Oct 282016

Cutaneous granulomas caused by antiperspirants containing aluminum zirconium complex can explain some people’s rash like reaction to all or almost all antiperspirants.

Cutaneaous granulomas are compacted inflamed cells either grouped together or single bumps.

The term Granuloma covers a wide group of conditions and  can be  caused by an array of things including exposure to invading organisms or antigens, chemical irritants, viral infections etc. If you suffer from cutaneous granulomas under your arm or near there, you may want to consider discontinuing your antiperspirant to see if that clears up the issue.

Zirconium compounds have been associated with the development of hypersensitivity granulomas.

J Am Acad Dermatol

Just to be clear, it is my understanding that antiperspirants don’t always cause cutaneous granulomas in people, just to those who are sensitive to aluminum zirconium complexes or possibly by those whose body in undergoing another stressor and when this condition is combined with antiperspirant, a temporary reaction may be possible.

To read more, check out….



Mar 072016

Poison Ivy Relief with Pine Tar Salve and Pine Tar Soap

Stacy wrote to me asking;

Any suggestions for one of your products to help relieve poison ivy itchiness?

Thanks for asking Stacy!  I know the pain and irritation of Poison Ivy!

You could try my Pine Tar Salve.

Pine Tar is a traditional treatment for poison ivy. I also add some other helpful ingredients for itchy skin including Neem and herbal infusion. Check out the listing for why these ingredients are good. According to my customers, my pine tar salve has been helping their hard to treat itchy skin conditions.


Keep in mind though that the Pine Tar Salve is black and could stain. Also, it has a strong smell of pine that some people like and others don’t.

You Could Try My Pine Tar Soap

Also, I have Pine Tar Soap, which -although isn’t as strong – is good for wide spread issues, scalp itchiness, will sooth skin and will also stop the poison Ivy from spreading.

Feb 042016

Toothpowder Puts you Back in Control of Your Teeth

toothpowdersNo preservatives needed in this dry toothpowder. YOU add the water! Use toothpowder to clean your mouth and raise your ph so bacteria don’t like you or your mouth. Yeah! No bacteria, no plaque. No plaque, no gum disease or tooth decay.


Pour a little on the palm of your hand and use a wet toothbrush to scoop up with your brush. Brush your teeth for two minutes, remember to give your tongue and top of your mouth a brush too.


My (Hi, it’s Brenda) toothpowders all have baking soda, cream of tarter, calcium carbonate, diatomaceous earth, clay and special exotic salts, and herbs.

Baking Soda is the powerhouse in this toothpowder because it raises the Ph in your mouth and provides a soft, gentle cleaning of your teeth. Baking Soda might seem to grainy for teeth enamel but as long as it is wet, I am told it is good for your teeth, well more than good, great!

Cream of Tarter comes from the production of wine, it is a little bit acidic and it adds that effervescence in my toothpowder that makes the teeth feel clean.

Calcium Carbonate is a great little mineral, especially for teeth and you’ll see it in most good toothpastes as a way to keep your teeth nice and mineralized.

Diatomaceous Earth is a natural tooth cleaner. In fact, most commercial brands of toothpaste have silica in their toothpaste. Well, DE is a natural silica. It is hard, so it acts as an abrasive but it is also microscopic, which makes it a nice and exceptionally gentle abrasive. It also keep the toothpowder dry once you’ve opened it.

Clays are naturally detoxing, meaning they attract bad stuff, the bad stuff sticks to the clay and it becomes easy to get rid of. Also, clay s have minerals in them andthese  minerals can be absorbed by your teeth, protecting them.

Salts provide antibacterial action, remineralizing power and preservative help.

Cinnamon and Clove Toothpowder

Cinnamon and Clove Toothpowder LabelCinnamon and Clove are the tastiest antibacterials I know of. They are great for those of us who worry about or suffer from gum disease.  These two herbs will keep gums healthy, which will keep them from receding and will add to our already youthful appearance, yes? If you are interested in purchasing Cinnamon and Clove Toothpowder from us, click here.

Activated Charcoal Toothpowder


Activated Charcoal is an adsorper, meaning it has microscopic crags and crevices which trap toxins and carry them away. This is why Activated Charcoal is used in hospitals to treat poison victims and used in water filtration systems to clean water. It is this detoxifying effect that actually whitens teeth.

Licorice prevents cavities and helps gums studies suggest by inhibiting bacteria.

Fennel is often offered at the end of an Indian meals to freshen breath and clean teeth. It has been used in this way for millennia.

