Detox 51 Pig face creeper for First Aid

If you’re by the seaside, collect some of the pig face creeper that grows wild in the sand dunes — the sort that has big purple flowers during the spring. 

Break open the fleshy leaves and squeeze the gel straight on to your insect bites to help relieve the pain, itch and swelling. 

Cover the bites with the soothing layer of gel and then put cold wet towels on top. 

This is also a first aid treatment for sunburn.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Detox 51 All the plastics have gone!

Although I’ve been aware of the health risks of combining plastics with food (especially when heated) for a long time, plastics have a nasty habit of creeping into our kitchen.  It’s as if they have feet of their own and enter in the depths of darkness.

Op shops and today’s garage sale cleared our home of plastics, for perhaps the fourth time in 20 years. I’m determined not to let it happen again!

Particularly risky are teflon-coated cookers and plastic containers used to heat food in the microwave.  There are alternatives.  For cooking on gas and electric stoves you can’t go past stainless steel pots and pans.  In microwaves, ceramic and china bowls are perfect, with a saucer or small plate as the lid.

As far as storing food is concerned, no plastics.  Instead, use glass, china, ceramic, enamel or stainless steel bowls — and instead of using a plastic film covering, use an upturned saucer or plate.

In the freezer: no plastics.  Cellophane bags (made from wood fibre) provide an excellent alternative to plastic freezer bags.  They can be purchased in health food stores or in bulk on the Internet.

Today I feel a mixture of pleasure and guilt.  Pleasure that I’ve eliminated these plastics from our home, but also a bit of guilt that I’ve passed them on to other people who may use them unwisely.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Detox 50 Aloe vera the wonder plant!

My 50th and I’m back with more.

Aloe vera of the oldest medicinal plants in history, and provides an antiseptic gel that heals as well as provides pain relief.

With its fleshy leaves, it is sometimes known as the first aid plant, especially when kept as a potted indoors plant, on a sunny windowsill, or by the back door.  It dislikes both frost and salt-laden winds.  The leaf is simply split open to expose the gel.

Millions of homes all over the world keep this plant and use the healing, soothing gel to treat burns and scalds, cold sores, scalp conditions, sun spots, insect bites, rashes and fungal conditions — and to reduce scarring.

I always keep Aloe vera handy and marvel at its effectiveness in treating all manner of skin complaints.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Detox 49 More details about chemical-free living

For more details about chemical-free living, please go to the following books, all written by me and published in Melbourne, Australia, by Black Inc Publishers.

1. Chemical Free Home by Robin Stewart

2. Chemical Free Pest Control by Robin Stewart

3. Green Home and Garden by Robin Stewart

I’d love to share my blog with you 

I write a daily blog about life on Phillip Island and in outback Queensland, Australia.  In this blog I share many experiences of life, as well as tips on chemical-free living.  Please feel free to go to:  and share with friends.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Detox 48 The Sick Building Syndrome and how to avoid it

The average home contains up to 1000 different chemicals, many of which you are unable to see, smell or taste.  Everyone’s tolerance level is different depending on genetics, nutritional status and previous contact with the chemicals; however, problems can arise when large doses or different combinations of chemicals occur within the home or workplace.  The majority of people spend more than 90% of their time indoors: at home, at school or at work.  For this reason, the quality of indoor air is a huge health issue.

Indoor air is typically two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, therefore, ventilation is crucial, so you’re not breathing the same stale air all day and/or all night.

Wall-to-wall carpets out-gas chemicals into tightly-insulated homes. They can also trap dirt, fleas, dust and house dust mites — also lead.  Hard floor surfaces (such as hardwood floors, cork or bamboo flooring, or ceramic tiles) are easier to keep clean and do not give off toxic chemicals.  Avoid furniture made of chipboard or particle board because these products give off formaldehyde vapours from the glues they contain.

When painting, use water-based paints that emit less chemicals — such as Breathe Easy Paints.  Open all windows and doors to ventilate while painting, and don’t sleep in a freshly painted room for at least a few nights — especially babies and young children.

