This morning I noticed that my local Duane Reade had compiled a charming display of hand sanitizers, airborne-virus annihilators, and face masks for swine flu season. This is pretty sophisticated merchandizing for the prominent drugstore chain that squanders its windows with faded boxes of Tide and tampons (can we get a Barneys window dresser on board ASAP?). But there was nothing from the natural niche, products for people that eschew the chemical blowtorch method of human hygiene. Proving that cleaner cleansers do indeed exist are couple of brilliant New Yorkers, whose natural products cull from Chinese medicine and aromatherapy. They might just blow your mind this winter. (Perhaps in lieu of your nose.)
Green Tea Goods Natural Hand Refresher, $5.99, www.greenteagoods.com
Natural alternative to: Purell Hand Sanitizer
When we heard that Barney Stacher, the man behind Dirty Girl and Teany Beverages, created this hand cleanser powered by plants and herbs used in Chinese Medicine, we ran the ingredients like huanglian and jin yin hua (two bacteria- and fungi-fighters) by Noah Rubinstein, a professor at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and leading acupuncturist, who confirmed the ingredients claims as “great stuff”
How to use it? Shake 2-3 drops into your hands and then rub them together, just like Purell, only sans the unpleasant aroma and that tight chemical-gloves feeling. Bring it to the Brooklyn Flea. (And on the Q train.)
Buddha Nose I Booster Spray, $24, www.buddhanose.com
Natural alternative to: Lysol Room Spray
Essential oils like cinnamon bark and rosemary are potent antioxidants and antibacterials, which why cosmetic chemists use them in beauty products that forgo chemical preservatives. (Inara Organic is just one example). High-quality oils also have antiviral properties that can really help the body bolster its own systems of protection, says aromatherapist and Buddha Nose founder Amy Galper. “And they can help neutralize whatever may be in the air thanks to coughing and sneezing.” Galper also makes Buddha Nose I Booster Salve in a tiny tin (great for the subway). Both are USDA organic certified.
How to use it? Shake well and mist. I’d say just one or two pumps per 300 square feet does the trick, which means a bottle should last you till spring.
Like this topic? Next Thursday acupuncturist Noah Rubinstein offers tips for staying swine-flu free this winter—and what to do if you do get sick.