Author Topic: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?  (Read 40503 times)

marika

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Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« on: October 17, 2009, 12:11:36 PM »
OK so I have been curious...do you think that cavemen would have used some kind of soap or something besides water to wash themselves and their hair?

I have gotten pretty low-tech for my basic hygiene: I use plain baking soda now for my teeth, and plain coconut oil for deodorant. But I still rely on manufactured soap (Kirk's castile, made from coconut oil) for showering, and I even gave up using soapnuts for washing my hair and now use manufactured shampoo. (I feel bad about that...) I also use manufactured dish detergent and laundry detergent as well (I know, I could use soapnuts for that too, but they didn't seem to work very well...)

I'd like to get more basic and Paleo...I'd especially like to get rid of using the coconut oil for deodorant because it is kind of drying my skin out. (It's still recovering from my experiment with a new deodorant).

Any suggestions for extremely simple and basic stuff? I know I could use soapnuts again for shampoo, and for body washing. It didn't work so well on the dishes though. I also don't like that they have to be shipped all the way from India, I would like to be more self-reliant.

I know some folks over at the zero-carb board actually don't use anything but water on their teeth, that seems amazing! And some of them don't use any deodorant either, and they say that actually they don't smell! I haven't tested either of those theories. And I know that apparently you can go without washing your hair, and eventually your hair will learn to keep itself clean, but there's many weeks where it looks like hell...and I can't do that. :D
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 12:48:39 PM by marika »

Offline ajmesa

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2009, 12:45:22 PM »
I think it really depends on how you want to live. Our ancestors couldn't care less about how their hair smelled, or how messy it was. In our society we have different views about the matter. Not using soap/other products would probably be beneficial, but I think it is taking it too far if you live in a normal city. At least me, I wouldn't want to seat next to you in a bus :).

For those that would argue that you wouldn't smell, I simply have to laugh. Go ahead an see any species living in their natural environment. We humans are not different.

What you could do is just reduce the amount you use to a minimum, and use more "natural" products.


marika

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2009, 12:57:55 PM »
Haha, I hear ya, Ajmesa!

I did just find these, which are interesting:

http://www.articlesbase.com/education-articles/todays-cheap-landau-scrubs-and-the-cleanliness-of-the-ancient-egyptians-710212.html
Quote
For the ancient Egyptians, bathtubs were not the bathing method of choice. In fact, few of them existed during the time. Washing in rivers and canals apparently satisfied most Egyptians.


Egyptians also used washbasins. They probably washed with a mixture of salt, natron, and sand. The salt and natron cleaned, while the sand served to scrub off dirt and dead skin cells
from the body. Egyptians would wash up after waking up in the morning, and before and after the main meals. They even had a type of mouthwash, termed "bed."

http://naturalspasupplies.co.uk/
Quote

Water and Clay - the world's oldest washing method, and that to which humans are best adapted through evolution. Mammals lacking fur, such as elephants have long relied on clay to optimize the care of their skin! Return to your primal nature!
 

I've never heard of washing with clay....has anyone tried it? Seems like it would make a big mess...leaving little bits in one's hair and all over the bathroom. Plus it seems it would clog the drain!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 01:06:24 PM by marika »

marika

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2009, 01:08:50 PM »
Here's some more I found:

http://www.saunacommunity.com/about-sauna/bath-evolution.html

Quote
Archeological excavations signify that already in the ancient times there were special structures that without a doubt can be regarded as the beginning of the modern bath house. Primitive people used hot (thermal) underground waters or heated stones as the heat resource.

marika

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2009, 01:56:26 PM »
It seems that soap only goes back a few thousand years:

http://innerself.com/html/leisure-and-creativity/creativity/all-about-soap.html
Quote
People have been using tallow for soap ever since Phoenicians boiled goat fat with wood ashes about 2,500 years ago. The first solid soap bar was made in the Middle East around the 8th Century. Today, tallow still is used as a base for soap and it is cheap.


Offline Il Capo

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2009, 02:24:40 PM »
The only paleo hygiene ritual I've found which cleans me up significantly is a thorough soak in the sea.

I think it's because of the salts in the water killing bacteria which cause smell or something like that. But if I soak in fresh water (pool) I don't clean at all, I still need to shower or something.


marika

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2009, 02:33:54 PM »
Interesting, Il Capo!

I know some folks do sea salt scrubs. I wonder if that would work as well?

I did just find some pure handmade lard soap online on Etsy and ordered it. It'll be interesting to try! It's just lard, lye, and water, I can get down with that.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 02:38:31 PM by marika »

Offline ajmesa

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2009, 02:42:40 PM »
I've never heard of washing with clay....has anyone tried it? Seems like it would make a big mess...leaving little bits in one's hair and all over the bathroom. Plus it seems it would clog the drain!
I went a couple of times to a "clay bath" site when I lived in Venezuela. It was absolutely amazing; it was a naturally occurring clay lake. My hair is not long, so wouldn't know about that but the clay on the skin comes off really easily with water. I don't know if it is practical for everyday though, since you would have to do it in your tub.

marika

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2009, 02:44:49 PM »
Wow, so you totally submerged yourself in clay? Didn't it get all into, (ahem) EVERYwhere?? :D  Then you went under a shower, I guess, to rinse it all off? Did it seem like it clogged the shower or wherever it was you rinsed off?

