Sunday, 13 November 2011

Stay Safe During Christmas

Photograph by Lisa Clarke.
Well, Christmas is almost here again! How the year has flown. Time to get the cards sent out, work out the gift list and the menu, put up the tree and decorate the house.

This time of great joy and celebration means having extra cooking and food preparation, entertaining family and friends, flaming brandy Christmas
puddings, no spare power points because of all the lights and tinsel decorations everywhere.

As much fun and as beautiful as it can all be, this time of year can also bring with it an increase in the risk of accidents, injuries, fires and burglaries. I thought I would share a few safety guidelines with you to make your Christmas season safer.

With a house full of visitors to look after it is easy to get distracted. One of the leading causes of house fires is unattended cooking. Try to keep an eye on what it is you have in the stove or the oven to avoid the risk of fire.

Let your visitors know what they need to do if there is a fire in the house and explain to them your exit points and where to meet up should a fire occur.

You may have little visitors whose behaviour patterns you are not familiar with, so please :

Put matches, lighters and other dangerous objects well out of reach

Store dangerous chemicals and cleaners out of reach or ensure that you have safety locks on the cupboards.

Put medications away in a locked cupboard or container well out of reach.

Remove medications from bedside tables if you are in the habit of keeping them there and secure them in a safe place

Put your handbag well out of reach if you keep things like cigarettes or medications in it

If you have a swimming pool, ensure that the gate is secured and if children are swimming, that they have adequate adult supervision

If you have guests who are smokers, designate an area outside of the house where they can smoke, making sure it is well away from non-smokers and children

Provide deep ashtrays or containers filled with sand that also has a lid with a slot for smokers to dispose of their cigarettes. Cigarette butts can be toxic to small children  


If you are purchasing gifts for children make sure that they are age-appropriate and that they are not dangerous.

Read labels to make sure that they are not made from toxic plastics.

Check the toy for sharp points or edges, small parts that can be swallowed, strings or cords that could cause strangling if the child wraps it around their neck.

Be careful not to leave ribbons and scissors laying around after you have finished wrapping gifts to prevent a child from injuring themself.

Don't advertise to burglars what gifts you have purchased by leaving empty containers or packaging outside the house. Unfortunately Christmas time is an opportunistic time for thieves to rob houses and vehicles, so please be security conscious and don't leave items around that might entice someone to commit a crime.


Photograph by Lisa Clarke
Some families have heirloom ornaments and decorations that get passed down through the generations.

Be aware that some of these may be painted with lead paint and should be kept out of the reach of small children.

Do not use indoor lights to decorate outdoors as that is not what they are designed for.

If you are buying an artificial tree check to make sure that it is fire resistant and also that it has a safe base so that it does not tip over easily.

Make sure you turn the lights off on the Christmas tree before you go to bed. They can short and catch fire and very quickly burn and cause severe damage or even loss of the house.
Check out this video to see just how quickly a Christmas tree can cause serious damage if it catches fire.

By observing a few simple safety precautions you can be sure to have a very safe and happy festive season.

Cheers and good health to you

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Sustainable Hemp - Natural & Versatile

Photo with permission Industrial Hemp Association of Qld Inc
Today I thought I would write about sustainable hemp.  No, it is not the "far out man" raid the refrigerator type of hemp LOL.

I have seen hemp products in markets before and have never really taken much notice because I felt kind of strange about it.

Then on facebook I saw this page  Cloth Nappies at Sustainable Hemp Products and it peaked my curiosity.
Gorgeous Nappies
To my surprise there were nearly 2,500 people, lots of them Mums, clearly supporting this page and purchasing the hemp nappies (diapers) and other products made from hemp. I checked out their website and was quite amazed at what I found.

Sustainable Hemp Products are all about trying to contribute their bit towards sustainability and reducing carbon footprints. They have all kind of clothing for babies and toddlers, personal care items for women and other products made from either industrial hemp, bamboo, organic wool and organic cotton, or a mix of materials.
Breast Pads

When you look at the picture above of the hemp crop and then look at these beautiful items it is hard to believe they were made from this material.

