As some of you may know, The Dragonfly Farm moved from Virginia to a 10-acre farm in Florida a few years ago. Well, this past February 2019 we sold the farm in Florida which allowed us to fulfill our long-time dream of moving to Mexico. We down-sized our belongings, sold our furniture to the new owners of the Florida farm, put our 5 horses on a trailer and the dogs in our new used Suburban (which pulled our 16-foot trailer of what we still had left) and trekked down to Mexico, moving into our new 800 square-foot cabin. With a small private lake and front-door views of the Sierra del Tigre mountains, at 6400 feet elevation that gives us constant year-round temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees, we are now retired and enjoying our SIMPLE life. The dogs and horses love this weather here and we can escape to the hot beautiful beaches in the winter if we want to. SIMPLE, easy and uncomplicated is our new motto which gives us the time we have always needed and wanted to enjoy doing the things we truly love like spending quality time with our animals, hiking, yoga, gardening, travelling and just breathing fresh air.
In a few days we will be shutting down The Dragonfly Farm website as we can not ship products to the U.S. We still make and use our own products and now have the financial ability to share some to those who may need them without having to sell them… such gratification !!! If you would like to save any of the recipes we posted you can still click here and get them until Saturday. Thank you all for being such great customers and supportive friends !!! NAMASTE…. Ursula, Frankie and the “Dragonfly Tribe”
Clicking on the pictures below individually will give you a full view… Enjoy !
U.S. manufacturers of baby-care, household and personal care products are not required to fully disclose toxic ingredients, even if those ingredients could be hazardous to your health
The word “fragrance” is a catch-all term that refers not to a single ingredient but rather one or more of nearly 3,000 synthetic chemicals that may damage your health
U.S. trade organizations, such as the American Chemistry Council, spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually to aggressively back manufacturers in a joint effort to conceal toxic ingredients
A family-oriented documentary called “Stink!”1 shines a bright light on the unregulated use of toxic chemicals in U.S. consumer products, from baby wipes and shampoo to floor cleaners and laundry detergents.
The idea for the film originated from director Jon Whelan’s experience in tracking down the source of a strong chemical odor that wafted off new pajamas he’d purchased for his two young daughters.
After discovering the toxic stench was a trade secret held by the parent company of popular American tween store Justice, Whelan began investigating the fragrance industry, which he suggests is valued at $100 billion.
What Whelan found is that manufacturers, with the aggressive backing of the chemical industry, routinely conceal thousands of potentially toxic ingredients in the baby care, household and personal care products you and your family use every day.
They do so by using the term “fragrance,” which is entirely free of government oversight and safety regulations.2
Lack of regulation means that when you see the word fragrance on product labels, it does not refer to a single ingredient, but likely dozens of toxic chemicals in combination.
For example, S.C. Johnson’s fresh citrus blossom-scented Glade PlugIns oil refill contains a whopping 60 chemical components, which are encompassed under a single word on the product label: fragrance.
According to the Geneva-based International Fragrance Association (IFRA), the self-regulating body of the global fragrance industry, about 3,000 specific chemicals fall under the term fragrance.3
When you purchase a product that lists fragrance as one of the ingredients, you have no way of knowing how many chemicals reside within, or how those chemicals might interact with each other. Many of the chemicals are synthetic — often petroleum based — and increasingly linked to chronic health conditions.
Safety and Regulation of US Consumer Goods Is Weak
You may be surprised to know that legislation put in place in the U.S. in 1976 — a measure called the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) — has perhaps done more harm than good in terms of regulating the chemicals used in products that you use daily.
Notably, TSCA grandfathered in some 80,000 chemicals that are ready available and can be easily incorporated into all kinds of consumer products manufactured and sold in the U.S.
As such, these chemicals bypass safety testing and remain free of federal government regulation and oversight. Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics comments:4
“The chemical industry has gotten away with producing billions of tons of chemicals without doing safety studies, putting them out into the environment … and into products that are … in our homes. Basically we are living in a ‘toxic soup,’ and it’s a giant experiment on human health.”
