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ME/CFS and Beating the Clock
For Jody Smith, the ticking of a clock was enough at one time to chase her back to her bed. But with the passage of time, she has been able to reclaim her living room ...
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Going Green

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Jody, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Those of you who have big allergies and sensitivities are probably already old hands at this stuff. I'm sure you know way more in this area than I do.

    But for those who are maybe looking for ways to cut down the toxic load in their lives, here is an article that touches on a few things --

    http://www.ncubator.ca/Going_Green_CFS.html
  2. Lisa

    Lisa Senior Member

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    Nice article Jody! Certainly hit on a lot of things. I never would have thought to use a turkey baster for my nose! Here is some of the things we have found/learned over the years to help with MCS:

    One really nice product I have found is Soap Nuts! :D

    I've been experimenting with them this summer and if you can get them from a clean source, they are really nice to use. They leave laundry much softer. On their own they are just a reasonable cleaner - but add in some baking soda to the laundry with them and WOW! Not just for laundry either. They can be used anywhere you need a soap if you make your own soap nut concentrate by boiling them for 15 min in water. Stored in the frige it should last 2 weeks (its what all the info on them says) but left at room temp it will last about 2-3 days before spoiling.

    Castile soaps are really good. The true castile ones with only olive oil, pot ash, and water are hard to find for a reasonable price or with reasonable shipping. Unscented if you are really sensitive, otherwise a lot of them use steam extracted essential oils instead of the often solvent extracted ones. Can be used for every sort of washing needed.

    ***Neither soap nuts or pure castile soaps will produce the same type of suds in commercial products because they lack the foaming agents. They work very well by causing the water tension to change which then pulls the dirt/oil off - same principle as commercial soaps.

    Sodium Laurel Sulfate should be avoided as much as possible. In toothpastes it can be nearly impossible to avoid so we also go with Tom's of Maine as Jody does. Steer clear of fluoride, it is a byproduct of chemical fertilizer manufacturing. :eek: Dental floss we like is Desert Essence, none of the odd chemicals commercial products seem to think need to be in dental floss.

    I have not tried borax, been a bit afraid to actually. Though I read all the time that it is pretty safe, I just remember using it to kill ants and fleas with many years ago and at this point stay away from anything that can kill as a general rule.

    If you use paper towels, try to go with unbleached ones if you can find them. We use seventh generation and they are fairly low toxic. A lot of the unbleached varieties we tried smelled/felt really bad - as bad or worse than the bleached ones.

    Go ORGANIC! Seems really obvious but just in case thought it should be mentioned. :) Food is reasonably easy but don't forget organic spices too! They are so much tastier! If purchased in 1lb bulk are normally about $10-15 and last a really good amount of time. A place I just discovered this summer is http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/ and I have been pleased with the quality of herbs/teas I ordered and their packaging.

    Organic clothing is very important if you are highly sensitive. It is astounding the amount of formaldehyde and chemical dyes, dye fasteners, and preservatives found in a commercial brand of jeans.

    Keep some sort of disposable glove handy for those situations you need to use something that you know is toxic. This will keep it from absorbing through the skin and also keep possible cross contamination down. We buy a roll of grocery type clear plastic produce bags from the co-op and use these as gloves for things like this. We have a sunny spot we let a roll sit in for 6-9 months while they off gas and then don't have too much problem using them. Much cheaper than an actual glove, no worry about latex or power, and after use can be used as a bag to dispose of any toxic trash that was generated.

    Have back ups for everything if the object will need time to off gas should it die. This can be expensive and requires a stable location so you can have some storage but is very handy. We have a back up hot plate for instance. Should ours die one day it would have taken at least 2 months before we could purchase a new one, have it delivered, and then burn it in. For us, this could then be compounded by the season this occurred in since we have to off gas things outside - a lot of rain or snow would really slow down the process. If something is vital to surviving - have a back up.

    Ok! That is all the easy ones I can think of. I'll post more if they I think of them.

    Lisa:)
  3. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Hi Lisa

    Yeah, lovely, a turkey baster up the nostril. But it helps keep things clear and if you think about it, when do we ever wash our sinuses? (Sounds yucky I know.) But, I was just thinking, with your issues with your ears, maybe this might be something to consider.

    I think using this may have helped clear up the vertigo which eventually has seemed to settle mostly in and around my right ear, I could feel ... something there, don't know how to describe it, but I could sense that that was where most of the residual heaviness and disorientation was coming from.

    If you should decide to pursue this, google it first there's lots of good information on the net.

    Mind you, perhaps the plastic or whatever the baster is made out of might be problematic for you .... ?
  4. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Couldn't make out whether you buy soap nuts, or make them?

    About borax -- I understand fear of something that can kill. But, to me it's in the same category as baking soda. Do you ever use that for cleaning, teeth brushing, etc? Well, it also helps kill off fleas.

    Ditto on the flouride. And did you know they now make dental floss coated in Teflon?! Like I want that in my mouth coating my teeth! Oh my gosh.

    Sodium Laurel Sulfate definitely should be avoided if at all possible. Hard to do it's in so many things, including shampoos. And be careful reading labels, many things are made to look "organic" and their names may imply this as well. They'll boast having this or that natural ingredient. Well, fine, but my question is always, What else is in there? Some really pretty stuff has ghastly ingredients.
  5. Lisa

    Lisa Senior Member

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    Western Washington
    Hi Jody!

    Teflon!?!?! :eek:

    This spring I started nasal rinsing when my allergies to Alder pollens began. I am hyper-allergic to Alder pollens and every spring has about 3-4 weeks that are usually an absolute nightmare for me. This year I searched extensively for anything that would help and part of that became the nasal rinsing twice a day.

    I don't do it as much now though I bet it would help if I did. It is a little too energy intensive and hard to remember if it isn't daily. When I start having sinus headaches, the vertigo that seems to be from congestion only, or really dry/swollen sinuses then the energy for it becomes a higher priority - when I remember it. hehe Odd as it sounds, I've started putting a little Xylitol in my salt/baking soda mix for it and it seems to make the occasional rinsing benefits last a little longer.

    Borax... I have actually looked at it once a few weeks ago while thinking of placing an order at a store that also carried it. Definite foot dragging going on here. hehe It would probably help if I could remember what I thought I needed it for. :eek: The time I have each year to experiment with new things is mostly over... I think I'll put this one on the list of next year! yeah! :D hehehe

    Lisa :)

    OH! Soap Nuts, totally missed that question. Here is a link that was pretty good - http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/10/soap-nuts-for-hair-clothes-dishes.php I really liked the comments at the end of the article for extra anecdotal info on them. Beware any where you read about soap nuts from a poster/writer named Chris Sicurella. He often just posts as Chris though I have caught him using aliases too. Chris is the owner of a soap nut company called NaturOil and he doesn't always state that he has a biased opinion on soap nuts.

    I did go past my concerns for his posting practices and his product was the third brand I tried this summer. Unfortunately, their packing materials are highly toxic from a MCS perspective. Even though I purchased through Amazon, he personally handled my emails when I wrote the company about this. Very polite, a little smarmy, but tried very hard to make sure I was satisfied with how things resolved. In the end he shipped a new bag of soap nuts to me with packing materials I could tolerate - all free of charge.

    I still need to try the new soap nuts he sent, after a cursory inspection they seem like they will be ok. Now I just need the oomph to get going on more laundry and they will be tested then.

    Brief description of soap nuts: they are a nut from a tree that has natural soap oils and have been used for hundreds of years by the people of the country they grow in though I don't remember off hand where that was. India? Polynesia? Somewhere round there.;)

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