Herbal Remedy: Cabbage Leaves To Reduce Breastmilk Supply

Hi!

If you haven’t guessed it already, if you’re a guy you might not want to read (or care about reading) this post. Unless you are a new daddy maybe, then you can tell your wife about this.

Anyway..

I know this may not be true for everyone but for a lot of new mamas, when their milk comes in a few days after baby is born it feels like their breasts are about to explode. I always feel like I have enough milk to feed three babies at that point; its just ridiculous!         If the thought of pumping doesn’t appeal to you, here’s another option: cabbage leaves.

 

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It sounds weird, but it works!

Just buy a head of green cabbage -a big one if you’re well endowed 😉 -I have to get the biggest one I can find- and bring it home and gently peel off the outer leaves and stick them in your bra. This is something you can do before bed, or if you aren’t going anywhere, as it looks kind of funny. Leave them in until you feel your breasts are no longer too full, switching the leaves out every day or so. Keep the rest of the cabbage in the fridge so it will be nice and cool. I usually have to do this for two days at first, but it really depends in how much milk you have to begin with. Just listen to your body-when your breasts stop hurting and you feel like they are nice and soft after your baby nurses you are probably at a good level.

When my oldest child Ethan was a newborn, he wouldn’t nurse after the first two days and we ended up bottle feeding him with formula. It turned out that he had weak muscles in his mouth and couldn’t latch on properly, but we didn’t know that until he was much older and had a severe speech delay. He did speech therapy for a couple of years and now at 6 years old you’d never know it- he speaks super clearly. But back to the point- so he stopped nursing and I had all this milk.

Now that I think about it, the smart thing to do would’ve been pump my milk and then bottle feed it to him so he could still get the goodness of breastmilk, but I was young and a first time mom far away from family and had no clue what I was doing, so we formula fed. And I used cabbage leaves to dry up my milk.

 

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Seriously, cabbage leaves are a life-saver.  The coolness of the leaves soothes sore breasts and something in them helps your milk dry up. I have no idea why, but it works.  God obviously meant for them to be used in this way, I mean look at the shape of them! They fit perfectly over your breasts! 😉

I’ve used cabbage leaves after the birth of both my girls too, to reduce my milk supply to a comfortable level at the beginning, then as my first daughter got older and began to nurse less, I used the cabbage leaves to keep myself from getting mastitis and to dry up the extra milk she no longer needed. I’m sure I’ll do the same with Olivia as she starts cutting out feedings and begins to eat solid foods in a few months.

So, tell all your new mama friends! Just make sure you don’t dry up all your milk if you don’t want to. I wouldn’t leave the leaves on for more than a day or two. Just use common sense.
Also, tell your older kids that not everyone uses cabbage in this way. Then they won’t comment loudly in the grocery store, “Hey Mommy! There are the breast cabbages!”  as you quickly shush them and tell them that actually they are just called cabbages. Yup, that happened. 🙂

Have you ever used cabbage leaves in this way before? I’d love to hear from you!

 

Natural Body Care Series:A Discovery Of Face Wash From An Unlikely Source

A couple of nights ago I was taking a shower and reached for my face wash, then remembered that I’d used the last of it the day before and forgot to buy more.
(drat!)

Face cleanser is one of those things that I’ve wanted to make on my own but am kind of scared to/don’t have the money to buy expensive essential oils and beeswax or shea butter or anything like that, so I haven’t made it on my own yet.

I was kind of in a pinch, because I needed to wash my makeup off before bed so I just grabbed our Homemade Tooth Powder and used that.

Now, before you think I”m crazy, let me tell you what’s in it.
It has baking soda, coconut oil, a tiny bit of salt and some peppermint extract.

Guess what gals? It worked great!

The peppermint made my skin all tingly and clean and refreshed, the baking soda and salt exfoliated my skin and the coconut oil moisturized it and took off my makeup, leaving my face fresh and clean and feeling soft.
I am SO happy I discovered this!!

I used it again last night and man, I loved it even more the second time since I knew what to expect.
If you’ve ever used Burt’s Bees Deep Cleansing Cream with Soap Bark and Chamomile, that’s what it reminded me of.  Except without the soap bark or chamomile. But you get that same feeling on your face as you do with the Burt’s Bees cleanser.

Anyway, if you want some frugal face cleanser, try this out! Just follow the recipe I have on my
Homemade Tooth Powder post and add in about a teaspoon of coconut oil and you’re in business.
I love that natural ingredients have so many different uses!!

Natural Body Care Series: Homemade Deodorant

Hi!

 It’s been a while since I did a Natural Body Care post, mostly because we needed to use up the rest of our store-bought deodorant before I delved into the world of making my own AND because I kept forgetting to buy coconut oil.

I know you can get this way cheaper on Amazon, but I just wanted to try it
 with a little bit to begin with, so I didn’t have a huge jug of coconut oil sitting around.

I know. Excuses, excuses.

If you’re interested in any other Natural alternatives to store-bought hygiene products, check out the
Natural Home and Body Care tab at the top of my blog; all the other posts I’ve done on this subject are up there.

So.
Homemade deodorant.
I have to confess that I was kinda scared to try this one, mostly because when I was a kid, my mom and dad made a switch from regular deodorant with aluminum in it (which can cause cancer) to the natural “crystal” deodorant and it did NOT work for them.

At all.

I still remember the B.O. and it wasn’t pleasant. (Sorry mom and dad. Love you! ) 🙂
They switched back to regular eventually and I was left with the distinct impression to NEVER use natural deodorant, unless I wanted to smell like I didn’t use it at all.
Which, for a high school girl would pretty much be the worst thing ever.

Thankfully, I’m not in high school anymore -it’s been 10 years…wow.
I’ve overcome that fear of natural deodorant and tried making my own and- it works!

So would you like to know how to make your own yummy-smelling, natural aluminum-free deodorant??

It’s pretty simple.

I used about 1/2 cup baking soda
4 or 5 Tbsp virgin organic unrefined coconut oil
1 tsp or so of cornstarch

Take these ingredients and mix them around until you get the consistency you want, then put it into the container of your choice. It looked like frosting when I was done mixing it and smelled so good, I may have tasted it.
(It didn’t taste like frosting.Unfortunately.)

I was using an old deodorant container that I’d rinsed, so I wanted the deodorant to be pretty thick so it’d stay in the container and not ooze out.

Take that, lady speed stick! I made my own, better version of you!!

The old deodorant was REALLY hard to wash out!

Keep in mind that coconut oil will liquefy when it gets warm, so keep your deodorant in the fridge if you don’t want it to melt.
To use, just take out of the fridge and apply as usual. The coconut oil will soak into your skin so it doesn’t stain your shirts or anything, and you’ll smell amazing.
Every time I put it on, I want to eat an Almond Joy. Thankfully, I never have any around the house. 😉

This isn’t an antiperspirant (which really you shouldn’t use anyway since sweating is your body’s way of getting rid of toxins and cooling itself- why trap toxins in your body on purpose?)
so you’ll still sweat, but it shouldn’t smell.
The baking soda neutralizes the odor and the coconut oil moisturizes your underarms and provides that amazing aroma of tropical paradise. 🙂

I love it, and its so easy to make!
Don’t think I’ll ever go back to using store-bought deodorant, that’s for sure.

Have you made homemade deodorant before?
Did you use different ingredients? I’d love to get some more recipes and try them!

This post is shared at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

Natural Body Care Series: Simple Homemade Tooth Powder

In the past month or so, our family has been switching over from store-bought body care products to natural, homemade alternatives.
If you’d like to see what we’ve tried so far, click here.
We ran out of our Tom’s of Maine toothpaste last week, so it was time to try making Homemade Tooth Powder!

I’ve been finding out lately a lot about how glycerin actually is bad for your teeth- it blocks the minerals and keeps the vitamins you eat from sinking into your teeth.
And you already may know that fluoride is not good for your teeth or the rest of your body either, despite what health officials have said in the past, and even in the present.
If you want to read more, Here is a great article that talks about industrial chemicals added to commercial toothpaste, and it also has some more natural alternatives to toothpaste that I don’t talk about here.
If you want to know more about remineralizing your teeth, here is a good place to start, with a recipe for remineralizing tooth paste that I may someday try.

Anyway, I wanted to use a few simple ingredients that are proven, natural cleaners for my first batch of tooth powder.

They are:

Baking Soda

Sea Salt

Peppermint extract (for flavor.)

Just take about 1/3 cup baking soda,

put 1/2 tsp salt in,

and 1 tsp peppermint extract and mix well.

Store in a jar or container with a lid indefinitely. I used an old yeast jar I had sitting around after mixing the paste up in this glass bowl.

The peppermint extract is absorbed into the powder, so you get a slightly lumpy powder.

The result?

It works great!

