Seriously, why would you put mud in a toothpaste?

There must be an answer to gum recession

When I turned a certain age, it became time for me to stop going to the friendly familiar pediatric dentist. No more video games and toys in the waiting room – it was time to finally see the “Grown Up Dentist.”

I thought it would be mostly the same – get a checkup and my picture put on the Happy Teeth Chart for yet another year. Little did I know.

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Art by Alexander Blue

Once I was in the chair and my defenses were lowered, the first thing the dental hygienist did was grab a gum-measuring stick and go to town. She started reading off numbers to the dentist, “3…1…4…3…”

It turns out she was checking my gums for recession – and I wasn’t doing so hot. As the 3’s and 4’s started to rack up, I had to wonder if there was some corrupt judging on the Happy Teeth Chart Committee.

Gum recession is a major problem in American adults – almost 75% suffer from some kind of gum disease, but only 60% have any knowledge of the problem! Gum recession can lead to chronic bad breath, tooth crowding, and even (gasp) tooth loss!

The worst thing about gum recession is that it has a million contradictory causes. Brushing too little, brushing too hard, not flossing, flossing too aggressively. For me, it was bruxism – I grind my teeth at night, which sends gums running.

As the bad news broke, I thought: there has to be a way to keep my gums where they belong!

ClayBrite toothpaste – a natural way to fight gum disease

The natural body care company ZionHealth has a pioneering product that can fight gum disease gently and naturally, and you don’t have to do anything tricky or expensive. It’s called ClayBrite Toothpaste.toothpaste

ClayBrite Toothpaste works just like your ordinary toothpaste, but it has a few special ingredients up its sleeve for healthy gums, fresh breath and strong teeth.

The “Clay” in ClayBrite is Calcium Montmorillonite, a unique kind of mineral that can be found in soft crystal formations all over the world. The clay has been found to have all sorts of health benefits, and it’s especially effective for oral hygiene.

Also known as Kanwa, this edible clay naturally detoxifies by attracting and removing environmental contaminants on contact. It pulls harmful bacteria right out of the gums! The finely-textured crystals in the clay can really get in there and scrub between your teeth too, for a deep clean feeling and healthy smile. For more about how ClayBrite works, visit their website.

ClayBrite is a natural fluoride-free toothpaste, and it’s available in a few different varieties. ClayBrite Original has Xylitol and Green Tea Extract to fight plaque and gum inflammation, and ClayBrite Extra includes some extra mint and natural sweetener for that more conventional experience.

ClayBrite is available at Adama Minerals, along with a wide selection of other natural detox products. Try it and you’ll be amazed!

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Ancient Clay Skin Repair kills the itch!

Seeking a natural bug bite remedy

I’ve got a roommate with an unfortunate superpower: As a result of a bizarre science experiment (or just genetics), she’s able to attract every mosquito in a ten-mile radius.

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An artist’s impression. She actually uses a crowbar instead of a pasta fork.

Whenever she visits a new town people will assure her – “Don’t worry, we don’t get any skeeters around here.” She’ll just give them a cold stare and say, “Yes you do. They’ve just been waiting for me.”

As sure as sunrise, every morning she’ll discover new bites on her arms and legs. Her only choices to deal with this unfortunate and itchy scenario is to either cover herself with smelly repellents or just suck it up and deal with it.

She’s mindful of her skin’s health, so using chemical repellents isn’t her favorite. And even with the repellents, some bugs just won’t be deterred. So, long story short, she gets bitten by bugs. A lot.

An effective treatment at last

Enter the Adama Minerals Ancient Clay Repair Cream. I brought my roommate a sample of this natural rash remedy, and we both were impressed with how effectively it killed the itching from her bug bites.

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The cream, made by Zion Health, is a combination of natural anti-microbial oils from Oregano, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree, mixed with the company’s signature Kanwa Clay.

Oregano in particular has some surprising disease-fighting properties. A 2010 study by the McCormick Science Institute – yes, the spice company – found that oregano oil is effective at killing harmful bacteria and reducing inflammation when applied topically.

As if that wasn’t enough, the same study also found evidence that oregano oils can act as an antidepressant! It sounds a little far fetched, but who hasn’t felt an emotional lift when you smell marinara sauce cooking?

The clay is also an essential part of the cream. Kanwa clay has a superpower a little more practical than my bug-bait roommate. Its chemical structure naturally draws toxins out of the skin and can accelerate the healing process from bug bites and rashes.

