EWG Resources

Here’s a site you’ll want to be familiar with: ewg.org. That stands for Environmental Working Group, which is a consumer education and advocacy organization. And importantly, they have invested heavily to create databases for checking on toxicity.

ewg

Those databases include:

I’m particularly excited about the guide to household cleaners because…well, I’m not a scientist. I had no previous way of knowing whether my goods were what they claimed. And guess what? Some of my “green” labeled products came up with FAILING ratings. What? Yeah. Charlie’s Soap products, which were sitting in my cabinet when I found the database and began searching.

Charlies

Not all the databases are perfect (being updated often, but not perfect), and of course some of the opinions are subject to your health philosophy (like saturated fat in raw organic cheese being flagged as unhealthful; you probably know I’m a butter-fat advocate, in moderation).

But if you’ve been frustrated by the lack of ingredients on your cleaning products, or the lack of your own knowledge on how to interpret the ingredients which are listed on your personal care products, these sites are for you!

Oh, there are some Apps too…check your app store for EWG. The privately created ThinkDirty app is nifty too…barcode scans your personal care items!

Have you used any of these databases? Have you had ingredient revelations?

Trauma and Drama; Baby’s first week

Even after a great birth, there’s body-trauma to deal with. And even with a healthy, peaceful baby, there’s a little first-week drama to face. Here are a few things I found to help with both.

Bruising on upper chest (stripe from armpit to armpit where I leaned into the side of the tub): lavender essential oil applied directly to the skin. I did not dilute, and was not concerned about the proximity to breasts/nursing since this is indicated for mastitis as well.

Bruising on sacrum: PanAway* essential oil blend, applied neat. I felt that this not only helped with bruising of the bones, but that the absorbed oil helped to mend the pelvic floor muscles faster than in previous births.

Sore Upper Arms: PanAway* applied neat on location.

After Birth Pain: Cramp Bark tincture (alcohol) every few hours in first day, decreasing until 3rd day. I also used more of my Labor/Birth essential oil blend as a foot rub and low belly rub. I did not need to take Advil or any other synthetic pain killer.

Neck Misalignment/muscle discomfort from turning my head tubside during labor: Valor essential oil blend, on location.

General Exhaustion (birth is a marathon, afterall!): Frankincense oil on wrists, and inhaled. NingxiaRed wolfberry juice with essential oils (Young Living) and Chinese herbal tea (blended by my doctor) really helped me feel revived.

Water retention; drinking lots of water with lemon essential oil to help flush out excess fluid.

Tissue Soothing/Regeneration; Gentle Baby essential oil blend in peri bottle with water: 1 drop per peri bottle at each potty use.

Emotional Stability Post Partum: I used Ylang Ylang on wrists and inhaled. At ten days I began ProgessencePlus* serum which contains wild yam extract; 3 drops on forearms 2xday. I also began 1 drop Sclaressence* essential oil blend under tongue 2xday. I continued to take nutritional oils of flax, evening primrose, and fish for their omega 3 fatty acids.

Mastitis/clogged duct/engorgement: lavender and copaiba essential oils rubbed on site. Lavender is very effective alone, but copaiba magnifies it’s potency and is highly anti-inflammatory in its own right.

Baby

Belly Button: a drop of myrrh on the navel helped the belly button to heal and dry faster than my other babies. Works as an antiseptic.

Circumcision: a drop of myrrh in a dab of carrier oil at the base of the penis as an antiseptic. For pain, the “morphine bomb” worked wonders: I mixed 1 drop each Copaiba, Idaho Balsam Fir, and Frankincense in the palm of my hand and applied to baby’s feet and spine, and he was sleeping peacefully within 5 minutes (previous frantic pain).

Colic: in week 2 baby had a night of colic after too many feedings. Upon applying 1 drop of DiGize to his bloated belly in a clockwise pattern, he became calm and we all went back to sleep.

*Note: PanAway, ProgessencePlus, and Sclaressence essential oil blends contain a small amount of peppermint oil, which in large amounts some women find to reduce their milk supply. I have not found this to be the case with these blends, perhaps because it is such a small amount, or perhaps because the other oils in the blends support milk supply.

