not have any mineral or protein imbalances.

I am convinced, and loving the results.

Mighty Mangroves

How can my little household help the environment on a bigger scale?

Many of us are already conscious of environmental issues and making small changes where we can. This may be from recycling, switching to  household products free from toxic synthetic chemicals, choosing products that use less plastic and the like. All these things are important, and when joined together with millions of others around the world, these small changes have a huge impact.

Partnering with organizations that work toward ecological sustainability is another great aim. In Paul Hawken’s book, Blessed Unrest, he calculates that there are more than a million environmental groups, some who have over 50,000 members, wanting to safeguard nature. Joining forces with such groups builds momentum and progress toward positive change.

ONEgroup, the parent company of Miessence certified organic personal care and nutrition products, has created a fantastic new opportunity for people from all around the globe to collaborate toward the planting of 1 billion mangrove trees. It’s so easy that you can participate from your own homes while doing something as mundane as your laundry. Each purchase of the new Happi Earth Laundry Liquid will plant a much needed mangrove tree, as well as reducing plastic use by 99% and saving each household 60% on their annual laundry expense.  The product is so concentrated that just one pouch can last up to 400 washes.

Why the mangrove tree you may ask? Apart from the amazing capacity that one hectare of mangroves can neutralize 17 metric tonnes of carbon per year, here are some other benefits: “Mangrove wetland is a multiple use ecosystem. It is considered as a best form of coastal bioshield since it plays a critical role in reducing the impact of cyclonic storms, hurricanes and tsunami on human lives and properties (Danielsen et al., 2005; Selvam, 2005). It also avoids or reduces soil erosion. It enhances fishery productivity of the adjacent coastal waters by acting as a nursery ground for commercially important fish, prawn and crabs and supplying organic and inorganic nutrients. They are also rich in biodiversity and act as habitats for wildlife.” – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations www.fao.org

“Ecologically speaking, mangroves are exciting systems in their own right. Mangrove forests provide homes for several species of plants and animals. Migratory shorebirds and waders forage the mudflats for food. Birds like the cattle egrets and scarlet ibises establish large roosting and nesting sites in mangroves. Great-Horned Owls, Blood-Coloured Woodpeckers, Antshrikes, Mangrove Cuckoos and Rufous-Crab Hawks are all treats for any avid birdwatcher. Several species of fish, monkeys, and turtles find refuge there. The beaches along more mature undisturbed mangroves also serve as nesting sites for endangered sea turtles. The Leatherback and Green Turtles are most common of the five species found within Guyana . Mangroves are fish nurseries as they serve as a source of food for fish, shrimp and crabs that live in rivers and the shallow areas of the sea/ocean, and provide a safe haven for juvenile fish, shrimp and crab located on Guyana ‘s coastline. Mangroves therefore contribute significantly to Guyana’s fishing industry and provide us with our fish resource. Mangroves break down pollutants and play a large role in carbon sequestration (the capturing and storing of carbon ).” – www.mangrovesgy.org

Please ask me as your Miessence Rep how you can join this laundry revolution by switching to Happi to eliminate toxins 100%, reduce plastic 99%, save 60% on costs, get 61% cleaner clothes (on average when tested against other leading brands), and plant a mangrove tree. One billion of them – that’s the goal of the Happi Earth Movement. Together we can make a difference.

10 Ingredients to Avoid in Laundry Detergents

Trying to analyse a product’s ingredients without an ingredient list is like driving a car without fuel. You get nowhere. Yet there are products on store shelves that are being sold without disclosing their contents. And this is all legal. Chances are likely that you have purchased them. If you’ve bought a brand name laundry detergent, this may apply to you.

Because [laundry] detergent manufacturers are not required to list their ingredients, you may be exposing yourself and your family to questionable chemicals that you would prefer to avoid. So how does one know what isn’t being told?  Here are some label detective tips using real-life examples and including 10 common laundry ingredients better avoided.

Revealed Lists

Although detergent manufacturers are not required to disclose their ingredients, due to public pressure, there are some that do share their ingredients. As green-conscious consumers, we are right to be concerned. Tide, a very popular laundry detergent manufacturer shares the most common ingredients in their products.(2)

1- Alcohol Ethoxylate (AE) – Is a surfactant. Studies show that AE is a teratogen. A teratogen is an agent that disrupts or disturbs the development of an embryo or fetus. One particular study shows “the AE exhibited ultrastructural alterations of mitochondria and narcotic effects.”(1)  A non-ionic surfactant. Surfactants allow water and grease to mix, helping to remove greasy stains from your garments.

2- Alkyl Ethoxy Sulfate (AES) and Alkyl Sulfate (AS) – A nonflammable, wetting agent – also a surfactant. Repeated skin contact with concentrated solutions may cause dermatitis and ingestion may cause gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting and diarrhea.(3)

3- Amine Oxide– Also known as Lauramine Oxide, is a surfactant and emulsifier, particularly for bleach. Detergents can dissolve lipid layers in the skin and produce local irritation and injury. In cases of mild to moderate toxicity, common effects are skin, mucosal, eye irritation, vomiting and diarrhea.(4).

