We’re so excited to start a new section of our website that goes beyond food & herbal medicine and shares our journey towards natural and sustainable living. For so many of us, our inner and outer worlds are bombarded with hundreds of toxins & chemicals on a regular basis. From hormone-dirsupting plastic packaging , to the incomprehensible lists of ingredients in cosmetics, food and household products that can cause imbalances in the body. The damage these chemicals cause us, whether noticeable on the surface or not, is a direct reflection of the harm they are currently causing to the earth around us.
We are such believers that we can vote with our money. By choosing to support natural & organic, we send out an important message to the world, as well as to the industries creating these products. Since switching all of our products to natural alternatives a few years ago, we really believe that making this change is simpler than it might seem and feels so empowering too. Even if you start small, we all have to begin somewhere and it can be as basic as buying a natural shampoo when you next run out or buying some essential oils that you love to make some products at home. We wanted to begin this series with one of our favourite and most effective natural recipes for this natural toothpaste with activated charcoal. It’s easy to make, shockingly black and is an amazing teeth whitener too!
Why should we avoid toxic chemicals in toothpaste?
Some people might wonder why it really matters if your toothpaste contains chemicals if we only use it for a short time and don’t actually swallow it. But even for the 4-5 minutes that we brush our teeth every day, our mouths can absorb toxic ingredients into our bloodstream and the balance of oral bacteria can become disrupted. We spit the chemicals down the sink, which goes back into the water system, and when the toothpaste tube is finished we throw the plastic in the bin and it goes to landfill. Times this by billions of people and we suddenly have a lot of chemicals and packaging causing harm to the planet. It’s a good example that our choices, however small, are not as insignificant as they might seem.
Some common harsh chemicals used in commercial toothpastes are sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), triclosan, parabens, diethanolamine and titanium dioxide. All of them are pretty nasty ingredients for their own reasons, and if you’re interested in learning more we really encourage you to do some research as there is so much information out there. This is a quick and simple article that explains these chemicals in more detail. Palm oil is also a common ingredient used in toothpastes and we really recommend reading this article if you’re unaware of why we need to stop supporting the palm oil industry.
Non-toxic Toothpaste Ingredients
So now onto the recipe! This toothpaste only requires 4 ingredients:
Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) - Bicarbonate of soda helps effectively clean and polish the teeth in a non-abrasive way. It helps to neutralise food acids and bacterial acidity.
Coconut Oil - Coconut oil not only helps form the great texture of the toothpaste, but it’s been shown to significantly improve oral and dental health. It’s anti-bacterial properties help reduce plaque buildup and it can help reduce inflammation. It’s also been known to naturally whiten teeth, which is an added bonus!
Activated Charcoal Powder (optional) - Activated charcoal is a popular ingredient right now for it’s claim to be a natural teeth whitener. Although there aren’t any studies to prove this, many people (including us!) notice a difference using this ingredient. We only use a very small amount of charcoal powder in our toothpaste so that we don’t damage the enamel of our teeth. If you don’t want the toothpaste to be black or you don’t have any of this, you can leave it out of the recipe.
Essential oils of:
Peppermint - The cool flavour of peppermint helps to keep breath fresh for longer. This is a familiar and well loved flavour to include in toothpaste and also has antibacterial properties.
Clove- Clove has been used as an ingredient in oral care for hundreds (maybe thousands) of years. It’s highly anti-inflammatory and helps freshen breath.
Natural Whitening Toothpaste with Activated Charcoal
1/2 cup of coconut oil (in non liquid form)
1/2 cup of bicarbonate of soda
1-2 teaspoons of activated charcoal (2-3 capsules)
2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil
2-3 drops of clove essential oil
1. Add the coconut oil to a bowl and using a fork, whip the coconut oil until it becomes soft and smooth.
2. Add the bicarbonate of soda and activated charcoal powder and thoroughly mix. The charcoal can be a bit messy so use with care.
3. Finally, add the drops of essential oil to the toothpaste and stir through. Transfer the toothpaste to a jar.
** If you live in a hot climate and your coconut oil is already liquid, then thoroughly combine all ingredients and place the toothpaste in the fridge for a few hours until set**
Some Tips for Use
* To apply your toothpaste to the brush you can either use a small spoon or dip the toothbrush in the jar.
* When you spit out the toothpaste make sure to aim straight for the plug otherwise it can cause quite a mess if you’re not careful! Of course, you can rinse the sink with water straight after but we thought you may appreciate a warning.
* If for some reason your toothpaste separates or dries out a few weeks after you make it, you can simply use a fork to whip the ingredients together and add 1-2 more drops of essential oil.
* If you’ve been a life-long Colgate user, it may take a while to get used to a completely different toothpaste experience. It definitely took us a few days to adapt to this and we kept an open mind throughout. Good luck and happy brushing!
-We’d like to close this by stating that neither of us are dentists, so if you do have a history of dental/oral issues please consult a professional if you’re concerned about changing your toothpaste -