I only use Young Living essential oils for topical and internal use in my family. Please do your research about essential oils; I feel confident that Young Living EOs are the safest and most pure oils on the market, and have personally seen a difference in their potency as well. Please see my Essential Oils page for more information on purchasing a starter kit of Young Living essential oils.

Labor and Delivery

Ten days ago I gave birth to my sixth child. At 9lbs 8oz, he was my largest baby. Yet his birth was my best.

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Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t easy to give birth “once you get to number six.” 🙂 It is still labor. It is still transition, pushing, crowning, the whole works. But by this time I have learned how to work with my body, how to relax, and a few things to help the process.

This was my first birth using Essential Oils. (See my post on Labor and Birth for all the details!) I absolutely think they helped my labor to progress, my cervix to dilate, my pain to be decreased, my energy to not give out, and my emotions to stay stable and confident. I feel it was the oils that helped me avoid feeling out of control…the “I can’t do this!!” stage. I will be guest posting the details soon over at The OG Blog.

Additionally, having a caring supportive and highly qualified midwife from A Gentle Beginning, being able to spend transition and pushing in warm water (in the tub in my own bathroom), having my caring husband, mother, and for the first time, my oldest daughter on hand to support me, having a dark and calm environment…these all helped me to handle each contraction well.

Holding your new baby in your arms…the baby you just powerfully birthed…that is just about the pinnacle of life’s great moments!

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Summer Loves

I just threw some summer products in a drawer, then thought to take a picture and tell you what I’ve been loving (and not loving). If you see these on end-of-season clearance, stow them away for next summer.

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Clockwise from top left:

Suncoat nail polish in Poppy Red (a great retro orangey red with a hint of metallic…love with aqua jewelry) and Purple Haze. Use two coats, and the color is brilliant. Water based.
Suncoat Girl polish (pealable) in Forever Fuscia. Fun for my daughter, and water based so less chemicals to inhale during application.

Moon Blossom No Bugs On Me essential oils blend in olive oil. Got this at a farmers market a few year ago, so you may not be able to find this one, but it had oils of lavender, geranium, cedarwood, eucalyptus, citronella, and cinnamon. Seems to work well, when we remember. I have most of these oils, so when I run out I plan to buy the last one and mix up my own in olive oil.

Traumeel by Heel. Heals up bruises (knees, shins, foreheads) in a hurry! The sooner I get it on the owie, the sooner the discoloration stops developing. This stuff is amazing! One child got her three fingers caught in the car door hinge (ouch!!!) but we iced them immediately and put this on. Even though she eventually lost one nail, there was no bruising. Weird but true.

Aloe for sunburns…my husband forgets to cover up sometimes, so we keep this handy for the inevitable burn.

Sunstick by Elemental Herbs. A face stick of zinc sunscreen. Great way to apply it to the most important spot…and really works at 30spf. It didn’t expire or wash off for us. Great price for this quality product.

To see why I only use mineral sunscreens, read this post.

Badger Zinc Sunscreen. We also used the Badger Infant Sunscreen and enjoyed it. These formulas are thicker and greasier than what we are used to. You have to keep rubbing them in for a bit, but then they become transparent, stay on, and don’t require re-application. Once you get used to more intensive application, it’s great, great stuff. Pleasant smell, doesn’t burn the skin (or wash off into eyes). Love it!

I’ve also tried these two brands of mineral sunscreen: Jason and Alba. I don’t like them as well.

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You can see I got one on clearance last year. They are both thinner/more like regular sunscreen in consistency, but I’ve had problems with them separating; not sure if it was age or heat related. Also, both have titanium dioxide, not just zinc, and there is some question about the safety of this internally. Zinc is something we need more of on the inside, so I’d rather be rubbing that on the outside too.

Next year, I’m going to pack my baby powder along to the beach; saw on FaceBook that you can use it to clean sand off skin.

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EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

Via blog post comment:

Bronwyn, have you seen ewg.org? Here is the link for the Spry toothpaste. What are your thoughts? pG
http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/47426/Xlear_Spry_Toothpaste_Flouride_Free_%282006_formulation%29/

 

Response:

Yes, I am aware of ewg.org. It’s a great idea, however, I haven’t found it to be very helpful.