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They also have their own label, "Born of Nature"and manufacture a range of baby, toddler and children's clothing, nappy (diaper) accessories and women's cloth menstrual pads made from hemp and organic bamboo.

No....I am not a shareholder, nor do I get anything for writing this....I simply love the whole ethics behind this business and admire their efforts to bring to the world safe and natural products that will not harm our children or ourselves while at the same time not ravaging the earth to do so.

Hemp Oil Deodorant

It is great that businesses such as Sustainable Hemp Products are making safer alternatives in clothing for our babies. Regular clothing and disposable nappies are so full of toxic chemicals that it is unbelievable they are allowed to be sold as items to be worn next to baby's sensitive skin.

According to Jack Shiffert, executive director of the National Association of Diaper Services (NADS), disposable nappies are,  "composed of a bevy of chemicals, including chlorine bleaching agents and organic compounds (VOCs) such as toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and dipentene which have been linked to cancer and brain damage."  Disgusting isn't it.

I came to the realization I had this completely misguided belief in my head about hemp being a 'hippie thing'. 

I did a lot more research about hemp because by now I was getting quite fascinated by it all and I found out that they can use this sustainable annual crop for food, oil, insulation, bio-composites, personal care products, clothing, paper and more. The great part is that it is totally hypoallergenic and biodegradable and it can be grown without having to use toxic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

I found these really interesting historical facts about hemp:
  • The first American flag was made from hemp
  • George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp
  • Thomas Jefferson actually drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper
  • Ben Franklin owned a mill that made paper from hemp
  • The original Levi heavy-duty pants that were made for the California 49'ers were made from rugged hemp sailcloth and rivets
  • Rembrandt and Van Gogh painted on hemp canvas

I also found this video incredibly interesting as it went through all the different things that hemp is used for. It really opened up my eyes and my mind.

I really hope you enjoyed learning about hemp and its different uses as much as I did. I really found it to be a fascinating subject and I am glad that I checked it out.

Wishing you much health & happiness.

123RF Stock Photos

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Indoor Air Quality - Can You Breathe Easy In Your Home?

Is the air quality in your home making you sick? 

I read that Australians spend 90% or more of their time indoors, whether that be at home, in cars, public buildings, schools, recreational buildings, restaurants or offices. Are you one of those people?

Nowadays, buildings are much more sealed and a lot of places keep windows closed because they have air conditioners either cooling or warming them.

Studies have shown that poor indoor air quality can significantly impact on our health as well as creating huge costs to the economy. In fact, the CSIRO estimated that the cost of indoor air quality in Australia could be as much as $12 billion a year!
Source: Brown, S.K. (1998) Beating the $12 Billion Cost of Polluted Air. CSIRO Press Release, Ref 98/55.

What kind of pollutants can we have in our homes?

Well we have all heard about dust mites, fungi and mould but there is much more than that. Most homes also have air toxics such as formaldehyde. Formaldehyde can be emitted from carpet, perfumes, furniture and more. If you want to find out the nasty truth about this carcinogen you can read about it here. Housework can actually be very dangerous!

Have you ever stopped to think how many chemicals you release when you open the  dishwasher after it has stopped?

What about your household cleaners with their poisonous chemicals and toxic perfumes?

What do you spray insects with?  More chemicals.

Have you checked out what is in the personal care products you are using - the deodorants, hairspray and more?

Do you merrily puff that talcum powder all over your baby's bottom when you change their nappy?  More toxic chemicals to get into those tiny lungs.

How do you get rid of odours in your home?  Do you spray air freshener - or perhaps you have those plug in air fresheners or the other type that release fragrance?  They are all loaded with chemicals - and the plug in type are a fire risk.

Add to that a bit of pet dander and a good dose of carbon monoxide and you have the perfect recipe for sick building syndrome.

I want you to try this little experiment so you get the picture. Grab some random cleaning agents, personal care products and laundry products and add up all the different chemicals they contain.  How many?  Did you read the warning labels?  Do you know the effects of those chemicals when they are combined with one another or the safe levels for the air or the cumulative effects of constant exposure over many uses?

