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How we do our laundry, clean our homes and bathe ourselves has changed more in the last 70 years than it has in the previous 7,000 years. None of these changes have been kind to your skin, or good for your health.
The name brand chemical based laundry detergents, household cleaners, soaps, and shampoos that you use in your day to day life contain carcinogens, neurotoxins and envirotoxins.
Everyday, all day long, you are surrounded by and in close contact with chemicals that are known to cause acne, allergies, cancer (melanomas), eczema, psoriasis, premature aging of your skin, rashes, and neurodegenerative disorders in children.
Moreover, "Petroleum-based detergents cause more childhood poisonings than any other household product" reports The Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia (EHANS)
Compounding that problem is the raising popularity of detergent pods that look like candies to young children. In August of 2013, a 7 month old baby in Florida died after eating a candy-coloured liquid laundry packet.
"7,669 kids 5 and younger exposed to single-load laundry packets from Jan. 1, 2013, to September 30, 2013" screams the warning in bold print at the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) website. "Highly concentrated 'single-load liquid laundry packets' can cause serious harm to young children." says the AAPCC. And then goes on the recommend that parents should "always keep detergents locked up, high, and out of the reach of children."
Commercial detergent companies are now scrambling to make the detergent pods less appealing to children. In July P&G announced that they were making changes to the design of their Tide Pods to try to minimize the risk of children eating their toxin laden products in a press release titled: " P&G Unveils Next Phase of Safe Home Consumer Education Program" implying that the blame for these childhood poisonings should rest firmly on the shoulders of "uninformed" and/or "negligent" parents. But is "Consumer Education" and package redesign the solution? Children were being poisoned by toxic, petrochemical derived commercial laundry detergents since Procter & Gamble (P&G) introduced the first synthetic detergent, Tide in 1946.
Since then the toxic compounds (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), 1,4 - Dioxane, Nonylphenol Ethoxylate (NPE) and Phosphates, among many others) contained in synthetic laundry detergents have not only been the number 1 cause of childhood poisonings, they have been responsible for nearly 10% of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers as reported at Dr. Joseph Mercola's website.
Synthetic laundry detergents (both pod and non pod products) are associated with; allergies, contact dermatitis (eczema), eye irritations (including conjunctivitis) and/or pain, cancers, death, headaches, skin irritations, rashes, premature skin aging, nausea, neurotoxicity (developmental & emotional problems in children) and organ toxicity. Moreover, commercial laundry detergents and house hold cleaners are not the only health risks posed by our "modern methods" of washing our clothes, bed linens and cleaning our homes.
Dryer sheets and fabric softeners also carry a toxic payload as Anne C. Steinemann, Professor Hydrology and Hydrodynamics at the school of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington points out in two of her studies: 1) Toxic Chemicals in Fragranced Laundry products [and their] Health Effects 2) Chemical Emissions from Residential Dryer Vents During Use of Fragranced Laundry Products.
Dr Steinemann analyzed emissions from two residential dryer vents during the use of fragranced laundry products (detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets) and found 25 volatile organic compounds (VOC) including seven hazardous air pollutants, coming out of the vents. Of those, two chemicals, acetaldehyde and benzene, are classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogens, for which the agency has established no safe exposure level.
"These products can affect not only personal health, but also public and environmental health. The chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into water bodies," Steinemann said.
The solution Dr Steinemann recommends is using laundry products without any fragrance, scent or toxins. Fortunately, there is an answer to be found in nature: Soap Nuts - a natural, organic, hypoallergenic laundry soap, household cleaner, body wash and shampoo that grows on trees.
Soap Nuts are the all natural way to clean everything in your home - you, your pets, your floors, doors, dishes, windows and laundry.
But Soap "Nuts" are not really nuts at all. They are berries that grow on shrubs and small tree species known as Sapindaceae - also known as the "soapberry family".
Soap Nuts, or "soap berries" as they are often called, have a long history in Ayurvedic Medicine (both oral and topical) as a treatment for eczema, psoriasis and for removing head lice.
In China and Japan Soap Nuts have been used as a medicine for centuries. In Japan the pericarp (outer skin or shell) of the soapberry is called "enmei-hi", which means "life prolonging shell". And in China Soap Nuts are known as "wu-huan-zi" - "the non-illness fruit", and are often used as tonic.
In Chinese medicine a Soap Nut tonic combined with longan and Chinese jujubes (dried red dates) is traditionally eaten hot in the winter and chilled in the summer. Click here for a recipe
The soapberry family of shrubs and trees can be found throughout the world in temperate to tropical regions, many in laurel forest habitats.
There are a staggering variety of Sapindaceae genera with the Sapindus genus being the one most commonly referred to as "soap berries" or "soap nuts". But even within the Sapindus genus there are as many as twelve different subspecies that produce the natural soap known as saponin.
Sapindus Mukorossi, the subspecies indigenous to Nepal and the Himalayas of Northern India is famous for it's high concentration of natural saponins with the very best Soap Nuts occurring in Nepal where the atmospheric and soil conditions are perfect for growing Soap Nuts with the highest concentration of saponins in the world.
Sapindus Mukorossi (Soap Nuts) is a versatile and exceptionally valuable medicinal plant. Not only can you do your laundry, clean your home and bathe with Soap Nuts, Sapindus Mukorossi has a long history in traditional medicine and it's efficacy has been validated by numerous scientific studies to relieve the symptoms of and/or treat:
- Lung cancer
- Melanoma (Skin Cancer)
- Candida albicans
- Irritant Diaper Dermatitis (Atopic Dermatitis)
- Tinea Cruris
- Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (Common Yeast Infection)
- Free Radical Scavenging Agent (Antioxidant)
- Head Lice
- Is Hepatoprotective (protects against liver damage)
- Is an Antibacterial agent
- Is a Fungicidal agent
- Is an Insecticidal agent
- Is a Spermicidal agent
- Panic and/or Anxiety Disorders
- Skin Rashes
- Trichomoniasis - (a common STD - sexually transmitted disease)
All of the aforementioned medicinal properties of Sapindus Mukorossi notwithstanding, the most popular use of Soap Nuts world wide is still as a natural, non toxic laundry soap.
Soap Nuts saponins are a mixture of six sapindosides that combined make for a highly effective natural laundry soap.
Soap Nuts have been gaining in popularity worldwide with people who want to avoid the industrial chemicals found in commercial laundry detergents, particularly those with sensitive skin, or skin conditions such as allergies, eczema, melanoma, psoriasis. tinea infections (common fungal infections) and yeast infections.
Soap Nuts as a natural laundry soap, also have the added benefits of being natural fabric softeners with antistatic properties thus eliminating the need for commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets and thereby reducing the toxic fumes and VOCs emitted from household dryers.
Soap Nuts can also be used for bathing, as a shampoo, and to make a non toxic household cleaners.
Soap Nuts, when used as a laundry soap, for bathing, as a shampoo or cleaner are not only good for your health and kind to your skin, they are kind to the environment too. They do not pollute the soil, rivers, lakes, oceans or the air you breathe.
Soap Nuts. A natural, healthy way to stay clean.