Replacing personal skincare products with fragrance-free alternatives reduces the chemicals in the air you breathe, and the chemicals you absorb through your skin.  Deodorants, cosmetics, aftershave, hair products, nail polish and perfumes are often loaded with toxic chemicals.

Whenever you need to clean anything,  think no further than white vinegar and bicarb soda.  Discover the incredible cleaning power and grim-busting power of combining these two products.  The acidic vinegar and alkali bicarb give a fizzy reaction that’s great for lifting dirt and grime — and vinegar also works wonders against unpleasant strong smells.  As the vinegar evaporates (which it does, very quickly) away goes any unpleasant smell. 

White vinegar is definitely my favourite cleaning product.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Detox 47 Chemical-free leather polish

To clean leather, rub dirty marks with a moist soapy cloth, then wipe clean with a second moist cloth.  Polish dry immediately, using a soft dry cloth.

To revitalise leather surfaces, mix equal parts of olive oil and vinegar and apply with a soft cloth.  After a few minutes, buff dry to give a pleasing sheen.  The vinegar will discourage the growth of mould.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Detox 46 Chemical-free furniture polish

To polish any timber surface, apply equal parts of olive oil and vinegar, with a soft cloth, then buff dry to give a pleasing sheen.  This nourishes the timber as well.

This polish is so safe it’s used in salads.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Detox 45 My final words about mould and mildew

Since the bathroom is necessarily a warm, moist room that is susceptible to the growth of mould, we always use our exhaust fan when showering.  A daily wipe-over of all wet areas is an easy task when done routinely, as it reduces the amount of soap build up as well as lessening the likelihood of mould.

To clean mould from walls and ceilings without the use of expensive chemical bleaches and harsh cleaning agents you will need:
Four containers, clean sponges, bicarb soda, vinegar and hot water.
Container one holds a mixture of bicarb soda in hot water.
Container two holds a mixture of vinegar in hot water.
Containers three and four hold hot water only, and are used to rinse the sponges between use, remembering to rinse the bicarb soda and vinegar sponges in different rinsing buckets.
First use the bicarb soda solution, then the vinegar.
If mould is particularly difficult to remove, bicarb soda or borax can be used dry, as an abrasive.  Alternatively, mix bicarb soda with vinegar, let it fizz, then use to rub clean the mould.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Detox 44 House dust mites

Hot water, sunshine, the freezer and your iron all spell death to this common mite that is the cause of eczema, asthma and other respiratory conditions, in many people.

Aim to reduce the dust mite population rather than eliminate these common microscopic creatures.  Dust mites actually serve a useful purpose in cleaning up shed human skin particles and dust.  It’s the droppings of the dust mites that cause the allergic reaction, rather than the mites themselves.

For those people suffering eczema, asthma and other respiratory conditions linked to house dust mites, your management strategies need to include:
1. Avoid the use of carpets, drapes and cushions in bed rooms.  Vertical blinds are good.
2. Sweep or vacuum daily.
3. Wipe over the floor and other washable surfaces using a mop or cloth moistened with vinegar.  Mites cannot tolerate acid.
4. Open windows to allow free air circulation.
5. Wash your bed linen weekly, using hot water if possible.  Water over 55° C spells death to dust mites.
6. Vacuum mattresses.
7. Regularly air bedding, pillows and floor rugs in the sun.  Three hours of sunshine proves fatal to dust mites.
8. Avoid air-conditioning and central heating as dust mites thrive in a warm conditions.
9. Wash pet bedding every week.
10. Place soft toys in plastic bags, then put them in your freezer overnight, to kill mites.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Detox 43 Musty sheets and pillow slips

Whenever bed linen is stored in an airtight cupboard, there’s a high probability that mould and mildew will form — leaving that unpleasant musty smell.

The cupboard used to store your linen needs to be well ventilated, rather than airtight, in order to avoid mould and mildew. 

Cloves give a pleasant aroma that discourages stale smells, as well as moths.

To treat musty linen, add 1 cup of white vinegar to your rinse cycle then dry in the sun for at least three hours.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment