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Soapmaking

Posted in Uncategorized by thismakessense on April 25, 2009

HISTORY

According to Wikipedia the earliest recorded recipe for soap comes from Ancient Babylon written on a clay tablet around 2200 BC, and evidence of soapmaking predating that by 500 years. The formula consists of Alkali and cassia oli. The ancient Egyptians used animal and vegetable oils with alkaline salts to create a soaplike substance, as indicated by the Ebers papyrus dated to 1550 BC. Documents also mention the soap was used in preparation for weaving wool.

Modern soap is decendent from an Arabian recipe. One manuscript from the 13th century details recipies for soap making such as: “use sesame oil, a pinch of potash, alkali and lime, mix them together and boil. After cooking pour into molds, leave to set for hard soap.”

Soaps using vegetable oils, like olive oil began to be used in Europe in the 16th century. Castile soap, considered the oldest “white soap” from Italy, is a well known example of this kind of soap that is still made today.

MODERN PRACTICES

Today the use of soap and importance placed on hygene has become so prominent that soap bars began to be manufactured in the late 18th century. Many advertising campaigns over the years have premoted the relationship between soap use and cleanliness and health.

Commonly the soapmaking practice used today is the use of  fats and lye that react to cause soapifcation. The main difference in handmade soap from industrial soap is that the glycerin is not removed which allows the soap to naturally moisturise insead of becoming a pure detergent.

MAKE YOUR OWN

Because Lye is a dangerous and corrosive and will degrade organic tissue

soap nut recipes, soapwort recipes. My laundry soap is made from soap bark

f I am using soapwort extract (in liquid form) instead of dried soapwort root, how would the procedure be different?

1-a plant oil, such as sunflower seed oil, corn oil, linseed/flaxseed oil or perhaps, soybean oil;
2-water-you’ll likely need at least some;
3-a caking material, such as cornstarch, flour, oatmeal;
4-your choice of fragrance, such as vanilla, lemon, rose, etc.
5-saponins from soap wort, yucca or another plant with these chemicals.

Proportions of water, oil and caking material will likely determine how hard or soft the finished product is. The oil will help removbe body oils; the saponins will cleanse most body parts and the fragrance will make it smell nice.

It is not true that real soap is made with lye. Lye is used in combination with fat to create a substance that mimics real soap. Real soap comes from plants, see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saponin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapindaceae
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soapwort

Making soap without lye is not only possible, but safer and healthier.

http://www.ehow.com/how_4742175_olive-oil-soap-lye.html

There are some plants that are actually used as soaps: soapwort (or bouncing bet), soapnuts, yucca root, pokeweed root, or buckeyes (or horse chestnut) are some of the more common in the USA. Dry the plant, pods, or roots out chop up into small pieces, then place with water in a bottle and shake. It is only a liquid soap. Soapwort is used to clean delicate old fiber in museums. You can learn more about soapnuts at http://www.soapnuts.com (as well as recipes for soaps containing lye and many other things)

I also read…. if you have the right conditions, you can grow shampoo ginger, which is one of the saponin producing plants. You won’t get the lather that we expect from soap (and you don’t need lather to get clean; most soaps these days contain lathering agents because we’ve gotten so used to associating suds with cleaning power), but it does work. You squeeze or crush the flower head and get a slightly slippery fluid out of it. This is the “soap” or “shampoo”.

Also, you can avoid using lye by burning some wood, green oak is best (or so I’ve read), and save the ashes. You can use the ashes just the way they are but it seems to be preferred to filter them. So, somehow try to run water through the ashes so that you end up with an ashy-water (but the larger pieces will have been filtered out and will not be in the water). Let the ashy-water sit for some time (I’m not sure how long though, probably a few hours at least). Use this ashy-water in place of the lye in your recipe (again I am not sure about how much ashy-water vs. the amount of lye/water… I’d probably use the same amount of ashy-water as the amount of water you were originally supposed to use, though I do not know this for certain). I read somewhere that using the ashy-water instead of lye is also dangerous and precautions should be made. As with everything else I’ve said, I’m not sure whether this is true or what precautions would need to be made so you should do some additional research if you plan to try this method. There is actually a type of soap made with ash (instead of lye) that you can purchase/find online (but be picky as to where you buy it and what it looks like) it’s called “African Black Soap”. It has been made in different parts of Africa for centuries and each region seems to have their own variation of the same recipe. Most genuine African Black Soap’s are somewhat crumbly and not particularly attractive in appearance. I’ve seen some that actually kind of looks like cooked meatloaf…

http://knol.google.com/k/ehowknol/how-to-make-soap-without-lye/3a9e8hggiw4cz/201#

