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News – Page 4 – All Things O'Natural

Running A Peaceful Business With Your Spouse

By Dominique Harris
on May 16, 2015
With 7 comments

 

My husband and I receive the question, 'How do you manage to successfully run a business together?' quite a bit. Our answer is always,  'The balance of ying and yang' That basically means we find our strengths and weaknesses and balance each other out. I must say, we definitely do not have all of the answers and feel that each business should find a balance and method that works for them. But, here are a few tips that has worked for us.

FIND WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

One thing I've noticed is that there are a plethora of people, a plethora of forums and a plethora of courses that offer advice on how to run a business. While many offer great advice, I find that the advice is beneficial if it truly works for the vision of your business and what feels right for you. Many things we've learned are through trial and error. To me, trial and error has been one of the greatest teachers. 

 

IT'S OK TO MAKE MISTAKES

Oh my goodness, the amount of mistakes we've made could probably set a world record. My husbands favorite motto is, 'it's not about focusing so much on the mistake but instead how well you recover.' We've recovered amazingly from hiccups and learned the greatest lessons. Those mistakes allow us to understand what works and definitely what does not. My husband, Syeed, is wonderful at not harping or stressing over things. It helps to balance me out.

MASTER ONE THING AT A TIME

Though it can be tempting to have a ton of products featured or line sheets with many line items, we've found that mastering the one or very few things first is best in terms of establishing a customer base. Once you've mastered one or the few, branch out and add one or a few more, but only if and when it feels comfortable. We've been in business since 2011, striving to master our first products before branching into a complimentary focus on body and oral care via our Bohemian Collection in 2015. Know when enough is enough. Having 4 little ones,  we have to be mindful of not becoming overwhelmed with a ton of products. One thing that's helpful in minimizing stress of having to handcraft a ton of products is by offering complementary products from other small businesses which handcraft and fit within the vision of our brand, such as the candles we offer by Pommes Frites Candle Co and shampoo by Dudu Osum. This minimizes the amount of items that we have to focus on handcrafting while offering options to our customers.

 

KNOW YOUR VISION. YOUR PATH IS YOUR PATH

With being a business owner, it can be tempting to strive to do or be like the next successful business, but it's so important to find what works for you and your business. My husband and I had a vision of where we wanted our company to go and what we wanted to do to minimize being overwhelmed and stressed. For us, we like to hand pick shows and craft fairs we like to vend and never feel that we must attend every single show that presents. One thing both of us agree on is that we don't like to force anyone or over convince anyone to buy our products. We love for customers to decide for themselves without feeling pressured and it can sometimes feel like a sport of sales at some shows, so we're comfortable researching and deciding which shows we will vend and if we feel it will be stressful or overwhelming and we don't vend. Knowing your vision also helps to decide shipping, organizing, wholesale and marketing.  Since I'm primarily the one who utilizes social media, my vision was to incorporate posts about overall healthy living. This encompasses healthy mind, healthy eating, healthy marriage  (which my husband collaborates with me), homeopathy,  spirituality, etc. I love to reach my audience through my love of all things natural, beautiful photos and family living. 

 

ALLOW BALANCE TO FLOW WITH A GREAT PARTNER.

One of the greatest lessons I've had the honor of learning is listening to someone else regarding my passion. I've learned the difference of needs vs wants regarding our business. My vice has been that I can over indulge and think too much about things, whereas Syeed is more balanced with understanding what's important and what can be detrimental to the business. Though I'm the creative head, I can be indecisive yet impulsive at times, so it's great to have that cool balanced energy from Sy. Whenever I feel impulsive to buy something that's truly not needed, I hear that 'do we really need that' voice or I, instead, reinvest into our business. Find what each others strengths and weaknesses are and allow each other to maximize in the areas of their strengths while the other maximizes in the areas where the other may be weak. Syeed's input has helped with organization and logistics, having a background in Restaurant Management for over a decade. We love the balance of creative vs organized, impulsive vs. thoughtful. This balance has helped with establishing ship out days that work for our business and does not interfere with our homeschool and home life, all while providing great customer service to our customers

 

STOP STRESSING OVER THAT WHICH IS OUT OF YOUR CONTROL.

One very important benefit my husband and partner has brought is not stressing over what we can't control. We can't control a poor review here and there, but we can enjoy and focus on the hundreds of great reviews. We can't control that people may love selfie photos of hair or photos posted of he and I in couple photos posted, but show slower interest in beautiful product placement photos or photos of our boutique or healthy eats. My husband always says, 'hey, you can't control it so why worry about it. But look at the ton of diverse new people who are drawn to our page because of those cool still life and lifestyle photos you post. Focus on that.' He's the 'focus your energy on the positive ' type of guy. Because of that positive input, I post what I love and what falls within the vision of our company. Instead of focusing on how your product didn't work for someone, focus on how they've worked for many...I think I've come to master that. I'm amazed at how focus shift truly works in minimizing unnecessary stress. 

SHIFT YOUR FOCUS FOR PEACE OF MIND

As stated earlier,there are a plethora of advice given that may or may not work for you and your business. If something doesn't flow right for our business as a team unit, we ignore it. If we read something that is great,but just not for us, we keep it moving. We try not to follow social media pages that causes us to doubt what and how we do things just to be on a certain level. We simply, change the channel,  or change our focus to things that truly feels right for us. Instead of comparing ourselves to the accomplishments of others,we focus on the beauty of being able to provide for a family of 6 sometimes 7 without having to go back to the workforce in over 4 years. This way, we can peacefully and honestly congratulate and feel joy for others without wanting to actually Be others. When you're so focused on  trying to be like others and what they've accomplished, you miss the joyful beauty of your own growth and successes. Find your peace.

 

TURN IT OFF

One of the most important things when operating a business with your spouse is turning off the business and truly enjoying each other and your family. Know that the business is ok and it will be there, but don't forget to live. For us, there is always time to talk and focus on the business, but more importantly, there is time to turn it off.