In this instance, the formula reviewed is out of date. You could technically look up all the ingredients in the new formula, but you have to use your best judgement in determining whether they are harmful. For example, SODIUM LAUROYL SARCOSINATE listed in this formula is a foaming agent, similar to the toxic SLS. Both carry “increased absorption” as a reason for danger. So if SLS is toxic, and is mixed with other toxic chemicals, they are going to be absorbed more fully by your stripped skin. If there’s not so much other bad stuff to absorb in the formula, then it’s not as much of a concern in my mind.

Also, I was disappointed at how low the rating was for a potentially toxic aluminum product, the deodorant crystal. You can read my review in my blog post about deodorants.

Unfortunately, this site does not seem to have enough staffing to keep up with a lot of products, or to have a scientist actually consider each product as a whole, and the data gap seems too large on many items. So it’s a place we can get SOME information, but I think we should still realize we’re gonna have to educate ourselves to protect ourselves. ~BD

My Favorite [Natural!] Mascara

Yay! iherb.com is now selling my favorite mascara for a discounted $7.76: Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Mascara. After trying a number of “natural” mascaras that didn’t work, or turned out to be not-so-natural, I finally found this one. Smooth and without clumps. Doesn’t melt off after a few hours. Good color. And doesn’t cost $25 a tube (c’mon, seriously?).

I love it.

If you are new to iherb.com, don’t forget to use coupon code RON268 which will give you $5 off. That takes care of your shipping and then some.

Beauty Tip: to avoid looking harsh, choose mascara color one shade darker than your hair color.

  • Dark Brunette/Black Hair: choose black (Black Magic in this brand)
  • Light Brown/Dark Blond/Red Hair: choose black-brown (Espresso in this brand)
  • Light Blond/Strawberry Blond: choose brown (Chocolate Truffle in this brand)

For more drama, add a second coat: that is totally possibly with this silky mascara.

That night (or next morning for me!) your mascara will wash easily off with water and facial cleanser.

OK, so is it important to get “natural” mascara?

It is difficult to assess the toxicity risk for a product “only on our eyelashes,” but mascara is scary close to the mucous membranes of the eyes, and a number of brands of mascara are reported to contain mercury. How much mercury will be absorbed by our bodies? We don’t know; it’s likely different for every individual.

For me, I believe that I do absorb some mascara through my eyes/tear fluid into my nasal cavity (at least I have had “mascara crud” come out on a tissue after blowing my nose the morning after sleeping with mascara). So if using “toxic” mascara, perhaps a habit of washing it off before bed would be indicated. Or just get the good stuff and don’t worry about it.

Mineral Makeup Review

Mineral makeups have become very popular in the last 5 years, because they feel so lightweight, and can offer good coverage. They are often touted as natural, but you should still read the fine print and remember that they are not all created equal.

For 6 tips on how to choose a mineral makeup, read this post.

Here are some mineral makeups I’ve tried:

Bare Escentuals This is the brand that is probably the most well known, and the first one I tried.

Pros: I loved switching from liquid foundation to powder, and liked that I could get a set with foundation, bronzer, and brushes. It is convenient that this brand is available at places like Sephora, Ulta and Nordstom, and nice that there is an instruction DVD included.

Cons: If you are allergic to animals or have very sensitive skin, these brushes are not for you. The mineral veil has parabens, and the foundation has bismuth oxychloride which tends to look shiny by the end of the day (and build up in the brush). The powder is fine enough to give good coverage, but I’ve found an even better one.

Honeybee Gardens

I haven’t tried their foundation, but their eyeshadow was a disappointment. Too much glitter and not enough color, even in a dark shade. (Love their mascara, though!)

Me Me Cosmetics This is a local company that I found at my Farmer’s Market. . . they had just introduced mineral makeup, and I went for it. You’re not likely to come across them, but I thought you might benefit from my experience.

Cons: the powder was not nearly fine enough, so the coverage was not good. And the color wasn’t the best match. I realized that great mineral powder isn’t going to be made by someone selling at a farmers market.

Aubrey Organics

Since this seems to be such a “pure” brand, I was hopeful when they came out with a powder foundation. But it was a disaster.

