Living a life less toxic…

by Faith Canter


My Natural First Aid Kit

As most of you know, where possible I always try to avoid chemicals and this goes for my first aid kit as well.  Almost everything we use in our day-to-day lives has a natural and healthier alternative – after all most medicines etc originally came from nature (it’s only now most of them are chemically produced in labs and factories instead).  Here’s my top five natural first aid items:

1. Coconut Oil

I struggle to find something that coconut oil isn’t good for!  For starters it’s a great moisturiser, make-up remover, stretch mark cream, lubricant and is thought to help with things like dementia & Alzheimer’s.  But I have it in my first aid kit because it speeds healing up, eliminates spots & acne, is a strong anti-fungal, helps with chapped lips, damaged skin, burns and abrasions, helps thyroid function, is a mild sun cream & after-sun, reduces nappy rash, eczema, colds & flu, is an anti-inflammatory, alleviates bites & stings, helps ear infections/ absorption of some vitamins & minerals, is anti-aging, helps with mental clarity and reduces allergies and intolerances.

The above are just a few of the things coconut oil can help with.  To me it’s an all round wonder oil!  It’s also one of the few oils that keeps most of it’s nutritional content when heated, so is in my opinion is the best oil for cooking for also.

2. Tea Tree Essential Oil

I always have several bottles of tea tree oil hanging around as it’s not only a great first aid item but it’s also a great cleaner as it’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.  So it makes short work of any mold or bacteria in it’s path.

As part of my first aid kit I use it on spots & acne, infections, head lice, yeast infections (with coconut oil for athletes foot, candida etc), decongestant, as a mouth wash, dandruff reducer, for sun burn, infections, ticks and fleas.

Tea tree oil and coconut oil together can pretty much fight most things in my opinion!

Warning – Do not take internally and be careful about putting tea tree undiluted onto skin as it can cause irritation as it’s so strong. 

3. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is also an anti-bacterial so it’s good for some of the same things as the above two first aid items, but it’s also good for all the following as well: Promoting restful sleep & relaxation, calming, reduces anxiety & nervous exhaustion/tension, helps with motion sickness & general nausea, cuts, bites, scratches, insect repellent, pain relief, eczema & dermatitis, sunburn, chapped lips & dry skin, excessive bleeding, cold sores, helps balance hormones, reduces cystitis, helps with coughs & colds and other respiratory issues, head lice, promotes a healthy immune system, good for hair and skin, headaches and promotes good digestion.

On top of all this lavender is an anti-viral so is essential to use (in my opinion) if you’re suffering from a viral infection.

4. Arnica

Most people have heard of arnica for it’s ability to quickly heal bruises, but there’s so much more to this little herb! It can be used on burns (including sunburn), muscle aches and pains, swelling, helps circulation, rheumatic pain sprains and sore joints and swelling.

Warning – Do not use arnica long term, if you have kidney issues, or on open wounds.

5. Witch Hazel 

You may have heard of witch hazel for acne and spots, it has a great reputation for helping skin complaints, but it also helps with the following:  nappy rash, varicose veins, haemorrhoids & bags under the eyes, soothes rashes and skin irritations, helps chickenpox, bruises, burns, dry skin, bites, and refreshes tired eyes.

So these are my top five natural first aid items, I occasionally use others things, like other essential oils, but 90% of the time these are all I need.

What are your favorite natural first aid items and why?

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Natural, Organic & Palm Oil Free Soap Making

So as always lots has happened since my last blog post.

For starters I’ve had another article published by the Ragged University.  This one is about living a less toxic life, so it may interest some of you on here.  This is also the topic of the book I’m currently writing and I am in the process of putting together a workshop on the same topic.  Here’s the link to the article:

And for those of you that missed my last article about palm oil here’s the link to that also:

So me and my friend Lucy have been up to our old tricks and have been making soaps.  Not just any sort of soaps, but natural, organic and palm oil free soaps.  My husband thinks we set up some sort of bomb factory in the kitchen, but I can assure you although it might look like a bomb had gone off in there we were most definitely only making soap!  Here’s a picture to prove it (sort of, ha):


As some of you might know it’s pretty hard to get hold of palm oil free soaps and when you do they cost an absolute fortune, so we’ve been making our own.  It takes 4-6 weeks before you can use them but it’s well worth it, loads of fun, easy once you get going and works out less than a £1 a bar, which is really good for any sort of natural soap let alone palm oil free.

In the below picture you’re looking at cranberry, cinnamon and orange soaps for Christmas, and not cakes (believe it or not). The cranberries turned the mixture into a toffee-looking colour and texture, but they will lighten off a little over the next few weeks.


Bet you can smell them from there?

We also (for some reason) decided to try making liquid soap for the first time.  Now I wouldn’t suggest this unless you have a whole day to spare.  It’s extremely time consuming and I can completely understand why natural liquid soaps are so expensive to buy.  If anyone has a recipe that’s worked for them that didn’t take all day to make then please, please share it!?  Ours was successful (as you’ll see below) but I doubt we’d make it again, well not with the recipe we used anyway!  From now on I’ll be monitoring liquid soap usage in our house, more than two squirts and you’re out, it’s too much like hard work to go wasting it! =0)


Whilst the liquid soap was doing it’s thing we made some natural bath melters and bath bombs.  These are so easy to make, take no time at all, you don’t need many ingredients and look amazing in your own bathroom or as gifts.


Most of you will know I run workshops showing people how to make these sorts of items themselves (and many others) but I’ve been considering making some You Tube videos for people to watch who can’t make it along to my workshops, would this interest any of you?

Here’s a list of the workshops I have running at the moment, but I also am working on putting together some more, so watch this space!

Natural Homemade Products Workshop – Corstorphine – 14.11.13

Natural Eco Teacup Candle Workshop – Corstorphine – 05.12.13

Natural Eco Teacup Candle Workshop – Stockbridge – TBC (Dec 2013)

Natural Dog Care & Treats Workshop – Corstorphine – TBC (early 2014)

Mini Raw Workshop – Corstorphine – TBC (Jan 2014)

Living a Less Toxic Life Workshop – Samye Ling (Scottish Borders) – 26.04.14

If you’re interested in any of these then just let me know and I’ll give you more details, or if there are any workshops you’d like me to do then I’m always open to suggestions.

Lastly I have recently been persuaded over to the darkside, as in I now have a Twitter account, yep shock horror! =0)  You can find me at

Bye for now and enjoy your Sunday. I have the open fire blazing, a hot drink and friends coming over. What more could you wish for on a cold and blustery October day?


I CAN Do It!

So a week ago today I was in Glasgow’s SECC listening to Bruce Lipton speak about our pre-programmed subconscious mind and how it effects our life.  This was part of the Hayhouse ‘I Can Do It’ event.  This was the first time I’ve heard Bruce talk, although I’ve read his books and I’ve found how he explains the connection between science and spirituality fascinating and very helpful to my own healing and recovery.  I can’t wait for the opportunity to hear him speak again now; he was funny, clear, easy to follow and all round brilliant!  He made me feel like he was talking just to me alone and made me realise what I can and will do to retrain my subconscious from the effects of other people’s thoughts and believes I absorbed as a small child.

Listen to him on You Tube, read his books, go to a talk by him, but whatever you do try to absorb some of his teachings as they make so much sense and can be so helpful.

The below picture is me being a Bruce Lipton groupie when I got him to sign a copy of his new book, ‘The Honeymoon Effect after his talk.




So everyone who knows me knows I rave on about David Hamilton (a lot), but his books really did help me towards my recovery from ME/CFS.  They made me realise how my negative thoughts about my health and life were effecting my health and my life!  Until I read his books and listened to his talks online I hadn’t realised that our thoughts actually create chemical and physical reactions within the body.  Once this was explained to me in a scientific way and not just the mantras of ‘think positively’ without really understanding why, I started to look at what I was allowing my brain to do to me and my life and how this could be changed to create a more positive outcome.

So, as always, I was very pleased to see David’s name on the list of speakers at this event.  He always has the audience giggling along (this is possibly helped by the fact, as my dear friend puts it, he’s a silver fox, ha) to his talks and always explains everything so simply and in a easy to follow format.  If you haven’t heard of him before then look him and his talks up on You Tube, especially the on’s about how the mind can heal the body – you’ll be fascinated!

And again I felt the need to be a groupie and the below picture is proof of this! =0)



The last person I wanted to tell you about completely took my breath away.  I just wasn’t expecting so much from this man, especially as the talk seemed a little slow getting started, but what he talked about really rang home.  Not being a religious kind of person I wasn’t sure how much I would get out of his talk, but I was quite fascinated by the idea of watching him talk, being that he was possibly the most famous person I was going to see.  I enjoyed the film Conversations with God but it doesn’t come even close to any of my favourites but I felt instantly drawn to………that’s right Neale Donald Walsch, especially when before his talk even began he surprised most of us in the audience by wandering around us shaking people’s hands and conversing.

As I said above, his talk with breath-taking, I’ve never heard anyone talk about religion so bluntly, yet so lovingly.  He really opens your eyes to everything that’s wrong with religion and where this has come from, yet also describes what’s beautiful and amazing about God and where this being/thing/person is and how it can be heard.  He doesn’t pigeon-hole any of it, but leaves it all open to your own imagination and not that of anyone else’s, especially not of the strict teachings of some of the churches.

He really doesn’t mind making fun of himself, he had people roaring with laughter a long time after he’d finished telling each part of his story and a couple of times had to stop for people to get themselves together.  He was simply brilliant!

Needless to say he got a standing ovation and a well deserved one I should say.  I now plan to read all of his many books especially the one to was talking mostly about on the day, ‘The Only Thing That Matters’.  I had thought all his books were religious in content but many of them are about the planet, economics, politics and other things we are getting wrong and how we can work on ourselves to help the world as a whole. Look him up!

Last groupie shot, me and the brilliant Mr Walsch:




So what did I learn from this Hayhouse weekend?  Well, with such empowering (there were many more than I’ve mentioned here, these were just some of my favourites) and thought-provoking speakers I really did come away believing ‘I Can Do It’; whatever it is we want to do there’s absolutely not reason why we can’t do it –  we just need to believe!

I wanted to to give you all another freebie before I sign off this week, so here it is:

Carpet Deodoriser 

Take an old carpet deodoriser tube and fill almost to the top with bi-carb powder.  Then add in a selection of essential oils of your choice (totalling about 30 or 40 drops), shake very well so the oils are well distributed and there you have it! Sprinkle on your carpets an hour or so before vacuuming.  The bi-carb actually absorbs bad odours and the essentials oils leave some nicer odours behind instead –  there’s no masking unpleasant smell with almost as unpleasant chemically carpet deodoriser smells.  It’s all natural, cheap and easy to make!

Have a great weekend everyone