Here is the frightening part

Well you would think someone would know, but many chemicals present in indoor environments have not been thoroughly tested and little is known about their long-term health effects. Stop and think about the implications of that.

All the research I have read indicates a lack of understanding around health effects from constant exposure to the chemical cocktails we are exposed to. So, the manufacturers have no idea what the long-term effects are of being constantly exposed to thousands of chemicals and the governments don't seem all that interested in properly regulating it which means....................

We are in effect, human guinea pigs.

What we do know is that chemicals used in the house can cause chronic respiratory disease, eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, aggravation of asthma, eczema and hayfever, lethargy and even cardiovasular disease, poor childhood intellectual development, lung cancer, poor foetal development and more.

Can you understand why I jump up and down on my green soapbox about this?

I always like to be solutions focussed and provide ways that you can avoid or at least reduce issues that might negatively impact on your health, so here are my tips.

  • Go through your cleaning products and either make your own safer versions or buy products that are definitely organic and not 'green' fakes.
  • Do the same with your personal care products
  • Open up the windows to let fresh air through the place
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe dust from surfaces
  • Vacuum regularly
  • Fill your house with pot plants
Pot plants are nature's air filters and they do a fantastic job of keeping the air much safer in your home. They were really in vogue when I was a young house-wife but you don't seem to see a lot of pot plants in as many homes nowadays.

Here is a really great video that is full of useful information and which demonstrates how you can use pot plants to improve the quality of air in your home.

If you are thinking about replacing your household cleaners with cheaper, effective and chemical free cleaners then I would absolutely recommend that you get hold of Green Cleaners Quick Cash by Helen Anderson.

This book has recipes for making every imagineable kind of household cleaner you would ever wish for. These cleaners match what commercial cleaners do as far as effectiveness in cleaning the house but at a fraction of the cost and most importantly, with no fear of getting nasty health problems. I refer to and use this book all the time.

Another of Helen's books that I use constantly is Herbs the Natural Alternative. Relative to this article, there are many ways to replace toxic personal care products through the use of herbs and essential oils. I love this book and have used the recipes for cooking, healing, relaxing baths, candle-making (most candles are highly toxic), mouth washes, body mists and so much more. They are not hard to make, are fun and kind to your household budget as well.

I hope you enjoyed this information and hope that you find it useful. If you do, please share it with your friends and family so we can all enjoy better health together.

Have a healthy and happy day!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

How to Make Your Own Chocolate!

I love chocolate!  If you love chocolate too then let me tell you chocolate loves you as well - if you eat the right kind that is. A match made in heaven.

There is plenty of information available about the benefits of eating dark chocolate. It can be a fabulous stress reliever thanks to the high levels of magnesium it contains. If you are one of those unfortunate women who suffer PMS eating a little dark chocolate may help to even out the mood swings that hit when your progesterone levels drop. The magnesium in the chocolate is the mood leveler.

Studies have shown too that eating dark chocolate can really elevate your 'feel good' levels through the release of seretonin. Really when you think about it, eating a few squares of dark chocolate is like having a yummy health pill!  Magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, antioxidants - it's all there!

Eating dark chocolate regularly also has anti-aging effects, reduces our risk of heart attack and cancer and can even help us to remember things better. Gotta love that chocolate!

Anyway, I started thinking about chocolate and wondered how it was made so I started doing some research. One of the first sites I came across was one called Coconut Magic. They had a fantastic recipe for chocolate that I tried out. Not only was it scrummy, it was also healthy. I added some chopped macadamia nuts (1/2 cup) to mine.

Coconut oil is very healthy for you. Coconut Magic tells you all about the health benefits and uses for coconut oil. I am a convert!  Just so you know, I am not an affiliate - I simply like to recommend things that I like and know are good.

Try out this simple recipe

  • 5 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 pinch of natural sea salt
  • 4-5 tbsp raw coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp raw honey

Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and put it into the fridge or freezer. The coconut oil will solidfy and voila, you now have deliciously healthy chocolate chunks. They will last in the fridge for up to two weeks (are they kidding LOL - not in this house!)