Offline PaleoMama

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2009, 02:50:22 PM »
I have tried several times over the last 6 years to be able to wash my hair with only water. I haven't been successful yet, but there are many who have it work great. My hair went through transition, but never was ungreasy enough to be acceptable and after a few weeks it stayed at this point without improvement for months. Horrible periods of time to go through when you never reach the other side! I've heard from many people though that this works great for though and I'm curious if after a time on paleo if my hair might slow down it's oil production and this could work in the future. There are lots of people going water only and no water (only brushing) at the longhaircommunity.com

For skin I find plain water is the best thing ever. After a period of transition the oil will regulate itself and the dry patches will be soft and moist and the oily areas will be gone along with most skin blemishes. Dry skin brushing before showering will prevent dry skin in the winter, if even the water is too drying for them.

Deodorant seems only needed when I'm not eating well or I'm detoxing from not eating well. This might be different for men, I suppose. Nothing is better than a man's natural scent around full moon though  ;).

I'm with you on the laundry and dish soap. I've tried the soap nuts and quit that and I've also made my own soap using rendered suet, which was great soap, but really in the end you just can't beat a detergent for dishes and laundry (natural ones though), I find Ecover and Earth Friendly products to have good dish and laundry products.

For teeth there is this great stuff called tooth soap, which talks about how toothpaste with glycerin in it coats our teeth (a good thing if you eat crap) and makes it so the minerals in our food can become absorbed by our teeth. They debunk the idea that we can't regrow enamel. Baking soda is great, but can be harsh on teeth if used too much. I've been trying different things like mixing some of that homemade suet soap with baking soda and lots of raw coconut oil and a few drops of peppermint oil. It cleans really well and the baking soda is diluted with the other stuff, so not so rough. The coconut oil is supposed to whiten your teeth, I haven't had that in the mix long enough to be certain that is is doing that, but I think it might be.

marika

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2009, 03:11:41 PM »
Yes, I know lots of people use water only on their hair, somehow, with success...but like you I can't have my hair be greasy and unacceptable. Not even one day, really, since I own my own business and need a good professional image!

That is interesting that you've been able to not use deodorant! I am too afraid to try going without, but maybe I should try it!

Yes it is hard to find something simple but strong enough to do laundry and dishes....

I tried tooth soap, but it left my teeth kind of yellow and dingy looking. The plain baking soda works much better. Also baking soda isn't harsh or rough at all actually. I had to be convinced of that myself, but it has to do with its hardness on the Moh's scale. It is very soft and cannot harm enamel. And my dentist fully approves too! Once again, some folks over the zero-carb forum just use water-only on their teeth, and say it works just as well if not even better than baking soda! I might try it over the weekend in case my breath gets offensive or anything...

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2009, 03:50:02 PM »
Bathtubs are not common in my country.  Usually we just have showers or a pail of water with a dipper.

I don't shampoo my hair.
I shampoo my hair when I get a haircut.
Which in the past 2 months has not been shampood because I'm growing it to shoulder length for the first time in my life.  Because now that I'm healthy, now I can grow long hair without it irritating my skin.
I stopped shampooing my hair to stop hair falling off.  Shampoo was giving me a bald spot plus whitening hair.
My hair is prettier today than during my shampoo days.

Soap, I get the most basic soap.  Ivory original, a single herb soap like papaya soap.  I use soap for my butt and loins.

I use calamansi / lemon for my underarms.

I used to do oil pulling for teeth.  
It's time consuming but I get pearly shiny teeth with oil pulling.

Now I just wipe my teeth.  Low carb doesn't make teeth as dirty.  I tooth brush with soap when there is an occassion like a business meeting.

« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 03:57:12 PM by goodsamaritan »

Offline Water Lily

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2009, 04:23:35 PM »
I use Dr. Bronner's basic liquid soap for mostly everything, except:
Ecover for the dishwasher
Baking soda and peroxide for heavy duty cleaning.
Baking soda/tea tree toothpaste.
I wash my hair with (organic, gluten-free) shampoo.
I use makeup (gluten free minerals)
I do not have artificial fragrances in my home. No candles, no air fresheners, no scented products.
I have not used synthetic cleaners/makeup/bath stuff in years. Now I have to use gluten free everything, as well as chemical free everything.

I doubt what I use is Paleo, but it's as basic as I will get. Although I enjoy Paleo eating, I don't think I want to go Paleo regarding hygiene.  There are a few perks to living in 2009, and Dr. Bronner's soap is one of them.

Offline ajmesa

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2009, 04:43:08 PM »
Wow, so you totally submerged yourself in clay? Didn't it get all into, (ahem) EVERYwhere?? :D  Then you went under a shower, I guess, to rinse it all off? Did it seem like it clogged the shower or wherever it was you rinsed off?
I guess I could have submerged in clay but normally you just pick it up with your hands and smother it everywhere. It was about knees deep. Then it was not really a shower, more like a hose, and it obviously doesn't clog because the establishment was prepared for that (it was sort of a state park). I am not sure what it would do to a normal bath tub though.

marika

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Re: Caveman Bathing/Hygiene?
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2009, 04:46:18 PM »
Goodsamaritan, that is interesting that your hair is growing nice and long and you are not using shampoo!

How do use the lemon for underarms?

WaterLily, I've tried Dr Bronner in the past but I didn't really like it. Also I'd really like to try to find stuff that is more local (they use tropical oils) and not in plastic bottles.

I've been researching all evening, and I think I have found a source for USA wild-grown soapwort root! I used to use that for my hair, and it was wonderful...I think too maybe I could come up with a way to use it for body, dishes and laundry!! That would be great!