Making Hair Spray

Posted in Uncategorized by thismakessense on April 24, 2009

I came across some recipes online for natural home made hair spray. Below was the most popular and most simple recipe that I came across. I had my first go at it today, so I will update this post later with how that went. I am optimistic because every time I have used lemon in my hair at the beach for highlights, it gets quite stiff.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Chopped Lemon
  • 2 Cups water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add chopped lemons to 2 cups of boiling water in pot.
  2. Cover and boil in pot until reduced by half.
  3. Strain and let cool.
  4. Place in spray bottle and spray.

Home birth being used to sell mattresses…in Spain.

Posted in Uncategorized by thismakessense on April 22, 2009

Check out this video. Pretty neat commercial in Spain. You would think that home birth must be “normal” or quite common in Spain for them to make a commercial showing a real birth. But it is actually about at common as it is in the US: not common at all. Imagine the negative reaction and outlash that would come if this sort of commercial was ever able to make its way onto American television. Pretty crazy to think how much violence we allow our children to watch uncensored but something so beautiful like this would be considered offensive to the majority of Americans. Europeans just tend to be more open, and have a more logical approach to censorship, not finding normal thinks like birth, breastfeeding or the female breast offensive.

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The 12 reasons and excuses for Breastfeeding

Posted in Uncategorized by thismakessense on April 22, 2009

12 Reasons to Breastfeed

  1. This is why women have breasts: They exist for the sole purpose of breast feeding. They were not put there to fill out a top! Unfortunately, our society has sexualized the breast to the point where many mothers don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding. Also unfortunately that it has become inappropriate to feed in public. Trust your body. We have breasts for a very important reason – to feed our young.
  2. Bonding: Breastfeeding promotes the healthy and natural bond between mother and child. When a woman breastfeeds, hormones are produced in her body that help her relax and bond with her baby. There are even traces of morphine in all mammalian breast milk that help create a chemical attachment for the baby. 
  3. Immunities: Breastmilk contains immunities that are passed to your child. Every defense your body has built up over your lifespan is passed on to your child. For this reason breastfed children do not get sick as often. Breastfed children also get fewer ear infections, childhood lymphomas, and diabetes.
  4. Perfect baby food: The composition of breastmilk changes from week to week, from day to day, from hour to hour, and during a feeding. It is always the perfect food for your child giving him or her just what they need as they grow. 
  5. Higher IQ’s: If you want your kids to succeed you need to breast-fed! Studies have shown that breastfeeding raises children’s intelligence. The average IQ for a formula fed child is 95 and a breastfed child is 110. 
  6. Lower Breast Cancer Risk: Studies show that women who breastfeed have a reduced risk of getting breast cancer and also their daughter’s chance of getting it as an adult. This is because breast cancer usually begins in the duct of the breast and ducts filled with milk need to be used and cleared of their milk. This is what they were meant to do.
  7. Its green: Breastfeeding is great for the environment. The production and consumption on formula uses a great deal of resources and produces a huge amount of waste. We are talking about manufacturing energy and resources, fuel for shipping and packaging. 
  8. Lowers the risk of SIDS:
  9. Taste: Have you tasted formula? It’s tastes awful. Try drinking a full glass of it before you give it to your baby. Breastmilk although not our drink of choice tastes better to us and great to the baby.
  10.  It’s free: meaning it will save you money up front and because it was meant to feed a baby will promote the formation of a healthy palate and straight teeth, will save you thousands on braces in the future.
  11. Straight teeth: Your baby’s palate is as soft as wax and the human breast is too, unlike manufactured nipples which are rigid and will not conform to the inner shape of a baby’s mouth can cause permanent deformation the the palate. This causes a narrow palate, overcrowding and crooked teeth which will later need to be fixed by a series of orthodontic procedures. Expanders, tooth extraction, braces and lifelong retainers, which are all uncomfortable and sometimes incredibly painful.  Your child would much rather be breast-fed for the first 2 years of life rather than forgo any of this torture, just ask any teenager with braces. They are embarrassing and give them one more reason to become insecure at a point in life where they are self conscious about everything!
  12. Convenient: it is fresh and always available, always at the right temperature, and never goes bad. Some mothers have reported that after switching to formula, they realized that breastmilk was more convenient. Especially during the night, with breastmilk all you have to do is rollover and let your baby latch on, with formula you must get up, assuming you haven’t accidently run out, go to the kitchen and heat it up. Presumably the easiest and fastest thing to do would be to zap it in the microwave, but you wouldn’t want to do that because microwaves use radiation and change the composition of the molecules in food. You wouldn’t want to make an inferior formula even more inferior, would you?