MAINTAINING A HEALTHY SCALP

By Dominique Harris
on May 11, 2015
With 3 comments

Greetings Everyone, one of the keys to healthy thriving hair is a healthy atmosphere for our scalp. Here are some tips that have been helpful in keeping my scalp, my husband's scalp and our children's scalp healthy, all with varying hair types. 

 

STAY HYDRATED

1.) One of the most important things to remember about maintaining a healthy scalp is staying hydrated. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of dry scalp. Hard water, colder environments and harsh ingredients from hair care products also contribute to dry scalp. Dry scalp is flaky, white and can be itchy. 

KEEP IT CLEAN

2.) Keep the scalp clean and buildup free. A good clarifying cleanse is great bi weekly or monthly if you use all natural products. Clarifying cleansers help remove product buildup from the scalp. On the other hand, shampoos, styling products and conditioners that contain ingredients synthetic ingredients that leave a coating of buildup on the scalp. This buildup up works against the scalp environment in that it weakens follicles and disrupts the acid mantle, leaving the scalp weakened. The itchiness experienced with dry scalp is usually due to the scalp loosing its ability to retain moisture. If you do happen to struggle with dry scalp, try to switch from products that contain harsh ingredients such as sulfates, silicones, artificial color and artificial fragrance. 

 KEEP IT BALANCED

3.) Raw Apple Cider Vinegar provides a light cleansing and ph balance to the hair and scalp. If you're like me and workout often but shampoo every 2-4 weeks, the use of Raw ACV in between cleansing, is helpful for keeping sweat and bacteria buildup from the scalp. Raw ACV also aids in minimizing harsh ingredients found in our water. Our Herbal Hair +Scalp Mist (Natty ACV Mist) can be sprayed directly onto the scalp, massaged in and allowed to do its magic by lightly cleansing, soothing dryness and aiding in restoring the barrier that locks in moisture. I also apply our Hair + Scalp Mist  after every deep condition and use it often as a light balancing moisturizer. The use of raw vs processed allows you to receive the natural nutrients and essentials from the ingredient.

KEEP IT OIL FREE

4.) Whenever oils are applied to the scalp, it's always best to shampoo them out. Our scalp produces a wonderful nourishing element called 'sebum' which is the natural oil. When we apply and leave oils on the scalp we clog the pores and send the signal that our scalp does not need to produce oils  naturally. This malfunction can lead to dry itchy scalp,  flaking and dandruff. The only time I apply oils to our scalp is during our Hair + Scalp oil treatments, which will be shampooed out after a certain time. The natural oils used are nourishing,  cleansing and therapeutic that work with achieving healthy scalp atmospheres instead of against. So we don't apply any product directly onto the scalp which causes buildup, flaking, dryness and other potential scalp issues. Utilize oil treatments using healthy natural oils to keep the scalp healthy, but be sure to shampoo them out.

NO NAILS

5.) Try not to use finger nails to scratch an itchy scalp,  instead use the balls of your fingers to gently rub. Remember the scalp is a sensitive area and using nails or tools to scratch an itch can cause tiny cuts that opens their door for bacteria and fungus growth.

PROTECT AT NIGHT

6.) Keep the hair and scalp covered at night with moisture retaining fabrics such as silk or satin. I absolutely live my satin bonnet from @ebonicurls . Other fabrics such as cotton draws moisture from the hair.

 HEALTHY EATS AND WATER

7.) A healthy diet and good water intake via water rich foods and pure water play a Huge role in achieving and maintaining a healthy scalp and healthy hair.

Dandruff and Dry Scalp are different in that dry scalp is characterized by a tight, itchy scalp, whereas Dandruff has various types and is characterized by dead skin pieces are found on the scalp and hair.  Dry Scalp does not always mean Dandruff though Dry Scalp or Oily Scalp Dandruff are types of dandruff. For an indepth reading into dandruff and scalp issues, the various types and some helpful solutions, check out my post HERE

 

As always, I hope this is helpful in helping you achieve and maintain healthy scalp and hair.

YUMMY EATS...SWEET POTATO AND BLACK BEAN BURGERS

By Dominique Harris
on April 10, 2015
With 0 comments

Greetings, Everyone!! Hope all is well..

Hungry? How about some yummy healthy and hearty eats!!

Check out this recipe for some good eats for lunch or dinner. Hope you enjoy! Let me know what ya think

SWEET POTATO AND BLACK BEAN..BURGERS INGREDIENTS:

2 cans cannellini or black beans drained (we used black beans, but the cannellini beans are also delish)

1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)
2 Tbsp tahini
2 tsp maple or agave syrup
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning OR Cajun seasoning (or another fave spice!)
1/4 cup wheat flour (or, if you are like us, we used almond flour to make this gluten free)
I also added some julienned carrots (1 carrot) to the mixture, this is optional

**optional: additional seasoning (whatever you have on hand - I used a few dashes cayenne, black pepper, a dash of cumin and a scoop of nutritional yeast)
sea salt to taste if needed

plentiful Panko crumbs ( I used Almond flour again instead of Panko which has wheat)
Sesame Oil

For the fixings: avocado, Dijon mustard, grain buns or Udis or Rudis gluten free buns, romaine, onion, olive oil, pepper

 
 

THE HOW TO:


1. Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl.

2. Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.

3. Mash in seasoning, flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs - or dry rice to thicken the mixture if needed.

4. Heat 1 Tbsp sunflower oil or Grapeseed oil in a pan over high heat.

5. Form a patty from mixture and coat in Almond flour. Thick coating. Then drop the patty in the pan. Repeat until the pan is filled. Cook until browned on both sides. You could also bake. If baking, use less Almond flour or Panko.

6. Transfer cooked patties to paper towel. Cool for a few minutes.

7. Serve on toasted bun with lots of yummy toppings and a nice field green salad with cucumber, red onion, Alfalfa sprouts, tomato, feta cheese (optional), black olives and I added fresh garlic and toasted our bread, cut into squares and added to the salad for fresh crutons.