The baking soda really makes our teeth feel nice and clean without any kind of film that you’d normally get from brushing with conventional, even natural brands of tooth paste.
It does taste a little different; kind of salty (go figure, right?) and doesn’t have as much of that “minty” aftertaste. I bet if I used a little more peppermint extract it might though.

The kid’s consensus?
Ethan likes it- he loves the way it smells, all minty and fresh. 
Ellie doesn’t like it as much…but she is getting used to it and all of our teeth are looking whiter and brighter.

If you’re looking to replace your toothpaste with something that is chemical free, this is one way to try it out and see if you like it without having to buy a bunch of extra ingredients.
Have you ever used tooth powder?
What do you put in it?
I’d love to hear from you!

This is shared at Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Link Party.

Natural Body Care Series: Baking Soda Face Scrub

It’s been a few days since our last installment of Natural Body Care Products-
I’ve been slowly replacing our store-bought toiletries with homemade ones and am having fun sharing them with you!

First, I made Homemade Body Wash out of bar soap, castile soap and water. It works great!

Then, I made Avocado Lemon Hair Conditioner last week and am enjoying it thoroughly.

The first time I used it, I used WAY too much and my hair ended up being super oily. Like, ‘hair that just came from a photo shoot at the beach, messy, wet look even though it’s dry’ oily. Ick. Not what I was goin’ for at all. 😉
I figured out that if you just use a small scoop, it works much better. And if I use it before I shampoo, it seems to work better for my hair because my shampoo gets out any extra oil that would weigh down my hair.

On to my next natural body care experiment:

Baking Soda Face Scrub





I’ve been having problems lately with clogged pores on my forehead- I made the mistake of using body lotion on my face while we were on vacation instead of facial lotion.
(Don’t EVER do that! You will break out and get bumpy clogged pores. Trust me. I should’ve just went and gotten some facial lotion.)

Anyway, I was asking a friend what she does for clogged pores, and she told me about just using baking soda as an exfoliator. (Is exfoliator a word? My computer doesn’t think it is. If not, it is now!)

I tried using baking soda and it’s really nice!
My pores are looking a little bit better too, although they’re not totally clear. But they look overall a bit smoother and my face feels so much cleaner!

Here’s what you do:
(it’s so easy I almost feel silly writing a whole post about it!)

~Start with a make-up free face.

~Get some baking soda out of your cabinet.

~Open up your pores by splashing your face with really warm/hot water or by holding your face over a pot full of steaming water.

~Then, pour a bit of baking soda into your hand and scrub it around on your wet face for about 30-45 seconds.
Make sure you really concentrate on your problem areas- for me, that’s my forehead, chin and nose.

~Rinse with slightly warm water, then follow with your regular moisturizer.

That’s it.

Try it!
It feels so nice; the baking soda is a gentle yet effective exfoliant because the little particles just rub away dead skin and get the dirt out of your pores without any of the synthetic additives that you’d get in a store bought exfoliating scrub.
If you wanted, you could add a bit of essential oil to your baking soda for an aromatherapy-like scrub. (I’m imagining lavender, mint or eucalyptus, or whatever your favorite herbal scent is.)
I just used plain baking soda because that’s what I have, but I’m looking forward to playing around with it and seeing if there are any combinations that I like.

Have you ever used baking soda as an face scrub? How did it work for you? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂

If you want to know some more uses for baking soda, check back soon because I’m in the process of writing a post about all the ways I can think of that baking soda can be used for. There are so many!

I’m also linking up to The Prairie Homestead’s Homestead Barn Hop and Like a Mustard Seed’s
Living Green Link-Up.  There are SO many other talented people out there sharing a wealth of knowledge about all things frugal, homesteading and natural; go check them out!

Natural Body Care Series: Avocado Lemon Hair Conditioner

Hi!

Ready for the second installment of my Natural Body Care Series?

Last time I showed you how to make Homemade Body Wash.

This time we’ll be making:

 Avocado Lemon Hair Conditioner

I got the idea for it from this blog, but when I went to the website I didn’t actually have any of the ingredients for a whole recipe of any of the conditioners. (There are like 10 recipes or something, if you need more conditioner ideas.)

So…
I just combined a few of them into my own recipe!

AND
It’s
Wonderful.

Simply take:
Half an avocado  (Or double the recipe and use a whole one)
Juice from half a lemon  (make sure you don’t skip this or your avocado will turn black and yucky.)
2 Tbsp olive oil or herb-infused oil  (I used olive oil infused with lavender)

(My avocado looks  a little weird because it’s been frozen and thawed.)