4- Cyclodextrin reduces odors and acts a soluble, dissolving agent in pharmaceutical medications and commercial multivitamins. Cyclodextrin may interact with some components of the skin and may produce irritating effects. Cyclodextrin in combination with other absorption-promoting agents can permeate the skin up to 53%. (5)

5- Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate (LAS) – Used as a stain remover, LAS is a cytotoxic synthetic anionic surfactant. Unfortunately, it is widely present in the environment due to its wide-scale use in the detergent industry. Studies have shown that LAS, at non-cytotoxic levels, increases the rate of colon cancer cell growth.(6)

6- Perfumes – a perfuming, masking agent, that can contain thousands of independent ingredients. Manufacturers are not required to reveal the contents of scenting agents and they may contain carcinogens. Reported effects of perfumes/parfum are eye and skin irritants. They are also air pollutants.

7- Polyethylene Glycols (PEG), Polyethylene Oxide (PEO) or Polyoxyethylene (POE) – Used in detergents to dissolve grease and oil, PEGs have wide application uses from industrial to medicinal. It is the most common form of plastic and combined with glycol it becomes a thick liquid. It also acts a skin penetration enhancer. The number shown after PEG is indicative of its molecular weight. The smaller the number, the easier it can penetrate the skin. PEGs can be contaminated with impurities such as iron, nickel, arsenic and may be an irritant to the skin.(7)

Are Green Laundry Detergents Really Green?

More “green” manufacturers are heeding consumer demands to reveal their ingredients. Seventh Generation is a popular green detergent producer that many eco-conscious consumers purchase to support their agenda of living environmentally friendly. Suffice it to say, their contents can hardly be considered green.

Seventh Generation shares their ingredient glossary(8) on their site and a few notable contents stand out.

8- Sodium Laureth Sulfate – SLS is a synthetic foaming agent that is often contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, up to 300 ppm. 1,4 dioxane is formed during the ethoxylation process of SLS and is considered a probable human carcinogen and is classified as such under in California, USA under proposition 65.(9)

9- Sodium Benzoate – A synthetic preservative that can react with ascorbic acid, citric acid or benzoate salts to form benzene, a known carcinogen.(10)(11)

10- PPG-10 Laureth 7 and PPG-4 Laureth 8 are synthetic foaming agents that may be contaminated with Ethylene Oxide, a probable carcinogen, and reproductive toxicity agent. PPG may be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane. 1,4 dioxane also has been shown to have low acute toxicity on aquatic life.(12)

Although Seventh Generation’s “Sensitive and Hypoallergenic-free” line may cater to those with sensitivity requirements, their “Free & Clear Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent” contains Methylisothiazolinone and Benzisothiazolinone, which may produce allergic reactions or irritant effects.(13)

Full ingredient list for “Free & Clear”:

Water, Laureth-6 (Plant-Derived Cleaning Agent), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (Plant-Derived Cleaning Agent), Sodium Citrate (Plant-Derived Water Softener), Glycerin (Plant-Derived Enzyme Stabilizer), Sodium Chloride (Mineral-Based Viscosity Modifier), Oleic Acid (Plant-Derived Anti-Foaming Agent), Sodium Hydroxide (Mineral-Based pH Adjuster), Calcium Chloride (Mineral-Based Enzyme Stabilizer), Citric Acid (Plant-Derived pH Adjuster), Protease (Plant-Derived Enzyme Blend Soil Remover), Amylase (Plant-Derived Enzyme Blend Soil Remover), Mannanase (Plant-Derived Enzyme Blend Soil Remover), Benzisothiazolinone (Synthetic Preservative), Methylisothiazolinone (Synthetic Preservative).(14)

 

How to Avoid Chemical Derived Detergent Cleaners

Companies like Tide and Seventh Generation contain certifications such as “Biobased” or Biopreferred”. Which means their products are made up of a certain amount of material that is “plant-derived”. Here’s how it’s explained…

“Biobased products are derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials and provide an alternative to conventional petroleum-derived products. Biobased products include diverse categories such as lubricants, cleaning products, inks, fertilizers, and bioplastics. For purposes of the BioPreferred program, biobased products do not include food, animal feed, or fuel.” – USDA Biopreferred Fact Sheet Program

 

To be clear, products that are Biopreferred certified contain up to a certain percentage of USDA approved renewable materials. It does not indicate that the product is chemical-free or free of petroleum products.

However, you’ll be happy to hear that there are detergent products that are certified organic, though they are far and few in between. Certified organic is a higher standard, needless to say, than the Biopreferred program, when it comes to limiting your chemical exposure. Some certified organic laundry detergents are made from soap nuts which are a seed and contains natural soap compounds. So, look for the USDA or ACO(Australian) Organic seal when purchasing your laundry detergent.

And as an added bonus, here is a fun and very easy recipe to make your own eco-friendly fabric softener…


Eco & People Friendly Fabric Softener Recipe

3 parts Epsom Salts

1 part Baking Soda

18 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. (optional)

Directions

Combine all the contents in a salt-resistant container and mix thoroughly.

Use

¼ to ½ cup of softener per large load.

Storage

Store in an airtight container. Keep in a dry area.