This recipe can be found at

I did a bit of research on You Tube as well and found the following videos that I thought you might enjoy. I actually wrote down the recipe ingredients for you for the first video to make it a little easier for you.


  • 1 cup carob
  • 1 cup cacao
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup hemp seed
  • 1/2 cup cold pressed coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp spirulina
  • 1/3 honey
  • few pinches sea salt
  • some shredded coconut to roll the balls in 

The next video shows you how to make your own home made block chocolate. So easy. You can add all kinds of things to personalise it to your taste. I used coconut oil and a good mineral sea salt.

What I like about making my own chocolate is that I know exactly what goes into it. That is pretty important given the sneaky things that manufacturers try to add in our food. The other thing is that home made chocolate tizzied up a bit with the addition of nuts, liquers, chopped glaced cherries, raisins and such would make a great personalised gift.

Why don't you head off to your kitchen to make some now!

Have a happy healthy day!

Monday, 26 September 2011

A Natural Approach to Cold Sore Treatment

Uh oh! You wake up and you can feel that tingly itching near your mouth or on your lip  that you know from experience means you are about to get a dreaded cold sore. Don’t you just hate that!

For the next week or so you are going to suffer all the various stages from the initial tingling and itching, to the clusters of blisters over your sore inflamed skin. You might even feel unwell and have a temperature or like you are getting the flu.  You don’t feel like being seen by anybody looking like that either and you feel embarrassed. It is pretty hard if not impossible to hide or cover up cold sores.

What are cold sores?

Cold sores are actually a visual manifestation of a virus that can lay dormant in your nervous system for years. The cold sore virus is actually called Herpes Simplex 1.

Cold sores can be triggered by a few things such as when you get sunburn, you are rundown and your immune system is low or when you are suffering from stress.

Tips to stop the spread of the cold sores
Cold sores are highly contagious so it is best not to be kissing people or sharing your eating and drinking utensils, your lipstick or your towels and such. Make sure you wash your hands often. Try to leave the sores alone apart from when you are treating them. If you release the liquid from the sores it can make them spread even more.

It is a good idea to keep a few new tooth brushes on standby for when you have an outbreak and also a couple of small tubes of toothpaste that only you will be using. Why? Well apparently the herpes virus can last for a week on your toothbrush. It is best to throw it away and use a new one. Use your own small tube of toothpaste as this too will have live virus on it where it touches the bristles of the brush when you are loading it up with toothpaste. I found that and other really good information at Mother Nature.

So what can you do to prevent or to treat cold sores?
There are some lifestyle changes that you can make which might help to reduce the occurrence of cold sores. Stress for example. Try to make some changes to your lifestyle and include some meditation, yoga or going for a walk. Exercise can help to reduce stress in general. You might want to look at your work – life balance to see if there are things you can do to cope without so much pressure.

If you know that getting too much sun can trigger off a cold sore then take suitable precautions such as wearing lip balm, a shady hat and not staying out in the sun too long.

Apparently it helps to avoid foods that are rich in L-arginine because it strengthens the virus. The bad news is that chocolate is one of those foods. Nuts, coconut, soybeans, oats and a quite a few other foods are high in L-arginine as well.  There is a list of L-arginine foods you can check out here.

The good news is that you can balance out the L-arginine by eating foods that are high in L-lysine as this makes the virus weaker. I actually found that a bit confusing as I found some of the same foods on both sides?? Chocolate was one of them. I think the key is to make sure that the L-Lysine rich foods  outweigh the intake of the L-arginine rich foods so that they work in synergy with one another to keep the balance and not stir up the virus.

What I did find though was a lot of testimonials that said taking a supplement containing L-lysine is apparently very effective, so either ask about it next time you are at your local health store or shop for it online. There are some supplements containing L-lysine that are specifically made to reduce the incidence of cold sores.

Also try to include in your diet foods that are rich in Vitamin C, Zinc and complex B vitamins as between them you will be providing your body with anti-virus tissue repairing minerals as well as vitamins that help stress reduction.