If you are interested in purchasing my Activated Charcoal Toothpowder, click here.

toothpowder_Green15-01Spearmint, Spinach and Spirolina Toothpowder

Spearmint, Spinach and Spirolina freshens your mouth and is good for Sensitive Teeth.

If you are interested in purchasing my Spearmint, Spinach and Spirolina Toothpowder, click here.

Aug 202015

Baking Soda Deodorant Rash Solved

Here’s a portion of a conversation I had with a customer about his experience with a deodorant rash:

Hi Brenda,

Recently I’ve developed a rash on my armpits. I am not sure why all the sudden but I suspect the heat in combination with the deodorant is what’s causing it all of the sudden. I have tried to dial back the amount I use which helps a bit

Hi Alan,

Thanks for writing about your concern. First, I think the rash might be caused exactly for the reasons you describe. Also, is there a chance, because of the heat, that you’ve applying more? Another cause could be diet, we tend to eat a little bit better at this time of year because of all the greens and good veggies available. This, at least theoretically, can raise our Ph slightly (a good thing many suspect) which would impact your skin’s Ph, which would impact your need for a high alkaline deo. So, you could try to dilute it too, with Aloe or Coconut Oil or witch hazel.
Here’s a link to my Mineral Deo, if you’d like to try that…, it has a lower Ph.

Hey Brenda,
Thanks for the info! Luckily the rashing has gone down, and it doesn’t seem to be peeling anymore since using less deo. So less is definitely more. Also been using some jojoba and coconut oil to help soothe and heal. I think I’ll be OK using less deo though as I’ve already gone 13 hours today already and don’t stink! Prior to using yours I was making my own with coconut oil, arrowroot powder and baking soda which worked well but simply got too busy to worry about making my own all the time. Thanks for making such a great product!

Jojoba is an excellent addition and I’m glad you mentioned it. Also glad it seems to be working out. Have a great week! Yours,

Jun 052015

There are Ways to Have No Rash Baking Soda Deodorant

IMG_20121216_121435As you know because you found this post that there is a percentage of people who rash with baking soda deodorants. And I write about this in other posts. This time I want to share solutions my customers found that allowed them to use my deodorant and would probably work for other baking soda deodorants too.  I think because we are all different no one solution is going to fit every person.  We need to recognize ( hopefully just a little bit of) trial and error is necessary for many of us. Sharing what worked for others helps us all add to our repertoire of solutions that might work for us.  Remember to be gentle with your underarms when experimenting with deodorants. It is important to give your underarms a chance to heal  before trying new solutions.  Just like breaking in a pair of shoes or hiking boots. You don’t keep wearing footwear once the blister has happened, you have to let it heal and try again.

Dilute the Deodorant

Kroger Milk of magnesia without sodium hypochloriteBecause I am a copious sweat producer, I needed to make my deodorant pretty strong and then add things that will help my skin accept it (Aloe, Vit. E., Coconut Oil, Hemp Oil, Avocado Oil, Clay) but it might be too strong for some people. This is such an easy fix though, and helps the deo last longer… Dilute it! I haven’t tried all the ingredients you could use to dilute Ziryab’s deodorant but many of the ideas probably won’t lessen the very long shelf life of the deodorant (unless you put something in it very degradable like milk, cream or avocados!)

Laurie R from Wisconsin writes:

the baking soda tore up my underarms…redness,leathery skin etc. and I’ve never had a problem with baking soda before….just way too much in it. These are symptoms of what baking soda does to many (I looked online) The good news is that this deodorant is SO WORTH looking for a way to make it work….and I did! A little research online and inexpensive trial and error with something made this work. 24 hours later and heavy sweat and still didn’t have odor! The sample size itself is huge…never saw one like it before. I personally love the herbal scent it has as well. I didn’t expect it to work any better than my other favorite from another shop (which is great) but it far exceeds it. Will most definitely buy a bottle when the samples are gone!

I wrote to her and asked her what worked for her and she wrote back and told me, thank you Laurie!

I mixed in a little milk of magnesia. It worked perfectly for me by diluting the baking soda just enough but not taking anything away from the deodorant. Some may not want to use it as m.o.m. contains bleach…but if you can take it internally without dying from it, I myself am not worried about a little of it in deodorant. People may also try magnesium oil…I just didn’t have any. I will be buying a bottle of your deodorant in the near future….thank you it truly is wonderful stuff!