 

 

 

Sources Cited

1 – Pub Med – Teratogenic and Toxic Effects of AE…

2 – Tide – Laundrypedia

3 – Cameo Chemicals – SODIUM ALKYL SULFATES

4 – ToxNet – Lauramine Oxide

5 – European Medicines Agency – Cyclodextrin

6 – Pub Med – Effect of LAS on Colon Cancer Cells…

7 – Truth in Aging – What is it – PEGs?

8 – Seventh Generation – Ingredients Glossary

9 – Wikipedia – Sodium Laureth Sulfate

10 – US Food & Drug Association – Benzene Q&A

11 – Wikipedia – Sodium Benzoate

12 – EWG – PPG-10 Laureth 7

13 – Seventh Generation – How to Read the Product Labels

14 – Target – Full Ingredient List for “Free & Clear”

 

Article reprinted from MiCommunity 2017 with minor edits.

 

Disclaimer:

This article is written and presented in an informative manner and has not been reviewed or evaluated by the FDA and should be not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any diseases.

3 DIY Recipes to Help You Unwind This Holiday Season

December can be a mad rush of holiday obligations, gift buying, gift making, decorating, crafting, visiting family, baking, cooking, chasing children, entertaining children…. Phew! As January approaches, this is a great opportunity to take a few minutes to rest and unwind. And what better way to do that, than to treat yourself to a few super simple, inexpensive DIY treats?

 These 3 simple DIY recipes will help you take a few minutes to pamper yourself, without breaking the bank, and with little skill required on your part.

 1. Exfoliating Sea Salt Hand Scrub

 This hand scrub is super simple to make, and it’s a delicious treat for hard working hands.  Sea salt is simply evaporated seawater (which means it’s not processed and doesn’t contain any additives). It is also a great exfoliator. If you have particularly sensitive skin, you can swap out sea salt for brown sugar in this recipe.  Coconut oil is an amazing moisturizer, and it has natural hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties (1).  It also absorbs quickly into your skin, so it won’t leave your hands greasy.

 Recipe

  • 1 cup coarse sea salt (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 5 to 7 drops of essential oil (grapefruit – a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-stress agent (2) – or rosemary – a natural antioxidant and antimicrobial (3) – are 2 great options to use in this recipe, or experiment with your favourite scent)

Instructions

  • Mix sea salt (or brown sugar), coconut oil, and essential oil together in a reusable glass jar (a small mason jar works great).
  • Use scrub sparingly (once or twice a week) by spooning a small amount into your hands, gently rubbing it in, and rinsing it off with warm water. 

2. Exfoliating Lip Scrub

If your lips get dry and cracked, then a simple lip balm isn’t enough to make them soft and gorgeous again. An exfoliating lip scrub gets rid of all the dead skin and helps keep your lips smooth and beautiful (and comfortable! I hate the feeling of scratchy lips).

 Recipe

  • 1 part honey (or vegetable glycerine to make it vegan)
  • 1 part brown sugar
  • 1 part olive, jojoba, almond, or coconut oil
  • A few drops of essential oil (optional)

 Instructions

  • Mix all your ingredients together in a small, sealable container (used lip balm pots work great, or pick up some small screw-top pots on Amazon).
  • Use a small amount of scrub when your lips are feeling cracked and dry. Rub gently onto your lips, and then rinse off with warm water. Follow with a lip balm.

 3. Lavender Oatmeal Bath Soak

 I don’t think there’s anything more relaxing than a lavender oatmeal bath. This recipe is super simple to make, and great for helping you unwind for a few minutes in the tub. Oatmeal is also naturally calming and moisturizing for your skin (4).  Baking soda helps to cool and reduce any itchiness. It also acts as a natural cleanser (5) so you don’t need to use any kind of additional soap. And lavender helps with relaxation (it also leaves your skin delicately scented).

Recipe

  • 4 cups plain old fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons dried lavender buds (look for “culinary lavender”, which hasn’t been sprayed with any chemicals – lavender essential oil will work in a pinch, but you won’t get quite the same effect as with lavender buds)
  • 1 cup baking soda

 Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and grind until very fine and powdery.
  • Pour the powder into a reusable jar (mason jars work great for this) and store in a cool, dry place.

Add 1 cup of the oatmeal soak to a warm bath when you need to unwind and relax. Stir to distribute the soak in your tub.

 

 

 

 

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20645831
  2. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1e08/647e7cf7ae8b61299afbd13324dfbfedc9c7.pdf
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17708648
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17373175
  5. https://sciencing.com/physical-chemical-properties-sodium-bicarbonate-6571412.html

Cold and Flu Season – Are You Prepared?

Whether you’re just coming out of cold and flu season in the southern hemisphere, or you’re just going into it in the northern hemisphere, healthy habits like eating well, getting extra rest, and managing stress go a long way towards prevention against these yearly virus threats. Of course, the holidays tend to create an imbalance in those areas, so it’s best to go into them as healthy as possible, so they’re not the “straw the breaks the camel’s back!” Let’s discuss each of these habits in a bit more detail.