Natural remedies for treating cold sores
Some people swear by the lemon treatment. This should be used as soon as you feel the first signs of the cold sore coming on. Cut a very thin slice of lemon and place it over the affected area and leave it there for at least 15 minutes. Throw the slice away when finished and use a fresh slice for every new application.  It apparently stops the itching and is a remedy that has been used for many years in Europe.

Licorice (the botanical) not the commercially made type is apparently very powerful against cold sores. You can buy it in a delicious tea form from your health store.

Applying full fat milk with a clean cotton ball is another natural remedy that has been used for years with good effect. Recent studies have found that a substance called monocaprin, a fat found in milk and it has the capacity to kill the virus on contact. Amazing how so many of Grandma's remedies are now proving to have some basis.

If you have aloe vera growing in your garden, apply the gel directly to the cold sore. Reapply several times throughout the day. What I like about aloe vera is that it is very soothing and stops the itching and the burning sensation and it seems to heal skin beautifully.

Tannic acid in tea also is known to have anti-viral properties. When you make a cup of tea, pop the used tea bag into the freezer for a few minutes and apply it directly to the cold sore. Leave it there for up to half an hour. Repeat this every 3 or 4 hours using a fresh tea bag each time.

It is clear that the best way to deal with annoying cold sores is to take both a proactive and a reactive approach. Try to stay relaxed, fit and healthy and watch your diet to reduce the incidence of cold sores and if the pesky blighters do attack, immediately deal with them using some of the tips provided.

Cheers and have a healthy happy day!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Avocados For Fat Loss, Beauty & Health

I love avocados! They are an incredibly versatile anti-aging power fruit with nutrients that contribute to longevity, good health and to beauty as well. Including an avocado a day in your diet is a pretty smart thing to do for your health.

Health Benefits

Avocados are a wonderfully rich source of antioxidants, potassium, folate, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, copper, dietary fibre, magnesium, beta carotene, oleic acid and sodium.

Avocados have more potassium per ounce than you will find in bananas, so they are an excellent fruit to eat if you want to protect your heart and arteries, reduce high blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. Potassium is also credited with helping to reduce belly fat and fluid retention.
They also contain pantothenic acid, which is B5 vitamin. This acid is an important contributer to the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Also, if you are suffering from any kind of stress related condition and chronic fatigue, B5 can help to manage those conditions.

B5 is used by the adrenal glands to work with a range of hormones that manage stress hormones. The adrenal glands release cortisol in response to stress and this is one of the big contributors to belly fat. Belly fat is dangerous fat and can lead to all kinds of serious health problems including chronic fatigue, inflammation and lowered immune system.

I use every part of the avocado including the skin - yes, even the seed!  From my research, the avocado pit contains some powerful ant-cancer properties. Check out what Dr Tom Wu had to say about eating the seed of avocados.

"When I eat the avocado I always eat the seed. It is packed with very good nutrients. It has the life force. Is a very high Qi food! It is also the highest in soluble fiber. This soluble fiber binds to the fat and excess cholesterol. Then we can lower cholesterol and improve heart function naturally. we can improve the blood circulation by pulling out all the fatty deposits in our circulatory system with the soluble fiber of the avocado seed. Soluble fiber is very difficult to get in our diet. Oatmeal has some, but it cannot compare with the avocado seed. Any heart disease patient must eat the avocado including the seed." Source

In case you are wondering who
Dr Tom Wu is, he is a cancer survivor who was given no hope when he was 30 years of age. He had terminal lung cancer which had spread to other organs in his body and he beat it by changing his diet. He has continued to live a healthy life without so much as a cold well into maturer years. Dr Wu has been awarded by both the American Cancer Society and the United Nations "World Famous Doctor Award" for his breakthroughs with cancer and diabetes.

I have also read testimonials where people swear it has fixed their gout problems and others that talk about increased energy and feelings of well-being. I know that my chrons disease seems to be under much better control when I eat avocados including the seeds regularly and that I feel more energised.

The seed can be very bitter to eat, but cut in half and put into the blender with your other smoothie ingredients and you don't notice the taste. My blender isn't anything special and it handles doing that okay.

For those of you who have heard that avocados are full of fat and make you fat, check out this video.


