Wanna see my toiletries?

I started writing this blog post to tell you about something amazing that really made a difference to me.  Then, as usual, I got carried away and ended up writing about a lot more!

All with good intentions 🙂

Here goes..

Did you know that stress depletes vitamin C in your body?  So every time you get stressed, you use up all your vitamin C… that’s why you are more prone to getting sick when you’re stressed (or more precisely right after a stressful period).  And you know what else?  Vitamin C goes into the making of collagen, which means that with less vitamin C, you’re also more likely to get wrinkles (oh no!), AND you’re more likely to have dental/gum problems!

Stress = low Vitamin C = low collagen = wrinkles and gum problems

Learning the hard way

When I’m stressed, I can usually see the effects directly on my health.  In October 2007 (with the launch of my latest book I Want Healthy Kids), my stress reached an all-time high.  I remember knowing the extent of my stress from my gums.  Every time I would brush my teeth my gums would bleed.  I went to the dentist who did a thorough cleaning and gave me a soothing gel to apply.  It helped for a while but the effects didn’t last.

Then, a few months later, I got pregnant.  During pregnancy, the gums are always more sensitive and I knew that, but this time, they were bleeding so frequently I started to get worried.

My search for an answer

I did not want to take the medical route, especially not during pregnancy.  So I decided to look for a natural answer for my stress-gum problem. I increased my vitamin C intake and waited for another natural solution to help me out.  A few weeks later, my answer came in 2 parts:

1st solution – By coincidence I was having a conversation with my cousin (K) and she started telling me about this new thing she found online while she was looking for a solution for her blocked sinus.

It’s called Oil Pulling, have you heard of it?

Basically, Oil Pulling is a kind of therapy where you take cold-pressed sesame oil (sometimes sunflower oil) and swish it in your mouth between your teeth.  This swishing (or ‘pulling’) has so many positive effects.  It helps clean the sinus, detox the body, and it’s a fantastic remedy for bleeding gums and whitening teeth!  I know it sounds too good to be true, but it really works.

Look it up for yourself online, it’s amazing.  You can even find a video of a guy ‘oil pulling’ on YouTube.  I honestly would not have written about it if I didn’t think it was fantastic.

Wanna know how I do it? First I bought organic, cold-pressed sesame oil (do NOT buy the toasted or the refined one).  You can usually find the good kind in health food stores (see photo below).  Then you take one tablespoon of it in your mouth and you swish it around your mouth and between your teeth for 15 minutes and then spit it out; then brush your teeth as usual.  You do this ideally every day (2 or 3 times a day if you can) on an empty stomach.  Personally, I do it just once or twice a week (mainly because I forget).

The results speak for themselves.  My bleeding gum problem that I had for months completely disappeared after 4 days of oil pulling.  I’m not kidding.  I also noticed significant teeth whitening effects and a it’s also great if you’re congested; it gets all the mucus out.

2nd solution The second part of the answer came to me in the form of an interview that Kevin Gianni had with a lady called Karen Adler.  She is the creator of something called Tooth Soap.  As I listened to the interview, I became more and more intrigued.  Over the past few years, I have been using natural toothpaste (fluoride-free) because fluoride is just horrible for you (that’s a topic for another blog post).  But Karen Adler was talking about a kind of tooth ‘soap’ not ‘paste’.  How is that better?  I wondered.

Apparently,  unlike toothpaste, tooth soap does not contain glycerin, so it does not coat the teeth, allowing teeth to absorb nutrients from your diet.  It’s made with natural oils and it can be used for adults, kids, and even babies!  Oh, and it tastes great.  I love it and use it all the time (I order it online but if you know of a place that supplies it in Bahrain, please let me know).  I have the peppermint flavour 🙂

Of course, I’m not the expert on teeth, so don’t just take my word for it. I’m just the guinea pig who will try it out for you 🙂 Look up more on their website www.ToothSoap.com.

Here is the picture of my Tooth Soap and Sesame Oil for oil pulling

Organic cold-pressed sesame oil standing with my beloved Tooth Soap

Organic cold-pressed sesame oil standing with my beloved Tooth Soap

Might as well tell you about my other toiletries

Based on the success of a previous blog post called Wanna See What I Eat?, I have decided to take this a bit further and tell you about a few other things that ‘I do’.

So here’s a peak into my ‘natural’ toiletries collection.

In this photo: all my basic toiletries posing for a group shot

In this photo: all my basic toiletries posing for a group shot

This photo above captures all my attempts to make the stuff I use as natural as possible.  I switch between several brands of shampoos and conditioners but these are the ones I’m using these days.

Natural deo

I do not use regular deodorant/anti-perspirant.  Regular deos are loaded with artificial substances as well as aluminium, which is disastrous to health.  What you see in the picture (the pink roll-on crystal and the other crystal in the wooden box) are natural deodorant crystals from the earth.  They are free of oils, alcohol, perfume, chemicals, emulsifiers, propellants, or aluminium!  Fantastic.  You just wet the crystal and use it on any part of the body!

When I speak about this crystal deo to the ‘older’ members of my family, they tell me that everyone used to use it in the old days.  In Bahrain they call it ‘shabba’.  I wonder why people today would rather use the commercial toxic stuff instead.  The crystals are wonderful.  You can get them at any health store.

Other natural toiletries

In the picture above you’ll also see a few other ways in which I’ve made my toiletries more natural:

  • Aloe Vera gel for any blemishes or spots or burns, or just about anything (it’s a must in your toiletries bag and your first aid kit)
  • Natural ‘ginger’ body lotion.  I also use the natural perfume by the same brand
  • Tea tree oil face wash
  • Organic liners and tampons
  • Vitamin E face cream
  • Natural shampoo and conditioner (which I also use for the kids.  Some brands have a kids range too)
  • And the little tea tree oil bottle which is great for zapping any stubborn spots (apply with a cotton bud), or a few drops in water to gargle with during a sore throat.

The idea behind this blog post was to answer the many questions I get about ‘what I do’.  I hope it inspires you to go more natural; there are plenty of great choices out there!

You can see my previous post about What I Eat here.  Maybe I’ll write about other things that ‘I do’ in the future.. maybe…

Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this subject.  Leave a comment below…

And don’t forget to sign up on my website for the latest


15 responses to “Wanna see my toiletries?

  1. Thank you very much for sharing these information, especially the “Oil Pulling” topic. If you don’t mind, pls let me know exactly where I can find these products.

  2. Do you find that the deodorant crystals control wetness in addition to odor for you? I have a natural crystal and while it completely eliminates odor (I’m actually amazed at how well it works with no cover-up smells) I find that my armpits (especially the right one!) are soaked after an hour or two of normal activity. Any suggestions? Right now I just find myself wearing layers so that only my undershirt gets wet, but in the heat of summer it’s not the best solution. Thanks as always!!!

  3. Thank you Alia for the quick reply. Do you have any recommendations for detox? We are trying to conceive so I don’t want to try anything too hard on the system, but would be open to any ideas or suggestions you may have. Thank you!!

  4. Thanks Alia for sharing this with us, great tips and advice like always. I was also happy when i saw the picture, my toiletries match yours 80% which means i was shopping smartly for my body. my only sin is the toothpaste, i tried the natural brands (some cost a fortune in bahrain! i tried almost all the brands here) ummmm i am having an affair with the Fluoride ones… I dunno it smells, tastes, and foams better. i guess i am saying this because i don’t know the ugly part. I need a reality check.

  5. التنبيهات: Global Voices Online » Bahrain: Choosing A Natural Path

  6. Hi Alia,

    Thanks for the great tips! Where can I get the crystal from, in Bahrain?

  7. Hi Alia, your blog is very insightful…thanks for the great tips. I’ve been looking for the crystal deo for my daughter who is only seven but perspires alot and is very shy about her odor.
    Where do I find it?
    Please advice…

    Thanks always …

  8. Hi Alia,

    I got the crystal deo and have been using it for a week but I’m starting to feel it’s darkening my skin.. Any idea why?

  9. I get terrible headaches when its windy and you know the weather in Bahrain..its because of my sinus problem..can I use the sesame you spoke about up to releave this problem as I have to take anit-histamine tablets all the time or else my head would break..

  10. Hello Alia,
    I’m really impressed by ur blog & I’m sure u’v put alot of effort into it, but when it comes to th part about toothpaste I totally disagree with u cz so many studies r done ( i’m sure much more those on cold oils ) and it was found that TOPICAL FLUORIDE application majorly in th form of toothpaste can reduce tooth decay to up to 50% , and my dear i’m not aware of any health risks due to exposure to Fluoride found in tooth pastes cz th concentration ranges r one to twelve parts from million.
    u also mentioned that some components in toothpaste prevents th absorption of nutrients from th diet, well my dear th tooth gets all th nutrients thru it’s pulp which is thru th blood stream, and th only thing th tooth can uptake from th food is th ions such as fluoride naturally found in many foods like fish and tea.
    That’s all dear, hav a nice day

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