Pain-solving Migraine Salve Recipe with Ancient Healing Resins

Making your own medicine is empowering and fun.  You get to source your own ingredients, adapt the recipe to get it just how you like it, and finally use the medicine to help yourself. This particular migraine salve is incredibly potent – every single ingredient is a powerful healing agent.

I personally believe that there is a placebo effect that amplifies the medicinal qualities of the ingredients used when we take the time to make medicine ourselves rather than purchasing it elsewhere.  Each time we use our medicine we give the message to our bodymind that Mother Nature has provided us with ample support in the form of botanical plants, and that as long as we have access to the ingredients, our healing is in our own hands because we have the knowledge to make our own medicine – in this case, a luscious migraine salve to rub on our temples and massage into our neck muscles!

But don’t cayenne and cinnamon trigger migraine?

You’ll notice that a few of the ingredients in here, like cayenne, clove, and cinnamon, are high-histamine plants which can actually trigger a migraine if ingested as food.  It’s common for people with migraine to be told ingesting cayenne or cinnamon will help with their migraines.  This is a big mistake, as I outlined here in this blog post. The great thing about this salve is that we can still benefit from the analgesic (pain-numbing) and circulation-enhancing properties of these plants by applying them topically to help with head pain.

Here is an excerpt from that blog post that describes why cinnamon and cayenne are not to be ingested if you have migraine, but why they are valuable topically in a salve like the one we’re about to make here.

  • Cayenne as well as most spicy chilis, especially their seeds, contain a powerful compound called capsaicin. How capsaicin is administered makes a difference in its therapeutic effects (or lack thereof).  Because cayenne (and capsaicin) thins mucous, consumption of cayenne may be more applicable for those with sinus headaches than with migraines caused by digestive upset and histamine overload. This mechanism makes sense when you consider that those who experience relief from capsaicin get it when they take capsaicin in a drink (where it gets exposed to the nasal sinus) but don’t when they take it in capsule form. Capsaicin has been shown to inhibit CGRP (Calcitonin Gene Related Peptide), a potent vasodilator implicated in migraine. However, again, in this study the capsaicin was administered through the nose (Source). Intranasal exposure to capsaisin numbs and desensitizes the cranial nerves. Note that Lundberg and coworkers found that CGRP was inhibited (in guinea pig lung) only when small concentrations of capsaicin were used, but not when high concentrations were (Source). Capsaicin seems to contribute to migraine by way of neurogenic inflammation on a cellular level caused by a sudden influx of calcium into the cell followed by cell death (Source).  It also triggers herpes virus, which may be playing a role in migraine.  For those with histamine intolerance, ingesting cayenne must be avoided, because capsaicin not only contains histamine but also is a potent vasodilator itself (source).  It is a very potent trigger. If you’re going to take it, take it up the nose.  Otherwise – avoid!
  • Cinnamon is without a doubt an incredible healing plant ally. It is warming, pungent, and therefore dispersing of stagnation, which is one reason why cinnamon may be suggested by holistic health care practitioners to improve circulation. Cinnamon especially is also a powerful antiviral and antibiotic as well as a mast cell stabilizer.It is not totally clear why cinnamon triggers migraine, but it has been observed repeatedly that it does in those with histamine overload.  Cinnamon does contain histamine, but most likely, histamine triggers caused by cinnamon are due to the fact that sodium benzoate (NaB) produced by cinnamon is a DAO inhibitor and will therefore impair histamine degradation.  It must also be noted that there are different kinds of cinnamon, and the coumarin in cinnamon may be the culprit, as it is hard for the liver to process (and could therefore trigger migraine in someone who already had compromised liver detoxification).
  • Clove also has different effects when used topically than it does internally.  Clove is a powerful antiviral and also a warming, pungent oil that enhances circulation in a way similar to how cayenne and cinnamon do. It is also one of the most potent antioxidants known.

Bring on the sacred healing resins, frankincense and myrrh!

