I am happy to report that triclosan in antibacterial hand wash soaps was recently banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Those of us in the natural health industry never used these soaps suspecting that their claims were dubious. Many also avoided triclosan fearing that the chemical was potentially harmful. After all these years, the FDA agrees on both counts.
On their website the FDA cites Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, as saying “Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water. … In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”
Now you can use plain soap and water to wash your hands with, but why not enhance your cleansing with antimicrobial essential oils that kill communicable diseases? There is a concern that overusing these types of essential oils will lead to a germ resistance similar to that caused by the overuse of antibiotics. But essential oil safety expert Robert Tisserand states, “Many essential oils are quite potent antibacterial agents. … (But pathogenic) bacteria are not becoming resistant to them, partly because essential oils can sometimes reverse resistance in bacteria – turn it off – and partly because they can effectively inhibit bacterial communication.”
With triclosan banned and essential oils a good substitute in hand washes, now is the time to make your own. Here is a recipe from the website of Dr. Tieraona Low Dog adapted with my essential oil recommendations:
Homemade Foaming Soap
1 cup water
1/3 cup liquid castile soap
15 drops essential oils (e.g. geranium, lavender, lemon, peppermint, and/or tea tree)
Soap bottle with foaming pump
Put the water and liquid castile soap into a soap bottle with a foaming pump. Add essential oils.