I really admire people like Laurie who do their research and are willing to share their solutions.  I think using Milk of Magnesia is very smart (of course I would because I sell an alternative deo called Mineral Deodorant which has Magnesium Hydroxide as a main ingredient). The reason it worked for Laurie is that Milk of Magnesia is still pretty high alkaline so it dilutes the Baking Soda but only a little bit.   So it is an ingredient that really won’t interfere with the way the deodorant works but might not dilute it enough for some people…  Glad it worked for Laurie and it might work for others too.

About bleach in Milk of Magnesia… Laurie is right about the bleach, sodium hypochlorite.  Probably acting as a preservative.   I am not so sure it is neccessary though nor can I say  whether the chemical is present in a large enough quantity to hurt us but who really knows?  So I think if it is avoidable, avoid it.  The good news is that there are brands that don’t list sodium hypochlorite on their labels.

Dan Wich has very kindly posted on his website Toxinless a list of places that sell Milk of Magnesia without sodium hypochlorite.



Dec 102014

Lisa writes:

Hi! I ordered your product and really wanted to love it. The first week after using it I love the coverage however I began to get pain in one of my armpits. The pain got progressively worse unfortunately until I noticed I had huge zit like things. No joke after a few days they got so big my husband (a nurse) said they really looked like boils. Woah- what was up with me I don’t know. I don’t have sensitive skin but this reaction was awful!

I wrote back:

Rashes are pretty common in baking soda deodorants. Boils however, are not something I’ve heard of… In fact, as your husband no doubt knows, boils are staphylococcus infections and can actually be caught. Usually infecting skin through a cut or hair follicle. They do often occur under the arms.

(Many people do suffer from boil like symptoms and rashes from a disorder caused by the aluminum in antiperspirants)

If they were/are boils, A few things could have happened, the baking soda may have irritated your skin enough to allow you to contract an infection. Or, the deo caused an underlying condition to “come to a head” – pardon the pun.

I am not a medically trained person, I’ve just read that some people recommend many of the ingredients in my deodorant (baking soda, tea tree, neem, aloe vera) to “draw-out” a boil.

After you have completely healed, you might consider trying again, cautiously! I am not a nurse or scientist but I have started to believe that most people who don’t rash right away can figure out a way to continue to use the deodorant without rashing. I’ve written a lot about rashing on my website but it seems to me most people’s skin that rashes after a week or so when using a baking soda product can train their skin to be okay with it as long as they don’t push it too far too fast for their skin’s tolerance. ( I am less optimistic about people who rash immediately.)

Oh, and in your case, I’ll mention I’ve heard often about a detoxifying period of using a natural deodorant. I haven’t believed the concept at all. I’ve always thought it was complete hogwash… however so many people have mentioned it that there may be a very small minority that it is actually true for. Like you? It’s a LONG SHOT. Could detoxifying result in boils? I don’t know.

If you do decide to try again after completely healing, PLEASE let me know what you tried and how it went. Also read my info on rashing on my site:


Dec 062014

Adriane writes:

This is awkward to write but after using this for the last 2-3 weeks, I have noticed my armpits are stained like dark red and brown….the only thing I have done different is use this. My clothes are the same, same laundry soap, bath soap, same level of activity/perspiration.

Has anyone else had this issue?

I wrote back:

Absolutely, it is common and it is the product. I don’t know why it happens and it doesn’t happen to everyone. However, it happened to me and then it went away. I suspect it is similar to breaking in a new pair of shoes, your skin gets used to it. The baking Soda is highly alkaline and skin likes to be slightly acidic. Unfortunately, Body Odor causing bacteria has developed to flourish in this acidic environment. What my deodorant does is create a longer lasting alkaline environment to prevent the bacteria from growing.

However, depending on skin and possibly existing Ph levels, someone can rash (and or perhaps get rougher dark skin under arms). If it is just delicate skin unused to alkaline, this can be overcome. However, I don’t think it can always be overcome. I suspect this is sometimes due to already existing high alkaline levels. I also suspect we can predict future success of getting used to the deodorant by the speed in which a rash occurs.

I would make sure you are using the least amount you need. You also might try discontinuing and trying again after the redness is gone. The discoloration will go away if you stop using my product and will probably stop happening even when you do use my product. In my case, my underarms are lighter then they were before.

And I’m glad you shared, I haven’t had too many comments about this but I’d like to figure out exactly what should be done when it happens and your experience is very helpful for others, thanks! Let me know what you think. I can also give you a reasonable refund or a a discount on a non-baking soda roll-on to try.