Cons: The powder isn’t actually minerals, it’s like fine silk powder. . . feels not quite as fine as the mineral powder, and doesn’t stay on all day. Also, it can not be wetted like the minerals can to create a concealer; it balls up and is really gross when wet. Also, it is colored with cinnamon powder, so you have to get used to smelling like cinnamon and the color options are limited.

alima Pure I found this makeup online, and visited a local shop which sells it to test colors. I’ve also ordered eyeshadow from their website.

Pros: I love this makeup! It is the finest powder I’ve found, so it looks great and covers well. They have 60 colors to choose from, including very fair shades. Although the jar has less in it that Bare Escentuals mineral makeup, it has lasted me longer.

They are straight minerals; full disclosure and no bad ingredients. The eyeshadows are just right: glimer without glitter, if you know what I mean. They have perks, like credits for returning jars, and a facebook page with contests and sales.

Cons: since they have few stores which carry their line, most women will have to order online, which is not an easy way to choose a foundation. However, they have samples for $1.50, so trying before you invest isn’t too hard. With as happy as I am with this makeup, I’d say it’s worth it.

How To Pick A Mineral Makeup

Mineral makeups have become very popular in the last 5 years, because they feel so lightweight, and can offer good coverage. They are often touted as natural, but you should still read the fine print and remember that they are not all created equal.

photo credit: alima pure

Here are some things to remember when you choose a foundation.

1. Color Matching
It’s true: you do need your foundation to match your true skin tone, or you could look muddy, orange, or pink. You’ll have to try it on, in daylight. That means either at a shop, or online order of samples. If you tan greatly in the summer, a shade or two darker is an option, or mixing in a little  powder.

2. Ingredients
Not all “natural” mineral makeups are good for you; you certainly don’t want parabens in them-those preservatives which mimic estrogens in the body and have been found in 87% of breast tumors. Also, bismuth oxychloride, talc, dyes, and fragrances can cause irritation (and may be toxic). The first on that list, bismuth oxychloride, is a common ingredient in mineral makeup, and it serves as a “filler” so the product can be made more cheaply than by using straight minerals. It gives the “pearly” look (rather than matte), and can tend to look shiny by the end of the day.

3. Brushes Do Matter
The shape of brush does have an impact on how the makeup goes on, and brushes should be cleaned often to avoid buildup. (I was told weekly, but I don’t do it that often. Water and mild soap, then air dry.) If you have sensitive skin, and/or animal allergies, find a brush with synthetic bristles: often good makeup can irritate because the person is allergic to the brush!

4. Powder Size: Coverage
A very fine powder will give amazing coverage: better than liquid foundation, yet will feel like you’re wearing nothing. You should be able to feel and see the fine powder on the back of your hand when testing colors. Then test it around your eyes: if it makes the wrinkles look deeper, then it isn’t fine enough. And, when a powder is fine enough, it should look great without a “mineral veil” or other finishing powder on top.

However, a product that boasts “nano” size particles should be avoided; there is some concern and ongoing research as to whether this minute particle size is safe in applications other than medicinal (colloidal silver). And there are good makeups out there that aren’t nano.

5. What’s the deal with Sunscreen?
Many mineral makeups have zinc in their ingredients, and this acts as a reflective sunscreen. Don’t worry this is the good kind of sunscreen (you can read about the bad ones in this post on Chemical Sunscreens). However, you need to apply the makeup fully on your whole face if you are relying on this for sunscreen.

6. Dry Skin
Some women don’t like mineral makeup because their skin is already dry, so they don’t like adding powder. I have fairly dry skin, and I do like mineral powder, but I use a good (all natural) face lotion to moisturize before putting on makeup. I must let the lotion dry first, though, or I can get streaks.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post about the minerals I’ve tried, and the great one I’m using now that meets all the criteria above.

Happy Summer Feet: Water-Based Nail Polish

Red Toenails (can I just say that it's hard to take a nice picture of one's own feet?)

I love bare feet in summer. . . especially if they are mine and the toes are sporting red polish! I know that there are definite color trends in nail polish, but I keep reaching for the red for my toes, as my style tends toward Classic. And because it makes me happy.