It may surprise you to learn that U.S. regulatory agencies such as the Consumer Products Safety Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration have limited authority to regulate manufacturers who add toxic ingredients to their products.
“I think that most people’s perception is that somewhere, someone is testing all the products,” says Whelan.5 But, they’re not.
This lack of oversight allows manufacturers of baby-care, household and personal-care products — with the support of powerful and well-funded trade associations — to add thousands of toxic chemicals to products you use every day. Whelan states:
“The American Chemistry Council is the most powerful trade association anywhere, and it spends hundreds of millions of dollars to influence public opinion, fund political campaigns and underwrite aggressive lobbying efforts.
Their goal is to avoid regulation that would impact profits of the largest chemical companies in the world, such as BASF, ConAgra Foods, Dow, DuPont, General Mills, Monsanto, Nestle, Pepsico and Unilever.”
Due to the tremendous amount of chemicals coming at you from multiple sources, some of the fragrances that you are exposed to daily may be damaging your health and putting you at risk for serious illness.
The ‘Fragrance Loophole’ and Why Should It Concern You
Jane Houlihan, vice president of research for the Environmental Working Group (EWG), notes that the lack of U.S. government oversight with respect to added chemicals in consumer products is referred to as the “fragrance loophole:”6
“One big loophole in the labeling law is “fragrance.” Manufacturers don’t have to list their ingredients. So whether you hold a perfume, cologne, shampoo or shaving cream — whatever the product is — normally the fragrance components aren’t disclosed.
There can literally be a mixture of hundreds of different chemicals hidden in that one ingredient.”
Adds Green Living Expert Alexandra Zissu, “You’re eating fragrance, wearing fragrance, washing your hands with fragrance and even blowing your nose with fragrance.”7
Among the undisclosed ingredients are several known or suspected allergens, carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, environmental pollutants, neurotoxic chemicals and respiratory irritants.
Because these toxins are responsible for the spike in chronic diseases from asthma and birth defects to infertility and cancer, “The sooner you get this stuff out of your life, the better,” says Zissu.8
Worse, due to the lack of product testing and safety measures, the interaction of fragrance chemicals across multiple products cannot be known. No one stops to ask what kind of interaction might take place when chemicals from your body spray interact with your acne cream.
By the way, did you know the average American female uses up to 20 products, and the average male up to 10 products, per day that have hidden ingredients linked to a variety of adverse health issues?9
Tests conducted by the EWG revealed the average fragrance product contains at least 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label.10This secrecy and lack of transparency make it impossible for you to make an informed choice about the products you buy.
Transparency in Labeling Is Needed to Rein in Use of Toxic Chemicals
Whelan provides common-sense advice for addressing the U.S. system with respect to your everyday products and the handling of fragrance:11
“First, we need to get the chemicals of greatest concern off the market. This is no small task, because powerful industry lobbyists oppose regulating chemicals, even substances that cause cancer, birth defects or disrupt hormones. Updating TSCA so federal agencies have power to regulate toxic chemicals is key.
Next, we need full chemical disclosure on labels. If companies had to disclose all chemicals in their products, they’d make better choices about the chemicals they sold and consumers would be empowered to make informed choices about what they bought. Transparency works.”
Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder of Seventh Generation, suggests manufacturers are purposely withholding ingredient lists to protect their interests:12
“The reason most cleaning and personal care products don’t list all of the ingredients is because the manufacturer doesn’t want you to know what’s in there. They’re scared of consumers learning that they’re purchasing a product that has a toxic or carcinogenic ingredient. They’re trying to avoid the consumer backlash that would come if they were transparent.”
US Versus European Chemical Regulations
The U.S. system for handling chemicals with respect to consumer products is broken Hollender, added:13
“The question is how many people have to die? How many people have to get sick before the proof becomes overwhelming and inescapable? What we need is a precautionary approach. You must prove the product’s safe. You must prove the chemical’s safe. And until that’s proven, the product should not be allowed in the store, and the chemical should not be allowed in the product.”