Nutrition

There is so much conflicting information about what to eat (and not eat) and fad diets to go along with it. Solid nutrition is really quite simple—eat a balanced diet of real, whole foods with quality proteins, vegetables and fats as the majority. The type of food and drink that tends to come around with the holidays, such as sugar, processed foods, fruit juices and alcohol, should really be limited to protect the immune system. If you’re looking for additional guidance, many people like Dr. Mercola’s nutrition plan (Beginner Nutrition Plan).

Sleep

There are endless studies regarding the importance of consistent sleep to maintain a healthy body. Even that extra hour of sleep is crucial for the immune system. One study found that people exposed to the cold virus who sleep less than six hours a night are four times more likely to get sick compared to those who sleep more than seven hours a night.

Stress

Perhaps one of the most overlooked, but greatest aspects of overall health is our level of stress. Some experts believe stress is to blame for as much as 90% of all illnesses and diseases! During the holidays especially, it is helpful to set boundaries, keep meals and gifts simple and of course don’t skimp on sleep. Meditation, even as short as 3 minutes once or twice daily, can also strengthen the immune system and help cope with stress.

Supplements

A favorite supplement for both prevention and treatment of cold and flu is elderberry syrup. Elderberries contain compounds called anthocyanidins, which help stimulate the immune system. Although not a surefire way to prevent cold or flu, using elderberry has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. Elderberry syrup can be bought online or in stores (look for organic options made without refined sugar), or it can be easily made at home using a recipe such as this one (Elderberry Syrup Recipe). Other beneficial supplements include vitamin D (sunlight and cod liver oil are great sources), zinc (Foods High in Zinc), vitamin C (Foods High in Vitamin C), as well as fermented foods and quality probiotics.  If you cannot find elderberries in your local area, try cranberries as a possible alternative.

In summary, try and follow the 95/5 rule—not just in terms of diet, but also your daily habits—choose the healthiest option 95% of the time. Those choices will go a long way in keeping you healthy this season!

 

Sources:

The Flu Season

Flu Season Hits Hard Again

Short Sleepers Study

How Stress Affects the Immune System

Elderberry

 

What’s the Big Deal about Palm Oil?

Article by Lisa B.

You may have heard of the ‘Say No to Palm Oil’ campaign, but are you wondering what all the fuss is about? How does this affect me? Many already know that the palm oil industry has had a detrimental impact on the environment. But today we will also touch on the negative aspect towards our individual health.

A few years ago, I watched the documentary, “Rise of the Eco-Warriors”. This was an inspiring visual of young activists from various parts of the world, coming together to see first hand the displacement of the orangutans through the deforestation of Borneo.  Even those who have little conviction of environmental issues are stirred by the gentle, defenceless creatures that are left homeless and orphaned. As the camera sweeps over the landscape above the southeast Asian island, a gasp can be heard in the cinema from the shocking realization that millions of hectares of forest have been destroyed. In fact, 1.3 million hectares per year is the deforestation rate according to WWF.1

When the documentary finished, the Australian Director, Cathy Henkel spoke to our group. She encouraged us to withdraw our support from palm oil products, the root cause of what drives the money hungry industry to bulldoze the forests to supply the western world. I asked what alternative industries we could support that creates income for Indonesians, so they have a better job choice. Cathy recommended using coconut blossom sugar. The sap is taken from the flower, so the tree doesn’t need to be cut down to harvest.  After researching more about this sugar, I’ve found it to be an excellent choice in a sweetener for its health benefits since the sap is only evaporated and holds more nutrients than raw sugar.

How often do you look at the labels while shopping to see which products use palm oil? It’s a popular cheap ingredient for producers to use. But can it affect your health? Like many oils, in their raw state, they are fine. However, palm oil in your food products has been processed where oxidization occurs generating toxins that unfortunately affect major organs of the body. The more products you consume that have palm oil, the greater exposure to these potential toxins which overtime may be harmful to one’s health.

My recommendation would be for you to read some articles on the web2 to gain more of an understanding and to strengthen your convictions, whether to avoid this ingredient or not. I find when I’ve taken the time to read up on health issues, I am more inclined to follow through, being an informed consumer. Remember, our economy is built on the supply and demand principal. That is why we’ve seen a huge change with products excluding artificial colors and flavors. It’s up to us to encourage this change by ‘Saying No to Palm Oil’ too. Already, producers are catching on. Let’s continue our consumer impact together.

 

1  World Wild Life Org

2 Say No To Palm Oil

Recommended Further Reading

Dr. Axe- Red Palm Oil

Healthline- Palm Oil: Good or Bad?

Sustainable Palm Oil

 

 

 

Benefits and Uses of Aloe

 

Benefits and Uses of Aloe (The Power of Aloe)

You may know that aloe is good for sunburn and kitchen burns, but did you also know that aloe has many benefits for your skin and hair beyond healing burns? Aloe has been used for years as a folk remedy for conditions ranging from psoriasis to cold sores to constipation. Aloe is also an amazing ingredient in skin and hair care products, because of its antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant benefits.

What is aloe?

Aloe is a succulent plant with thick, flat leaves. The clear gel from the aloe leaf is what we call aloe vera gel, and it has been proven to have numerous health and wellness benefits.