However, nail polish and polish removers are nearly all quite toxic: they carry high levels of phthalates (known to cause reproductive deformities in male babies) and harsh/toxic solvents. Fortunately, there are some brands now available without these toxic ingredients. The two I’ve tried are Honeybee Gardens and Suncoat. (I’ve copied some of the safety info from Suncoat at the end of this post.*) They are both water-based (imagine that!).

So, how did they work? Here’s my review:

Watercolors Desire

Honeybee Gardens Watercolors Nailpolish
Price: retail $6.99, luckyvitamin.com $5.21

I purchased two colors of this polish, “Desire” for myself (toes) and “Valentine” for my 6 year old daughter. I noticed right away the absence of odor unless you stick your nose right up to the wet polish. Also, the polish was slightly thinner than some conventional polishes I’ve tried, so the suggestion to do 2 coats is a must for getting the color to look dark enough (this is in the case of the red on toenails).

Watercolors Valentine

My only bad experience with this polish was in washing my feet too soon after applying (this was really user error, not the fault of the polish). It was February and my feet were quite dry; I applied the polish and then showered immediately after the polish dried. I think my toenails soaked up water in the shower and expanded, or something, because the polish peeled up in huge flakes. When I avoid applying it before going in the water this polish lasts several weeks before chipping.

Suncoat Water-Based Nail Polish
Price: retail $8.99, luckyvitamin.com $6.89

After having tried the Watercolors brand, I decided to try out the Suncoat brand in “Red ‘n Red“. It was a little more expensive, but I think the intensity of color blows Watercolors out of the water (sorry, bad joke) and that makes it worth it to me. I’d still buy the other for little girl polish, but I was really impressed with the red-ness of this polish. Also, they seem to have some pretty hip options on color (even a black) . . . not that I’m straying from my classic red. . . 🙂

Again, I was impressed that there was no odor. (I even painted my toenails in the car on the way to a wedding without any complaints from my husband! Not recommending it. . . just keeping it real.) And 2 coats are a must in a dark color. They do recommend their clear-coat for a shiny finish, but I’m happy with the “satin” finish of just the 2 color coats. How long has this polish lasted? I’m on day 31 without any chips that I can see from my 5’5 vantage point (I’m 8 months pregnant, so don’t ask me to get any closer!).

Removal

The instructions say to remove with isopropyl alcohol: I was particularly happy about this as conventional removers seem to be a pretty toxic set (straight solvents, right?). However, I did try removing it with my conventional remover (before getting the alcohol and pitching the old one), and the polish came right off as normal. I have also tried removing the Suncoat polish with isopropyl alcohol, but it takes some time and rubbing to get it all off. I do have a lot of grooves and ridges on my toenails, so I’m sure it would be easier with smooth fingernails, but you should be aware of this if you switch colors a lot.

*Why switch to water-based? Some info from Suncoat is below, for more see the page on luckyvitamin.com.

Why is Water-based so much better?

  • Environmentally Friendly: Conventional nail polish contains large amounts (typically around 70%) of chemical solvents such as toluene, acetates and alcohol. When nail polish is applied to nails, these solvents evaporate into the air, generating toxic chemical fumes; the well known and VERY offensive “chemical smell”. This is why many people find it hard to breathe when using conventional nail polish: you are surrounding yourself with heavily polluted air, inhaling toluene, acetates etc.; chemical solvents. In Suncoat water-based nail polish, all the chemical solvents are replaced by water. The major ingredient is water, not chemical solvents! So when Suncoat water-based nail polish is being applied, it is only water that evaporates to the air, not toxic chemical fumes.
  • Safer to Nails:The chemical solvents in conventional nail polish, after repeated use, can discolor nails and make them brittle and weak. This is not an issue with water-based nail polish.
  • Not A Safety Hazard:Since conventional nail polishes contain around 70% chemical solvents, they are highly flammable and explosive. They are often classified as dangerous goods. They are safety hazards for retail stores, salons and residential homes. They should be kept away from heat, open flames such as burning candles, etc. Water-based nail polish, on the other hand, is not considered dangerous goods, and is much safer to both store and use.
  • Other Benefits of Suncoat Water-based Nail Polish:No Phthalate of Any Kind.Many conventional nail polishes contain a deadly chemical, namely, phthalate. Phthalate, such as dibutyl phthalate (DBP), has been proven by research studies to interfere with normal hormone balance, can cause severe birth defects and other health problems. Phthalate is a very effective and popular plasticizer that gives nail polish flexibility, and helps prevent polish from cracking. Phthalate is also a very low volatile chemical (meaning will not evaporate quickly). So after the polish is applied to nails, phthalate will stay on the nails with the polish, and can penetrate into our system, causing health problems. Suncoat water-based nail polish is phthalate-free.
  • Formaldehyde-free: Many regular nail polishes have formaldehyde-releasing ingredients, used in preserving the formulation. Formaldehyde has been reported as a carcinogenic chemical. Suncoat water-based nail polish is formaldehyde-free.