Yummy, Yummy

THE BENEFITS OF HAIR + SCALP TREATMENTS

By Dominique Harris
on April 02, 2015
With 5 comments

Hair + ScalpTreatments are an awesome treat loaded with benefits for the hair, scalp and beard. There are loads of benefits to applying them as part of your hair + beard care regimen, and those benefits are especially increased when using natural and organic oils. Check out some of the goodness provided using a Hair + Scalp Treatment.

 

HAIR + SCALP TREATMENT BENEFITS:

 

Benefit 1: Imparts shine to the hair

Benefit 2: Helps prevent breakage

Benefit 3: Helps reduce frizz

Benefit 4: Soften and nourish the hair strand as well as enhances the curl/coil quality


Benefit 5: Helps prevent the drying of your hair shaft

Benefit 6: Help maintain the moisture balance in your hair? Hair that has good moisture balance has great elasticity, creating lush and full hair.


Benefit 7: hot oil treatments help protect the hair from everyday environmental issues, such as heat, rain, cold, styling, especially those who use heat on a regular basis and styling tools such as brushes, curlers and many products that we use that create stress for our hair.

Benefit 8: excellent way to nourish and hydrate the scalp, especially for those who struggle with scalp issues., such as; dandruff, dry flaky scalp, dermatitis and symptoms of psoriasis with continued use.

Benefit 9: With ingredients such as Neem, Coconut Oil, Peppermint Oil and Calendula, to name a few, the scalp is benefited due to the anti fungal, anti bacterial and follicle stimulating goodness. A healthy scalp promotes healthy hair growth.


WHEN USING AS AN OIL TREATMENT..HOW TO APPLY

The beauty of an oil treatment is that they can be done right in the comfort of your own home. 

Step 1: Apply (heated or unheated) and distribute over scalp and damp hair with the dropper.  

Step 2: Massage into scalp and draw out to the length of the hair, gently detangling and removing shed hair.

Step 3: Leave on for 20 - 30 minutes with the use of a steam towel, steamer or a plastic cap using your natural body heat to aid in penetrating the hair follicle.

Step 4: Follow up with your shampoo and deep condition as normal.

(**Key note: cleansing the scalp of oils instead of leaving oils on the scalp aids in preventing the scalp from malfunctioning. The scalp produces it's own sebum (oil) and the addition of oils on the scalp helps to clog the pores which can lead to scalp issues such as dry scalp, itchy scalp and dandruff.)

**I do this treatment once monthly or every two months alternating between this method and my prepoo method..And, yes, this oil treatment can most certainly serve as a pre poo method.. 

WHEN USING AS A PRE SHAVE BEARD OIL..HOW TO APPLY

Step 1: Apply and massage into skin prior to shaving.

Step 2: Apply a steamed towel to oiled skin for 5 - 10 minutes to help soften and open pores of the skin, aiding in minimizing razor bumps.

Step 3: Cleanse and Shave as normal. Follow up with your Spiced Aftershave and Beard Oil

WHAT'S INSIDE OF OUR HAIR + SCALP TREATMENT

EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL: Due to its antibacterial properties, Coconut Oil, is wonderful for conditioning and soothing scalp conditions such as dandruff, dry scalp, cradle cap and helps to ward off folliculitis, which is an infection of the hair follicles.  With its antifungal properties, Coconut Oil helps to ward off infections such as ringworm of the scalp. 

OLIVE OIL: Due to its high levels of Oleic acid, Olive Oil is wonderful for combating dry hair and skin. The fatty acids in olive oil coats the shaft of the hair helping to keep it healthy and protected. 

HEMPSEED OIL: High in omega fatty acids and proteins, hempseed oil is a wonderful oil for all hair and skin types. Hempseed oil contains fatty acids which act as emollients, aiding in preventing water and moisture from escaping the hair. 

AVOCADO OIL: Due to its high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E and phytosterols, Avocado Oil is extremely beneficial for aiding in healthy hair growth. It is one of the few oils that can penetrate the hair's cortex due to its slight polarity.  

CASTOR OIL: Castor oil is a wonderful oil that contains a rare ingredient, Ricinoleic Acid, makes it a wonderful oil for hair. Castor oil is wonderful for soothing inflamed skin, making it beneficial for the scalp. It helps keep the hair soft and supple.

NEEM: One of the most beneficial herbs for hair, skin and scalp. Due to its regenerative properties, Neem helps to strengthen hair from the roots, increase blood circulation in the scalp, and aid in healthy hair growth. With antiseptic, antiviral, anti fungal and anti bacterial properties, Neem has proven to be one of the most beneficial herbs for combating scalp issues. Regular use of neem oil and natural products containing neem oil, helps to regulate the secretion of sebum (scalps natural oil) and works to regulate oily and dry scalp conditions. 

EXTRACTS OF ROSEMARY, ASHWAGANDHA and CALENDULA: Helps to stimulate blood circulation, reduces cortisol levels in women, thereby aiding in reducing hair loss and promoting the overall health of hair. 

ESSENTIAL OILS OF PEPPERMINT, CEDARWOOD, LAVENDER, ANISE, TEA TREE and GERANIUM: All beneficial in aiding in stimulating blood circulation, naturally cleansing the scalp due to astringent properties and protecting the scalp from harsh minerals and environmental contaminants.

Indulge in the goodness of our Hair + Scalp Treatment..your hair, scalp and beard will Thank You!

 

My Results after my Hair + Scalp Treatment

THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF USING HEAT!

By Dominique Harris
on March 18, 2015
With 3 comments

 

(original post: August 2012)

Ok, so I get this question a looooottttttt..so I wanted to update the 'Do's and Don'ts of Using Heat on Natural Hair'. Now, let me first clarify that I do not advise the use of heat as no matter how much precaution you take, you are run the risk of experiencing 'heat damage'. Heat damage is when the protein bond in the hair has been permanently damaged and the hair does not revert back to it's natural curl pattern. It can occur on the first use of heat or after many uses of heat. So these are just some precautions to take when thinking of using heat on your natural hair. And these are precautions that I wanted to put to the test myself to ensure that the method works..Trial and Error, you know how it goes...Hope this helps, everyone!