Please read my posts about rashes too



Oct 152014

Acne Face Mask with White Willow Bark

Overzealous sebum secretion is a major contributor to acne. While it is natural to create some oils, too much tends to get trapped in pores, starts developing bacteria which the skin reacts to by becoming inflamed and developing pimples. Masks for acne absorb oil, wash away debris and keep bacteria away.

I developed my mask to address all the topical reasons acne develops and my customers are really happy with the product.


All you need to do is mix a teaspoon or more to a small bowl of water, yogurt or honey and spread over face.

Mix with any of the following;

  • WATER if you want maximum absorption of sebum.
  • YOGURT if you have acne and dry skin, the fat in yogurt will help keep the skin moisturized.
  • HONEY to sooth and calm your skin.

Mix a teaspoon of mask with enough liquid for easy spreadibility. Allow to dry on skin and wash off. Use once or twice a week.



This American mined clay works so well as a mask because it does three things very well.

  1. It absorbs the extra oil on your face
  2. It draws out pour blockages.
  3. It also attracts and takes in toxins that might be contributing to the bacterial growth on the face.

In fact, it has been studied for its potential to attract and absorb toxins for skin exposed to allergens, poisons, and other skin irritants.

There are many different types of clays and each contains it own unique signature mix of trace minerals like potassium, iron and magnesium which probably helps clay provide an environment inhospitable to bacteria.


This natural source for salicin is the grandfather of present day Salicylic acid and sodium salicylate — a palatable form of the very familiar pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medicine, aspirin. Salicylic acid is a major active ingredient in the popular but expensive skin care regimen, Proactiv.

Salicin is good to treat acne sufferers as it not only acts as an anti-inflammatory (say goodbye to enflamed, red skin) but is also an acid which loosens extra layers of skin and allows it to be shed away instead of clogging your pores. Its presence also prevents the growth of bacteria.

The strong relationship between White Willow bark and Aspirin means that those with allergies to aspirin should avoid ingredients containing Willow Bark, Wintergreen and Spearmint.


This lovely and clean smelling herb has shown considerable antibacterial properties in studies and makes it an excellent choice for my face mask.(http://scholarsresearchlibrary.com/ABR-vol4-iss10/ABR-2013-4-10-52-55.pdf)


This herb is another source of base salicylic acid and methyl salicylate. Methyl Salicylate is refreshing and cooling to inflamed skin.


I can find very little reliable evidence that Spirolina is good for your skin or face yet I just can’t help feel it is the perfect ingredient to mix with the others. It is jam packed with a variety of proteins, vitamins and minerals. I’ve included the list from Wikipedia on my website at WWW.ZIRYABS.COM and I’ll continue to research this ingredient and continue to use it without evidence of its greatness for now. One of the additional benefits of Spirolina is its bright green color which is a great color for reddened skin.


Works well as an absorber of unwanted dirt as well as a gentle exfoliator when you wash off the mask. It also provides a good source of silica to the mixture.


Sea Buckthorn Powder, also known as Hippophae requires further study on its usefulness for many things including as a source of nutrition as well as medicinal potential. I found this quote calling for further study printed in Scientific and Academic Publishing (http://article.sapub.org/10.5923.j.fph.20120203.02.html).

“Rich source of natural antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, tocopherols, carotenoids, flavonoids, while they contain proteins, vitamins (especially vitamin C), minerals, lipids (mainly unsaturated fatty acids), sugars, organic acids and phytosterols. Animal and human studies suggest that sea buckthorn may have various beneficial effects: cardioprotective, anti-atherogenic, antioxidant, anti-cancer, immunomodulatory, anti-bacterial, antiviral, and wound healing and anti-inflammatory. ”

Meanwhile, we have some impressive anecdotal reports on the healing impact of seabuckthorn oil on skin, especially on damaged, scarred and burned skin. Given its high level of Vit C., I conclude that Seabuckthorn Powder would have similar benefits of a Vit C. serum on photoaging.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11896774 one study concluded that their mixture of Vit C resulted in clinically visible and statistically significant improvement in wrinkling when used topically for 12 weeks. This clinical improvement correlates with biopsy evidence of new collagen formation.


While nothing proves conclusively that Aloe Vera can heal as much as it is said to heal, I do know that I like using Aloe Vera on cuts, scrapes and burns because it feels good. My grandmother grew it and used it on her skin and, when I went to Kenya, I learned that the Samburu warriors used it to heal everything from cuts to pink eye. I use it in my mask suspecting it will help soothe and heal sore, acne challenged skin.