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I’m linking to theinspiredroom.net.

Dental Health and Nutrition

Have you ever read a book that sort of pulls together a lot of loose questions for you? I mean, you have been told a basic theory about a topic, and yet you know of personal situations that don’t fit into the basic theory. And then you are presented with a new paradigm that makes so much sense on a diverse clinical level.

Such was my experience with the book Cure Tooth Decay: Heal & Prevent Cavities with Nutrition by Ramiel Nagel. Although I knew, like most moms, that a proper diet which included calcium was essential to making healthy teeth, I didn’t know that an excellent diet can actually prevent tooth decay. Even without brushing. Whaaat?

I’m not advocating not brushing one’s teeth (neither is the book’s author), however, there is extensive documentation of hundreds of people in cultures across the globe with excellent, carie-free, dental health. And they were armed with excellent diets (which varied across the globe, naturally) rather than with toothbrushes. (This documentation was the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist who traveled the globe to find people with traditional diets and to observe their dental health. He became so impressed with their overall health, and longevity, that his life work became titled Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.)

How can people have excellent dental health without brushing (and flossing, and swishing, and getting dental cleanings every 6 months)? This is what I wondered, as my paradigm for dental health was that the things that we put on our teeth (food, especially sugar) and then failing to brush it off soon enough, will cause acids and/or feed bacteria that eat away at our tooth enamel. This book debunks the “sugar on teeth” theory, in that white sugar does not feed bacteria, it actually kills it. But we all know some kid that’s addicted to sugar, and has a mouth full of fillings to prove it, right? This is where the nutrition factor comes in: it’s not the sugar on the teeth that wear away at the enamel, it’s the sugar inside the body. White sugar (and white flour, and a bunch of other nutrition negatives) cause the body to swing towards an acid pH, and the body must compensate by pulling an alkaline substance (like calcium) from storage to keep the pH balanced, or to send to a more important part of the body, like the brain or heart. The body may decide in this crisis situation that losing a tooth is better than losing an organ, and so a living tooth slowly loses it’s health from the inside out.

This explains why one tooth may be in decay, while the one next to it is fine (one would think that all teeth in the mouth would decay at the same rate if it were the foods present in the mouth affecting them, as sugar would be distributed everywhere). The body may prioritize one tooth as a source for pulling calcium over another tooth. This also explains why breast-fed babies tend to have more excellent dental health than their bottle-fed counterparts. Dental caries in infants have long been blamed on formula pooling in the cheek from bottle feeding, yet breastfed babies can also sleep with pooled milk and yet have better teeth. It is the better nutrition in the breastmilk that is the basis for better dentition, rather than the absence of milk on the teeth themselves.

Of course, breast-milk is not always excellent nutrition; the health-giving properties of breastmilk are tied to the excellence of the mother’s diet. Ramiel Nagel’s own daughter was being exclusively breastfed when she began to develop tooth decay. The whole family was vegetarian, so they thought they were very health conscious in their diet, yet the lack of essential animal fats and proteins had actually thrown them into a state of malnutrition. As Mr. Nagel research Dr. Price’s writings, he became convinced that they must change their diet dramatically, or all suffer physical and dental degeneration.