THE DON'Ts



  • DO NOT...Use heat on unclean hair. Using heat on hair that is dirty hair creates a greater likely hood of experiencing heat damage due to the buildup, oils and..well, dirt.
  • DO NOT...Use a harsh shampoo that contain 'sulfates'. Sulfates is a harsh foaming agent that causes the hair to dry out..exactly, heat is harsh enough so don't add fuel to the fire.
  • DO NOT..Use a conditioner or moisturizer with silicones that are non water soluble. Heat is harsh enough and silicones are dryings, so we don't want to add fuel to the fire.
  • DO NOT...Blow dry on sopping wet hair. Carefully dry hair in sections using either an old T-shirt or a microfiber towel prior to blow drying. Using a towel to dry aids in dryness, friction and frizz. Blow drying hair that is dripping wet leads to dry, damaged hair. 
  • DO NOT...Use heat that is too high on the temperature setting. When blow drying the hair, be sure to set the blow dryer on the lowest setting. Kinky, coily and curly  hair have a tendency to be on the drier side, naturally,  so blow drying on a high setting is a no no that aid in drying. 
  • DO NOT..hold the blow dryer too close to your hair. Hold the blow dryer 5-6 inches away from your hair. Holding the blow dryer too close to your hair, can also affect your scalp, which can lead to dry scalp and flaking.
  • DO NOT...Try to achieve bone straight hair. This too can lead to the possibility of heat damage, and the temperature must be at a higher setting when trying to achieve bone straight hair. Hair will burn and experience heat damage at 450 degrees of heat, so be sure to use a temperature setting much lower than that and even lower for finer textured hair.
  • DO NOT..Ever attempt to use heat without first using a heat protectant. Many naturals use pure grapeseed oil and many of my customers use their Natty Butter.
  • DO NOT...Straighten the hair on a high temperature setting. Be sure to use a flat iron or straightening tool that has a temperature setting gage. You will know when the temperature is too high due to the smell (you know that burnt hair smell) and the feel of your hair and if you see steam coming from the straightening tool..it's too hot!! Warning, it's tooooo hot!!
 

THE DO'S

  • YES..Blow dry and straighten on clean, conditioned hair that a heat protectant has been applied to.
  • YES..Allow your hair to dry 75% before blow drying. This method helps to lessen how much heat is needed from your blow dryer.
  • YES..Properly detangle hair before blow drying and straightening the hair. Your hair should be smooth and tangle free.
  • YES..before blow drying and straightening the hair, condition with a nice moisturizing conditioner. This improves the moisture and elasticity in the hair. Deep conditioning before a straightening session is key to moisture and shine. Be sure to thoroughly rinse your conditioner as a heavy conditioner aids in buildup which also creates a smoky atmosphere when straightening the hair.
  • YES..Apply a heat protectant prior to blow drying and right before you straighten with your flat iron or pressing comb, especially paying attention to your ends.
 
For my Step by Step of how I used heat on my natural hair, check it out HERE
  • , I hope these tips are helpful in maintaining your beautiful natural curls, coils and kinks. Here are some pics of my results..Hope this helped guys!!

VACCINATIONS...THE ONGOING TOPIC

By Dominique Harris
on February 21, 2015
With 0 comments

Good morning, Team ATON!!! I know it's been quite some time since I posted on vaccinations. Since I receive so many questions regarding my thoughts on vaccinations or if I vaccinate my children, I wanted to share a bit of information with you.

DO WE VACCINATE?

To first answer the question of do we vaccinate..we do have homeopathic vaccinations in the form of 'nosodes' administered to our children via a homeopathic physician. Our oldest son is the only one who has received all conventional vaccinations because at the time, we weren't aware and were not on an all natural path. The younger three have not received any 'conventional' vaccinations only the nosodes mentioned. Again, this information is for keeping all of us informed and aware of what the vaccines contain. I would encourage each person to read this list and make informed decisions for themselves.

ATTENTION VEGAN, VEGETARIANS AND NON PORK EATERS!!

For my vegetarian and vegan and those who do not eat pork products brothers and sisters, the awareness that many of the vaccinations do contain 'red meat products' 'poultry' products and 'geletan, which is a product made from pork. Most, if not all contain formadehyde and other ingredients that can have adverse reactions currently in the body or pose issues in the future. I encourage each person to research the ingredients for themselves so you will have your own knowledge. I will not enforce my beliefs of whether conventional vaccinations are good or bad, I simply share the information I become aware of and I am a firm believer that each person should do what is best for them and their family. I posted a list similar to this a couple of years ago via my Facebook page. 

SCARE TACTICS...DO THEY EXIST

Well, I do believe scare tactics exist. The motivation to instill fear for a purposeful agenda. Let's take a look at the year 1963 (the year measles vaccination became available) , where the population was around 189,000,000 people, there were around 450 deaths from measles, that would mean that prior to the measles vaccination, the percentage of the US population that died from measles was about .000238% . Epidemic, I think not! In 1963, in the US, 43,000 people died from automobile accidents and over 700,000 died from heart disease. Now, let's fast forward to the year 2007...according to the WHO (World Health Organization) 197,000 child deaths occurred due to measles, in a world of 6 billion people (actually 6.6 billion) at the time. Well, that seems extremely scary, right!! That's a whopping .00000328% worldwide , and the areas most affected were areas of extreme poverty where the people were suffering from extreme malnutrition. Full article here . Unfortunately, the same tactics go on today with 'flu' outbreaks and now a reoccurring 'measles'. 

WELL..WHAT'S IN VACCINATIONS TODAY?

