My chemical free obsession is growing stronger. I fear that this may become intervention worthy. My poor hubby must be tired of me dabbling in alternative medicine. I’m trying my hardest to make wise financial decisions and slowly make changes instead of spending tons of money at Whole Foods and Amazon to replace all my chemical laden products.
Petrolatum and petroleum jelly has begun to interest me since I love using products that list these as their main ingredient. When I’m sick, I love putting Vick’s Vapor Rub on my feet before bed and sleeping with socks. It’s an old wife’s tale that the oils will keep you from getting a cough. I also love putting it on my chest and right under my nose. I’ve always bought the non-medicated kind that lists these ingredients: petrolatum, aloe, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, castor oil and rosemary oil. The ingredient list seems pretty simple, so I didn’t mind putting it on Robert either. But then I started thinking more about the petrolatum. For some reason it wasn’t sitting right with me.
It got me thinking about where petrolatum actually comes from. I knew it had to be a by product of oil and hence, not eco-friendly. The idea of putting something from an oil rig on my body started to freak me out, not to mention the fact that I’ve been lathering it on Robert when he starts to show signs of a cough. I decided to research it a little more and found this informative article from Huffington Post. Ok, it’s not a peer reviewed journal article, but HuffPost seems to do their research, so I trust them on this one.
This is the paragraph that really got to me:
Though generally regarded as safe, the components that are removed from the oil during the refining process of petroleum jelly are carcinogenic in some cases. “Vaseline supposedly has all of these [components] removed,” Dr. Dattner says. “But there are probably plenty of petroleum jelly imitators, and one doesn’t always know the extent that they’re removed.” Denno also points out that, since petroleum jelly can be found in “different grades of purity,” you don’t always know how non-toxic your petroleum jelly-based beauty products really are. (For the record, Vaseline is highly-refined, triple-purified and regarded as non-carcinogenic.)
I know it is impossible to keep all carcinogenic things out of my life, but I feel like I have a duty to find alternatives if at all possible. I was pleasantly surprised to find that coconut oil is a fabulous substitute for petrolatum.
DIY Vapor Rub Instructions
It’s easy to make your own small batch of vapor rub. Just fill up an old can of vapor rub with coconut oil and add your own oils. I would do 2-5 drops of lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary and stir. If you want to keep it fresh for a while, add some vitamin E since it acts as a natural preservative (not sure about vitamin E being a preservative? Check the ingredients of most cereals, they list it as a preservative- cool huh?). You can even add pure aloe gel if you want to change the consistency or keep the oil from melting (coconut oil is solid up to 76 degrees F).
I was feeling particularly lazy and had a little extra money from an insurance refund, so I bought some DoTerra Breath blend instead of using 3 separate oils. This blend has all the oils in it and takes out the prep. It is a little pricey. I spent about $25 on it, but I have already used if for tons of stuff. I put it in a spray bottle with water and I spray our beds before we go to sleep and it helps open up our airways. I also add a drop to Robert’s bath and let the steam help with his congestion. Of course, you could always add the 3 separate oils to your bath or a spray bottle, but I’m loving the Breath blend and would suggest it to anyone. Even Tom, who is skeptical of alternative medicine, says it helps with his breathing!
This chemical free obsession is taking over my mind, and my DIY loving self is having a hay day on Pinterest. I’ve already pinned several DIY make up ideas and I have some beeswax waiting for me in a cart on Etsy. I’ve decided not to buy the beeswax yet. I need to use the makeup and lip gloss that I already have. Even though I am concerned about chemicals, I’m also concerned about money. I don’t want to make all this stuff myself if it isn’t saving me money!
Even though the blend cost a pretty penny, I’m thinking it will save me a bit of money in the long run. Its a pretty big bottle, so I know it will last a while. Vick’s Vapor Rub costs $4.98 at Wal-Mart and lasts me about 6 months. I’m hoping this bottle will give me a couple years worth of DIY vapor rub.
I’ve also found some pretty cool recipes for DIY Boogie Wipes that I hope to post about soon. These would be great for anyone, not just babies.
What are some ways you take care of yourself while sick? I also swear by drinking tea with lots of honey.