Put them all in a blender, blend til smooth.

Try not to eat it.

( I might have tasted it. It might have been good.  You could add some garlic and salt and have guacamole! )

When using the conditioner, you can either use it like regular conditioner-work it into your hair while taking a shower and leave it in for a few minutes, then rinse as usual.
OR, if you want more of a deep conditioning, leave it in your hair for 20 minutes with a shower cap over your head before you take a shower, then rinse it out and shampoo your hair as usual. Either way is fine.

Side Note:
Because there is lemon juice in this recipe, if you have dark hair it may lighten it up just a tad. But there isn’t
that much lemon juice, so you might be fine. Just be aware that it might. I don’t know if it does or not, I haven’t noticed any change.

ALSO: Keep this in the fridge in a covered container when you’re not using it to keep it from going bad.
Make sure to label it so no one eats it, thinking it’s guacamole! Although if they do, since it’s all food-based, you don’t have to worry about them getting sick or anything. 😉
It keeps for at least a week.

Update: I found it is better for me if I use the conditioner before I wash my hair with shampoo. 
If I shampoo first, then use the conditioner my hair comes out way too oily, but if I use a little bit of the conditioner first, then shampoo my hair is nice and wavy and not too frizzy afterwards.
Of course, depending on your hair texture it may work better another way for you.
My hair is impossibly thick, wavy and tends to be frizzy.

Other Uses:
You can also use this as a face mask!
I tried it and my face felt so clean and moisturized afterwards.
I also took pictures but you couldn’t really tell I had anything on my face, so you don’t get to see any pictures. 😉
They are just of me making funny faces.
Okay, here’s one- now that you’re curious.

See? You can’t even tell I have this stuff on my face. I was kinda disappointed.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Have you ever made your own conditioner? I’d love to hear about it!

This post is shared at Natural Mother’s Network  Seasonal Celebration and Frugally Sustainable’s
Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.  There are lots of cool natural tips and remedies at both places, so go check them out!

Natural Body Care Series: Homemade Body Wash

 Lately I’ve really been wanting to make the switch from store-bought body care products to natural, homemade ones. I’ve been putting it off for a while because it’s intimidating. I also have made the excuse that it’s expensive to make natural products, but if doing so creates a better state of health for my family, it actually will save me money in the long run!
The commercial products are just so full of chemicals, phalates, and who knows what else that I feel guilty putting them on my and my families bodies when I know there are healthier, natural alternatives that work just as well or even better.

So I’m on a mission to switch our family from store-bought to homemade body care!
My first foray is:

 (Mostly) Homemade Body Wash





What I mean when I say “mostly” is that I used a bar of Ivory Soap (leftover from making Homemade Laundry Detergent) for part of it.
In my next attempt, I’m going to use some Yardley of London Lavender bar soap- I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I just had the Ivory soap already at home, so I tried it with that first.

I found the recipe for this on Pinterest, and modified it slightly.

Here is the original recipe.

Here is what I used:

1 bar Ivory Soap
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup Eucalyptus Castile Soap

Yield: About 10 oz. (it reduces and thickens as you simmer it)

Melt your soap in the microwave (on a microwave safe dish of course) for about 60-90 seconds. It will puff up into amazing shapes that make you want to mush your hands around in it and play with it.
 (or is that just me??)
I didn’t get a picture because I suck and forgot. Next time. It looks really cool.

Pour the water into a large pan or pot, add the soap and Castile soap and stir gently.
Heat over medium-low heat until the bar soap is dissolved, around 30 min. It will be really foamy at first, but gradually will get clearer and kind of gelatinous.
Make sure you stir the soap every few minutes to help everything dissolve nicely and so it doesn’t scald on the bottom. I stirred it with a rubber spatula at first, then with a whisk at the end to get any lingering lumps of bar soap.

Once the body wash is thickened and most of your lumps are dissolved, remove from heat and pour into a glass or plastic container. The body wash will thicken as it cools, add more water if needed to make it more creamy.

I imagine you could add oats or rice pulverized into a powder for exfoliating, or any essential oils if eucalyptus isn’t to your liking. Play around with it and see what you come up with!

I’m already looking forward to making my next batch and trying some lavender body wash. 🙂

Next up in the series: Homemade Avocado Hair Conditioner



This post is shared at Wild Crafting Wednesday at Mind, Body and Sole.