Our good friends at VaxTruth, gives us a comprehensive list of the ingredients found in vaccines of today. They even go further as to list some of the detriments that can occur from the ingredients used. For the full list, check out the article here

AS FOR ME..

Now, growing up, I experienced, Chicken Pox and Measles and wasn't administered nearly the amount of vaccinations that are recommended today for babies and children and I'm still here kicking away. So, the bottom line is, I don't believe in enforcing a belief of whether vaccinations are good or harmful, I simply like the freedom of allowing others to become aware with knowledge and therefore make informed decisions that may be best for themselves and their families. 
As always, I hope this shed some light on the subject of vaccinations. 

SO..WHAT'S THE RAVE ABOUT NATURAL DEODORANT?

By Dominique Harris
on February 18, 2015
With 1 comments

Greetings, All..I hope all is well and joyful.

When it comes to skin, hair and insides, I strive to be as mindful as possible regarding the ingredients that I allow in and on them. Some may have asked the question, 'why are ingredients so important if we are putting them on the outside of our bodies and in our hair?' Great question and here's the answer. The skin is a huge organ that protects, well, our inside organs.Keeping in mind that the skin has these great little teeny tiny holes called pores where many many toxins are taken in and are exited through those little tiny holes. But, here's where things can go kinda haywire. When we apply products to our skin, many of those products can be loaded with skin clogging ingredients or toxic ingredients overall. When the pores of our skin become clogged, they can malfunction, causing the toxins within our bodies to become blocked from 'exiting' and trapped within our bodies. Then our bodies can become built up with toxins,which in turn can disrupt and harm our precious inside organs, blood and cells. Over time, our bodies, which are awesomely built machines, begin to break down much more rapid than designed. This is where sickness and disease can have a field day. While we may not be able to monitor every single thing that graces our temple, we can take some care in controlling what we can allow on our skin and in our hair..remember,the scalp is an extension of our skin, and has pores as well. 

Now, with that info out of the way, let's take a look at why commercial deodorant/antiperspirants can be a bit on the icky side when it comes to health. First, an antiperspirant is something that causes the pores not to release the perspiration (sweat) which is one way the body releases toxins from the body. Instead, it creates a reverse and tells the body not to do what it was designed to do. So, that's the question you must ask yourself, 'is it more important to sweat and release toxins..or not sweat and hold toxins in?' Well, can I have the best of both worlds..a natural deodorant that minimizes arm pit perspiration? Well, that answer will vary for each individual based on how much you actually sweat. The purpose of a deodorant is to prohibit bacterial growth that causes bad odor..we'll discuss that more in a sec.

 

WHY ARE COMMERCIAL DEODORANTS/ANTIPERSPIRANTS SO BAD?

Well, let's just discuss a few of the ingredients found inside of most commercial brand, non natural deodorants.

  • Phthalates: These are endocrine disrupters which interfere with the body's hormone function and are and have been linked to breast cancer.

  • Parabens: These are also hormone disrupters that mimic natural estrogen, which is a cause of breast cancer. Parabens have been found in breast cancer biopsies and are absorbed through the skin. (these are found in many synthetic fragrances)

  • Triclosan: An ingredient added to many consumer products to reduce or prevent bacteria contamination. It is known to alter hormone regulation which can be linked to breast cancer. 

 

So, WHY BREAST CANCER?

Well, there are dozens of lymph nodes close to the armpit and breast that the chemicals in many commercial deodorants are touching everyday. My aunt, who is currently in remission from breast cancer was told by her doctor to steer clear of commercial brand deodorants..hmm, I wonder why? But, I'm a firm believer that prevention is the best cure, how about you?


 

HERE'S AN INTERESTING THOUGHT!!

Did you know our bodies do not naturally stink? The bacteria living in your body only react with what you feed them. The smell in your armpits wouldn't be offensive if they were just perspiring excess minerals and healthy metabolic waste products; however, they will stink if your body is sweating by products which come from eating meat and processed,refined foods. So, unless we are raw vegans, we may have the stinky's from time to time. And as much as we may wish to be 100% all O'Naturale, when the stink monster moves in, our heart may want to,but our brain and body may give in. So, let's take a look at how natural deodorants work and more important, how to get the maximum benefits and effects from them.

 

 IF YOU'VE TRIED NATURAL DEODORANTS.AND THEY DID NOT WORK, DETOX THOSE PITS AND PLEASE TRY AGAIN..

If you've tried the O'Natural deodorants and felt like they just didn't quite work, I encourage you to try it again,but this time, try an armpit detox first. I found this beautiful information at the knowledgeable people over at Campwonder regarding the benefits of detoxing those pits before using an all natural deodorant. 

 

WHY AN ARM PIT DETOX?

An Arm Pit Detox can help your body go back to it's natural state of clean perspiration faster. It helps to flush out old bacteria and chemical residue so natural deodorants can work better for you. Many of the products we use, ie, commercial deodorants can put our bodies in an acidic state and the use of a detox can help bring it back to an alkalinic state. One of the key ingredients in an Arm Pit Detox is the use of Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (I love the Bragg's brand). The ACV helps to balance the body's pH as well as create an overall detoxification of the body.  

 

HOW TO DO AN ARM PIT DETOX?

According to the folks over at Campwander, try to resist using your natural deodorant for at least a week, two is better. This way,the detox has a chance to work its magic getting those pores cleared and cleaned and functioning properly. So, here's what you'll need:

  • 1 TBSP of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar(again,I love the Bragg's brand..found at many local groceries)

  • Distilled or filtered water (I love distilled)

  • 4 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil 

  • 4 drops of Lavender Essential Oil

  • 2 oz spray bottle

Instructions

  • Add essential oils(the ones mentioned are both anti microbials and great deodorizers) and ACV to spray bottle then fill with water.

  • Before bed, give bottle a shake (natural ingredients tend to settle) and spray both arm pits. Let dry and sleep tight.

  • Next day, repeat the process. You may need to wash your armpits a few times per day during the first 2 or 3 days,but that will be short lived, and you will begin to see your body react to the detox well by day 5.

