chemicals

The best non-toxic cleaning products for your home

So far, we have sorted you out with the best toxin-free products to put IN and ON your body, so it's only fitting that we share our favourite products to use AROUND your body. Here are our must-have cleaning brands, products and ingredients we use around our households that are free of all the hidden nasty stuff that can play havoc with your health.

Our #1 tip for successfully changing to a toxin-free home is to do it gradually. Next time you finish one of your current cleaning products, replace it with a healthier, safer alternative. Before you know it, your home and family will be chemical and toxin-free, without feeling a financial sting. 

These brands cover ALL your kitchen, laundry, floor, wall, glass and bathroom needs.

  • ecostore is a proudly owned New Zealand brand that has your health and the environment as their top priorities. They have all your cleaning needs sorted, from fabric softeners to dishwashing tablets and everything in between. 
  • abode natural cleaning products have a huge range to address all your household needs. They even offer products in bulk 5L and 5kg quantities which are really cost effective! We love their ginger and lemongrass range. 
  • Ecover can help you get your dishes clean, bathroom shining and clothes nice and fresh. They even have products to help deal with the big problems of cleaning; limescale and dirty ovens.
  • Speaking of tough problems, Cinderella also does a super effective, natural oven and BBQ cleaner.
  • We love Resparkle products because they are certified organic (big tick of approval). They even have a range for bubs and little ones and offer a Healthy Baby Home Care Pack. 
Non-Toxic cleaning products

Say goodbye to air fresheners aka chemical nightmares!

  • Try diffusing organic essential oils in an aroma diffuser by Lively Living. With an aroma diffuser, no candles are needed for your home to be filled with the scent of your choice! To add to your diffuser, we love the single or delicious blends from Sacred SelfPerfect Potion or Mt Retour
  • Thursday Plantation has lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus in a spray. Great for scenting the air and disinfecting all types of surfaces. 
  • Chemical free room spray's and soy candles from Vanessa Megan are delightful. We love the fresh, uplifting combination of mint and citrus. Yum!
  • Love the feel and ambience of a burning candle? Northern Light make beautiful beeswax candles, as does Australian Certified Organic Happy Flame

Cleaning utensils and products.

  • Microfibre products by ENJO allow you to clean your home just by adding water. The structure of the fibres allows dirt and grime to lift right off. Their Floorcleaner is their number one best seller, for good reason.
  • Full Circle offers the best cleaning utensils including wipes, scrubbing brushes and reusable bottles (for your DIY cleaning products).

Common DIY cleaning product recipe ingredients.

  • Look no further than Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap in scented and unscented varieties. 
  • Essential oils are mentioned a lot in DIY recipes, especially eucalyptus, lemon, tea tree and lavender. When you visit Sacred SelfPerfect Potion or Mt Retour to get your wonderful scents for your diffuser, you can also pick up your cleaning oils. 
  • Bicarbonate of soda or baking soda by Bob's Red Mill is our favourite because it is aluminium free. This is also our preferred bi-carb soda for any baking needs.
  • Soap berries/nuts are nature's cleaning product, not only are they chemical free, but they are 100% biodegradable!
  • Vinegar is also a common DIY ingredient. Organic white vinegar is preferred, but some recipes ask for apple cider vinegar, for which we love Bragg.

Where you can buy these products.

We love sharing tips, suggestions and products that can help you live a healthier, happier and cleaner life. Enjoy these amazing products and let us know your favourites!

The top beauty must-haves to clean up your bathroom cabinet

We are so happy to share with you our favourite skin, hair and beauty products. As discussed in our previous blog, we are exposed to an average of 515 synthetic chemicals everyday from our bathroom and beauty routine(1). Luckily, you can minimise this toxin exposure by choosing different products. The brands we would like to share with you are low or free of hidden toxins, so you can feel a little bit better about your bathroom routine. Make the swap to these safer alternative products when you can, as every little bit helps.

At Narayani Wellness, we are so passionate about healthy holistic skin care that we have made the switch to dermaviduals. Have you heard of it? dermaviduals follows corneotherapy principles by offering individually formulated products for your personal needs, using all natural ingredients and none of the nasty stuff. Their range covers face and body washes, moisturises, anti-aging products, personalised colour match foundation, eye liner and so much more! We now stock this amazing nourishing brand and offer holistic skin naturopathy consultations and delicious facials

Read the label and know what you are buying. 

  • The Chemical Maze by Bill Statham is a brilliant guide to help decipher the numbers and names on your product's ingredient list. This way you know what you are buying and their effect on your health.

Wash time.

Looking for soft, smooth skin?

  • For sunscreen that offers protection without the unnecessary chemicals we like Wotnot, Soléo Organics and of course dermaviduals
  • We love the certified organic body lotions and moisturisers from Vanessa Megan and Mukti. They use luxurious and nourishing ingredients to help hydrate your skin.
  • If you want your skin to have a beautiful natural looking golden glow, especially as we come into the warmer months, we love EcoTan.  
  • For babies, Wotnot have an affordable range and Weleda does a beautiful cream for baby bums.

