book: natural alternatives

by kath_red on 03/02/2010

in Features, Green Crafting

With all concoctions and homemade remedies around the place (mmm chai concentrate + calendula eye compress, dry skin remedies and from remedy quarterly (new quarterly self published mag found via design*sponge), a whole page of online remedies (the print version looks delicious too), I thought it high time I reviewed this book.

Natural Alternatives for You and Your Home: 175 Recipes to Make Eco-Friendly Products By Casey Kellar. Krause Publications (August 3, 2009).

With so many books published – and websites offering free advice – on natural alternatives – does this book offer anything unique to readers? For me books always offer something unique that you can’t get from the internet – the ability to pick it up and take it away (don’t get me wrong – I love the instantaneous ability to self diagnose that the internet gives – don’t you? – scary but true…).

There are few things I love about this book though that I have seen lacking in other similar books, such as cost comparisons with making homemade remedies like home made insecticides with a store bought version. Also there is an excellent index and glossary of the basic ingredients used in the recipes (like borax and essences and oils etc), as well as a guide to natural herbs, extracts and oils + of course a multitude of recipes for pets, for home cleaning, for skincare + beauty, for colds and flu.

Extract from book:

Tangle trouble:
A little bit of mayonnaise works a a hair de-tangler and conditioner. … work a tablespoon of mayonnaise in the hair and leave on for a minute. Use a big-tooth comb to comb through the hair and remove snarls. Rinse well. Leaves a great shine and it does not burn the eyes.

[Ingredients of mayonnaise are basically egg + olive oil … all good for the skin. ed]

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ingrid February 24, 2010 at 1:03 am

I was excited to read this book, but ultimately disappointed due to the use of toxic ingredients like bleach, ammonia, and pennyroyal essential oil. And I’m concerned that the author doesn’t differentiate between pure essential oils and synthetic fragrance oils. The formulas might be cheaper than commercial alternatives, but they are no more “natural” and definitely not safer in all cases.


2 kath_red February 26, 2010 at 5:47 pm

thanks so much ingrid for you thoughts on this book – good to hear others opinions


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