Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cinnamon Nutmeg Toothpaste

Cinnamon Nutmeg Toothpaste – Calcium Carbonate Base

2 tablespoons calcium carbonate (make your own by following this belowl)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
1/2 teaspoon xylitol
2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
1-2 teaspoons water (hydration rates may vary greatly according to region and personal preference – start with 1 and go from there)
3-4 drops cinnamon essential oil
2-3 drops nutmeg essential oil

Whisk together the dry ingredients: the calcium powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and xylitol. Using a fork, blend in the coconut oil until uniform. Add the water and the essential oils and use a whisk to stir it very briskly. Make it as smooth as possible and add more water or calcium a bit at a time, if necessary. Spoon into a small pastry bag fitted with a screw-on cap, a small sandwich baggie with the corner cut off, or other squeezable container. You may also thin it with an extra teaspoon of water and place it in a pump bottle.

Cinnamon & Nutmeg Toothpaste – Clay Base

(This is my homemade version of Earthpaste – definitely check it out if you’ve never tried it!)

4 tablespoons bentonite clay
1 teaspoon xylitol, more to taste
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons hot water
3-4 drops cinnamon essential oil
2-3 drops nutmeg essential oil

Whisk together the clay, xylitol, and sea salt. Add the water and essential oils and whisk vigorously until a thick, uniform paste forms. Spoon into a small pastry bag fitted with a screw-on cap, a small sandwich baggie with the corner cut off, or other squeezable container. I’ve seen others use small mason jars, but I personally prefer something squeezeable. Be aware that the clay will thicken over the course of a few days.

The Ingredients

Calcium is an essential mineral for proper and healthy body function, as I mentioned above. By ingesting it, we ensure adequate amounts are available for proper body function. By using it in toothpaste, it is a mild-but-effective abrasive and it creates a lovely creamy base.

Bentonite clay is an edible clay that is not only chock full of essential minerals our bodies crave, but it helps rid our bodies of toxins. In toothpaste, it also functions as a gentle abrasive. (Read “Clay As a Natural Home Remedy (Yes, Really)”)

Unrefined sea salt & baking soda are both gentle abrasives. (If you’re worried they might be too abrasive, check out their RDA values here.) More than that, however, they are crucial for neutralizing the acids around your teeth. As bacteria grow through the day by feeding on the sugars of food debris in your mouth, their wastes create an acidic environment, which eats away at tooth enamel, creates halitosis, and can enflame gums. The salt and baking soda do the very important job of neutralizing those acids.

Coconut oil gives a nice “mouthfeel” to the toothpaste and provides a good consistency to the mixture, but more importantly, unrefined coconut oil has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties that help keep the bacteria at bay.

Xylitol is included as a sweetener to make the toothpaste more palatable. Typically sweetener in a toothpaste would be a big no-no, as we’re specifically trying to reduce the sugars on the teeth, but xylitol is a bit unique and I’ve seen a number of holistic dentists recommend it specifically to prevent tooth decay.

Xylitol is a slightly contentious ingredient, however, for how it is metabolized by the body when ingested, but due to my own research and decision-making process, I’m comfortable using it in this recipe. If you prefer to avoid it, you may use stevia, but be sure to check the stevia’s ingredient list for glycerin, as glycerin is highly undesirable in toothpaste. Glycerin coats the teeth to prevent stains, but it simultaneously prevents teeth from repairing themselves. It takes up to 30 times longer to brush off, as well.

Xanthan gum makes the paste more “gummy” and more like conventional toothpaste. It is optional and is included just for texture.

Essential oils are included not just for flavor, but for their antibacterial and healing properties as well.

Our caveat and disclaimer: Since essential oils in this application are used in a medical capacity, be sure to source pure oils – avoid fragrance oils that are more appropriate for cosmetics, such as making soap. Since we’re not ingesting the toothpaste in large quantities and only use a small amount of this recipe at a time, the amounts we call for here are designed to be safe even for young children, but keep in mind to use essential oils sparingly and carefully. Pure essential oils are extremely potent and can have serious side effects if ingested in large amounts (“large amount” can even be a teaspoon or so, considering their potency). For example, nutmeg oil is on par with certain heavy drugs and can cause delirium and hallucinations when taken in large doses. If you have any questions about your personal health, the efficacy of using pure essential oils, or are pregnant, contact a certified aromatherapist or other knowledgeable professional to help you decide which to use.

All the Flavors of the Rainbow

I’ve had a lot of fun playing with flavors as I’ve tested and tweaked and used these toothpastes over the last few months. Here are several I found especially invigorating… or at least interesting!

Update October 29, 2012: I recently discovered the company from which I previously purchased cherry essential oil no longer exists and I cannot find another company that makes it! So…. I’ll reformulate and post my updates when I’ve come up with something new for those popular kid-favorite flavors. Stay tuned!