The Vitamins A, D, E and omega 3 contained in avocados are anti-aging, softening and soothing to the skin.

Pureed avocado applied to burns, itchy skin and nappy rash will bring soothing relief. Even rubbing the inside of the avocado skin has positive effects. It can also reduce the occurrence of those unwanted age spots.

Let me share some beauty recipes with you.

Puffy Eyes

Apply mashed avocado under each eye with a gentle circular motion. Lay down and relax for 20 -30 minutes then rinse off with warm water and pat dry. The puffy appearance will be greatly reduced!

Hand Cream

Mash 1/4 of an avocado and mix into it 1/2 teaspoon of wheatgerm oil, 1/2 teaspoon of rosehip oil and 4 drops of essential lavendar oil. Apply to hands. It leaves them feeling very soft.

For a really nice avocado handcream that you can store in a jar or give as a gift check out the recipe here.

Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

Blend together 1/2 an avocado, 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. Apply this mix to the roots of the hair first and work into the ends once you have done the roots. Pop on a shower cap or wrap your hair in plastic wrap and leave it in for around 30 minutes. Rinse it out thoroughly with warm water (not hot).

This leaves your hair incredibly shiny and silky soft and nourishes your scalp as well.

Night Moisturizer

Simply rub the face and neck with the inside of the avocado skin. Massage into the skin with your clean finger tips and leave on overnight. Wash off in the morning with warm water.


I think most of us are aware that avocado is an excellent substitute to use for butter when we are making sandwiches. We are also pretty familiar with using avocados in salads or as the main ingredient in guacamole. You can also buy avocado oil and that is excellent to use in salads as well.

Avocados are also a great healthy inclusion for your smoothies. They bring a nice velvety texture to them without any over-powering taste.

I am going to finish off with another video for you that demonstrates how you can use avocados to make a really yummy chocolate mousse that is tops for your health.


Cheers for now. Wishing you all a blessed day.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

How and Why You Should Make Your Own Safe Carpet Deodorizer

My nose tells me it is time to give the rugs and carpets a bit of a freshen up. We have two little dogs who love to roll around on the carpet and chase each other around the coffee table.That hint of  'doggy' aroma needs some attention!

I usually freshen my rugs and carpets about once a month and it seems to do the trick. I notice on the commercial carpet deodorizer's instructions that they advise you to use their product every time you vacuum. How very convenient for them!  How very costly for the user - and in more ways than one!

You really need to think about how you tackle this job safely. Safely??  Yes, believe it or not, most of the commercially prepared carpet deodorizers are very toxic. Have you checked out the ingredients list? If you have been sprinkling away merrily without a second thought, you might be shocked at what I am about to share with you.

These products smell like a field of flowers, but they may as well be a funeral wreath.
Carpet deodorizers often contain synthetic fragrances that irritate asthmatic lungs; phthalates which have been identified as hormone disruptors and have been linked to infertility, cancer and birth defects, and other nasties such as dimenthl ether which can lead to central nervous depression to the point of being incapacitated and can cause damage to the liver, cardiovascular system and the respiratory system as well. There is more....but I think you have the picture.

Do you really want to expose your family to eye, skin and respiratory irritations,headaches, nausea, vomitting, diarrhea and dizziness? Manufacturers do not have to declare all their ingredients either because they are 'trade secrets', so there will be another long list of toxic chemicals that we don't know about. The long-term effects of exposure to many chemicals is not yet known either.

Manufacturers and supermarkets are on to the fact that consumers are starting to become concerned about chemicals and the effects on their health so they are marketing 'green' products. Unfortunately a lot of claims are false and are just a marketing ploy.

I learned my lesson when I used a so called natural orange based cleaner to clean the bathroom and ended up having a terrible asthma attack. Not surprising when you discover that those orange or citrus oil cleaners contain nasties like D-limonene which is a sensitizer, a neurotoxin, can irritate the eyes and skin, shows evidence of carcinogencity and....oh look...can trigger respiratory distress when vapors are inhaled!

