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Tooth and Paste

by John Mount, Woodford, QLD.

The ancient Greeks and Romans rubbed their teeth with small sticks wrapped in cloth and coated with the burnt and pulverised heads of mice, moles and rabbits, on the assumption that the toothy attributes of these small creatures would literally rub off on to the user. Other popular cleaners of the time were iron rust, pumice stone and the ashes of dogs’ teeth mixed with honey or human urine.

If the above dental ingredients turn you off, consider the effect of some of the later modern dental chemicals:

  • Hexachlorophene, an antibacterial agent so potent that its use or misuse as a disinfectant proved fatal to babies.
  • Cyclamate, an artificial sweetener now linked to cancer.
  • Chloroform, used as a flavour enhancer and now considered by some to be a cancer enhancer.
  • Even the tubes containing the toothpaste once contained a large amount of lead, which probably leached into the toothpaste.

The standard modern toothpaste consists of around 40 percent abrasive chemicals to remove staining, usually calcium phosphate dehydrate; 20 percent glycerine to prevent the paste hardening; 1.5 percent detergent or foaming agent (sodium laural sulphate is often used); one percent sodium carboxymenthylcellulose as a thickener; one percent flavouring such as spearmint or menthol; and the remaining percentage as water. (Many brands nowadays include small percentages of fluorides and other chemicals such as sodium fluorophosphate, sodium fluoride, and strontium acetate.)

As a child I recall older people often brushing their teeth with common table salt. This not only removed stains but the salt acted as an antibacterial agent or oral antiseptic.

Other early teeth cleaners used were:

  • A mixture of charcoal (often scraped off burnt toast) and honey.
  • Salt and honey.
  • A little bicarbonate of soda mixed with molasses, honey, cream or yoghurt.
  • Bicarbonate of soda mixed with salt and a little rainwater.
  • Dentree toothpowder, made by pickling the end of an eggplant that is nearest the stem for about 10 to 12 months in a
    salt marginally on adult teeth.
  • Toothache relief can be obtained by using balm (Melissa officinalie), or oil of cloves.

Conditioners ‘Kill lice’

FORGET the expensive and harsh chemicals and shampoos – researchers have found the best treatment for head lice is white conditioner used on dry hair with a fine-tooth comb.

A two year study by Queensland Health researchers found chemicals were not the best way to rid children of head lice.

The tiny insects, which feed on the scalp, are only transferred by head to head contact and cannot be caught by sharing hats.

Queensland Health Minister Wendy Edmond said researchers had found head lice were resistant to some chemicals, but using an undiluted thick, white conditioner on dry hair smothered and killed the tiny black insects and their eggs, which could then be combed out.

Brushes and combs should be cleaned thoroughly in very hot water, she said.

US scientists say ‘toxic’ sugar is killing millions

Excerpt from the ‘Daily Mail’.

LONDON: Sugar is a poison and its sale should be as tightly regulated as cigarettes and alcohol, a group of scientists says.

They warn that sugary foods and drinks cause obesity, heart disease, cancer and liver problems.

They claim it contributes to 35 million deaths a year and should be controlled through taxation and legislation.

The article The Toxic Truth About Sugar, published in the journal Nature, adds: “A little is not a problem but a lot kills…slowly”.

The US authors warn that obesity is now a bigger problem than malnourishment across the worl, and that sugar also changes the body’s metabolisn, raises blood pressure, throws hormones off balance and harms toe liver. The damage done mirrors the effects of drinking too much alcohol.

The authors—led by Robert Lustig, a childhood obesity expert at California University—say that, like alcohol, sugar is widely available, toxic, easily abused and harmful.

They say teaching children about diet and exercise is unlikely to be effective and instead the answer lies in taxes and restricting availability.

The study recommends using taxation to double the price of fizzy drinks, restricting their sale to those over 17 or 18, and tightening regulations covering school vending machines and snack bars.

Other scientists have described the essay as “puritanical”, saying sugar is only toxic when eaten in unrealistic amounts.

Barbara Gallani, of the UK’s Food and Drink Federation, said that while urgent action was needed to beat heart and other diseases, it was wrong to focus on sugar alone.

“The causes of these diseases are multi-factorial,” she said.

Daily Mail

The Herbal Way of Life

Healthy Anonymous

A Fellowship ‘Encircling the Globe’

Each one, reach one
Each one, support one
Each one, teach one
To reach another one

Starting A Herbal Way Study Group, and experience you must not miss.

The kick you will get is tremendous. To watch people come back to life, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow about you, to have a host of friends—this is an experience you must not miss. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.

Water is a great pain killer

Next time you have a headache, leave the painkillers in the packet and just drink a glass of water.

Regularly sipping water can ease the severity of headaches and migraines, reducing the need for tablets.

Scientists found drinking about seven glasses a day was enough to ease pain and improve the quality of life in patients who regularly suffered headaches.

Researchers from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands noticed in 2005 that a patient told to drink more for a bladder problem saw his migraines get better.

Lead researcher Dr Mark Spigt and his team recruited more than 100 frequent headache sufferers and instructed them on how to ease their discomfort, including reducing stress, improving sleep and avoiding caffeine. But half the patients were also told to drink 1.5 litres of water a day for three months, on top of their normal liquid intake. At the end of the study, patients filled out a questionnaire called the Migraine Specific Quality of Life index to say how they felt. The results, published in journal Family Practice, showed those drinking extra water scored far higher on the questionnaire.

Mudbrick at COSME

Mudbrick dwelling at COSME

At COSME (New Buildings, NSW), we were most fortunate to inherit mudbrick dwellings on the property.

The previous owners were very aware of the importance of living in harmony with nature; providing not only protection from the elements, but also creating calmness and tranquility within that space.

Being of the Buddhist faith they built a small cottage for the resident lama and a meditation hut overlooking the valley and the Towamba River. The main residence is also mudbrick with an excellent open plan design for coolness in the summer, and easy to keep warm during the cold winters here.

Living as we do, enclosed by bushland and National Parks forest, we are happier knowing that earth-walled buildings have shown outstandingly good performance in bushfires.

The tragic Victorian fires a few years ago were a reminder that we all need to be aware of the materials we use when building our homes.

For those of you interested in finding out more about building in earth in bushfire area, go to the following websites:

RAMTEC Rammed Earth Specialists

The Earth Building Association of Australia (EBAA)

The Earth Building Association of Australia (EBAA) is hosting the AGM with weekend workshops, demonstrations and guest speakers giving talks thoughout the weekend. The venue is the mudbrick constructed ‘Bamarang Bush Retreat’, 10 minutes west of Nowra, 12th—14th October 2012. Check further details at

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  • I would like to take the opportunity to share some of my experiences as a patient and student,  of Dunns Herbal Clinic and School of Natural Therapies.

    I first met Neville back in 1992 when I was looking for a college to study Natural Therapies as well as trying to find someone to help me with my ill health.

    I was suffering from, lowered immunity, recurring colds and flu, sinusitis, headaches and …

    Yours in Health...Evangelia (Zoe) Matanis, Naturopath CMA 485, Maroochydore QLD