Whelan agrees and suggests America could learn something from Europe, where tougher standards are in place to protect human health:14
“The big philosophical difference between how products and chemicals are regulated in Europe versus the U.S. is interesting. In Europe, chemicals are guilty until proven innocent. The precautionary principle says that if we suspect something may be harmful, well then let’s not use it. They use common sense. In the U.S., it’s the exact opposite. Chemicals are innocent until proven guilty, yet it’s virtually impossible to prove guilt.”
According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics,15 the European Union Cosmetics Directive, which was adopted in January 2003 and revised in 2013, bans 1,328 chemicals from cosmetics that are known or suspected to cause birth defects, cancer, genetic mutation or reproductive harm. To date, the FDA has banned only 11 chemicals from cosmetics in the U.S.
Why Is the Fragrance Industry Against Safety Regulations?
Like the secret formula for Coca-Cola and Colonel Sander’s secret recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken, the fragrance industry has been guarding its carefully kept secrets for decades. As such, a certain air of mystery has resulted. Says fragrance consultant Steve Herman:16
“The perfume industry has been trying to maintain a certain mystique, because fragrance has an allure of mystery, romance and creativity about it. If we transform it into a chemical company with ingredient disclosure — all of that mystique would be gone.”
Whelan suggests the huge number of chemicals needing to be tested is very likely the most discouraging factor related to safeguarding consumer products:17
“There are over 80,000 chemicals in use today. While most of them are probably safe, it takes time and money to test them. Industry doesn’t want to know which are harmful because it would mean reformulating many of their products, which would require additional money.
Furthermore, by disclosing chemicals on the label, particularly if one is a potential carcinogen, companies could be liable, which they also do not want. Industry wants it both ways. They don’t want chemicals proven safe, and they don’t want consumers to have full disclosure.”
Because the U.S. federal government has traditionally taken a passive role in terms of regulating the addition of chemicals in consumer products, individual states, such as California, have taken action on their own. California’s well known Proposition 65, or Prop 65,18 was enacted in 1986. Eleanne van Vliet, director of toxic chemical research for As You Sow, sees value in state-enacted regulations:19
“Prop 65 prohibits businesses from knowingly exposing consumers to chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects. Companies have to either reformulate the product to use less toxic ingredients or remove the product from the market completely.”
EWG Helps You Identify Toxic Ingredients You Should Avoid
Judi Shils, executive director of Teens Turning Green, underscores the importance of taking an active role in evaluating the personal-care products you use every day.20 “Shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, moisturizer, hand sanitizer — each one of those products has about 15 synthetic chemicals in it, so your body’s burden is enormous. You’re just dumping all this toxic stuff into your bloodstream!”
To help you identify harmful ingredients and make buying choices that support your health and well-being, the EWG provided the following list of toxins to AVOID in personal-care products manufactured for the U.S. market:21
For your body:
Rentinyl palmitate or other retinoids in daytime skin products
If you want to go further in your exploration of potentially harmful ingredients, check out EWG’s Skin Deep® database,22 where you can research the personal care products you use and identify less toxic options. EWG also maintains a Guide to Healthy Cleaning,23 which informs you about safe alternatives for household-cleaning products.
Non-Toxic Fragrances Are Available
Avoiding toxic fragrance does not mean that you must forgo all pleasant scents in your home or personal-care products, because truly natural options are available. Organic essential oils are one option, and you can even add them to your own non-fragranced products, such as facial moisturizers or hand lotion. Organic essential oils and isolates come from botanical ingredients such as bark, flowers, fruits, leaves, seeds, wood and other 100 percent natural raw materials.
Though they may cost more, and the scent may last only a couple of hours after each application, organic essential oils won’t pose the health risks of synthetic fragrances. (It’s still possible to have sensitivities to natural scents so take care with them around individuals who may not be able to tolerate them.)
Of course, you have the option of avoiding fragrance entirely. In fact, a woman’s natural scent has been found to be more seductive than perfume,24 scoring another point for the power of nature!