My point is that it is becoming harder and harder to trust manufacturers to do the right thing by consumers as far as toxic chemicals do. They try to bamboozle us with science and big words, they abuse the meaning of words such as 'organic', they hide ingredients under the claim of 'trade secrets' and are treating us like human guinea pigs.

Do you want your children and your pets to be exposed to toxic chemicals? They are usually the ones who are sitting, lying, playing on the carpet.

It is not safe for whoever has the job of sprinkling or spraying carpet deodorizer either because of the risk of inhaling the spray or fine powder. The 'fake' perfumes also cause the quality of the indoor air to drop. The house is already bombarded with chemicals and fumes that come from furniture, carpet, clothing and more.

I have the solution!

I am going to share some recipes with you that you can make in a jiffy – in fact you can even get the children to help you. The bonus of making these recipes is that they in fact provide a lot of benefits that commercially made deodorizers do not. You will be getting more bang for your buck PLUS you will be safeguarding your family’s health.

Steam cleaning is a good way to freshen up carpets and rugs and removing odours. I have one that cleans tiles, wooden floors and steam cleans the carpet and it works quite well as far as getting rid of carpet odours. It was not expensive to buy.

If you want to neutralize carpet odours it can be as simple as sprinkling either corn-flour (cornstarch) or bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) over the carpet. Leave it there for at least an hour while you go off to do other things. Vacuum and the odours will be gone. I usually do this once a week to stay on top of it.

Basic Mix

The basic mix that I use is 1 cup of bicarbonate of soda and 10 drops of essential oil (not the fragrance – the real stuff). You can add more if you like a stronger perfume and you can also mix different oils together. What type of essential oil you choose is dependent on what it is you are trying to achieve.

I use a glass jar as a container, pop the lid on and shake the contents to disperse the oil through the bicarbonate of soda. I like to let it ‘brew’ for around 24 hours so that the bicarbonate of soda really takes up the aroma of the essential oil. When I am ready to deodorize the carpet I simply pour some into a sieve and sprinkle it around.

Some people prefer not to use anything with an aroma. If that is you, either use the bicarbonate of soda on its own or power-up the effect of neutralizing odours by adding grapefruit seed extract in essential oil form. Grapefruit seed extract does not have a noticeable aroma but it has incredible effects on neutralizing odours.

Adding lavender to the basic mix is a wonderful way to perfume the room and it has calming, soothing and relaxing qualities.  This aromatic is a bactericide, anti-viral and anti-fungal. It it is also a natural insecticide and deters insects such as moths.

Lemon essential oil imparts a lovely fresh scent. Lemon oil has a calming and uplifting effect and has antiseptic and anti-viral properties. You could mix this with the lavendar and use on bedroom carpet for a relaxing night's sleep.

If you have inside dogs and cats and are worried about fleas, use either citronella essential oil or pennyroyal in your basic deodorizer mix. Both are powerful insect repellents and offer added benefits of being anti- microbial, antiseptic and anti- bacterial.

A word of caution before you rush off to put pennyroyal on your pets, I have read that using it directly on your pets can cause them some serious health issues, so to be on the safe side, please don’t go putting drops on their fur.

Tea tree oil is another great oil to use as it gives off a great clean spicy aroma, repels insects and is a very effective disinfectant as well as a deodorizer. Tea tree oil also kills mould spores. That is good to know as carpets can develop mould underneath and particularly in the underlay caused by spillages and carpet cleaning.

I thought you might enjoy this video too as it shows another great recipe for making carpet deodorizer which I have tried and found I really liked.

Before I go, those of you who read my Blogs know how much I love Helen Anderson's books. Helen's books are packed with genuinely useful, easy to follow tips for making green cleaners, growing organic food or using herbs and essential oils. I have all three of her books. Helen also makes it quite clear why we should be mindful of what goes into our bodies and onto our skin and exposes the risks we face from toxic chemicals.

I was excited to see that Helen is offering her book Green Cleaners, Quick Cash along with a bonus book called Go Green - Save Dollars for under $20 AND you can get it in Kindle version as well. Check out her offer here.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have enjoyed these tips and that you will try them out.

Wishing you all a happy day.