And that’s exactly what my roommate’s experience was. The itching stopped right away, and over the next two days the bug bites faded and disappeared.

Part of what made it so effective is that the clay forms a sort of poultice as it dries, and this helps protect the skin from any outside contamination. Also, it helps the other ingredients really stick instead of rubbing off throughout the day.

This cream is awesome. It’s a natural itch remedy that really works!

Try it at Adama Minerals or ask your local health food store!

Getting Clean with Clay – A Soap Sniffer’s Guide

The Great Zion Health Soap Smell-Off!

Hexed with giant pores and skin as delicate as a glass flower, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect body soap for a long, long time.

That’s why today I’m going to try out THE ENTIRE LINE of Zion Health’s Ancient Clay Soap. These are all-natural soaps made from coconut and olive oils – like all real soap should be! On top of that, they’ve got a special ingredient: Calcium Montmorillonite clay, also known as Kanwa.

According to the company’s website, and a fair amount of scientific studies online, Kanwa is a surprisingly effective treatment for all kinds of body ailments. From dry skin to nausea to mineral deficiency to, yes, even food poisoning, Kanwa can help. (I’ll have to test the food poisoning claim in a later post.)

So without further ado, here’s the FULL LIST of Zion Health soaps, and a report on what my nostrils – and other senses – discovered about each one. PREPARE YOUR SINUSES.

Round 1 – The Lightweight Division

I’m going to be using the 1 oz soap bars for this round, but all these soaps are available in 6 oz and 10 oz bars too. You can find them at Adama Health online or in person at your local Whole Foods!

moondanceLet’s get things started with MOON DANCE, Zion Health’s fragrance-     free soap bar. Moon Dance is going to be our control group here, because guess what it smells like? Nothing. Like hotel soap, only even less scent. The paper it comes it has more fragrance. So safe to say, if you have skin sensitive to fragrances, this is the soap for you.

mountainrainNext up: MOUNTAIN RAIN. Mountain Rain comes on strong, like a spicy, almost Irish Spring-like smell. It’s enhanced with Lavender Essential Oil, which gives it its powerful floral bouquet. Seriously, it’s like washing up with a bundle of fresh Lavender flowers. Very fragrant and very tasty.

eaglesunContestant #3: EAGLE SUN. This soap has a mellow, incense type fragrance. It smells a bit like Patchouli, which is that lingering smell you always encounter at hippie health food stores. It’s more subdued than Mountain Rain, a choice for people who like to live on the mild side. It’s got Lemon Verbena essential oil.

goldensunI have to say that this next soap is my absolute fave: GOLDEN SUN. Yes, another “Sun” scent – but this one doesn’t blend into the crowd. Golden Sun boldly engages your nose with a bright, citrusy scent. Right out of the gate, you get a mighty waft of Grapefruit oil, which transitions smoothly into earthy Lemon Verbena. This soap is a brave choice, and a real wake-up call for your whole body. 10 / 10 would smell again.

windMoving on, we have our next soap WIND. Easily the shortest name on this list of soap, Wind is a confident, well-rounded entry. It has a mild, creamy smell that reminds one of a Vanilla Yankee Candle. This smell is in fact Tea Tree oil, which in addition to smelling awesome helps control skin breakouts and is a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal! Not that I’m implying you have any issues with fungus.

whitecloudLast in our Lightweight Division is WHITE CLOUD. White Cloud is like a toned-down version of Golden Sun – still a strong citrus note, but not the intensity I loved about GS. That’s because it’s infused with Tangerine Peel oil, which is a natural source of Vitamin C and antrioxidants that can help prevent wrinkles.

Phew! I’m going to give my nose a quick break here, and I’ll be back soon with Round 2: The Heavyweight Division

The Quest for Soap Harmony

I’ve spent a long time trying to find the right daily soap for my skin. It’s a lot tougher than it sounds – like finding the right key to unlock a vault at Gringott’s. (Yes, I will reference a fantasy adventure film in every blog post – Try and stop me!)

Back in the day I had it all – acne, greasy skin, even the dreaded “backne.” Then when I started using medication for my skin, everything switched. Now my skin was desert-dry and couldn’t even stand to be out in the sun without SPF! It was tough to find a soap that could help my ever-changing skin distress.

Eventually, after the maelstrom of adolescence, I finally gleaned some wisdom about healthy skin: Natural is better.