LCSA Law Implemented, EPA Finally Empowered to Review Chemicals
In June, 2016, U.S. Congress overwhelmingly passed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA) to reform TSCA. Although the changes will likely be slow, LCSA introduces improvements such as:25
Mandating the EPA to evaluate existing chemicals under enforceable deadlines
Requiring all chemicals used in commerce to undergo risk-based reviews
Providing increased public transparency with respect to chemicals
Funding the EPA consistently so it can carry out its responsibilities under the new law
On the downside, the LCSA makes it more difficult for states to regulate chemicals once the EPA has evaluated them, and prohibits states from taking action against any chemical the EPA has declared “high priority” for EPA investigation. Once the EPA declares a chemical safe for a specific use or condition, states are permanently preempted from taking any action against it.26
In December 2016, the EPA announced the first 10 chemicals it will review under LCSA, as highlighted by the EWG:27 1,4-dioxane, 1-bromopropane, asbestos, carbon tetrachloride, HBCD (cyclic aliphatic bromide cluster), methylene chloride, NMP (n-methylpyrrolidone), PERC (tetrachloroethylene), pigment violet 29 and TCE (trichloroethylene). Several of the 10 are suspected to be possible human carcinogens.
While you may think asbestos was banned many years ago, the U.S. still imports, uses and sells asbestos and asbestos products for use in automotive, flooring and roofing products, even though inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers is known to cause lung cancer. Clearly, the EPA has a lot more work to do to safeguard your health and mine.
What You Can Do to Help Close the ‘Fragrance Loophole’
Based on feedback from consumers like you, and the diligence of consumer-advocacy organizations like EWG, manufacturers and retailers are beginning to realize the need for change. U.S.-based companies such as Procter & Gamble (P&G),28 S.C. Johnson29 and Unilever,30 as well as retailers like Target31 have taken steps to become more transparent with ingredient lists.
Some steps are small, such as P&G’s move to provide two lists on its website32 of fragrance chemicals the company is currently using, and those no longer in use in any of its brands. While that sounds positive, P&G still has access to more than 2,800 other fragrance chemicals that would not have to be disclosed on product labels.
Other steps are bigger, such as Target’s decision33 to require full ingredient disclosure by 2020 for all baby care, household and personal care products, as well as a ban on formaldehyde, parabens and phthalates in those products. Furthermore, by 2022, Target wants to remove flame retardants and perfluorinated chemicals from all its textiles.
If you want to go to the next level with respect to taking a stand against the continued use and abuse of fragrance in consumer products, below are some tips on how you can get started:34
Choose products that disclose a complete list of ingredients
Select “fragrance free” products instead of “unscented” ones because unscented products may use fragrance to mask odors
Be wary of “greenwashing” related to the use of terms such as “natural” or “organic” for personal care products because they are unregulated and can be used regardless of product contents
Research the product’s ingredients prior to purchase by perusing the EWG’s Skin Deep database and/or other sources35
Opt for products using organic essential oils instead of synthetic scents
Educate your children and make them aware of safer choices for the products they use daily
Ask the company for specific details about the products you like and find out if they are safe
Vote with your dollars and stop buying products that you know are unsafe
Demand action by telling manufacturers and retailers, as well as your state and federal legislators, that you support the full disclosure of ingredients for household and personal-care products and want safer alternatives
Think about it for a minute …. every day people take a bath or shower and then apply a commercial deodorant and/or antiperspirant to their clean, open-pored armpits. What do these products do? They clog the pores so that you don’t perspire for a while. So where do the toxins go that are supposed to be released from the armpits? They go back into the body… and absorb right into the lymph nodes that surround the breast area. What do these products contain? They contain chemicals… mostly dangerous, carcinogenic chemicals. Ok, so now you are putting these chemicals right where your lymph nodes are, along with the toxins from the rest of your body that were supposed to be excreted out from our nature-designed armpits, but are now clogged up. And what is one of the leading causes of death in women? Breast Cancer !!!
Is using a natural mineral salt deodorant stone or any other natural body product going to stop you from getting cancer? Not exactly …. it takes a whole lot more to protect your body from disease. Start getting back to Basics, the way things were in “the old days” (our ancestors were a lot healthier and still are today)!!! Eat healthy organic “real” food, get a good 8 hours of sleep and do some form of exercise daily to stimulate cells. Build up your immune system, exercise those internal organs, and detox those toxins that are leaching out through your pores. We can no longer avoid ALL the chemicals this modern world is throwing at us on a daily basis, but by minimizing the ones we CAN control, it may minimize the chances of dying early from a man-made disease !!!
Please Note: More often than not, when people switch to using a natural mineral salt deodorant stone or other natural deodorant, at first they do not think it works because they have an odor coming from their armpits… be patient as your body does what it was naturally designed to do… release those smelly toxins (which could take a few days)!!! Once those toxins are allowed to get out, your lymph nodes and skin (your body’s largest organ) can begin to breathe again. For an added bonus to your body, you can dab a drop or two of your favorite 100% Pure Essential Oil to your armpit area after applying the natural deodorant salt. Your armpits will smell naturally pleasant AND you get the therapeutic benefits of the plant-based essential oil.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe (plus Flu & Cold Season Tips)
Elderberry syrup is a proven remedy for preventing, curing and recovering from the flu, colds, excessive mucus, sore throats, and contains large amounts of antioxidants, potassium, beta carotene, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C.
– 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried organic Elderberries (harvest blue or black, avoid poisonous reds)
– 3 cups water
– 1 cup raw local honey
– 1 Cinnamon stick and a good chunk of Ginger (sliced)
Place berries, water, and spices in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Smash the berries to release remaining juice, let simmer for another 15 minutes and strain the mixture. Allow liquid to cool and stir in honey. Pour into glass jars. Will last for 2-3 months stored in the fridge.
*** You can also put syrup in an ice cube tray and freeze individual portions *** Take a tablespoon daily to ward off illness and a teaspoon every 2-3 hours while sick. For children under 2, add the syrup to hot water to kill any microbes in the honey. You can even drizzle this delicious syrup over pancakes, yogurt, or ice cream. ENJOY!
Considering a winter flu shot? Here’s a better way to ‘winterize’ your immune system
by Paul Fassa (NaturalNews) Pharmacies have already begun promoting walk-in flu shots for the “flu season”. The late and early months of each year seem to be when more of us catch colds and come down with the flu. So what measures can you take to ensure you are not sidelined with nagging colds or a debilitating flu episode? This article will give you nine easy tips, with probably the most important last. There you’ll also be able to access a Health Ranger video with Mike Adams, which convincingly debunks the concept of “flu season”.
Your Immune System
Boosting your immunity is important for coping with the cold and flu season. Of course, getting a flu shot with dubious efficacy is not one of them. All vaccines depress the immune system and can cause lifelong neurological damage and autoimmune diseases. * Elderberry for Cures: Elderberry extracts or syrups have been clinically proven to help get over colds and flu. It’s not a drug. So it’s cheaper and without the side effects that have been reported for Tamiflu. If you hurry, you can make your own tincture and save money. (Source #1) * Protective Supplements: Elderberry is curative. Echinacea herbs are protective. They’re usually sold in tinctures or extracts. Vitamin C is protective and, in large quantities, curative. Zinc is a helpful mineral for protecting against colds. Increase them with the right foods or supplements. * Minimize Sugar: Ease up on sodas, pastries and such. You’ve probably had enough ice cream during the summer. A few grams of sugar can destroy your white blood cells’ ability to resist infections for several hours. * Eat more Garlic and Onion: Besides being rich in antioxidants and selenium, garlic is antibacterial and antiviral. Both garlic and onions are part of the Allium family, which is rich in sulfur-containing compounds responsible for many of their health-promoting effects. * Exercise:Moderate exercise, even walking a mile or two at least three times a week, helps your lymph system cleanse impurities to boost your immune system. * Stress Less: This should be an all year practice. Many consider stress or anxiety as the leading cause for decreased immunity. Lighten up. Try meditation or yoga. Laugh more. Be less critical. Worry less. * Sleep: Not necessarily more, but better. Make sure where you sleep is totally dark so your melatonin production will be sufficient. There are melatonin supplements if you feel the need. The different phases of sleep contain two cycles that are deep enough to refurbish your immune system. You need to sleep through them. (Source #2) * Probiotics: Your body contains ten times more bacteria than cells. Most of them have to be friendly. Friendly bacteria not only attack pathogenic bacteria and fungi, but also they trigger appropriate white cell reactions to invaders and they influence your mental/emotional state. It’s estimated that eighty percent of your 100 trillion bacteria are located in the gut. (Source #3) Friendly bacteria are usually depleted, especially by GMOs. We all need probiotic foods and supplements. Commercial yogurt is insufficient. Raw milk and raw cheese, fermented foods, and water kefir or milk kefir should be staples. (Source #4) There are probiotic supplements as well. If you’re forced into taking antibiotics, double up with probiotic supplements. * Vitamin D3: If you live in a year round warm sunny area, you’ll need to make sure you get plenty of sun to skin exposure. If your regional climate restricts sun exposure, take your Vitamin D3 supplements. You can check your Vitamin D3 blood levels, but many experts recommend five to ten thousand units daily.