I’m so infatuated with frankincense and myrrh.  These ancient resins have stuck around for aeons because they work in so many ways to support health. While there are many benefits to frankincense and myrrh taken internally (management of cancer, arthritis, candida, for example) and topically for healing wounds as an antiseptic, for our purposes here we are interested in the therapeutic effects of the aromatics and their beneficial effect on the nervous system.

Although these resins originate in Arabia, eventually the Chinese incorporated them into their medicinal cornucopia.  In Chinese medicine:

“Frankincense and myrrh both quicken the blood and relieve pain. However, frankincense moves qi to quicken the blood and also stretches the sinews, frees the channels, soothes the network vessels, and relieves pain. Myrrh, by contrast, dissipates stasis to quicken the blood and also disperses swelling and settles pain. The former tends to act on qi, while the latter acts on blood. When the two medicinals are used together, the benefits of each are mutually enhanced. Therefore, these two medicinals are almost always used together in clinical practice.”(Source)

First, make the resin-infused oil

Put 3/4 cup of sesame oil in a mason jar along with the frankincense and myrrh resin, the cayenne, and the red sandalwood powder.  Put the lid on tight and and stir the ingredients together to fully saturate them with the oil. Put the mason jar in a slow cooker or in a slow cooker or Instapot, filling it with warm water so that it comes half way up the side of the jar.  Turn the slow cooker on low heat and heat in the water for 24 hours, shaking/agitating the herbs in the oil every few hours to help them dissolve.

Strain the herbs through a coffee filter to remove them, pressing them as you filter them to keep as much of the oil as possible.  You can make this infused oil ahead of time or in larger batches and keep the oil shelf-stable in a cool dry place for up to five years.

For the infused oil:
3/4 cup organic sesame oil
1 Tablespoon organic frankincense resin powder (boswellia carteri)
1 Tablespoon organic myrrh resin powder (commiphora myrrha)
1 teaspoon organic red sandalwood powder
1 teaspoon organic cayenne pepper

For our purposes today we will use all of the oil for our migraine salve – it should turn out to be 1/2 cup of oil after straining, or 8T of oil.

Next, make the migraine salve

For the salve:
2 Tablespoons beeswax
6 tabs cocoa butter (about 1.5 Tablespoons)
30 drops organic essential oil of lavender
35 drops organic essential oil of clove
15 drops organic essential oil of cinnamon
10 drops organic essential oil of frankincense
10 drops organic essential oil of basil

Add the herb infused oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax to a cup in a double-boiler. Simmer the water in the double boiler over low heat until the beeswax and cocoa butter is completely melted. Once the mixture has cooled a little, add the essential oils in.

Stir the migraine salve as it begins to cool further, pouring it into tins and letting it cool completely before putting the caps on. This makes 1/2 cup of migraine salve.

How to use the migraine salve

This salve can be used to help ease headaches and migraine.  Apply to the temples, base of the skull, or even cautiously inside the nose.  Using this in the nasal passage is likely to be most effective but be forewarned it does have a little burning sensation to it.

You can also use the migraine salve on swollen lymph nodes and swollen glands, or rub it on joints that ache.  A small dab is all that’s necessary.  Apply as often as you need to.  Avoid putting this salve directly on open cuts, wounds, or broken skin.

This migraine salve is also available in our shop!

It’s in the spirit of opensource Folk Medicine that I share this “Pain-solving Salve” recipe. But for those of you who are not DIYers, are too overwhelmed dealing with migraines to make this stuff on your own, or who don’t want to invest upfront in all the ingredients to make it, it is available her in our shop.

 

Mild Herb Liver Pate Recipe: The Ultimate Supplement

Why would you want to eat liver if you have migraines? Because it’s high in bioavailable copper needed to break down histamine, and has loads of other important vitamins and minerals besides. A few ounces of this goodness contains ample quantities of vitamin A; all the B vitamins including choline and betaine; copper; zinc; iron; potassium; phosphorous; selenium; and even a little vitamin D.  It also has vitamin E as tocotrienols, squalene, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, vitamin K, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and Coq10 from the Red Palm Oil I added to it.