SHOCKING FACT: A lot of the soaps you can find at your local department store are actually much closer to “detergents” than they are to true soap.

How to spot detergents disguised as soaps

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WATCH OUT TYLER THE DETERGENTS WILL GET YOU

The key difference here is that soaps are natural, while detergents are not. Soaps contain things like plant-based oils, saponified oils and glycerin. Detergents on the other hand contain things like sodium laryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate – chemicals that once started their lives as plants but passed through about ten different processes before ending up in the final product.

These heavily processed chemicals can spell disaster for those of us with sensitive skin. They can cause overdrying, resulting in the skin producing extra oils to compensate – not to mention itching and irritation. And “sensitive skin” for me I think would be an understatement.

Making a change for healthier skin

So once I realized the dastardly “soaps” I was using were actually detergents, I made a major change in my skin regimen. The detergents were history. I started using all natural soaps instead of chemically-based cleansers.

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Have you ever looked at soap under a microscope? Me neither, but I’m glad I Googled it!

Results were almost immediate! Within weeks my skin felt and looked better – neither oily or dry. Just right.

Stepping out of the shower, my skin felt clean and oil-free, and I didn’t get that stretched-tight feeling that detergent “soaps” left me with. My complexion cleared up, because my skin was finally able to balance its daily oil production and not suffer the onslaught of drying detergents.

One small change made a world of difference. It was a long road to the promised land of Healthy Skin, and finding the right soap was a major part of that journey.

So when I heard that Zion Health had a line of natural soap including ancient clay, I decided to give them a shot. My experiment with them I will detail in my following blog post – Stay Tuned!

Someone spilled dirt into my tea! …And it was AMAZING

I’ll be honest. I’m not the biggest tea drinking guy on the planet. When I get up in the morning, I stagger over to the coffee machine like everyone else and hope my caffeine-starved brain can remember the recipe for energy juice.

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Can YOU spot the difference?

I got in trouble once for almost adding loose leaf Green Tea into a pasta sauce. Somebody told me they liked Bergamot, and I thought they meant the wizard from The Hobbit.

So naturally, when a friend recommended I try Kanwa Green Tea – a beverage that combined the mysterious tea leaf with exotic minerals – I was a little bit skeptical. “I’m supposed to brew up a cup of twigs and sand? And it’s *good* for me?”

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The best teas come in tubes.

But I did it. And WOW.

After a few minutes sipping on this tea/mineral hybrid, I started getting the same energized feeling I normally get from a cup of joe – but without coffee breath. It felt cleaner too. I was up and alert yet also relaxed. The natural caffeine high didn’t reach that tooth-grinding intensity of my first morning java. It was almost as if I had switched from burning diesel to ethanol.

I was drinking the Jasmine Green Tea blend, which has a light, mild flavor. It’s a solid green tea offering, and it’s enjoyable without any sweetener at all. I thought I might detect a hint of clay flavor, but nope. The Kanwa clay is completely tasteless – like a health ninja sneaking into your body fortress.

And why did they decide to put clay in their tea, anyway? Glad you asked! Kanwa is a special type of mineral that forms in the desert regions of the world. Its scientific name is Calcium Montmorillonite. It’s a soft, beige-colored clay that sports a unique crystal shape:

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Reused courtesy of VolClay International

This “sandwich” shaped crystal is really interesting. When you introduce it to a solution, it naturally starts attracting heavy metals and absorbs them into little molecular cages. Toxins basically become the bacon in that lopsided BLT you see above.

With all this advanced science going on in my tea, how did it feel? In a word: good. Kanwa Green Tea gave me an energizing lift and also created a tranquil calm feeling. It didn’t amp me up like coffee; instead the tea relieved stress! So you’ve got energy, detox, and a mellow mood all in one cup – a pretty sweet deal.

And the energy boost lasted all day! I guess the Kanwa makes life easier for my liver and kidneys, soaking up nastiness and naturally flushing it away. Oh, and don’t get the wrong idea about “flushing it away.” This tea won’t give you a case of Gotta Go Right Now. Kanwa Green Tea cleanses as part of your natural cycle – everything will stay on schedule.

Ultimately, I really have to hand it to this tea. It made a believer out of me.

Now, I’m not going to do anything crazy like stop drinking coffee, but this tea has definitely earned a spot in my daily routine. I recommend it highly. Go check it out!

Kanwa Green Tea is available at Adama Minerals, along with a ton of other Kanwa clay products.