Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chemical Free Cold Season

Fighting our way through winter often means battling colds that can wipe out entire households.Especially for children, there are few natural options, but coughing, running noses, congestion, stomach upset, and sleeplessness can greatly interfere with the entire household.

First, we use honey with fresh ginger root and lemon slices. Just fill a jar with honey, slice the ginger and lemon, and let it steep. Honey is a natural preservative, so this will never go bad. Just put a TBSP in your tea when cold symptoms set in to treat sore throat and coughing.

We know that Vicks VapoRub is dangerous for kids, but do you use Vicks BabyRub? It's base is petrolatum, a known carcinogen!

Instead, we made our own mentholated salve. Here's our recipe! 

Carcinogen Free Vicks BabyRub replacement:

1/2 cup coconut oil
2 TBSP of beeswax shavings
10 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
5 drops Peppermint E.O.
5 drops Rosemary E.O.
5 drops Lavender E.O.

Slowly melt beeswax and coconut oil until combined. Add essential oils, mixing well. Pour into small jar or other container (I personally like using chapstick containers for ease of application). Apply to baby's feet at night under socks to treat symptoms of a cold.

More info on petroleum jelly:Source:
The raw material for petroleum jelly was discovered in 1859 in Titusville, Pennsylvania, United States, on some of the country's first oil rigs. Workers disliked the paraffin-like material forming on rigs because it caused them to malfunction, but they used it on cuts and burns because it hastened healing.
Robert Chesebrough, a young chemist whose previous work of distilling fuel from the oil of sperm whales had been rendered obsolete by petroleum, went to Titusville to see what new materials had commercial potential. Chesebrough took the unrefined black "rod wax", as the drillers called it, back to his laboratory to refine it and explore potential uses Chesebrough discovered that by distilling the lighter, thinner oil products from the rod wax, he could create a light-colored gel. Chesebrough patented the process of making petroleum jelly by U.S. Patent 127,568 in 1872. The process involved vacuum distillation of the crude material followed by filtration of the still residue through bone char.
Chesebrough traveled around New York demonstrating the product to encourage sales by burning his skin with acid or an open flame, then spreading the ointment on his injuries and showing his past injuries healed, he claimed, by his miracle product.
He opened his first factory in 1870 in Brooklyn using the name Vaseline.


"PAHs. PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are common contaminants in petrolatum, also called petroleum jelly and sold under well-known brand names likeVaseline. Petrolatum is found in one of every 14 products on the market (7.1 percent of the products assessed by EWG), including 15 percent of all lipstick and 40 percent of al baby lotions and oils. FDA restricts petrolatum in food to no more than 10 parts per million, and requires petrolatum used in food packaging or drugs to meet impurity restrictions for PAHs (21 CFR 178, 21 CFR 172.880).
But the agency allows any amount of petrolatum of any purity in personal care products, many of which are applied directly to the lips and swallowed.
Manufacturers would find no legal impediments to using the same unregulated petrolatum in personal care products as can be used in shoe polish.
Among the studies linking the petrolatum impurity PAHs to breast cancer is a Columbia University study in which researchers found that the breast tissue of women with breast cancer was 2.6 times more likely to contain elevated levels of PAHs bound to DNA (called DNA adducts) than the breast tissue of women without breast cancer (Rundle et al. 2000). The National Toxicology Programs finds that some PAHs are reasonable anticipated to be human carcinogens, and the State of California lists a number of PAHs as carcinogens in its Proposition 65 program (NTP 2002, OEHHA 2004).
Petrolatum is listed as a probable human carcinogen in the European Union's Dangerous Substances Directive (UNECE 2004), and its use in cosmetics will be banned by September 2004 with the following caveat:
“The classification as a carcinogen need not apply if the full refining history is known and it can be shown that the substance from which it is produced is not a carcinogen.”
Chemical industry sources have interpreted this clause to mean that petrolatum will continue to be allowed in cosmetics in the EU if it is refined and meets PAH purity standards for food set by FDA (Faust and Casserly 2003). Even this purity standard does not set direct limits on PAH content, but instead relies on a light absorption test as an indirect indicator of contamination.
In the U.S. no requirement for refinement applies for petrolatum in personal care products. Some manufacturers likely choose refined petrolatum low in PAHs, but perhaps some do not.
Product labels do not uniformly show the “USP” certification on the petrolatum listing in EWG's ingredient label database, and in any event, the certification criteria for a USP listing are not public.
Some product labels include the term “skin protectant” in parentheses after the petrolatum listing, an indication that the petrolatum has been refined and meets FDA requirements for drug applications.
But in most cases a consumer buying a product containing petrolatum has no way to know if the ingredient is low in carcinogenic PAHs or not."


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