OK, I'VE DETOXED..SO, WHAT'S THE RAVE ABOUT NATURAL DEODORANTS?

Well, the beauty of natural deodorants are that they are not laden with those questionable ingredients found in most commercial brand, non natural deodorants. The ingredients found in natural deodorants utilizes clays, which draw toxins from the body; odor eliminators such as baking soda or arrow root powder or food grade Diatomaceous Earth; skin softening,non pore clogging natural butters, like shea or cocoa; healthy oils like Neem, Tamanu, or Almond; beneficial essential oils like lavender, peppermint, patchouli, to name a few for fragrance; moisturizers like Aloe Vera or Witch Hazel..All of which are nourishing to the skin and not harmful to the insides should they penetrate the pores or our skin. They are hand whipped and hand crafted in small batches by those who not only make the product but use the product for themselves and their families. Natural deodorants allow your body to do what it was intended to do without disrupting its natural function. It allows for the release of toxins stored in the body whether via food or ingredients or environmental toxins and many times keeps the old 'stink monster' at bay.  And, since we understand that stinky pits are the results of what we eat, we can work on being mindful of that, even if one bite at a time, one day at a time. The Pyramids weren't built in a day! 

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF SWEATING

  • Helps maintain the proper temperature and keeps you from overheating. 

  • Expel toxins, which supports proper immune function and helps prevent diseases related to toxin overload

  • Kills viruses and bacteria that cannot survive in temperatures about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Cleans the pores, which help eliminate blackheads and acne

Sweating...it's natural 

*this information is not meant to diagnose or cure any disease. 

SO...WHAT'S THE RAVE ABOUT MARSHMALLOW ROOT

By Dominique Harris
on February 09, 2015
With 2 comments



Hola Chicas/Chicos..I pray all is well with everyone.
So, let's talk about overall health and the O'So healthy herb, Marshmallow Root. If you are familiar with natural herbs, then you may have heard of Marshmallow Root..No, it is not the same substance made from geletan and sugar that you roast over a fire on a stick; although the sugary marshmallows eaten as the sticky sweet were once made from the Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow Root) plant. This herb has so many wonderful benefits, not only for hair, but for skin and our insides as well. So, let's just take a look and see What's The Rave About Marshmallow Root.

MARSHMALLOW ROOT..FOR THE INSIDES

  • Diuretic: Aids the body in expelling excess fluid and mucus.
  • Respiratory Infections: Excellent herbal remedy when used as a tea to aid in eliminating respiratory infections, such as: bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, tonsillitis, dry cough and emphysema. You can also use a Marshmallow tea mixture to reduce hoarseness of the throat and other throat infections.Marshmallow root contains mucilate, a substance that becomes slippery when wet. This trait gives the marshmallow plant the ability to treat irritation in the mouth, throat and stomach. Prep: Boil 25 Grams of Marshmallow root to 1 liter of water steep for 15-20 minutes. Drink 2-3 cups daily, can mix with orange flower water or orange juice and honey for flavor.
  • Stomach Issues: Used to cure Acid Reflux, Peptic Ulcer and Gastritis, Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Colitis.
  • Urinary Tract Infections: Marshmallow root has been used for centuries in aiding in curing Urinary Tract Infections, Kidney Problems and Kidney Stones.
  • Weight Loss: Because marshmallow root swells when mixed with fluids, ingesting it as a diet supplement causes the stomach to feel fuller.
  • Teething: A marshmallow root can be peeled and given to infants to chew on. This reduces the pain and irritation associated with teething.

MARSHMALLOW ROOT..FOR THE SKIN

  • Marshmallow Root can be made into a poultice and used to treat skin infections such as; eczema, psoriasis and pinkeye. Because marshmallow root has anti-inflammatory activity on the human tissue it has been proven helpful in treating cuts, scrapes, and other wounds. Prep: Mix enough Marshmallow Root powder to warm water to make a thick paste and apply to skin as needed.
  • I personally used Marshmallow Root as a poultice combined with activated charcoal and lavender essential oil to make a healing treatment for my husband's skin when he was stung by 11 bees while doing the lawn. The complete poultice consisted of: Marshmallow Root, Charcoal, Few drops of Echinacea Extract and Lavender Essential Oil. I combined to make a thick paste and added to the infected areas.This prevented any swelling or itching that normally occurs when suffering a bee sting.

MARSHMALLOW ROOT..FOR THE HAIR

  • As a natural emollient (moisturizer), it works wonders when used as a deep treatment or deep conditioning Ayurvedic mask for hair and scalp. This yummy goodness can be found in all of our water based products such as our: Natty Deep Conditioner, Natty Creme, and Natty Moist 
  • Marshmallow is a medicated, conditioning, mucilaginous herb that
    provides an abundance of ’slip’ which helps to nourish and detangle naturally curly hair.

If you love to mix, here are some awesome DIY mixes that you can make for yourself using Marshmallow Root


Marshmallow Root Herbal Spritz: 1/3 Aloe Vera Gel/Juice, 2 TBSP Hibiscus Petal Powder, 2 TBSP Marshmallow Root Powder, 1 1/4 Cups Distilled (Filtered) Water.Prep: Bring distilled water to a boil, then let cool slightly. Add Hibiscus Petal Powder and Marshmallow root to water, and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain mixture through cheesecloth, and add Aloe Vera Gel to liquid. Pour mixture in a spray bottle, and store in refrigerator for up to one week, use as often as needed. Marshmallow Root has a strong smell, so I like to add lavender or lemongrass to help with the smell.

Marshmallow Root Deep Conditioning Treatment: 1/4 cup Natty Moist Conditioner (or any natural conditioner you favor), 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 2 TBSP Hibiscus Petal Powder, 2 TBSP Brahmi Powder, 2 TBSP Bhringraj and 1 TBSP Marshmallow Root Powder. Prep: In a medium size bowl, mix all ingredients together and use immediately. Gently section your hair, and use an applicator brush to generously apply the mixture starting at the scalp, and working your way down the hair shaft. Cover with a plastic cap and allow mixture to sit on head for about 45minutes-hour.

Marshmallow Root Clarifying Treatment: 1/2 Cup Bentonite Clay Powder, 2 TBSP Marshmallow Root Powder, 1/4 Cup Aloe Vera Gel/Juice, 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar. Prep: Mix ingredients into a cake batter consistency and apply to damp hair. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and do not allow to dry. Rinse with lukewarm to cool water.

where to purchase: www.mountainroseherbs.com www.fromnaturewithlove.com

SO..WHAT'S THE RAVE ABOUT BEARD OIL

By Dominique Harris
on January 26, 2015
With 2 comments

 

 

photo courtesy of my husband

Greetings, beautiful people!

Ok, so if you're like me, you've got a good looking hubby, boyfriend or significant other who sports facial hair..hey, beards are the new '6-pack'..lol. No, but seriously, beards are just one luxury that many men love to sport and if it weren't for the world of 'corporate', many men would proudly,gruffly or roughly sport their natural face protection. However, though many men love to sport their O'Naturale wispy goodness, they may run into obstacles of dry itchy skin underneath...hence the beauty and benefit of beard oil.

SO...WHAT EXACTLY IS BEARD OIL?

Beard oil is a combination of natural vegetable, fruit, nut or plant based (carrier) oils and essential oils. Some blends use herbal infused oils and/or extracts to enhance the benefits. These combinations of oils, herbal infusions and extracts are used to cleanse, heal, soothe and keep the skin underneath all that wispy goodness properly hydrated.

WHEN DO YOU USE BEARD OIL?

Beard oil is the last step in a man's grooming process. It is applied after pre oil treatments, cleansing, shaving and the use of after shave. It can be applied daily and as often as needed. Depending on the blend, beard oils can also be used as a pre-shave treatment in conjunction with a steamed or heated towel to soften hairs minimizing pesky razor bumps after shaving,again, it truly depends on the oils used, especially the essential oils used. Oh, and they smell amazing. Packed with essential oils, blended to give an invigorating, therapeutic wonderful earthy smell that can last all day. 

HOW DO YOU USE BEARD OIL?

To use beard oil

STEP 1: If using after shaving, apply After Shave to cleanse and tone skin

 

STEP 2: Apply a dime to nickel sized amount of oil to hands and distribute to fingers 

STEP 3: Massage into skin underneath beard to lock in moisture. 

 

STEP 4: Really focus on the aroma of the essential oils used. Their therapeutic benefits truly open up the senses and chakras, so be sure to apply to side burns and temples.

STEP 5: Smooth hair with a beard comb, fingers or small brush and enjoy the shine! Oh and, your special lady will enjoy it too!

 

SO, WHAT'S IN THE BEARD OIL OF THE BOHEMIAN COLLECTION?

  • Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: A natural antimicrobial and excellent oil for conditioning the skin and hair. Because shaving can cause some little nicks, coconut oil is wonderful for speeding up wound healing and provides an excellent shine for hair. 

  • Hempseed Oil (unrefined): Excellent oil for treating dry cracked skin. Since it's packed with loads of fatty acids good for the skin, hempseed oil aids in preventing skin disorders such as; psoriasis, eczema, acne and dry skin.

  • Avocado Oil: High in protein and fats, particularly Omega 3 fat, avocado oil proves to be an excellent oil for skin. It is also a wonderful oil for softening the skin and reducing the appearance of age spots, due to the high amount of sterolin. Like Hempseed oil, avocado oil is also excellent for soothing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. 

  • Rosemary CO2 Extract: High quality antioxidant that quickly improves the skin. Super critical form of Rosemary helpful for acne, eczema and other skin issues.

  • Ashwagandha Extract: Known as an aphrodisiac an herb heavily used in Ayurveda, Ashwagandha contains high levels of antioxidants, which help fight signs of wrinkles, dark spots, fine lines and blemishes. Due to it's anti-inflammatory, anti bacterial and moisturizing properties, Ashwagandha helps with issues of skin redness, acne, and helping to prevent rough, dry skin.

  • Vitamin E Oil (non GMO): Wonderful oil for treatment of scar healing, minimizing brown (age)spots and for preventing wrinkles.

  • Proprietary Blend of High Quality Organic Essential Oils including Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Eucalyptus to name a few

***Our Beard Oil will be available in February 2015 as part of our Bohemian Collection. Be sure to stay tuned and sign up for our email list for any and all updates


     

     

    SO..WHAT'S THE RAVE ABOUT TOOTH POWDER?

    By Dominique Harris
    on January 12, 2015
    With 11 comments

    Greetings, everyone..As we are in the exciting stages of releasing our Bohemian Collection, I am thrilled about sharing so much information regarding tooth powder and it's therapeutic, healing and simply amazing properties. It's true, I haven't used toothpaste for some time now and I honestly cannot see myself going back to it. Of course, there are many natural paste brands on the market,but I could never find that satisfaction of squeaky clean that I have found with using tooth powder. And, though natural, there are still a few brands who include ingredients such as: flouride, Sodium Laurel Sulfate (also known as: sodium dodecyl sulfate, lauryl sodium sulfate, sodium n-dodecyl sulfate, laurel sulphate sodium salt), Sorbitol, Artificial Coloring and flavoring and Titanium Dioxide, to name a few..none of which I want in my mouth nor my family's. And, if you have been following my former blog, All Things O'Natural, you may remember a post that I wrote almost 3 years ago regarding toothpaste and the importance of being mindful of what we include in our oral health regimen. 

    The use of Tooth Powders have shown to be credited with several dental health and healing benefits. A study by 'Prevention Magazine' (Sept 2007) performed on 128 test persons over a sixth month period found that by the use of tooth powder or 'dry brushing', bacterial plaque buildup on their teeth dropped by a whopping 67%. They also showed a 50% drop in bleeding gums. 

