Most people would be shocked to find out about the toxic ingredients in commercial toothpaste and deodorant products. We take many of the products we use daily for granted, and never stop to think that these products may be harming us. But one out of every two people in the US will develop cancer at some point, and most commercial deodorant has an aluminum compound that has been tied to higher rates of cancer, particularly breast cancer. The aluminum molecule is so small that it fits through the human pores and may enter the bloodstream.
One alternative to commercial deodorant is the so-called crystal, which is a colorless stone that is made of natural minerals. It requires a bit of water to be applied, and has anti-bacterial properties.
Most toothpaste has fluoride, which some claim has been added to our drinking water to make the population more docile. I'm not sure about these claims, have not researched them enough, but either way I think we should be more concerned with the toothpaste that we use everyday because we ARE already exposing ourselves to fluoride and we should all be alarmed to know that one drop of commercial toothpaste can kill a human infant. This is a product that is in almost every household.
Our national cancer crisis is so pervasive that we take it for granted and never stop to think that THIS IS NOT NORMAL, we do not have to be dropping dead from cancer at these rates. SOMETHING is making us sick.
But there is hope: the frugality movement, which calls for living within our means and avoiding consumerism as a result of the current economic crisis, has popularized the trend of making our own toothpaste and deodorant. They're so easy to make that once you start making them at home, and knowing what you know, you most likely won't feel an incentive to buy them again - I've been making my own for two years now.
Proponents of homemade deodorant argue that the body needs to sweat and that this is one of the ways in which we detox. And so it is important to avoid antiperspirants, which inhibit the natural process of releasing toxins through sweat. Instead, they say we should discourage the growth of bacteria which create bad odor in the underarm by using anti-bacterial soaps and deodorants.
The basic deodorant recipe calls for half portions of baking soda and cornstarch and the addition of coconut oil, which has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Coconut oil can also be used to cook, to prepare kava kava or chocolate smoothies, and even to make homemade, all-natural shampoo. I use it to make a garlic white rice recipe. It can also add a tropical aroma to ginger rice or jasmine rice.
Coconut oil can be used for much more than deodorants and people who are interested in moving away from chemical products should definitely research the properties of coconut oil and other natural oils, which are used on the skin and hair as well.
Offthegridnews.com has the standard deodorant recipe that I use, plus I add usually sandalwood oil for male deodorant fragrance. Rose oil, or any other type of oil that a person likes, can be used to enhance the aroma of the deodorant. Onegreenplanet.org suggests the use of lavender oil. I haven't used it, but lavender does have calming properties, is used frequently in aromatherapy and has always been used to make detergents. In fact, the word lavender comes from the Latin root for clean.
Homemade deodorant is not harsh on the skin and has no synthetic chemicals, and it goes back to ancient traditions that have been lost. It's what all of our ancestors did: the Egyptians used scented oils to mask body odor daily, and each culture used to have natural oils and even fruits for this: modern Rastafarians in Jamaica use akee as a soap and deodorant.
Applying homemade deodorant is a bit different from commercial deodorant, but again this is something we may easily get used to. I usually moisten my underarms prior to application, and moisten the deodorant bar. It then becomes easy to apply.
As for homemade natural toothpaste, here is a video with a recipe that is pretty similar to the one I make. The basic idea is to use 5-6 teaspoons of baking soda to one teaspoon of salt, plus vegetable glycerine to create a pasty consistency. A bit of water is usually added during the mixing. In order to give it the refreshing, cooling toothpaste flavor that we're used to, between 8-15 drops of peppermint oil are usually added. Another optional addition, which I personally like because it masks the saltiness and changes the flavor of the toothpaste, is a teaspoon of stevia as a sweetener.
I encourage everyone making homemade toothpaste and deodorant recipes to search online for guidelines and use them to develop your own recipes, since different people like different fragrances and tastes. Another advantage of homemade products is their customization.