DIY: How To Get Rid of Ants Naturally

What do you get when you have small kids and a small amount of time to clean? Well, I’ll tell you what I get. I get ANTS! Luckily, I found a cheap, natural, effective way to get rid of ants!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Borax
  • Cotton balls
  • Plastic bag

Please note that Borax is a natural powder. However, it is toxic if it is ingested by kids. Therefore, keep these “ant traps” away from small children and pets.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cut the plastic bag into approximately seven small squares. The plastic acts as a disposable, waterproof plate for the cotton. In the past, I used a plastic container; later, I switched to a plastic bag so that the ants could get to the mixture faster. If you don’t want to use a plastic bag, you can use any small, shallow container or plate.
  2. Mix the water, sugar and Borax in a small bowl.
  3. Submerge a cotton ball in the mixture and place the cotton onto the plastic. Repeat until you have enough ant traps or until the mixture is gone.
  4. Place the plastic in the path of the ants. Keep the ant traps away from children and pets as the Borax is toxic if it is ingested.
  5. Throw the cotton and plastic away in approximately 48 hours.

These ant traps worked for odorous house ants (ants that like sugar). The ants will carry the mixture back to their home and the whole colony will die from the exposure to the Borax. Vinegar and essential oils are also great for repelling insects, but the ant traps and Borax were more effective because they wiped out the entire ant colony. This recipe came from DIY Natural. Mommypotamus also has some great ideas.

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Essential Oils and Hair Restoration

I recently had lunch with a business contact who asked me if there were any clinical studies regarding essential oils and hair restoration. A search on PubMed for “essential oils and alopecia” revealed 14 hits–two out of these 14 hits peaked my interest.

The first study compared rosemary oil and a synthetic medication called minoxidil. The second study involved four essential oils: thyme, rosemary, lavender and cedarwood. The writers of both research articles concluded that essential oils were effective treatments for hair restoration.

According to the drug label on DailyMed, minoxidil will not work for everyone and unwanted side effects can occur after use. In contrast to synthetic medications which can cause unwanted side effects, natural essential oils produce side benefits. The smell of rosemary oil can help with concentration; thyme can be used to purify the skin; lavender can calm the emotions and soothe the skin; and cedarwood can assist with mood stabilization.

Contact me for the purest essential oils!

References

Hay, I.C., Jamieson, M., & Ormerod, A.D. (1998). Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata. Archives of dermatology, 134 (11), 1349-1352.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9828867

Panahi, Y., Taghizadeh, M., Marzony, E.T., & Sahebkar, A. (2015). Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial. Skinmed, 13 (1), 15-21.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25842469

Is Pitocin A Curse Word?

After watching the documentary, “The Business of Being Born”, I knew that I wanted to have a natural birth. For my first two births, I declined all medications and my daughters were born in bathtubs. My son was a different story. With my son, my midwife was very concerned about the risk of infection because my water broke prematurely, and my contractions eventually stopped after several hours. After trying several natural interventions, she recommended Pitocin.

Pitocin is very commonly administered to pregnant women in the hospital. In my particular case, my midwife wanted me to take Pitocin so that my contractions would be consistent and strong. Truth be told, when I began brainstorming for ideas for this blog post, I originally intended to communicate that Pitocin is not as dangerous as some people believe it to be. Ironically, after I looked at the drug label, I decided that my original thought was incomplete and somewhat inaccurate. Here are the adverse events that have been reported with the use of Pitocin. This information can be found on DailyMed (a website created by the U.S. National Library of Medicine).

Adverse Events for the Mother

  1. Severe allergic reaction
  2. Bleeding after birth
  3. Abnormal heartbeat
  4. Fatal blood clotting abnormality
  5. Nausea
  6. Vomiting
  7. Pelvic bruising
  8. Bleeding in the head
  9. Episodes of high blood pressure
  10. Rupture of the uterus
  11. Fatal water intoxication

Adverse Events for the Baby

  1. Slow heart rate
  2. Low Apgar scores at five minutes (the Apgar score indicates how healthy the baby is at birth)
  3. Abnormal heartbeat
  4. Jaundice (yellowing of the skin/eyes)
  5. Permanent central nervous system or brain damage
  6. Eye bleeding
  7. Seizures
  8. Death

This might sound rather absurd and dramatic, but everytime my midwife mentioned the word Pitocin, it sounded like she was cursing at me. To me, the administration of Pitocin during labor was synonymous with more labor pain and complications for both my baby and me. Unfortunately, I think that the above list of adverse events validates some of my fears. However, in the end, I did receive Pitocin for a short time and at a very low dose. Thankfully, my baby was super healthy and we both recovered well from the birth!

Did the birth with Pitocin hurt more than the other two natural births? Yes, but keep in mind that my natural births were in water; water helps to alleviate some of the labor pain. After reading about the reported adverse events of Pitocin, do I regret my decision to have Pitocin during labor? No, due to my circumstances, the benefits of a low dose of Pitocin outweighed the risks of the drug.

To moms out there, this post is mostly for you. Whether you are interested in a natural birth or a medicated birth, please know that you have options; I hope that you will educate yourselves so that you can make the best choices for you and your baby.