    SO WHAT EXACTLY IS A TOOTH POWDER?

    Once reigned as the tooth cleanser du jour,  tooth powders is a remineralizing cleanser that contains 3 key ingredients: a mild abrasive, a detergent, and a sweetener or flavoring agent. It's usually applied with a dampened brush, using only a pinch to cleanse teeth and gums.

    ARE TOOTH POWDERS A NEW THING?

    Absolutely not! Before we were slathering our brushes with the latest greatest pasty cleanser, tooth powders were used by Ancient Egyptians as well as those in Ancient Greece and Rome. The Egyptians used a combination of ox hooves' ashes and burnt eggshells mixed with pumice. The Greeks and Romans preferred a bit of a sparkle and opted for a glitter powder made of a combination of oyster shells and crushed bones. The Romans furthered theirs adding a bit of charcoal and bark, hoping to aid in prevention of bad breath. And the Chinese added ginseng, herbs and salt to help improve the cleansing and taste.

    SO..WHAT'S THE HARM WITH INGREDIENTS LISTED IN REGULAR PASTES?

    Let's have a look at some of the ingredients, shall we..

    • FLUORIDE: a highly toxic chemical, which rather than helping teeth, seems to actually damage teeth by making them too hard and thus brittle. Fluoride, in its chemical form, as used in water fluoridation, has been implicated as a carcinogen and can actually 'ruin teeth'. In 1993, the Environmentals Studies and Toxicology Board of the National Research Council reported that fluoridation of drinking water supplies may result in dental fluorosis in about 10% of the population. 

    • TRICLOSAN: An antibacterial agent and preservative, shown to be a endocrine disruptor, a skin irritant, and can cause allergic reaction in some cases.

    • SORBITOL: a liquid that keeps toothpaste from drying out, has laxative effects that can cause diarrhea if too much is swallowed.

    • SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE: a foaming agent and detergent that can be dangerous due to during the manufacturing process SLS is contaminated with dioxane, a carcinogenic by product. Yea, suds are cool, but not at the expense of my family or my own health.

    BUT..AREN'T TOOTH POWDERS ABRASIVE?

    Ingredients used in tooth powders pale in comparison to ingredients used in commercial brand toothpastes. Even with baking soda being one of the key ingredients, it is largely lower in abrasiveness than many of the ingredients found in many pastes. Check out the abrasive chart below to shed some light on the abrasiveness of ingredients. And notice the RDA value of 'baking soda'.

    Abrasiveness Index of Common Toothpastes

    Toothpaste RDA Value
    Baking Soda 7
    Arm&Hammer Tooth Powder 8
    Arm&Hammer Dental Care 35
    Pronamel for Kids 35
    Sensodyne Pronamel 35
    Oxyfresh 45
    Arm&Hammer Peroxicare 49
    Rembrandt Original 53
    Colgate Regular 68
    Colgate Total 70
    Sensodyne 79
    Aim 80
    Colgate Sensitive Max Strength 83
    Aquafresh Sensitive 91
    Crest Regular 95
    Mentadent 103
    Sensodyne Extra Whitening 104
    Colgate Platinum 106
    Crest Sensitivityb 107
    Aquafresh Whitening 113
    Arm&Hammer Tarter Control 117
    Arm&Hammer Advance White Gel 117
    Colgate Whitening 124
    Crest MultiCare Whitening 144
    Colgate Baking Soda Whitening 145
    Colgate Tarter Control 165
    Colgate 2-in-1 Tarter Control/White 200
    The RDA table
    0-70 = Low Abrasive
    70-100 = Medium Abrasive
    100-150 = Highly Abrasive
    150-250 = Harmful Limit
    FDA Recommended Limit is 200
    ADA Recommended Limit is 250

    Portions of this table provided by Dr. David L. Duke

    Natty Naturals Herbal Tooth Powder

    To end, there are a plethora of amazing tooth powder combinations. The ingredients listed in our Herbal Tooth Powder are ones that I felt best for me and my family's oral health. So, here's a list of our yummy ingredients and their 'rawsome' benefits. 

    • Kosher Baking Soda (aluminum free) : a mild abrasive and pH stabilizing tooth polish that aids in removing stains and freshening breath.

    • White Kaolin Clay: a gentle clay, rich in minerals, which support tooth remineralization. It's one of the mildest clays used to draw toxins from the mouth, helps to whiten teeth.

    • Xylitol (Non GMO): a natural sugar alcohol found in fruits and vegetables. Because it is non fermentable and does not feed acid forming oral bacteria, it helps prevent tooth decay and is perfect for adding sweetness to natural products. Regular use of xylitol causes cavity forming bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) to starve and die off, decreasing the levels of acidic by products formed when bacteria ferment sugars.

    • Anise: Due to it's natural antiseptic properties, it's licorice like flavor helps to freshen breath, making it a wonderful addition to our tooth powder.

    • Echinacea: Excellent at fighting off tooth infections. 

    • Licorice Root: aids in effectively eliminating bacteria responsible for cavities, gum disease and oral infections.

    • Clove: Contains antibacterial properties as well as aids in soothing painful toothe aches and sore gums. Combined with cinnamon, clove has been known to aid in healing teeth sensitivity.

    • Stevia Leaf: A natural sweetener that is a natural anti bacterial and anti fungal that aids in prevention of tooth decay and bleeding gums.

    • Dead Sea Salt: The wonderful natural minerals found in sea salt aid in strengthening gums, protecting against tarter buildup and preventing bad breath. High in iodine, dead sea salt has antibacterial and helps to neutralize the acids in the mouth. Salt enhances saliva production and saliva creates an antibacterial barrier that protects enamel.

    • Essential Oils of: Spearmint, Peppermint, Lavender, Myrrh, Anise and Eucalyptus combined contribute to the anti bacterial properties, healing bad breath and the awesomely stimulating flavor.

    And...Kids love it too!!

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