12 Common Excuses For Why Women Don’t Breastfeed

  1.  “I was fed on formula and I’m okay.” Chances are the formula you were given is no longer considered a fit food for infants. Do you want to take the same chance with your child?
  2. “I want my husband to bond with the baby too.” If you really want him to “bond” this way with the baby and you really feel deep down this is important and natural for a father to feed a child, then let him breast feed. He has nipples and he can lactate. With a little practice the milk will come and as a bonus the baby will get immunities passed from both parents through the milk. Not to mention he can give you a break from the duties sometimes. If your husband doesn’t feel like making the whole lactation thing happen there are other ways for father and child to bond: changing diapers, holding, playing and baby bjorns. The baby will keep both of you very busy, and any time spent with a baby is time for bonding. 
  3. “I don’t want to ruin my figure.” Breast feeding is the best way to loose baby weight. You burn so many calories by breastfeeding and get to consume more. Women who breastfeed take the weight off faster and keep it off longer, while women who do not breast feed struggle to take the weight off after the baby is born.
  4. “I heard breastfeeding will make my boobs sag.”  Contrary to popular opinion, breastfeeding will not make your breasts sag. They will sag regardless of if you breastfeed or not. Actually the breast is a muscle and the more it remains unused and untoned the quicker it will sag. So if anything breastfeed to prevent sagging. Sagging is mostly caused by heredity and dependent on breast size and physical condition. 
  5. “It’s just not my thing.” What a selfish and immature thing to think! You would sacrifice your baby’s wellbeing and start at life just because you don’t feel like it.  If you are not able to handle the responsibilities of being a mother then maybe you should have thought more about it before becoming one. Plus your baby doesn’t know that it is not “your style” or whatever you think that means. They think it’s perfect for them. Try it for a few months. Hopefully, you will find out having a baby changes you and it really is “your thing”.
  6.  “I have to go back to work.” It is unfortunate that you feel that making money is more important than being with your child in the beginning of its life. Children are not meant to be passed on to day care in the after they are born and seen outside of a 9-5 routine. If you are thinking about starting a family, it makes much more sense to do so if you are willing and able to be at home with the child. If money is such an issue then it would be best to figure out a way to work from home and be with your child in the first few years or to find a way to live with less. If  that is something you are not willing to do there are many alternative, but less ideal ways to combine employment and breastfeeding. You can pump your milk, although this loses many of breastfeedings benefits it is still better than feeding your infant formula.
  7. “I don’t want to be tied down.” Breastfed children are very portable! It is much easier to go out without all the paraphernalia you need for formula feeding and will cut down on diaper bag clutter.
  8.  “My breasts are too small (or large).” There is no such thing, silly excuse, end of story. Breast size has nothing to do with the underlying milk producing structures. 
  9. “It hurts.” It should not hurt, if it does then you are not doing it right. Most likely do not have the baby positioned correctly. If you find that you are not naturally getting the hang of it there are many people willing to help. You can contact La Leche League or a lactation consultant.
  10. “Well, if you only need to do it for 6 weeks why should I start?” Who told you 6 weeks? Sure that is better than nothing, but breastfeeding provides benefits to the mother and child for as long as you do it. The American Academy of Pediatrics breastfeeding policy statement recommends exclusive breastfeeding starting as soon as possible after birth up until the first 6 months of life, and continued breastfeeding for at least the first year of life and thereafter. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least two years. Around the world it is not unusual to find children breastfed for several years or more.
  11. “I don’t want to do it in public.” Feeding your child is one of the most natural things in the world. It is horrible that we are asked to hide when we breastfeed. You can think of it this way: every time you breastfeed in public, you are helping to change this ridiculous notion. If you are self conscious and discretion is important to you, there are products that can help you conceal your feeding.
  12. “Breastfeeding is so animalistic and primitive, we have made advancements beyond that.” No and no! First we are animals, we lactate and it is good and natural. Thinking otherwise is very ignorant. We have not made advancements beyond breastmilk and we will never be able to. Formula is inferior and we will never be able to replicate human breastmilk. You should not feel guilty if they are unable to breastfeed due to a some unlikely health problem, but you should feel guilty if you are unwilling to do so, and you should be intellectually honest enough to know the difference.
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Breastfeeding is an important part of the way women’s bodies recover from pregnancy.