Make-up must haves.

  • Zuii Organic and Inika are certified organic brands and Ere Perez is toxin free. These three brands have got all of your face and eye needs covered. We are talking foundations, bronzers, concealers, eyeshadows and mascara! Of course we have to mention dermaviduals as they colour match your foundation. 
  • After a brand that specialises in eye make-up? We love Eye of Horus Cosmetics as they offer the most amazing colours.
  • Take care of those luscious lips with Hurraw lip balms. This brand has used organic ingredients to come up with range to suits your personal lip needs. Give your lips a pop of colour with Dusk by Adele and Dr Hauschka

Smell great, ditch the perfume!

Nailed it.

We are so lucky to have some healthier options these days - what brands and products are your favourites? What new, ethical and chemical free alternatives can you tell us about? 

Our top 23 recommendations to avoid the hidden toxins in your diet

We had such a great response to our part one blog series looking at the hidden toxins you may be putting IN your body. We left you with some healthier alternatives to help you reduce your exposure. The post had us all brainstorming, sharing and discussing what we do in our own homes that help keep our toxin consumption to a minimum. We were so excited about our new learnings that we thought "why not share this with everyone?!" So here you are. These are some of our favourite brands, products and places we shop that will help you get through this modern day chemical maze.  

1. Additive free foods. For a lot of us this is particularly hard to find alternatives in the snack department, as it's so easy to grab a packet of something and run out the door. Try these instead:

  • You have probably heard of bliss/energy/protein balls and have been handed several DIY recipes, but what if you don't have the time or creativity? Funch has made it so much easier. All you need to do is add one or two ingredients and you are done.
  • If you want the most delicious nuts and seeds, try 2die4. Based in Byron Bay, these guys have a wide range to choose from single types, mixed, paleo and tamari. Yum! 
  • Botanical Cuisine, a Melbourne company, has nailed the market of raw, vegan, preservative free dips that are perfect for veggie sticks. Some of their dips can also be used as a dressing, spread or added to scrambled eggs! 

2. Clean cooking with perfluorochemical free cookware.

  • Le Creuset has a massive range of cookware from pots, pans and bakeware in a variety of materials.
  • If you are after a slow cooker for soups, stews or bone broths try this one by Breville.

3. Glass containers and jars to store and reheat food.

  • Buying things in jars mean you have jars to re-use for storage. Looking in our pantries, we all laughed about the over-abundance of glass jars we have in our homes!
  • Alternatively, IKEA and Kmart have affordable options.

4. To avoid trans fat you need to throw out the margarine and anything called a 'vegetable spread', think Nuttelex and Flora. Store bought and packaged baked goods are also hidden sources. Alternative products include:

  • Butter from Organic Dairy Farmers as it is certified organic and supports local farmers. Other alternatives for spreads we love are avocado, Spiral's unhulled tahini, or Artisana's deliciously creamy cashew butter.
  • For those times you want to treat yourself, get inspired by one of the many margarine free recipes by The Healthy Chef!   

5. Healthy cooking oils we are a fan of:

  • SOL Ghee is made from 100% certified organic unsalted butter from Australian and New Zealand grass fed cows.
  • Coconut oil options are endless! You want to buy the least modified oil, look for these words on the packaging: certified organic, virgin, extra-virgin or unrefined, unbleached, expeller, centrifuge or cold pressed. We also prefer glass packaging to avoid BPA. Brands that tick all these boxes include Loving Earth and Niugini Organics.

6. Our go-to fish and sea vegetable products are:

  • This Fish is a health and environmentally conscious brand. They are organic and use sustainable source for their products. 
  • Power Super Foods have a great range organic sea vegetables including dulse, wakame and nori.
  • If you like making your own sushi Gold Mine have excellent nori sheets!

7.  The best organic whole food stores in Melbourne. They are stockists for so many of the products we have mentioned.

  • Visit Apples and Sage Organic Wholefoods, this is an amazing, certified organic, family owned business located in Balwyn. Known in the area as a friendly, affordable, one stop shop destination.
  • Terra Madre Organics is a local favourite and organic institution, known for its huge bulk range at bulk prices.
  • Wild Things in Fitzroy values everything we do; community, local, organics and the environment. 

BONUS TIPS

  • Looking for a great water filter? Southern Cross Pottery have filters of all shapes and sizes to remove some of the nasties in your water. Waters Co Bio Mineral offer great compact, portable water filter jugs too. 

If have any products, shops and brands you passionate about we would love you to share it with us!

The hidden toxins in your life and how to avoid them

With the arrival of Holistic Skin Naturopathy at Narayani Wellness, we have been thinking about all the products we commonly put on our skin. As holistic practitioners, we also start thinking about the bigger picture, and consider what we put in and around our bodies that affects not only our skin, but also our overall health. Due to the industrial age we live in, our exposure to toxins has increased exponentially over the past decades. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that the chemicals present in air, water, soil, food, building materials and household products are toxicants that contribute to many chronic diseases we see in clinical practice (1).