If you look around in health food stores today, you can find aloe in everything from facial cleanser to vitamin water.  Let`s take a few minutes today to focus on your skin and your hair, and examine 5 benefits of using an aloe-based product.

5 Reasons to Use Aloe on Your Skin and Hair

  1. Aloe has natural antibacterial properties (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3729540/). Because of this, aloe can help to clear up and prevent acne. Its astringent properties can help to reduce pore size and keep out excess sebum, dirt, and microbes (https://www.naturallivingideas.com/aloe-vera-for-face-skin-hair), and it can help to soothe sensitive skin after breakouts.

  2. Aloe can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. One study (examining 30 women over the age of 45, over a 90-day period) found that topical application of aloe vera gel increased collagen production and improved skin elasticity.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2883372/) Because aloe has natural antioxidant properties, it can also help to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals, and thus help to prevent signs of premature aging. (FYI, free radicals have also been linked to cancer.)

  3. Aloe can be used to help treat psoriasis. Aloe is naturally moisturizing, and it doesn’t have the damaging effects of many synthetic moisturizers that contain cetyl alcohol and other irritants that can actually dry out the skin. Aloe has also been shown, in one study, to help clear areas of psoriasis. In a randomized, double-blind study that included 60 patients with chronic psoriasis, 83% of participants showed a significant clearing of psoriatic plaques, with no relapses reported at the 12-month follow up (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8765459).

  4. Aloe can help to lessen the appearance of stretch marks and other cosmetic blemishes.  This may be because aloe speeds up skin cell reproduction by as much as eight times, allowing your body to regenerate skin cells. It can also help to fight inflammation and reduce redness. (https://www.naturallivingideas.com/aloe-vera-for-face-skin-hair/).

  5. Aloe can be used to treat dandruff and relieve an itchy scalp.  Because aloe has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, it can help to get rid of dandruff and stop the itching associated with dandruff of a too-dry scalp.  The enzymes in aloe vera gel can also help the scalp to get rid of dead skin cells and promote the regeneration of skin tissue around the hair follicles.

How to Use Aloe for Skin and Hair

There are many ways that you can use aloe on your skin and hair. You can make your own DIY aloe-based products, such as an aloe and honey face mask (1 tablespoon of raw honey + 3 inches of aloe vera leaf). You can use aloe straight from the plant as a compliment to your personal care routine. Or you can choose a high-quality product made from aloe. It is always important to examine the ingredients in a store bought product, and avoid products that have cheap fillers (like water) as the first ingredient, or synthetic chemicals like artificial fragrance (listed as fragrance/perfume/parfum), phthalates, and PEG-compounds (to name a few) that may do you more harm than good.

 

*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.  I am not claiming that aloe, or aloe-based products, can cure any conditions, but merely that the beneficial properties of aloe may make it one piece in establishing a healthier personal care regime.

Probiotics and Intestinal Health – Part 2

by Wendy Munro*

Lactobacillus bacteria are living organisms, grouped into “families”. There are many species within each family, and billions of bacteria in each family.

Like soldiers in armies, these thirteen groups and the species within them all have specific and unique jobs to do, and they need feeding to operate efficiently. Once well-fed, they are healthy, active and content, and go about their designated work.

If the bacteria are in balance with each other they are at relative peace and the intestinal system is healthy, and the body’s immune system becomes very strong. However, if the balance between the “armies” is upset, chaos erupts, and the families of bacteria actually begin to fight each other for resources (tasks to do, and food). Some bacteria will even consume other types of bacteria as their food source.

The armies are now at battle or even all-out war. The strongest “armies” of bacteria begin to dominate, the intestinal system’s functions become compromised, and so the immune system becomes compromised. This can be seen in symptoms from low energy, chronic fatigue and tiredness, to the onset of serious diseases.

If the balance of the intestinal flora is badly compromised, the immune system can breakdown fairly quickly.

There are many “probiotic” products offered in today’s market that provide some Lactobacillus bacteria. Most use Lactobacillus bacteria from human fecal and/or synthetic matter. Very few use pre-digested natural nutrients to feed the bacteria as they work.

Many such as yoghurt-based probiotics are based on pasteurised dairy products, and even then only contain only a few of the Lactobacillus families. This throws the bacteria harmony out of balance. While Lactobacillus bacteria in these products are introduced to the intestinal system, most are “dead” (killed by the pasteurisation process), and the balance of the bacteria families becomes upset by those that have survived pasteurisation.

This is why it is critical for optimal health to find a way of ingesting the full range of balanced Lactobacillus Family bacteria that is all non-toxic and natural, and in a way that optimizes their effectiveness in the intestinal system.

And this is why In-liven™ – Miessence™ Certified Organic’s Probiotic Super Food was created.

What is so special about OneGroup’s™ Certified Organic In-Liven™?

In-Liven™ is a broad spectrum of lactobacillus bacteria and pre-digested vital nutrients containing the base 20 Amino Acids, including the 8 essentials that the body needs every day in order topromote optimum health.1

All nutrients in In-Liven are obtained from certified organic whole food sources.