The real gold nugget here though is the vitamin A.  Vitamin A, along with food-based vitamin C like Acerola powder, can help your liver to produce a protein called ceruloplasm, which makes copper bioavailable for thousands of enzymatic functions including the breakdown of histamine. So I figured, why not just add acerola powder directly in here!  I did.  Now it’s an even more potent medicine.

Listen to this video to learn more about the importance of copper for histamine, herpes, and hormones.

It is important to use only chicken liver if you have any copper toxicity issues, since other types of liver such as beef liver can have much higher amounts of copper. Obviously you want to use the most humanely-raised, organic or pastured chicken livers possible.

I know that most moderns are out of touch with ancestral ways of eating and don’t find pate palatable. That’s why I’ve made this pate as mild as absolutely possible, and packed full of pungent fresh herbs to help dull the mineral taste of liver.  If you’re averse to other pates you’ve had, don’t let that stop you from enjoying this very mild pate.  Even my very picky fiver year old son liked it (I didn’t tell him it had liver in it). So here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

3/4 cup melted butter or ghee
3 T Red Palm Oil (Nutiva Brand)
1 very large or 2 med onions or shallots
4 garlic cloves
4 large mushrooms
1.5 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp pepper
2 T acerola powder (I like Micronutrients brand)
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 T fresh thyme
1 T fresh oregano
1 T fresh savory
1 cup of fresh chicken liver
1/3 cup chopped parsley
2 T heavy whipping cream (optional, but it gives a nice whipped consistency to the pate)
2 tsp whiskey (optional)

Directions

Sautee all ingredients except livers, herbs, cream, and whiskey. Meanwhile, boil some water with salt and add the chopped liver.  Cook for a few minutes until the liver is slightly pink in the middle, but don’t overcook. This recipe yields a little over 2 cups, which should be enough for 2 people to eat 2 T a day.

After the ingredients are sauteed, add them to a blender with the liver, herbs, and whiskey. Add to food processor and blend until smooth. This lasts about a week (it lasts a long time because the saturated fats preserve it and prevent oxidation), and you can freeze extra batches. I eat this at least three times per week, if not daily. When I eat it daily, I eat 2 T a day.  When I eat it a few times a week, I eat around 4 T on those days.

Nutrition Info

Eating 2 T per day of this pate will offer up roughly 3,000 IU of vitamin A and on average about 30% of the daily value for most B vitamins.

The amount of vitamin C here is pretty minimal at around 200 mg in the whole batch, or around 90mg per day in the daily dose of 2 T, which is above the RDA of 60.

This should provide about 16% of your RDA for vitamin E.

The total amount of CoQ10 in the whole 2 cup batch is about 1.8 mg, or 257mcg per day – pretty negligible.

I’ll see what I can do to find values for the other nutrients in here soon.

Enjoy!

Comforting Low-histamine Corn Chowder Recipe

If there’s one great way to get potatoes into your diet (with all their minerals and insoluble fiber), chowder is certainly an excellent one.  Chowder is the ultimate comfort food, but many chowders contain seafood or stock that can be a trigger for migraine.  This recipe is a rich and vegetal version of traditional cream chowders, full of celery and leeks and herbs.  It’s great on cold or rainy days!

In a saucepan, saute:

3 T high heat cooking fat (such as this one)
1 chopped onion
1 chopped leek
3 sticks chopped celery
1 teaspoon thyme or rosemary or both
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

When onions are translucent, add:

2 large organic potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups of water

Simmer until potatoes are soft. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend on medium speed until pureed, adding water if needed, then transfer blended soup back into the pan.

Finally, add:

1 cup of fresh (or 1 bag or 1 can of organic) corn kernels
1 Tablespoon of fresh cheese-free pesto (optional) – recipe here
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream or coconut milk if you’re vegan

Add more water if needed to get to desired consistency, depending on how thick you like it
Add more salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with rosemary, cilantro, basil, parsley or fresh thyme

Enjoy!

Mineralized Water with Magnesium and Sodium Chloride (Video)

In this video I share how I make my own mineralized water.

Here is the recipe:
In a saucepan, combine equal parts magnesium chloride flakes to purified water.  Save this “magnesium oil” in a container with a lid and keep it next to your water filter so you can add it to water as you drink it.

1 teaspoon of magnesium oil is approximately 500mg of magnesium.
I use 1 teaspooon of the magnesium oil with a pinch of salt twice a day in a pint of purified water for a total of 1000mg a day of magnesium chloride.

To learn more about the amazing properties of natural, structured water, check out the links below.

 

Insanely Nutritious Cooking Oil for Gut and Brain Health

I adore butter, red palm oil, and coconut oil.  All of them support gut health and brain health in their own particular ways.  So I decided to blend them all together into a medium-heat cooking oil to get all the benefits of each in one dollop.  This turned out delicious – the buttery flavor still permeates throughout, and the coconut flavor is not as domineering as it is straight.

Did you know that the vitamin A content from the Red Palm Oil provides as much vitamin A than supplementation with cod liver oil?  I got the idea of infusing red palm oil in other cooking oils from this paper here – in India vitamin A deficiency is a big problem and in the 30’s and 40’s they discovered they could solve this problem by infusing red palm oil into mustard cooking oil.

Because migraine is caused in part by lymphatic congestion, and the lymphatic system is a lipid-based system (ie, a fat-based system), consuming healthy fats is essential to support your body’s ability to detoxify. Fats are also a superb form of energy that are easily utilized by the body and do not (contrary to popular belief) lead to weight gain.

Saturated fats are preferable because they don’t go rancid/get oxidzed as easily as unsaturated fats. Saturated fats also have many other beneficial properties.

Butter is an excellent fat to incorporate into the diet liberally. Butter contains 3-4% butyric acid, the highest source for any food. Butyric acid is an excellent source of fuel for your cells. It’s very important to buy only grassfed, pastured, or organic ghee or butter to avoid contaminants which tend to bio-accumulate in the fat of animals raised for butter.

Coconut oil is a superb oil for supporting gut health.  The fatty acids in coconut oil increase butyric acid (butyrate) in the colon (prebiotic foods, once digested, also produce butyrate). Butyrate increases GABA, the calming neurotransmitter in the brain, which also puts the brakes on glutatmate toxicity. Butyrate also increases ketones in the liver, thereby optimizing blood sugar regulation and even ATP energy generation on a neuronal level.  Butyrate also helps to maintain the integrity of the gut lining. Warning: people sensitive to salycilates may not react well to coconut.

Red Palm Oil is an amazing oil which contains tocotrienols, a rare and important form of vitamin E, as well as squalene, a potent antioxidant which aids the body’s ability to eliminate environmental toxins, including radiation. Red palm oil is beneficial for arthritis, gastrointestinal upset, and gout.  It boosts energy and improves circulation. It helps to improve absorption of vitamin D and build important hormones such as progesterone (a glutamate scavenger). This amazing oil in unrefined red form is has also been shown to help with lead detoxification in rats, and to decrease blood platelet aggregation (ie, makes blood cells less sticky).  To top it off, red palm oil is also one of the highest plant-based sources of CoQ10.  Red palm oil is a medium-heat oil.  It is important that it be sourced in a way that doesn’t destroy ecosystems.  I use Nutiva Organic Red Palm Oil, which is grown in Ecuador rather than SE Asia so does not negatively affect Orangutang habitat.

Nutrient-dense Cooking Oil Blend Recipe

The exact ratios in this blend don’t really matter, but I like to divide the oils into roughly even thirds.  First, you’ll need to buy some organic unsalted butter. I use 8 sticks of butter gently warmed, then fill my quart mason jar 1/3 full.

With the butter still warm, add in another 1.5 cups of both red palm oil and coconut oil so that it will melt nicely. Easy does it!