Dear Mom, whether you choose a natural birth or a medicated birth, you are amazing for bringing life into this world!

DIY: A Natural Way To Unclog Your Drain

I usually put off the unpleasant task of unclogging the bathroom sink until it is so clogged that the water sits inside the sink because it can no longer squeeze through the foul collection of dirt and hair (I don’t recommend that you wait this long). When this happens, I am tempted to run to the nearest store to buy some chemicals that will quickly flush all of the slime away. However, I always end up staying home because I do not want to buy any products that can be harmful for my family’s health (see Toxic House: Remove Endocrine Disruptors From Your Home).

Today, I went on EWG.org to do some research on a conventional drain cleaner that we previously used. According to the website, the product has high concerns for skin allergies and irritation. It has moderate concerns for the respiratory system and the environment. It also has some concerns for developmental/reproductive toxicity and cancer. The product received a grade of F, the lowest possible grade. Thanks to the good ol’ internet, I found a non-toxic, quick, easy, cheap and effective way to unclog my bathroom sink drain. All you need is a wire hanger, water and salt!

Step 1: Take off the drain cover.

Step 2: Untwist a wire hanger until you have a straight piece of long wire that will fit down the drain.

Step 3: Use the hanger as a hook to pull up hair and grime (warning: the gunk will be rather smelly and disgusting). Repeat as needed.

Step 4: Pour 1/2 cup of table salt (any kind) down the drain.

Step 5: Heat 8 cups of water until it is almost boiling.

Step 6: Pour the water down the drain.

This worked so well for me! If it does not work for you, click here to get more tips from brendid.com. If you like the Inspiration For Wellness blog, consider liking the blog’s Facebook site as well!

Toxic House: Remove Endocrine Disruptors From Your Home

The amount of time, financial cost and level of commitment required to improve your health can make a healthy lifestyle seem daunting. However, I believe that healthy living can start with one small habit change. Over time, multiple, small habit changes can eventually lead to the results that you are striving for. If you are looking for an easy and cost-effective way to improve your health, I suggest that you start by eliminating endocrine disruptors from your home; this seemingly small change can produce dramatic results for your health!

What is the Endocrine System?

The endocrine system (adrenal gland, ovary, pancreas, pituitary gland, testes and thyroid gland) makes hormones (chemical messengers) that travel through the body and affect our body in numerous ways. According to the National Institute of Health, hormones affect the following:

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism (digestion, elimination, breathing, blood circulation and maintaining body temperature)
  • Sexual function
  • Reproduction
  • Mood

As you can see, the endocrine system affects just about everything in your body!

What are Endocrine Disruptors?

According to the National Institute of Health, “Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.” According to The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, endocrine disruptors may also cause an increase or progression of obesity, diabetes, endometriosis and some cancers. Unfortunately, some research suggests that even low doses of toxic chemicals can cause diseases and symptoms that may not be detectable until later in life. These diseases might even affect our future children, even if our future children were not directly exposed to the chemicals that we were exposed to!

Categories of Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals (EDCs)

Household product ingredients: Chemicals found in items such as appliances, vehicles, materials, electronics, crafts, textiles, furniture and household cleaning products.

Personal care products/cosmetic ingredients: Chemicals found in products such as cosmetics, shampoos, lotions, soaps, deodorants, fragrances and shaving products.

Pesticide ingredients: Insecticides/acaricides (miticides), herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, and other biocides, including chemicals described as “inert.”

Flame retardants: Chemicals used to prevent fires. Applied to clothing, mattresses, and furniture.

Plastics/rubber: Components, reactants or additives used in the manufacturing of rubbers or plastics.

Industrial additives: Chemicals used as preservatives, antioxidants, and surfactants used in such things as glue, plastic, rubber, paint and wood products.

Solvents: Chemicals used to dissolve other chemicals. Common in cleaning products in the home.

Food additives: Dyes, preservatives and many compounds used in food processing and as components in food packaging.

Metal/metallurgy: Elements or chemicals used in the extraction, processing or manufacturing of a metal or metal-containing product, including welding.

Medical/veterinary/research: Chemicals used in hospitals, medical supplies, and equipment, in laboratories or as reagants, and pharmaceuticals.

Antimicrobials: Chemicals that prevent the growth of and/or destroy microorganisms including hand washing products.

Source: Copyright © 2014 by the International Nurse Coach Association. www.inursecoach.com

How can we protect ourselves from endocrine disruptors?

  1. Buy safer personal care products or make your own (see Toxic House and DIY: Foaming Hand Soap).
  2. When possible, buy organic foods that do not contain toxic additives and pesticides.
  3. Buy mattresses, pillows, furniture and baby gear that have not been treated with flame retardants and other toxic chemicals.
  4. When possible, avoid plasticware with food, drinks and children.
  5. Buy safer supplies when painting or renovating your home (see Toxic House and ewg.org).
  6. Open a window for ventilation.
  7. Help your body detoxify with healthy foods, whole-food supplements (non-GMO), exercise and essential oils.

Contact me for high-quality health products! If you like this blog, consider liking us on Facebook as well!