Posted in Uncategorized by thismakessense on April 21, 2009
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True Love Doesn’t Fade: It Grows Stronger

Posted in Uncategorized by thismakessense on April 20, 2009

romeo_and_juliet_brown

This is my thought for the day I suppose. 

I was thinking about a few young women I know who have given up on love. Truly falling in love, to them, has become mythical.

Each of them has suffered through multiple unsuccessful relationships, each damaging parts of their hearts that can never be restored. They go from one relationship to the next, thinking that they are just unlocking the keys and learning about love and success from the failures. But what they don’t realize is that with each casual encounter, each feeling they act on they are giving something to each man that they can not reclaim. Each time they leave less of themselves to be discovered by the next guy. The next guy who they think, just maybe, could be the love of their lives, the one who sweeps them off their feet, the one they will one day call their husband.  The saddest part is they choose to see it like they are gaining all this knowledge that will help them the next time, when in reality they are losing a positive view of love. They quickly become more cynical with each encounter and  lose the very innocence that allows one to fall in love. 

Now mid-twenties they have watched at least some of their friends find love and marry off. They are incredibly lonely, longing for the search to be over, to be cherished, loved and desired. Wishing they could reignite that fairy tale dream and prince charming would romantically swoop in and rescue them from their loneliness. But part of the problem is that the few prince charmings that existed have already found their princesses. Every man left out in the world for them is carrying around just as much baggage and is just as damaged and jaded as they are. They more men and women continue to use each other for sex, temporary company and getting into relationships that were not right from the start, the more they will not be able to be fulfilled by the next. The next which could be the one they marry and have children with. The result: high divorce rates, unhappy, lonely, unsatisfied people.

These relationships are toxic. Even for the length they may survive, they will not thrive. I don’t believe they will actually be able to find someone who they can connect with and share the uninhibited firery passion that does not fizze or fade but grows stronger for the rest of their lives. To them this does not exist. They have been burned and hurt too many times. Each time a woman lends her heart out to a man and it gets broken, she will grow increasingly inhibited to protect herself from getting hurt again.

For this reason, which most will not understand, I believe that true love can only be your first love. You can’t give all of your heart out multiple times. You can not learn to trust someone with your heart unless you have never given it out before. You can have your first kiss over again, you can regain your virginity, you can’t take back the first time you said “I love you,” these things stay with you and make you who you are. So if you don’t want to be broken and messy, you must carefully chose who you give any piece of yourself to, and what and who you invest yourself in. You must have the highest respect for yourself and that will give you the highest standards for a mate. If you have found no one worthy to be with you, then keep waiting. Love will find you when you are not looking for it, you will not want it but need it. The taste will be sweet and like no other. When you find it you will know. 

Divorce can not exist with true love, because true love is bonding and it does not fade or grow apart over time, it grows stronger.