Cinnamon, like Turmeric, has gotten a lot of attention recently for its uses outside of flavoring food. Studies suggest cinnamon has strong antibacterial action as well as may encourage blood flow to the skin and increase collagen production. I believe it is milder then clove but caution should be used when applying cinnamon to skin as too much might be irritating.


One of my favorite ingredients, Neem is known as the tree of gold in India for it many uses including acting as both an antibacterial and an anti-inflammatory. Neem Powder is not oily.


This seaweed is a great ingredient in a mask as it helps thicken the mask while adding potentially beneficial nutrients including Beta Carotene.

GUAR GUM is also a thickener helping to bond the ingredients together when moistened and helps mixture stick to your face.

This product and the above description is not meant to claim that this mask can treat or cure your acne. The FDA protects your safety from claims of products having any medicinal benefits without scientifically recognized and approved proof.

Aug 092014

My first customer Chris wrote me this review:

“The best antiperspirant and deodorant ever! I haven’t been able to find any natural deodorant that
works and doesn’t make me glands swell up, this is so much better than antiperspirant. My wife keeps smelling my pits and saying ‘Yup, still working!’ Thank you!!!

The truth is, my regular lotion deodorant is not an antiperspirant, at least not the kind sold in stores.  Chris and other customer have told me the noticed a marked decrease in sweating when using Ziryab’s Body Brew Deodorant. I too noticed this but it might be a factor of a changing body for me. How-Antiperspirants-work
As you may know, antiperspirant works by using a chemical that expands in your pores when it gets wet and blocks sweat glands so the sweat can’t come out.

I am not aware of any ability of the ingredients in my deodorant to do this.

There is a possibility that once allowed to sweat without blockage, our sweat decreases. But this sounds a little far fetched to me even though I’ve noticed the result.

There is only a few other ways to deal with sweating that I know about.

  1. Constrict the pores with an astringent like witch hazel which I include in my deodorant.
  2. Increase evaporation on skin to cool faster with alcohol
  3. Use something that will absorb sweat like clay, tapioca, baking soda (I use all three) and
  4. Maybe use menthol to cool (I use peppermint essential oil) but I’m not sure this is not just a sensation or it really would stop one from perspiring a bit.

So while my deo does have some wetness protection it isn’t nearly as strong as such things as aluminum chlorohydrate in commercial antiperspirants.


Jul 312014

ZirYabs Oil Face Clanser

The idea of cleansing your face with oil to prevent blacheads and Milia may sound strange to some people but for some reason when I first heard about the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) or Oil Cleansing Treatment (OCT) it made some kind of sense to me.

Oil cleans oil, I’ve known this for a long time and often use oil to remove other old or unwanted oils on objects. Oils have worked well to remove tar from my feet and even had some impact on getting it off towels. It also works to get off sticky substances off of objects or to clean hardened oil off of cooking surfaces.

Knowing this, I see no reason why oil isn’t a great substance to use on those oils blocking our pores.

Oil Can Open Blockages

True, oil is also the cause of blockages but it is internal oil called sebum. Sebum is natures way of cleansing our pores of  dead skin cells. However, sometimes this doesn’t go exactly to plan. Too much sebum or other complication can mean that the sebum clumps up with skin and hair  and gets trapped in our pores.  This can cause bacteria to develop which become pimples.

Black heads occur in a similar way, forming when our natural oil gets trapped in a hair follicle and the oil oxidizes and turns dark. While there is no infection related to blackheads, most of us would prefer not to have them.

For years I’ve been told to be careful using things that will block my pores, especially oil laden lotions and makeup. I was told to look for noncomedogenic (a blackhead is known as a comedeo) products to prevent my pores from getting clogged.

When I began getting those small white pumps around my eyes as I got older called milia ( small epidermal inclusion cysts) I was strongly urged to use only oil-free or water-based products on my face by an esthetician in order to avoid milia and blackheads. I followed her advice for several years but still got those damned white spots.

All accepted wisdom needs to be questioned every now and then. I still agree that oil laden and greasy things left on skin for too long is likely to block pores.  However, it seems to me the right oils used properly can prevent and maybe even lessen blackheads and milia by loosening up stubborn sebum and allowing it to be cleansed away.

It may be coincidental but ever since I’ve been using high quality pure oils to gently cleanse my face, I have no white bumps on my face, eyelids or around my eyes and even the bumps that are deep in my skin under my eyes are less noticeable and bumpy.

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