Dr. Price found that the people groups he studied with the most excellent dental health, some with nearly 100 percent immunity to dental caries across the entire population, ate liberally and daily from the following 3 food sources:

  1. Dairy products from grassfed animals
  2. Organs and muscle meat from fish and shellfish
  3. Organs of land animals

Mr. Nagel’s book goes into fascinating detail on the whole diets of several groups of people (some peoples ate hardly any dairy, etc. but had larger doses of the other special foods, etc.). He also explores the minerals and fat-soluble vitamins (namely calcium, phosphorus, Vitamins A and D from natural sources) which are the reason (or part of the reason) that these foods build healthy teeth (and bodies).

At the end of this article are some lists of Eat Daily/Weekly/Rarely/Never which are Ramiel Nagel’s suggestions. This list is overwhelming to me, as it would seem like a full time job to make sure each of my children ate all the recommended foods daily and weekly. However, I have to remember that we are doing a decent job on the 3 important foods categories: particularly eating lots of raw milk, yellow butter, and cod liver oil. And considering that the rest of our diet is very whole-foods centered, and that I have had this good nutrition while pregnant and breastfeeding, it isn’t surprising that my children all have beautiful strong teeth (so far!). For those that are already realizing poor dental health as a result of poor nutrition, it may be wise to go drastic and follow Mr. Nagel’s diet to reverse tooth decay, as he was able to accomplish for his daughter.

Brushing

Of course, many factors are likely present in decay situations, and tooth surfaces that allow for compacted food to be left on them, like molar chewing surfaces, and the baby’s teeth which are in the pool of milk, do tend to be the first to decay. Brushing seems to be a reasonable and helpful habit for minimizing these factors, especially if the toothpaste does not have toxic fluoride but instead a healthy dose of Xylitol, a natural bacteria-fighting sugar with re-enamalizing properties. (Ramiel Nagel has a negative opinion of Xylitol based on one study on its safety; my research leads me to believe it is safe and effective. Read Xylitol: Alternative to Fluoride.)

However, brushing should be seen as the secondary dental habit, with excellent nutrition being the first and most important.

Diet Lists

Ramiel Nagel outlines a diet that has allowed 90% of those who follow it to stop tooth decay. If you already have teeth decaying in the mouth, consider a strict adherence to this diet.

Foods to Eat Daily:

  • 1/8-1/2 tsp. fermented Cod Liver Oil 3x daily with meals, or 1/2-4 T. organic/wild liver
    and
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. of high vitamin butter oil 3x daily with meals, or 1-2 T. yellow butter per meal
  • 2-6 cups raw grassfed whole milk
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • 1-4 T. grassfed bone marrow
  • 2 fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt
  • Substantial quantities of vegetables, such as carrots, beet greens, kale, chard, zucchini, broccoli, celery, sting beans, including soups and juices
  • Seaweed or kelp

Eat Several Times Weekly:

  • Raw, rare cooked, or marinated/fermented wild caught fish
  • Raw, rare cooked, or marinated/fermented grassfed beef or lamb
  • Raw fresh oysters or clams
  • Raw, rare cooked, or marinated/fermented liver of grassfed beef, lamb, chicken, fish, turkey, etc.
  • Raw or soft cooked eggs from grass-fed poultry

Eat Only Rarely/Avoid If Dental Health is Poor:

  • Dried Fruit, and any very sweet fruits, such as orange, grapes, peaches, banana and pineapple
  • Natural Sweeteners, such as unheated honey, organic maple syrup, agave nectar, fruit juice, and rapadura

Foods to Completely Avoid:

  • Sugar, in all processed forms
  • Flour and grain products, unless soaked or sprouted
  • Hydrogenated Oils, and low quality oils, such as soybean, canola, safflower. Replace with organic coconut, olive, or palm oils, butter, suet, or tallow.
  • Any junk food
  • Coffee, soft drinks, nutrasweet, and anything artificial
  • Soymilk, protein powder, and excess Tofu (my note: protein powder which is unheated raw whey is OK as it is still raw milk)
  • Pasteurized milk, even organic
  • Non-grassfed meat and eggs, and farmed fish
  • Alcohol and cigarettes
  • Drugs, whether recreational or prescription, and vaccines