Gardening Without Harmful Chemicals

Chemicals Make Us Sick

That harmful chemicals make us sick is a fact.  We are witnessing colony bee collapse that is being traced to the use of chemicals in our environment. Bees are like a canary in the coal mine. They act as sentinels for what effects health. If you believe we are all connected on some level as I do, what we use in our environment effects animals like our pets, insects and our food too. Living in Portland, Oregon is such a gift due to an elevated environmental consciousness, but many people here buy and use garden insecticides and herbicides freely.  It is a relief to know there are gardening alternatives without using harmful chemicals.

As a practicing naturopath for over 24 years, continued use of chemicals in and around the home raises concerns. Quite often I see and treat people becoming more chronically ill. Are our bodies facing more and more chemicals on a day to day basis. I think so!

Safety in the Garden

In order to process all the chemicals our bodies come in contact with, the liver is the most important organ in this job.  Other organs are an important part of elimination too. This article however will focus on some alternative ideas for keeping your environment both inside and outside your home in the safety zone.

NB: A lesser known fact is that our liver will continue to process chemicals until almost 90% of if has failed.

Some useful alternatives to chemicals that I found successful in the garden are vinegar and salt. Yes, just as using simple agents for cleaning our homes inside like vinegar, salt and baking soda, similarly these agents can be used for outside weed control. Another safe cleaning agent to use is lemon juice.

A vinegar/salt solution is simple to apply and weeds will be affected by the application of non-toxic substances. Here is a good website with several options for vinegar weed killers.


     Gardening Without Harmful Chemicals

Here’s a recipe I found that works well:

1 gallon white vinegar (costs $3-4 a gallon)

1 cup salt – table salt or Epsom salt

1-2 Tablespoons liquid dish detergent.


Mix well together and spray only on the weeds you want gone. Careful not to use on other plants.

Take a few steps to keep the environment safer while lightening the load on our bodies  for better health.  Gardening is a wonderful activity for people of all ages. Gardening with friendlier agents makes it even safer.

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