There are significant differences between synthetic fragrance oils and pure essential oils. Essential Oils come totally from Nature whereas Fragrance Oils are synthetically produced by combining chemicals to duplicate the scent of not only essential oils, but also certain fruits and vegetables and perfumes that cannot be extracted into an essential oil. Fragrance Oils can cause allergic reactions and severe headaches to many sensitive people and animals. Some of the chemicals found in Fragrance Oils are also known carcinogens.
Essential Oils work by attaching themselves to toxins, free-radicals, cell debris, heavy metals, renegade cells, fungi, bacteria, viruses or other debris and taking them to the exits for disposal. The human body takes the most vital properties of essential oils and uses them to bring itself into balance and is left in a healthier state without side effects. Many scientists believe that essential oils stimulate the body’s own natural defense systems.
Although synthetic fragrance oils are sometimes 10 times cheaper than pure essential oils and may try to duplicate the smell of the pure botanical, the complex chemical components of each essential oil created in nature are what determines its true benefits. To read more about the dangers of synthetic fragrance oils, CLICK HERE.
Synthetic fragrance oils will NOT have any medicinal properties and are NOT suitable for aromatherapy.
There are two major types of plantain: Lance and Broadleaf. Generally, all 200-plus varieties of plantain yield the same results. It grows especially well in poor, rocky soil (such as driveways) and is often seen alongside dandelion. More often than not, you will see plantain growing in gravel pits and construction sites as nature seeks to regenerate the soil.
Introduced to North America in the 1600s, it was once called “White Man’s Foot” by the Native Americans who witnessed that where the Europeans tread and disrupted the soil, plantain sprung up. Plantain has often been the go-to remedy for hikers plagued by mosquitos. Because it draws toxins from the body with its astringent nature, plantain may be crushed (or chewed) and placed as a poultice directly over the site of bee stings, bug bites, acne, slivers, glass splinters, or rashes. Bandage the area and allow the plantain to work its magic for 4-12 hours. Plantain may also be used to create a balm for emergency kits, or an infusion used as a skin or general wash. It is also a notable, soothing remedy for hemorrhoids.
Plantain is renowned for its healing effect on the digestive system. This is especially useful for anyone who has been damaged by antibiotics, anti-inflammatory or pain medications, food allergies, or Celiac disease. Both leaves and seeds specifically target the digestive system for healing. The leaves may be steeped as tea, added to soups, or dried with a sauce similar to kale chips. The seeds – a type of psyllium – can be ground or soaked for bulk mucilage or absorbable fibre, which, consumed before meals, may help with weight loss. Because plantain is a gentle expectorant and high in silica, an infusion can be helpful for lung problems, coughs, and colds. Plantain is almost a panacea for the human body, treating everything from all menstrual difficulties, all digestive issues, to nearly all skin complaints, and even arthritis. Add to salads, chew to ease thirst, or enjoy in stir fries. This versatile wild vegetable will keep you in good health for years to come!
Resources: – Prescription for Herbal Healing: 2nd Edition – Phyllis A. Balch, CNC – Hygieia: A Woman’s Herbal – Jeannine Parvati – Healing Secrets of the Native Americans – Porter Shimer – The New Age Herbalist – Richard Mabey