Detox Part 2: Finding Natural Alternatives To Harsh Chemicals

For the last several days, my mind has been swirling with things I want to share with you on this week’s “Wellness Wednesday” — all because of last week’s topic.

Last week, we started talking about detoxing – the process of getting the toxic substances out of our lives. This week, I want to give you some practical steps for making the switch.

Removing The Enemies

So much of the sickness and disease we struggle with as a nation is, in my opinion at least, preventable. As we saw last week, of the 10 major causes of death, nine are related to lifestyle choices, like food, drugs, and lack of sleep. You can wreck your health beyond repair with bad decisions on simple things.

One other major cause of disease is the chemicals we use to maintain our lives. Ever since the industrial revolution (and especially after World War II), we have been fed a never-ending stream of advertisements promoting “labor-saving” cleaning supplies that were supposed to make our lives easier, while flooding our lives with harsh chemicals. Just look at the ingredients on most popular cleaning products and you’ll see what I mean: ammonium, bisphenol-A, phthalates, and other poisons. And apparently, either nobody thought to test them for safety or they just didn’t care, because it wasn’t until decades later, when the incidence of cancer and emphysema began to rise, that people started asking questions about safety.

I think it’s obvious to most people that you shouldn’t drink the ingredients in Liquid Plummer (although we’ve seen the choices some people make with Tide Pods), but somehow we seem to think it’s OK to expose our lungs and skin to those same chemicals when we spray them in the air.

Have you heard of liver cancer? Lymphatic cancer? Skin cancer? Kidney cancer? Your liver, lymph nodes, skin, and kidneys all play a role in either protecting you from toxins or filtering them out of your blood. But if you don’t stem the tide of toxins and flush these organs with clean water periodically, the toxins begin to build up like grease on the walls of a fast food restaurant. Yeah, it’s that bad.

People Are Catching On

Fortunately, there is a large and growing trend around the world of people who are demanding healthier, planet-friendlier alternatives to harsh chemical cleaners. As a result, thousands of people have gone back in time.

No, not literally.

They are choosing the cleaning products their great-grandmothers used a hundred years ago. Things like vinegar, lemon juice, borax, and castle soap.

You never saw poison warning labels on the cleaning products your great-grandmother used. They didn’t need them; they were based on naturally-occurring compounds. Your mother knew she could safely wash your mouth out with soap because she knew where the soap came from.

I hope your mother didn’t have to wash your mouth out with soap too often.

It’s Part Of A Larger Trend Toward Wellness

It reminds me of another trend that is going on at the same time: people are eating and staying fit the way their great-grandparents did, too. We are eating organic vegetables, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, raw milk, and more. Instead of working machines at the gym, they are running outside, lifting heavy things, and doing the kinds of work that their grandparents used to do.

In fact, that is the bottom-line basis of my practice. We called my practice “Fundamental Health Solutions” because we believe that our best health can be found when we go back to living life the way our bodies were originally designed.

So, as long as we are going back to grandma’s garden for our nourishment, maybe we should go back to grandma’s cabinets for our cleaning supplies.


Vinegar is the all-in-one cleaner your grandmother trusted for everything, thanks to its high acidity. People drink it, cook with it, use it in their laundry, clean the floor, oven, and sink with it, and it eliminates grease and soap scum easily. Take that, Formula 409!

Baking Soda

Baking soda doesn’t just make great pancakes, it also cleans, deodorizes, and shines.It’s get for porcelain and stainless steel. Open a box in the areas where you have stale air and funky odors (under the sink and in the refrigerator, for starters), and you will never go back to aerosol air fresheners. Add a drop of lavender essential oil to freshen the whole house. Some people use it to brush their teeth and substitute for deodorant. True story.

Lemon Juice

Pour a tablespoon of lemon juice in 8 ounces of warm water in the morning to clean out your insides, and pour a half-cup or so in your mop bucket with hot water to disinfect your kitchen floor, wipe out mildew and mold, and polish hard surfaces. Mix with vinegar and it will make your whole house sparkle. You can even use it to disinfect a wooden cutting board!


A mixture of boron minerals and salt, and while it’s powerful, it’s not perfect. Borax is great for laundry, although you don’t want to get any in your eyes if you can avoid it.

Tea Tree Oil

There are several essential oils that have antibacterial and antifungal properties, but some of them (I’m looking at you, oregano) will make your eyes, nose, and throat burn worse than jalapeno juice. Tea tree oil (also known as Melaleuca oil) is a powerful antibacterial agent. Many people use them in hand soap, kitchen, and bathroom cleaners.

So Much More To Look At

This is just a start to get you thinking in a new way (if you don’t already think this way). You don’t have to live a life of poisons seeping through your lungs, skin, and hair. Just Google “chemical-free cleaning” and enter the rabbit hole of all-natural alternatives. In fact, I’ll give you a head start: this page has a long list of recipes for all-natural cleaners.

Your lymph nodes will thank you.

This Week’s Assignment

Last week, we took an inventory of all the toxins around our homes. This week, let’s take action. Throw away the harsh cleaning products and replace them with all-natural products. You might be surprised at the symptoms that stop irritating you. You might get better sleep, have more energy, and get over colds faster. There’s no telling how much better your body might feel. It’s worth a try.

If this article got you thinking about a better life, I’ll ask you to return the favor by sharing it on your favorite social media channel. You might be surprised at how many people you know who have NO IDEA that they can live without toxic chemicals in their homes.

Also, I’d like to invite you to our next Fundamental Foods and Friends Dinner on Thursday, May 10. We’ll start at 6:15 p.m. at my office, which is behind the YMCA on Pine Ridge Road in Naples. We’re going to dive deep into detoxing your life. I’ll be teaching this one, but I’ll do my best to make it as interesting and interactive as my guest speakers’ presentations were. No matter what, we’ll have a nice evening, make new friends, and enjoy a terrific dinner together. I hope you’ll join us. Watch my Facebook page for the RSVP link.

“At the end of your feelings is NOTHING. At the end of your PRINCIPLES is a PROMISE.”  — Eric Thomas

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