The formulation contains the thirteen complete Lactobacillus Families: Acidophilus, Delbruekii, Caseii, Bulgaricus, Causasicus, Fermenti, Plantarum, Brevis, Heleveticus, Lactis, Bifidus, Leichmanni and Bacillus Coagulans (also known as Sporogenes), and all are in exactly the same ratios and proportions as a healthy human intestinal system.

The friendly bacteria in In-Liven’s Lactobacillus family are the result of over 25 years of research, and over time have been cultured into a “Super Strain”. Over time, as colonies were formed, they were stressed through heat, cold, and doused with almost every toxin imaginable. Only the strongest survived.

In-Liven’s lactobacillus bacteria are only produced from fruits and vegetables and not fast-tracked from faecal matter, a process often used to manufacture the majority of pro-biotic products. During the three week preparatory phase a formula of nutrients is predigested by the thirteen families of lactobacillus in the same way as it would in our own body. Since the work of digestion is already done, the body is able to instantly assimilate the broad spectrum of nutrients. In effect it increases the potency of the product by up to 500%. This means your body needs less of these
nutrients.

The results are a Super Family of very strong Lactobacillus unlike any others found in the worldtoday. The unique combination of pre-digested certified organic whole foods and super-strength friendly bacteria assures you of a unique product that will optimize your health in the best way possible.

Because it is a nutrient rich food, cravings for addictive foods will usually be curbed.

In-Liven includes Spirulina, one of the single richest and most complete source of total organic nutrition in the world; Alfalfa Grass, a complete protein with vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F, K and rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and trace elements; Barley Grass which has an incredible concentration of minerals, vitamins, trace elements, protein and live enzymes and Wheat Grass which is extremely high in chlorophyll and has a molecular structure very similar to the haemoglobin of human blood. Chlorophyll is the blood of the plants and is extremely rich in nutrients.

Usage

Taken daily, In-Liven™ will work over time to create and maintain an optimally balanced intestinal system, resulting in a very strong immune system. As a guide, it takes three to six months of daily use to develop a strong immune system, which then needs to be maintained.

In-Liven is in powder form. Mix 1 teaspoon of In-Liven in a glass of purified water, or natural apple juice. Allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before drinking, then stir thoroughly. For the first month, suggested use is twice per day, around 11am and before bed. It is advisable to not eat or drink anything other than water, at least one to two hours either side of use. Unlike most other fruit juices, natural apple juice will not alter the ph or balance of the formulation.

After the first month, once per day should be sufficient, and use before retiring is recommended to allow the In-Liven to work overnight. Once an In-Liven jar has been opened, it should be refrigerated.

What if I think I am allergic to the ingredients in In-Liven™?

Many people who claim to be allergic to specific grains such as wheat or gluten, will find no such reaction to In-liven because it is prepared from the grass and not from the grain. Allergic reactions to grains are generally as a result of the synthetic chemicals used in the processing of the grain. All the processes used in the preparation of In-Liven are chemical free.

I am getting reactions to In-Liven™. What’s Happening?

Any reactions are the result of the friendly bacteria doing battle with the unfriendly bacteria, and are normal. Typical reactions include diahorrea, gurgling tummy, intestinal pain, intestinal cramps, mild nausea, etc. Most discomfort symptoms will be gone within a few days.

In-Liven’s™ formulation uses only LIVE bacteria that have been specially bred to withstand the rigors associated with today’s modern lifestyle. By implanting the friendly bacteria for healthy intestinal flora, and eating mainly raw and unprocessed foods, you will be well on your way to a really healthier living experience.

Other References:

  • “Lactobacillus feeding Alters Human Colonic Bacterial Activities”, by Nutritional Reviews Vol. 42 No.4 Nov 1984.
  • “Lactobacillus Acidophilus” by American Institute of Biosocial Research Inc. 1989
  • “Assimilation of Cholesterol by Lactobacillus Acidophilus” by Applied and Environmental Microbiology Vol 49 No.2, Feb 1985

OneGroup, trading as “Miessence”

Organic and Natural Enterprise Group (or ONEgroup™) is an Australian based company who creates and manufactures the world’s first Certified Organic skincare, haircare, personal care, health care and cosmetic products. One Group trades as Miessence.

The Miessence range of products stand in a class of their own by being independently certified to international food grade standards by some of the world’s most respected organic certifying organisations, namely, Australian Certified Organic (ACO), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and IFOAM (Europe).

Its products are available directly from Miessence, and at Retail Prices from a small number of health industry retailers in many countries around the world.

To obtain In-Liven or any other Miessence product at significant levels of discount off normal Retail Price, you will need to be referred to join Miessence as a Representative and purchase the products directly yourself. You may also purchase products as a Retail (Retail) Customer.

Representatives may refer others to Miessence, and may earn bonuses from all subsequent purchases. Many people become Representatives simply to pay for their In-Liven and other Miessence products from earned commissions. Over time, this can become quite rewarding, as OneGroup provides excellent materials and incentives to succeed in this area.

Miessence’s marketing of its products relies on word-of-mouth advertising and promotion. Its referral system is a legitimate way of rewarding Representatives for sharing their experiences, and is not to be confused with any so-called “pyramid schemes”.

p.s. Since this article was written in 2001, Miessence have released a “Super” probiotic in liquid form called “Fast-Tract”.. which is gluten-free. This form is used initially to “fast-track” the immune system, and to repair intestinal system damage. It is suggested to begin with Fast-Tract, then change to the powder form after 1-2 months. However if the liquid form suits you better, stay on it.

Taking Fast-Tract: (suggested)

  • First 7 days: Take 15 ml in a glass of water, around 10pm daily
  • Next 7 days Take 15 ml in a glass of water, around 10am and 10pm daily
  • Next 7 days Take 25 ml in a glass of water, around 10am and 10pm daily
  • After that: Take 25ml in a glass of water, around 10pm

Then you can decide whether to stay on Fast-Tract, or move long-term to the In-Liven powder.

Please contact your rep for further information on obtaining In-liven Probiotic and other Miessence certified organic products, and/or about joining OneGroup / Miessence.

 

* About the Author

Wendy Munro was a psychologist and transpersonal therapist, working in private practice in Western Australia, and QLD. A vegetarian for 30 years, Wendy had 12 years training and practice as a medical scientist, and held a life-long interest in health and nutrition. Unfortunately, Wendy passed from this life in 2003.  Her article above has been edited only slightly to fit a two-part format for our MiCommunity readers.  

Probiotics and Intestinal Health – Part 1

by Wendy Munro*

Introduction

Our modern lifestyle would seem to suggest that humans largely reliant on western diets are losing
the war against disease. Statistics abound demonstrating the increases in cancer, heart disease,
diabetes and numerous immune deficiency diseases.

On-going research continues to confirm the detrimental effect of our toxic-laden foods, and the overuse
of synthetic chemicals in both the growth and preparation of our food. Our body is designed to
overcome a certain amount of toxicity but over time too often breaks down or no longer functions in
an optimal way.

The cause of the breakdown in health can be attributed to both external and internal influences.
Health is not only determined by the food you eat, but also on your body’s ability to break down
those foods and process them in a way that is useful to the body. When the body is no longer able
to break down the foods that we eat our health becomes greatly impaired, resulting in chronic
diseases, serious illness and disease and even premature death.

Our digestive system is basically a tube that runs through the body. The small intestine is a major
component of that tube and it has two major functions. The first is to allow necessary substances
into the bloodstream in order for the body to use these raw materials to grow and function properly.
The second is a protective one. It prevents toxic substances and large molecules – mainly certain
proteins – from getting into the bloodstream. These large molecules are not handled well by the
body and frequently cause the immune system to produce antibodies against them. This may result
in a series of inflammatory reactions that characterize food allergy reactions.

The immune system may also stimulate the body to produce antibodies against its own tissues,
resulting in auto-immune disease as seen in some forms of arthritis and inflammatory bowel
disease. When large molecules break through the intestinal barrier to enter the bloodstream, the
person is said to have increased intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut syndrome”.

Nutritional supplements are not the answer. If they were, many of these issues would be resolved,
and people would be more healthy.

More than 99% of all vitamins and minerals sold today are synthetic. They do not contain living
enzymes that are the life force of the plant and animal kingdom. Without enzymes, life cannot exist
and without life, enzymes cannot exist.

The secret to good health lies in maintaining an optimal balance of and between friendly bacteria
and harmful bacteria in the intestinal tract. Bacteria are everywhere. We swallow them with our
food, drink them with water, they are in the air we breathe, on our skin, in our mouths, digestive
tract, sinuses and all other areas of our bodies.

Some of them are very beneficial, some are neutral, and some are quite harmful. Some are
extremely valuable for good health as they work harmoniously with our immune system.
In a healthy colon, there are literally billions of beneficial or “friendly” bacteria. Healthy “friendly”
intestinal bacteria are essential to good intestinal health and without them, overall vibrant health is
quite difficult to achieve and/or maintain.

Under favourable conditions, they multiply at a fast enough rate to keep pace with the large
numbers that are lost during elimination. When they are located in the intestinal tract, they are
referred to as “intestinal flora,” “micro-flora”, “good bacteria”, “friendly/beneficial bacteria” or
sometimes just “flora.”

These friendly bacteria make (or synthesize) many important vitamins in the digestive tract including
Vitamin K and some of the B vitamins. They also help the colon perform the very important task of
maintaining a proper pH or acid balance. It is important to keep levels of antagonistic or “unfriendly”
micro-organisms under control, and it is necessary for the pH to stay in the correct range in order for
other health supporting bacteria to exist.

The appendix is attached to the small intestine and is also connected to the immune systems of the
body. It plays an important role in maintaining friendly bacterial balance in the intestine and bowel.
Without its function, the immune system may become weakened, and it may take much longer to
recover from diseases, illnesses or certain other “conditions”.

Where do we find ‘friendly’ intestinal bacteria?

Research has discovered that thirteen “families” of friendly bacteria (called lactobacillus) populate
the human intestinal system. Each “family” consists of many species which are in proportion and
balance in a healthy intestinal system.

The friendly lactobacillus bacteria are identified as Acidophilus, Delbruekii, Caseii, Bulgaricus,
Causasicus, Fermenti, Plantarum, Brevis, Heleveticus, Lactis, Bifidus, Leichmanni and Bacillus
Coagulans (also known as Sporogenes).

Most raw foods, especially those with chlorophyll, feed these friendly bacteria in the intestines,
whereas cooked and processed foods inherently feed the harmful bacteria.

The ratio of good “friendly” bacteria in the gut, to “harmful” bacteria, is ideally in the vicinity of 80%
good – 20% harmful. Many nutritionists believe that ratio is today reversed in most people, e.g.,
20% good – 80% harmful. This can be due to a variety of factors, primarily the denatured diets we
frequently consume, and the widespread use of antibiotics.

Yoghurt and Kefir have traditionally been a good source of friendly lactobacillus, however
pasteurisation destroys the bacteria for the most part. We have lost the major sources of lactobacillus
and are not receiving the quantities of these bacteria in our diets as we used to.

It is important that the products we use are guaranteed to contain live bacterial cultures at the time
of ingestion.

Allergies may be good indicators of out-of-balance or missing friendly bacteria. For example, many
people appear to be allergic to dairy products. The primary reason is usually that they cannot digest
lactose, (or milk sugar), and this can lead to allergies, headaches, cramps, mucous formation and
many other health problems. Some species of lactobacillus bacteria can digest lactose. When the
lactobacillus levels or ratios are disturbed, or when the bowel ecology becomes out of balance,
digestion is impaired, and health problems may develop.

Another example is that children may suffer one common cold after another because their immune
system has been traumatised due to the use of antibiotics without replacing the lactobacillus
bacteria. It is important to replenish the friendly bacteria as soon as possible after taking antibiotics
in order to maintain good health.

In adults, bad breath and bad body odours are good indications that normal bacteria levels are
critically low. When lactobacillus levels are low in the colon, partially digested food decays,
producing foul gas and toxaemia.

The prevalence of cold sores (herpes simplex), constipation, intestinal gas, diarrhoea, acne,
vaginitis, headache, symptoms of hypoglycaemia, yeast infections and many others, are often signs
of low levels of beneficial intestinal flora.

Research is now revealing that to attain the health benefits attributed to Lactobacilli fermented
foods, live active bacteria need to be consumed on a regular, even daily basis. It is believed the life
span in the human body of these cells is 3 to 10 days. Only the active forms have the ability to
tolerate the acidity of the stomach and the alkalinity of the intestine to benefit our overall health
through a stronger immune system.

Lactobacilli Bacteria alter the pH of the large intestine to a slightly more acidic level, thus inhibiting
or destroying putrefactive bacteria, moulds, mould spores and yeast, particularly Candida. The bad
smell of intestinal gas is usually the result of bad bacteria fermenting undigested food products.
Repopulating the gut with good bacteria can reduce this unwanted population.

Research also suggests that Lactobacillus bacteria is needed to:

  • Reduce cholesterol in the blood.
  • Increase calcium assimilation.
  • Help eliminate bad breath and gas.
  • Reduce high blood pressure.
  • Assist in elimination of ailments such a colon irritation, constipation, diarrhoea and acne.
  • Retard yeast infections.
  • Strengthen the immune system.
  • Manufacture and assimilate B complex vitamins (which includes niacin, biotin, folic acid,
    riboflavin and B12).
  • Help digest proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
  • Produce natural anti-bacterial agents (antibiotics) which inhibit 23 known pathogens.
  • Produce cancer or tumour suppressing compounds.
  • Help alleviate anxiety and stress.
  • Retard proliferation of vaginitis, flu or herpes.
  • Produce certain necessary digestive enzymes.
  • Control the pH factor or acidity-alkaline levels in the intestines.
  • Reduce unhealthy bacteria in the intestinal tract.
  • Detoxify poisonous materials in the diet.
  • Detoxifies hazardous chemicals added to foods, such as nitrates.

Enemies of friendly bacteria:

  • Drugs – especially antibiotics, as one dose can eliminate all friendly bacteria.
  • Alcohol destroys enzymes and lacto bacteria, not to mention actual cells (particularly
    brain cells)
  • Coffee- each cup can destroy 20% of the friendly bacteria.
  • Meat – it feeds the bacillus coli (harmful bacteria), which in turn destroy the good bacteria.
  • Bread – especially white flour bread, or any wheat bread that was baked in an oven.
  • Sugar – includes breakfast cereals, chocolate, cakes, pies, cookies, ice cream, soda pop
    and soft drinks etc.
  • Fried foods – e.g. potato chips, fries, and anything fried in oil.
  • The contraceptive pill.

In Part 2, next month, we will look further at the Lactobacillus bacteria, and what is so special about
Miessence’s certified organic, prebiotic, probiotic fermented superfood blends.

 

* About the Author

Wendy Munro was a psychologist and transpersonal therapist, working in private practice in Western Australia, and QLD. A vegetarian for 30 years, Wendy had 12 years training and practice as a medical scientist, and held a life-long interest in health and nutrition. Unfortunately, Wendy passed from this life in 2003.  Her article above has been edited only slightly to fit a two-part format for our MiCommunity readers.