I used to use ghee for my high cooking but I no longer do after discovering that it contains oxidized cholesterol.  While I have nothing against cholesterol, the oxidized form has been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers, and higher levels of oxidized cholesterol occur during migraine attacks than not.  Yes, I realize ghee is a great traditional fat used in Ayurveda for centuries, and it is certainly a superior fat to use over oxidized, highly processed polyunsaturated fatty acid vegetable oils.  But I can’t sanction it at this point.

It’s important to note that most industrial expeller-pressed oils (even organic) are poisonous and contribute to oxidative stress in the vascular tree and brain.  This is because the levels of heat used to process them before you even cook with them damage the fatty acid chains.

Also, a high smoke point has nothing to do with whether or not a vegetable oil will be good for you.  Whether or not a fat or oil smokes is not an indicator of the point at which it oxidizes.

 

Pan-roasted Brussel Sprouts

In my family’s constant experimentation with diet and nutrition, my husband recently went ketogenic on me. He basically lived off of grilled brussel sprouts, chocolate sweetened with xylitol, and huge tubs of almond butter.  He’s 6’5″ and it was a sight to behold him fuelling his lanky frame without carbs.  I wasn’t convinced of the healthfulness of the keto diet (except the part about him growing new mitochondria – very cool), but I really did enjoy those grilled brussel sprouts.  Of course, his brussel sprouts were roasted in bacon fat, which I can now happily enjoy (thanks to the SimplyWell Protocol).  But what I enjoyed even more was drizzling balsamic vinegar on top of these brussel sprouts, because he couldn’t eat the balsamic vinegar while going keto, and it made the dish that much tastier.

Bacon is full of nitrates, even the kind without nitrates added.  So, I can’t offer you a brussel sprout and bacon recipe, or a brussel sprout and balsamic recipe.  But what I can offer you is my attempt to recreate the tangy sweet goodness of the balsamic vinegar on a bed of grilled brussel sprouts.  I am very pleased with these.  This recipe serves 2.

In a cast-iron pan, sautee the following ingredients together under medium-high heat until the garlic and onions are slightly caramelized:
1 T butter or ghee
1 T Red Palm Oil (for the vitamin E, CoQ10, and beta carotene)
1/2 Onion
3 Cloves Garlic

Next, add the following two ingredients and cook for a few minutes so the flavors are evenly distributed:
1 T maple syrup
Squeeze of 1/2 lemon

Finally, turn up the heat and throw in
10 brussel sprouts, halved
salt and pepper to taste

Grill these on the pan for a few minutes until the brussel sprouts are browned on the edges.
Enjoy!

Almond Pecan Cookies (Gluten Free)

These delicious pecan cookies were suggested to me by a participant in our Facebook community.  They’re absolutely delicious!  The coconut oil is good for gut health (if you don’t have salycilate sensitivity), the sugar level is low, and the almond meal and pecans lend magnesium and methionine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons solid coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups almond flour or almond meal (I have used both with success)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.
  2. Add the coconut oil and the pure maple syrup to a large bowl. If the oil is very hard, microwave for a few seconds until soft but not melted. Stir briskly with a whisk until the syrup and oil are mixed together – this may take a minute or two. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk together until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir together with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in chopped pecans.
  4. Scoop mounded tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheet, spacing about two inches apart. Press down gently with your fingers to flatten slightly.
  5. Bake until set and the edges are golden brown, 8-9 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Cookies keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.

    Adapted from this recipe.

Lemon Cream Sauce

I don’t eat dairy often.  It’s generally acidifying as well as mucous-forming.  But because cheese is a no-no on a low-histamine diet, and tasty sauces can be hard to come by, I wanted to include this lemon cream sauce recipe in my collection.  Eating a little cream once in awhile is not a big deal and won’t trigger histamine (unless you’re allergic to dairy).IngredientsCoarse salt and ground pepper
1 teaspoon ghee
2 shallots, minced
1 cup heavy organic cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

Directions: In a small pot, heat ghee over medium. Add shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until tender, 4 minutes. Add cream and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, 8 minutes. Add lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour cream sauce over orzo and toss.  Top with herbs of your choice.

Why I love this Recipe for Migraine and Histamine Intolerance

The butyric acid in the milkfat is good for your gut health. Salt is an important electrolyte for those with migraine and HIT, as it raises blood pressure and helps bring oxygen to the head.  Black pepper is vasoconstrictive and a great digestive aid.  It is one of the few spices that lends a little kick that doesn’t actually contain histamine, like chilli does. I usually use this cream sauce over an organic quinoa orzo pasta (for the trimethylglyceine which aids in liver detox and methylation) with sauteed mushrooms and garlic (sulfur!) and topped with fresh antihistamine herbs like basil and parsley.  This sauce is also excellent with grilled chicken.

Best Nontoxic Body and Beauty Recipes that Won’t Trigger Migraine (DIY)

As anyone who gets migraines knows, common ingredients and fragrances in mainstream bath, body, and beauty products can be full of synthetic chemical triggers.  Even many of the products on the shelves of health food stores can be a trigger, depending on how sensitive you are.  People who get a few migraines a week or who are highly sensitive to chemical triggers may benefit more from the information below than someone who only gets migraines once in awhile and can get away with conventional products and makeup.  Still, who would want to compromise their health in favor of beauty?

So today I want to share with you some of the best DIY recipes I’ve come across in my search over the years for truly effective, homemade, nontoxic body and beauty care.  Most of these recipes I’ve adapted and changed from other recipes and made them truly my own.  That’s the fun of DIY products – you can use the top quality ingredients and get the ratios and proportions just right for you.

It’s my view that health and beauty are truly synonymous.  We are our most beautiful when we are the most healthy, so it behooves us to choose the most wholesome ingredients and/or products possible, especially when we keep in mind that the skin absorbs what we put onto it.

If you have a shampoo, deodorant, or makeup brand that you like and you want to know its toxicity (or rather, safety), look it up on the Skin Deep Database. Note that some products that have a 0 rating are not nontoxic, they may just not have any data.  It is well known that all red lake dyes used in lipsticks, including carmine (which has a natural source), is very toxic and inflammatory especially for those with migraine.

Homemade Nontoxic Borax Shampoo Recipe

This recipe works really well and is super easy to make. The portions below are for a single wash for someone with shoulder length hair, but I tend to make a big batch of the baking soda and borax, which I leave in my bathroom with a spoon, and then I add it to the right portion of water.  It’s important not to approximate too much on the ratio of water to powder, as the strength of the solution determines how well it will clean your heair.

The only challenge with this recipe is remembering that this water mixture needs to go on your hair when it is DRY, not wet.

1 t. baking soda
1 t. mule team borax
1/2 t. honey (optional) dissolved in
3 cups warm water

Raw African Black Soap Shea Butter Shampoo Recipe

This recipe is even better than the borax shampoo but it takes some ingredients that are not as easily found in most stores, such as cetyl alchohol.  Cetyl alchohol will also make this shampoo froth up nicely so it feels more like a traditional shampoo in that sense.  Cetyl alchohol is made from saponified coconut oil.

1 oz of herbs, steeped and strained in the above water (optional. I use sage and comfrey for dark hair)
(Steep herbs in boiling water for 20 minutes and strain before adding back into the pan for the total of 2 cups water)
16 oz (2 cups) of water
Add 1/3 cup of grated authentic African Black Soap – the raw kind made with Shea Butter.
1 teaspoon of oil
3 granules of cetyl alcohol (I got mine at Makingcosmetics.com)
1/8 teaspoon of guar gum (Optional depending on whether you want it thickened. I use Bob’s Red Mill guar gum)
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerine

I got my African Black Soap on Amazon from Suds of Beauty. I grate mine on the fine side of the grater.  An African black soap bar with other additives will not work in the same way the raw shea soap does. You will want to add the essential oils at the end.  For oils, I use sesame, rice bran, jojoba, coconut, castor, or olive oil, OR essential oils of choice. 100 drops of essential oil is equivalent to one teaspoon. I use 50 drops of rosemary, 30 drops of lavender, 20 drops of basil.  You could also use oils that are good for staving off migraine: peppermint, black pepper, grapefruit, frankincense

Simple Homemade Conditioners

1/4 teaspoon of citric acid in 3 cups water, OR 1 teaspoon vinegar to 3 cups water, or adjust to your liking.  Different hair types require different levels of acidity.  I try to err on the side of less acidic, as it can leave hair stringy and almost greasy looking if too much acid is used. Rinse afterwards. You will not smell like vinegar after your hair dries, but for those who don’t like the smell of vinegar during showering, use the citric acid version.

Leave-in Hair Conditioner

A few drops of castor oil or essential oil of rosemary, basil, lemon, and/or lavender are great hair conditioners, as are very light oils such as sesame oil.  The Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum & Toner (recipe below) also works great as a leave-e in hair conditioner.

Flax Gel

Boil 1/4 cup flax seeds in 3 cups of water
strain and keep refrigerated

Deodorant

One thing I’ve discovered is that body odour is greatly reduced once magnesium levels have reached a tissue concentration after 3-6 months of continual high-dose (around 800 mg/day) magnesium supplementation. In addition to that, the deodorant recipe below is effective.  This deodorant can be alternated out every few days with a simple magnesium oil.

3 T Diatomaceous Earth
2 T coconut Oil
1 T Baking Soda
10 drops cardamom essential oil

Mix the above ingredients and put into a deodorant tube.

Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum Toner

1/4 c. water, aloe vera juice, rosewater, alcohol-free witch hazel, or hydrosol
10 caps of NOW hyaluronic acid supplements with MSM
1/4 + 1/8 t honey
3 drops vegetable glycerine
1/2 t aloe vera gel
20 drops of essential oils (I use lavender, frankincense, and cypress, or a few drops of clove if acne prone)
1/4 t sesame oil
4 drops of Sangre de Grado (aka, Dragon’s Blood) (optional)

Whisk these ingredients together and put in a pump dispenser.  I usually use mine all up before this needs to be refrigerated, but if you make larger batches at once you will want to refrigerate the extra.  I put this on top of my facial oil or moisturizer and it lends a beautiful glow.

Deep Moisturizing Face Cream for Dry Skin

This is by far my most complex product I’ve ever made, but it’s amazing!  Not every single ingredient is required to make it, so if you make adaptations just make sure that the ratios of oils to waters are the same as that presented here.

Heat in a double boiler:
1/4 cup plus 2.5 T shea butter
1 t beeswax
4 tabs cocoa butter
1/8 t lanolin
Then pour into a blender.

After the waxes and shea have cooled, add in to the blender, and blend:
3T evening primrose oil (or your favorite oil)
20 drops frankincense, 10 myrrh, 20 cypress, 20 lavender (or 70 drops of your favorite essential oils)
6 drops vit e oil (not necessary if you are using an oil already high in vitamin E like rice bran or sesame oil)
2 capsules sunflower lecithin (about 1/8-1/4 t)

In a separate bowl, mix:
1/4 cup witch hazel
1/4 cup water heated + 1/2 t honey and 1/2 t acacia fiber, dissolved in the warm water
4 inches scraped aloe vera (or 3 T aloe gel, optional)
5 drops glycerine (optional)

The key to making this successfully is to wait until the oil portion has cooled before mixing. Very slowly, add the water mixture to the oil mixture only after the oils have sufficiently cooled until they are slightly solid but not hard. This is key. Very gradually add these waters until the blender “chokes.” Scoop out and put into jars.

Antioxidant Face Oil

This is my go-to face oil.  It’s simple to make and can be made with any number of oils depending on what works best for your skin.  My current favorite right now is rice bran oil, which is very firming due to the tocotrienols (a special type of vitamin E) present in the oil. I use a 10ml roller for my face oil and roll the oil onto my hand before applying to my face.

Red palm oil is also very nice and super nourishing.  I put it on at night because this oil is high in beta-carotene (ie, it gives your face a light yellow tinge, which is gone in the morning).  The beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A which is excellent for skin health and tone. Evening primrose or rosehipseed oil are two other of my favorite base oils.

After you’ve decided on your base oil, add 15 drops of your favorite facial essential oil. I use 7 drops frankincense, 3 drops rose, 5 drops lavender. Helicrhyrsum and copaiba are also lovely skin oils.  Add a drop of clove in if you are prone to acne, but be sure not to put more in as this is a very fiery oil.

Traditional Kohl Recipe

For thousands of years, women have made kohl by collecting the soot from an almond or a piece of burnt cotton, then mixing it with ghee or sesame oil.  Currently this is what I use for my own eye makeup, and I love it.  I purchased an eyeliner wand from a conventional cosmetic company, emptied out the toxic contents, and apply my kohl with the wand.

Kohl is very easy and fun to make.  Just watch this video to learn how to do it.

Nontoxic Makeup Brands

Since all red lake dyes and carmine contain toxic lead or aluminum salts, I use 100% Pure’s line of cosmetics for cheeks and lips. This is a great brand for nontoxic cosmetics if you don’t want to make your own. Their mascara is great as well.

Rejuva Minerals has a very nice nontoxic concealer.  Sorry, there are only limited shades available, so this site does not provide good options if your skin tone is darker. 100% Pure has a broader range of shades though I have not tried their concealer. One nice side-effect of the SimplyWell Protocol is that is clears your skin, so eventually you will not need any concealer at all.

Do you have a favorite nontoxic beauty recipe or brand?

Comments are open.  Feel free to share below.  Sorry, but I don’t have time to answer specific questions about recipe adaptations.  Please experiment and share with the community what you learn.

Lower-histamine Carob Almond Fudge Recipe (Chocolate Substitute)

Okay, so carob doesn’t taste like chocolate.  But it does taste amazing, and its color, flavor, and texture will satisfy you in a similar way – and without all the problems that chocolate causes as a major migraine trigger.  If you’re not sensitive to lectins, oxalates, or maple syrup, this treat may be for you.

Carob is the powdered flour of the locust bean, which is a great source of riboflavin and B6, especially.  It’s also high in calcium, copper, potassium and manganese – all supportive to those with migraine. Unlike chocolate, it contains zero caffeine.  It appears that one potential reason why chocolate is such a migraine trigger is because it contains phenylethylamine. The phenylethylamine will compete with histamine for its degradation, leading to an overall higher histamine load.  Carob is also free of theobromine, theophylline, tyramine, anandamide, and oxalic acid.

Carob is made through a fermentation process, however, which is why I am calling this a “lower histamine” recipe.  While this dessert will certainly add less to your histamine load than eating chocolate will (by a long shot), those who are stuck in chronic migraine and brain fog should probably hold off on making this recipe until they have stabilized more on the SimplyWell Protocol.  Those who only have migraine once in awhile are very unlikely to be triggered by this fudge.

What’s great about these little bites aside from the fact they are delicious, is that they are packed with good fats (butter and coconut oil) that will feed your healthy gut flora.  Carob is naturally sweet, so you’ll notice the small amount of added maple syrup in this recipe.  It’s texture is sublime, and it’s easy to make! So, on to the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup butter (or more coconut oil if you’re vegan)
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural almond butter (roasted or raw are both fine)
  • 3/4 cup carob powder, sifted
  • 5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon2 pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Directions:

  1. Line a very small loaf pan (4″ x 8″) with plastic wrap for easy removal.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth.
  3. With a spatula, scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth out.
  4. Freeze for about 20 minutes, or until solid.
  5. Slice into squares or pour into a mould and enjoy! Store leftovers in a container in the freezer as it melts quickly at room temperature.

This recipe has been adapted from a recipe found here at Oh She Glows