Melamagic Works Wonders on Grease and Grime


I love all Melaleuca, non-toxic and biodegradable cleansers made with tea tree oil and other essential oils. Melamagic is right up there on the list of my favourite products. A heavy-duty cleaner made with tea tree oil, citric acid, and ginger essential oil, it works wonders on dirt, grease, and grime. Try it on most surfaces, including tile or vinyl floors, stove tops, BBQ grills, and even plastic furniture. It is not recommended on carpets or wood.

(Unfortunately) we still have a few of those once-trendy white plastic chairs on our decks at the cottage. Although stacked and covered over the winter, they still get grubby looking. At the beginning of every cottage season, I line them up and hose them off using Melamagic.

Melamagic, and all other Melaleuca products, contain no bleach or ammonia and create no harsh and dangerous fumes when used. It comes in a economical, concentrated formula, creating 32 gallons of cleaner when diluted with water.

I’ve also used Melamagic to clean out our pedal boat, another annual chore at the cottage.

Household Toxins Might be Making you Sick

household toxins

Common household toxins may be making you sick.  In some cases you don’t even know you are sick. Toxins are present in your home in the form of cleaning products, paints, furniture, synthetic building materials such as particle board and insulation, carpets, and even your printer and photocopier! Learn about the common culprits and just what they can do to your health.

VOCs are Household Toxins

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are harmful gases released by all of the common household items listed above.  These gases cause lethargy, skin rashes, headaches, drowsiness, itchy eyes, asthma-like symptoms, and even cancer.

Be aware of what you are bringing into your home!  I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when I was cleaning my house.  Out of my usual brand of toilet cleaner, I grabbed a bottle of Javex sitting around the house from my pre-toxin awareness days.   I used it (sparingly) to clean the toilets in my home…

Symptoms of Household Toxins

The next day I woke up with what I thought was the start of a cold.  My chest felt heavy and I could not seem to draw a full breath into my lungs.  I also had a vague headache, and a “tickle” in my throat, but no other cold like symptoms developed.  Later on that day, I developed a shallow, dry cough which felt like my lungs were trying to clear whatever was irritating them. 

These symptoms lasted for four days.  Coincidence?   I don’t think so; this is how my lungs felt most of the time before I switched to non-toxic products. The products I now use are all made with tea tree oil, an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, natural ingredient.  My respirologist agrees, as my asthma-like symptoms have disappeared since switching to these non-toxic products.

Houseplants Remove Household Toxins

You can also make your home healthier by adding house plants to your decor.  Not only do plants look nice, but they can also help keep your family healthy.  Carbon dioxide and the VOCs described above, as well as other harmful gases such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene are absorbed through the roots as well as through pores in the leaves of plants.   In exchange, beneficial and healthy products like oxygen and moisture are released into the air for us to breathe.

Choose plants such as spider plants, dracaena, English ivy, mother-in-law tongues, bamboo palms, and other tropical plants. These choices are all easy to grow and readily available.  Tropical plants are suitable for indoors in homes and offices because they are used to growing and processing gases in reduced light under the canopies of jungles and rain forests.  Water your plants thoroughly with warm water and let the soil dry out between watering; too much water is the easiest way to kill your house plants.

Fifteen medium to large plants (greater than six-inch pots) in an average-sized 2000 square foot home can greatly improve the air quality in your home. So, get growing!

In Conclusion

Get rid of the common household toxins making your family sick by removing offending chemical compounds and adding houseplants. Check out a recent post on what I’ve learned about houseplant care. My house is fast becoming a jungle, but I love it.

A green landscape outside can improve the air quality in your yard and even your neighbourhood as well. Planting lots of shrubs, trees, perennials and annuals can turn your yards into a healthy environment for you as well as the birds and other wildlife.

Omicron Variant: At Home Protocol

At Home Protocol for Omicron Variant

With Omicron numbers rising exponentially, it appears we will all get it sooner or later. Supposedly (so the experts tell us) a less severe, but more contagious variant, Omicron probably won’t send you to the hospital. This might not necessarily be a bad thing as herd immunity was a goal way back when all this Covid talk began.

Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it?

And of course, Omicron or any other Covid variant, does not take a break for the holiday season. Many of us are frustrated as we thought we would finally be able to enjoy an extended family dinner/get-together for Christmas this year.

With testing (seemingly) limited as these numbers increase, what can you do at home if you suspect you have come down with the Omicron variant of Covid? Or if you manage to get tested and your suspicions are confirmed.

Depending on the capabilities of local health systems, public health officials recommend those with minor symptoms to stay home and not seek care in health clinics or hospitals and monitor symptoms.

Medical care is focused on those who are short of breath, have severe symptoms, or require oxygen and supportive care that is only available in a hospital.

Johns Hopkins Medicine

One of the Facebook groups I belong to (created by a very trusted, knowledgeable individual that appears to have the inside track on the various government announcements/rules/protocols etc) said she was told to follow the Johns Hopkins Protocol for at-home treatment.

Stay Home if Your Symptoms are Mild

The first thing to do is to isolate yourself from others, including those living in your household. Although you might already all be in the same boat so you may isolate together.

At Home Protocol for Omicron Variant

The recommended treatments are as follows:

  • Treat fever with Advil or Tylenol, as directed on package.
  • Stay hydrated; drink LOTS of water and avoid dehydrators like coffee and alcohol.
  • Get lots of rest, don’t fight the fatigue.
  • Take recommended doses of vitamins and minerals; Vitamin C, D3, K and zinc are reportedly the best to battle the symptoms and boost your immune system.
  • boost your ventilation with a filter, or open windows (last week we could have done that here too, this week not so much) When the pandemic began I purchased a UV filter, it has been out of storage quite a bit lately.
  • avoid sugary foods and other simple carbohydrates as they are known to fuel inflammation.
  • get some fresh air. This is my own addition, but it always works for me.
  • keep your sense of humour, laughter is the best medicine of all!

The Common Cold Virus vs Omicron Variant

Unfortunately, the common cold virus creates similar symptoms to this Omicron variant of Covid. The good news is you can treat the mild symptoms of both the same way.

  • cough
  • runny nose
  • congestion
  • scratchy throat
  • fatigue
  • sneezing
  • headache

Every cold I have ever suffered through started with a scratchy throat, followed by sinus congestion, and ended with a nagging cough. My husband has a similar process except for the fact that a cold always settles in his lungs causing prolonged and chestier coughing.

Homemade Remedy for the Common Cold

Last week when I felt sinus congestion signaling the beginning of a cold, I boiled a cup of water, sprinkled in a few drops of tea tree oil, and inhaled the steam. It worked like a charm; the congestion disappeared and my symptoms never progressed to a cough. My husband was not so lucky, he now has a full-on chest cold. But then again, he would not try my homemade remedy.

Colds never slow me down much. That’s the difference, hopefully something we all have learned from this pandemic. With cold symptoms so similar to Covid, we have to make ourselves slow down, stay home, get more rest etc., to attempt to control the spread of any virus we contract.

The similarity in symptoms does make you question though whether or not they warrant testing for Covid. This may be a good thing though, as testing (at least in my area) opportunities are slim pickings with the focus now changed to vaccine and booster distribution.

Of course, the downside to not getting tested for Covid means (potentially) fewer statistics generated for research and falsely low case counts.

Super Immunity From Breakthrough Cases?

Very promising recent research is predicting super immunity thanks to the increased covid cases:

You’ve got to have a foundation of protection….I think this speaks to an eventual end game,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we’re at the end of the pandemic, but it points to where we’re likely to land: Once you’re vaccinated and then exposed to the virus, you’re probably going to be reasonably well-protected from future variants.

Dr. Marcel Curlin, associate professor of medicine (infectious diseases) in the OHSU School of Medicine and a co-author of the research, 

Finally, some good news! At least for those of us that dutifully received our two Covid vaccines and a booster.