My Wellness Drawer

Archive for the ‘Home hygiene’ Category

By Amy Anderson

An amazing new washing powder and soap could put an end to the agonising itch of eczema, which affects up to 15 per cent of children and 10 per cent of adults.

The products originate from a soap recipe devised by miners in a small town in County Durham.

Twelve years ago, a group of them began to make the soap – which contains natural palm oil and silicon salt – because they found it helped with their dry, inflamed skin caused by their work in the mines.

In time, other locals found the soap also had a beneficial effect on eczema and other skin conditions, including psoriasis and contact dermatitis. The soap grew in popularity and a washing powder was also developed.

Eventually, the products caught the attention of a local GP, Dr Mark Randle, who in April this year decided to carry out a trial on 200 of his patients with skin problems.

In his trial, Dr Randle asked his patients to use both the soap and the washing powder. The washing powder contains tallowate, an animal fat, as well as the palm oil. After using both products for eight weeks, onethird of eczema sufferers reported that their condition cleared completely. More than half reported a major improvement and 12.5 per cent a slight improvement.

Over the same period, 6.4 per cent of psoriasis sufferers reported that their condition completely cleared. Fifty per cent noticed a major improvement, and 25 per cent had a slight improvement. Seventeen per cent reported no change.

THE results were enough to convince Dr Randle that the products did work. He bought the distribution rights to the soap and powder and devised an eight-week skin cleansing programme that he called Skin Salvation.

He believes the soap works by creating a protective layer over the affected skin that helps the skin to heal.

It is thought this is due mainly to the presence of silicon salt. There is increasing clinical evidence on the use of forms of silicon to heal skin. Indeed, three types of silicon gel sheets are available on NHS prescription for treatment of scar tissue.

The washing powder works by removing dead skin cells in clothing that, if left, can lead to new outbreaks of eczema. The powder and soap contain no phosphates or other chemical fillers, which dermatologists say can be irritants to eczema and psoriasis.

No other perfumes, toiletries or fabric conditioners should be used during the programme.

Since the treatment has gone into production, word has spread and other local doctors have begun to recommend it to their patients.

Dr Stephen Drew is an independent GP in Durham who, after hearing about the soap, carried out a small trial with Skin Salvation on his own patients. He says: ‘I gave the treatment to 20 of my patients with eczema and psoriasis. I was surprised and impressed by the results and now recommend it to other patients. ‘I have no idea why or how it works, but it does. It seems to be as effective as steroid creams but without the side-effects.’

Read more:



We use towels every day – towels for bathing, towels for washing our faces, and towels for drying our hands. But, you may never think about how lack of proper bath towel hygiene could be making your family sick.

Some people like to reuse their bath towels while some will only use a bath towel once before tossing it into the dirty clothes hamper. Some will use the towels several times, either because they feel it isn’t dirty, they hate doing laundry, or they are trying to conserve water and lead a green lifestyle. You should be able to get a feel for how “dirty” your towel is after bathing. If you have been exercising and sweating a lot or work a job which requires you to get dirty, such as a construction worker, you may need to wash your bath towels more than other people. Regardless, you shouldn’t use your bath towel for more than a week due to the dust and skin cells that can collect on it.

If you think that your bath towel is fine for another use before washing, hand it over the shower rod or the towel rack to allow it to air dry. Be sure to check the towel because air drying might cause a mildew smell to develop. If this occurs, throw the towel in the wash with one or two cups of vinegar or one cup of ammonia. This should help remove the mildew smell, giving your towels a fresh smell again.

Hand towels should be washed more frequently than bath towels. In addition to doing more hand washing, people also tend to use the hand towels to wipe up spills of toothpaste, lotions, and soap, which means the hand towel needs to be washed more frequently. Your guest room hand towels will probably not see as much use as those in your personal bathroom, so you can probably go a bit longer without washing those.

Washcloths should be washed more frequently than hand towels because they may contain makeup, lotion, or oil from your face. Only use your washcloths a couple of times before throwing them into the wash. If someone in the household has a cold or the flu, you should take special care with your towels. That person should have his or her own set of towels to prevent spreading germs until he or she is better.

When washing towels, you should use the hottest water setting to make sure germs and bacteria are killed. However, hot water can cause fading, so if you have colored towels, you should separate them into like colors before washing separately. If your towels get stained, be sure to use color safe bleach unless you have white towels, in which case you can use regular bleach. Some of the newer washing machines have particular settings for towels so that they get the attention necessary to make sure they are clean. When drying towels, be sure to dry towels only to prevent from inconsistent drying and use the medium heat setting.

By making sure you practice proper hygiene with your bath towels, you may be able to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria among family members and visitors.

As a stay at home mom I need to be creative in the way I use everyday household items. For more ideas on how to use bathroom towels in new and different ways please visit my website.


By Gretchen Reynolds New York Times

 walk_in_the_park___by_999999999a-d4a1cnm-300x225Scientists have known for some time that the human brain’s ability to stay calm and focused is limited and can be overwhelmed by the constant noise and hectic, jangling demands of city living, sometimes resulting in a condition informally known as brain fatigue.

 With brain fatigue, you are easily distracted, forgetful and mentally flighty — or, in other words, me.

But an innovative new study from Scotland suggests that you can ease brain fatigue simply by strolling through a leafy park.

The idea that visiting green spaces like parks or tree-filled plazas lessens stress and improves concentration is not new. Researchers have long theorized that green spaces are calming, requiring less of our so-called directed mental attention than busy, urban streets do. Instead, natural settings invoke “soft fascination,” a beguiling term for quiet contemplation, during which directed attention is barely called upon and the brain can reset those overstretched resources and reduce mental fatigue.

But this theory, while agreeable, has been difficult to put to the test. Previous studies have found that people who live near trees and parks have lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in their saliva than those who live primarily amid concrete, and that children with attention deficits tend toconcentrate and perform better on cognitive tests after walking through parks or arboretums. More directly, scientists have brought volunteers into a lab, attached electrodes to their heads and shown them photographs of natural or urban scenes, and found that the brain wave readouts show that the volunteers are more calm and meditative when they view the natural scenes.

But it had not been possible to study the brains of people while they were actually outside, moving through the city and the parks. Or it wasn’t, until the recent development of a lightweight, portable version of the electroencephalogram, a technology that studies brain wave patterns.

For the new study, published this month in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh attached these new, portable EEGs to the scalps of 12 healthy young adults. The electrodes, hidden unobtrusively beneath an ordinary looking fabric cap, sent brain wave readings wirelessly to a laptop carried in a backpack by each volunteer.

The researchers, who had been studying the cognitive impacts of green spaces for some time, then sent each volunteer out on a short walk of about a mile and half that wound through three different sections of Edinburgh.

The first half mile or so took walkers through an older, historic shopping district, with fine, old buildings and plenty of pedestrians on the sidewalk, but only light vehicle traffic.

The walkers then moved onto a path that led through a park-like setting for another half mile.

Finally, they ended their walk strolling through a busy, commercial district, with heavy automobile traffic and concrete buildings.

The walkers had been told to move at their own speed, not to rush or dawdle. Most finished the walk in about 25 minutes.

Throughout that time, the portable EEGs on their heads continued to feed information about brain wave patterns to the laptops they carried.

Afterward, the researchers compared the read-outs, looking for wave patterns that they felt were related to measures of frustration, directed attention (which they called “engagement”), mental arousal and meditativeness or calm.

What they found confirmed the idea that green spaces lessen brain fatigue.

When the volunteers made their way through the urbanized, busy areas, particularly the heavily trafficked commercial district at the end of their walk, their brain wave patterns consistently showed that they were more aroused, attentive and frustrated than when they walked through the parkland, where brain-wave readings became more meditative.

While traveling through the park, the walkers were mentally quieter.

Which is not to say that they weren’t paying attention, said Jenny Roe, a professor in the School of the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University, who oversaw the study. “Natural environments still engage” the brain, she said, but the attention demanded “is effortless. It’s called involuntary attention in psychology. It holds our attention while at the same time allowing scope for reflection,” and providing a palliative to the nonstop attentional demands of typical, city streets.

Of course, her study was small, more of a pilot study of the nifty new, portable EEG technology than a definitive examination of the cognitive effects of seeing green.

But even so, she said, the findings were consistent and strong and, from the viewpoint of those of us over-engaged in attention-hogging urban lives, valuable. The study suggests that, right about now, you should consider “taking a break from work,” Dr. Roe said, and “going for a walk in a green space or just sitting, or even viewing green spaces from your office window.” This is not unproductive lollygagging, Dr. Roe helpfully assured us. “It is likely to have a restorative effect and help with attention fatigue and stress recovery.”

Never put open cans in the fridge, as the metal may transfer to the can’s contents – place the contents in a storage container or covered bowl instead. This is the NHS UK recommendation. Read more about how to store food safely.

  • None
  • wartica: I can attest to this; eating garbage food , always lead me to eat more - all because I was lacking real nutrients . Great post and I look forward to s