Fortunately, you do have some say in the amount of toxins you are exposed to, especially within your home. To help you out and give your spring clean a bit of a kick-start we have broken this HUGE topic into a three part blog series: in, on and around.

 

Part one 'in'

Of the large list of things we could discuss, here are some common toxins you may be unknowingly putting IN your body. 

1. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical product used in plastics and resins of food and drink packaging e.g. drink/water bottles and the lining of canned foods. BPA leaches toxins into our food and is worse when heated (2). It is an endocrine disruptor, which means it has a nasty effect on your hormone levels. For men it is linked to lower sexual function, semen quality (3), prostate disease and prostate cancer (4). In women it has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive difficulties (5). Exposure has also been associated with obesity, heart disease and behavioural problems (3,6)

2. Phalates are synthetic chemicals found in plastics commonly, and are additives for various other applications (7,8). The main concern with phalates is that they are endocrine disruptors that interfere with the hormones that regulate our reproductive and nervous system (9). Exposure during pregnancy is concerning, as it has been associated with shorter pregnancy duration, smaller babies and lower birth weight (10). Other negative effects include poor thyroid function and respiratory problems including asthma (11).

3. Perfluoro chemicals are used to make products stable and durable. They can be found in the coatings of cookware and in products where fats and oils are prevented from soaking through, such as popcorn bags and greaseproof paper (12). Animal studies suggest it is toxic to the immune system and liver, and has a negative impact on blood lipids, thyroid hormones and sex hormone production (13). Human exposure is connected to lower birth weight and birth length and obesity later in life. Like BPA, these chemicals impact our reproductive system and are linked to poor sperm quality in men, and problems with conceiving and irregular menstrual cycles for women (14).

4. Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat produced by vegetable oils being hydrogenated (combined with hydrogen). They are used to improve food texture and stability (15) in products like deep-fried fast foods, bakery products, packaged snack foods and margarines. Trans fats have a terrible effect on our blood lipids and cholesterol, inflammation and blood vessel health. It also increases the risk of many cardiovascular diseases as well as diabetes and insulin resistance (16).

5. Heavy metals are naturally occurring elements, however arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury are a concern as they have a high degree of toxicity. Heavy metals are everywhere, but become problematic when we consume contaminated water and food such as seafood, non-organic and canned foods. Health impacts, depend on many factors and include negative effects on our nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems. They are also linked to kidney damage, diabetes, osteoporosis, mental illnesses like depression, hearing loss and various types of cancer. These metals can also interfere our metabolism of iron, calcium, copper and zinc (17).

6. Non-organic food deserves a whole discussion! However, to demonstrate our point, the following example is how only ONE chemical used on non-organic food can impact your health (brace yourselves).

Glyphosate-based herbicides, such as Roundup®, are the most widely used across the world (18, 19). Consuming non-organic foods is our main source of exposure (20). This herbicide negatively affects our gut flora and gut lining and is linked to irritable bowel disease. Its health effects are wide and varied as it is also linked to cancer, unhealthy liver function, obesity, anaemia, infertility, mental illnesses like depression, ADHD and autism, nervous system conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis (21)

7. Food additives are substances that are added into or onto food and to effect its keeping quality, texture, consistency, taste and colour (22). Processed and packaged foods (23) e.g. canned, jarred, boxed and wrapped, are commonly full of additives. Consumption has been linked to severe allergic reactions, asthma, eczema, dermatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, migraines, behavioural disorders and hyperactivity (24).

Hidden toxins

Safer alternatives

Thankfully, we have some solid take home messages and safer alternatives to get you through our modern day toxic maze.

1. Minimise / remove packaged and processed foods.

  • Simple changes like swapping a muesli/snack bar for a small handful of nuts or store bought salad dressing for extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

2. Invest in cookware that is ceramic, cast iron, stone, glass or stainless steel. If you are after non-stick ensure it is perfluorochemical free.

3. Use glass: glass jars and containers to store and reheat food.

4. Throw out the margarine and avoid store bought and packaged baked goods. Healthier options include butter or coconut oil for cooking and avocado, cashew butter or tahini as a spread.

5. When using fats or oils in cooking, opt for duck fat, ghee and coconut oil as they have higher temperature of resistance before they oxide and go rancid. The higher the saturated and monounsaturated fats are better. Avoid cooking with high polyunsaturated fats.

6. Eat deep-sea small fish to minimise heavy metal consumption. If you eat sea products like kelp and nori, ensure they are organic. 

  • Consume anchovies, cod, crab, flounder, haddock, hake, mackerel, perch, salmon, sardine, trout and whiting.
  • Avoid bluefish, bassa, grouper, marlin, shark, swordfish and tuna.

7. Eat organic foods when possible.

 

Until part two of this series, we will leave you with a final question. What changes will you implement this week?