Remember to use pure essential oils with any of these formulations, and please adjust amounts to your family’s preference!

Vanilla Peppermint – 10-12 drops peppermint essential oil + 4-5 drops vanilla essential oil (pure vanilla extract may be substituted occasionally for the water in the recipe, but considering vanilla is extracted in alcohol, a form of sugar, be sure to rinse well afterward and don’t use with every batch)

Cherry & Chocolate (a kid favorite!) – 12-14 drops cherry essential oil + 6-8 drops cocoa essential oil

Alternatively, cherry + almond can be really lovely – 12-14 drops cherry essential oil + 5-6 drops sweet almond essential oil (avoid both bitter almond oil and sweet almond carrier oil in this application)

Green Tea & Wintergreen - substitute strongly brewed green tea for the water in your recipe + 10-12 drops wintergreen essential oil

For a stronger green tea flavor and additional plaque protection, you can add 1 teaspoon dry matcha powder to either recipe, but due to the high cost of pure matcha, it’s definitely an optional ingredient!

Bergamot & Cardamom – 8-10 drops each of bergamot essential oil and cardamom essential oil

Sweet Orange & Cocoa – 8-10 drops each of sweet orange essential oil and cocoa essential oil

Licorice & Clove – 10-12 drops of anise essential oil + 4-5 drops of clove essential oil

Juniper & Tea Tree Oil – 10-12 drops of juniper essential oil + 8-10 drops of tea tree oil

Clary Sage & Chamomile – 6-8 drops of clary sage essential oil + 8-10 drops chamomile essential oil

How to Make Eggshell Calcium (and Why You’d Want to)

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our body.

While most of our calcium resides in our bones and teeth, it’s also important for muscle contraction, nerve health, enzyme activity and cell formation.

In fact, our bodies need ample, daily amounts of calcium… and if we don’t get what we need, our bodies have no problem pulling excess stores from our teeth and bones.

So, let’s just say we want to be sure we’re consuming PLENTY of calcium, especially if we are a pregnant or nursing mama!

In my experience, I do best consuming approximately 2,000mg of calcium a day. I feel the most calm and balanced and don’t suffer from muscle soreness or body stiffness. High-quality organic, and preferably raw, dairy products are phenomenal sources of calcium as are bone broths, fish bones, and even almonds.But since I would need to drink 2 quarts of milk to hit this quota, I sometime rely on a calcium supplement, especially when I’m nursing or pregnant.

Which one to chose? Calcium citrate? Hydroxide? Gluconate? Aspartate? Or Coral Calcium? And, I could go on!

But as natural mamas, we know that the best source is FOOD since it’s the mostly easily accessible for the body.

Did you know that eggshells are a great, inexpensive, natural source of calcium?


High-quality eggshells contain 27 essential microelements but they’re mostly composed of calcium carbonate, a form and structure that’s very similar to our bones and teeth.

In animal and human tests, eggshell calcium shows increased bone density, less arthritic pain, and even stimulates cartilage growth.

Sounds great, huh? And it’s really easy to make. Special thanks to Josh Rubin from East West Healing for the recipe .

Ingredients and equipment:

1 carton of organic pastured chicken eggs

If you can get fresh from the farm, even better and try to get eggs from chickens that don’t eat soy. Pay the extra price since this will serve as a supplement and is much cheaper than buying calcium tablets. Confused how to find or know if eggs are good quality? Here’s a tip… the thicker the shell, the more nutrients. I don’t have a good source close to where I live so I order mine from Tropical Traditions and their farms in Wisconsin. I love theirs because they are SOY-FREE, something very hard to find in store bought, even organic eggs.
1 stock pot
1 coffee grinder
1 small Mason jar with secure and clean lid

Use up your eggs as you normally would, keeping the shell in the carton to make your supplement

When you have your dozen shells, rinse them well in water. Remove any whites that might be stuck but don’t remove membrane as these have extra nutrients.

Fill a stock pot with approximately 6 cups of filtered water and bring to a boil.
Carefully put your eggshells into water. (This will kill any harmful pathogens)
Let cook for 10 minutes.
Drain shells.
Spread the shells on glass or stainless steel baking sheet and let dry overnight. In the morning, put in a 200 degree oven for about 10 minutes to completely dry out.

Once completed, put a few shells into a coffee grinder and run until they are pulverized into a granular form. Continue until all of your shells are powder.

Store in a tightly sealed Mason jar in the cupboard away from heat or moisture.

How to Consume
1 tsp. contains approximately 800-1,000 mg. of calcium. Consume by mixing in a small amount of water with a meal. Consume 3/4 to 1 tsp daily, divided in 3 servings with meals. Don’t consumer more than 1 tsp a day as it can irritate sensitive digestive tracks.


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