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Cosmically Created Cosmetics
Once upon a time, before plastics and Walmarts invaded every corner of the globe, humans obtained their personal care items from the natural world. Everything from toothbrushes to laundry soap was harvested from natures bounty. For a homestead to be truly independent it must produce its own health and beauty care products. Let’s explore some of these alternatives now.
Soapberry trees (Sapindus saponaria) produce nuts with very high saponin content. This saponin has been used for centuries to produce high quality natural soap. The seeds, although inexpensive, are notoriously difficult to germinate. So buy extra and start them right away because it takes 5-8 years for the soapberry tree to mature. The nuts (sometimes called berries) can be boiled in water, strained and the liquid used for laundry, dish and body soap. Add oils from your citrus trees or lavender plants to create the best soaps on the planet!
Shampoo can also be made from your soapberry liquid. Add cedar oil for fortifying properties and thicken it with shea, coco or hemp butter. Coconut oil, shea, coco and hemp butters are all interchangeable and without the soapberry liquid act as hair conditioner. These 4 plant products are solid at room temperature with slightly different melting points. Experiment with all 4 to find your perfect blend.
Shea trees (Vitellaria paradoxa) take 10 years or more to mature, coconut trees (Cocos nucifera) produce fruit in about 5 years, Theobroma cacao (chocolate trees that produce coco butter) reward you in as little as 3 years while hemp plants (Cannabis sativa) are annuals that will be usable after the first year. Plant all 4 miracle trees immediately and use hemp until your chocolate trees mature and by the time you harvest your own coconut oil and shea butter you will be an expert at creating your own products.
In addition to shampoo and conditioner those 4 plant products also make the best lotions you will ever use. Beeswax can be obtained within 1 or 2 years of beekeeping and is an excellent addition to lotion as well. You will want an oil that is liquid at room temperature like olive oil (Olea europaea, 3 years to mature). Experiment with one solid plant butter and one liquid oil from our list until you obtain the perfect consistency.
Finally, we will discuss how to properly obtain a toothbrush from the dirt. For thousands of years humans have used miswak sticks to brush their teeth. Salvadora persica or miswak trees produce plaque fighting resins naturally. Although it takes many years to grow a miswak tree to maturity, you can use the young branches within the first year if growth is vigorous. Simply cut a 6in-8in long branch that is anywhere from pinky finger to thumb thickness and shave the bark off of the tip. In the middle east (where miswak is native) these cut branches are called “chew sticks” because after shaving the bark off, you chew the end until it creates bristles.
The Koran actually references these natural toothbrushes. Mohammad tells his followers to use them after every meal to “keep your mouth holy”. I have personally used miswak sticks in lieu of plastic brushes for about 2 years now. I have sensitive teeth and could never use hard bristle plastic brushes. The softer brushes never seemed to clean my teeth as well even after 10 minutes of brushing. I can now brush in under 3 minutes with no sensitivity issues and every time my mouth feels like I just got a professional cleaning at the dentist! The first few weeks I couldn’t stop running my tongue along my teeth as I marveled at how smooth and clean they were.
True freedom and abundance come from nature. Not only are these ancient alternatives infinitely less expensive, they are much healthier for your body and our Earth! As you fade out toxic chemicals and plastics and dive into the wonderful natural alternatives, you will glow rays and shine like the Sun! Enjoy!