Hydrating Bastille Soap Recipe Plus Practical Tips on Flu Prevention

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What’s the story with the coronavirus? Is it really worth a full on toilet paper war? And more importantly, how can I protect myself from the coronavirus and diminish my chances of getting sick? Learn why the coronavirus shouldn’t be dismissed as your average flu. Plus easy, everyday tips on reducing your chances of becoming infected with COVID-19. I’m also sharing my favorite, hydrating Bastille soap recipe. It’s perfect for dry hand relief from overuse of cheap liquid hand soap and alcohol based hand sanitizers. Plus it’s the perfect project (new hobby?) to make while practicing social distancing to avoid the spread of coronavirus in your community.

What you need to know about the coronavirus. Learn why the coronavirus shouldn’t be dismissed as your average flu. Plus easy, everyday tips on reducing your chances of becoming infected with COVID-16. I’m also sharing my favorite, hydrating Bastille soap recipe. It’s perfect for dry hand relief from overuse of cheap liquid hand soap and alcohol based hand sanitizers. Plus it’s the perfect project to make while practicing social distancing to avoid the spread of coronavirus in your community.

Why Do We Need to Be Concerned About the Coronavirus?

The coronavirus has everyone up in arms. Whether you’re taking a no nonsense approach to the whole situation, are totally freaked out, or you simply think everyone is overreacting, it’s THE news right now. What I find the most troubling about COVID-19 is what we don’t know. As of yet, we have no clue if the virus will disappear once we have regular warm weather. It doesn’t act like a typical flu virus. It’s also highly contagious.

The current statistics put 3.65% people dying from the coronavirus worldwide. (In Wuhan, that number was 4.9% of the infected population. Source. With the death rate in Italy as of 3/13/20 at 6.7%.) Which, during a bad flu season, isn’t unheard of. However, approximately one in five people who develop this illness have to be hospitalized. 10% of which will require ICU treatment, per the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine.

To make matters worse, whereas the typical flu infects only 2 to 11% of the population each year, The Atlantic states that COVID-19 has the potential to infect 40-70% of people around the world. (This is now the generally accepted position among epidemiologists as well.) And that’s where it really starts to put this virus into a very sobering perspective. At that rate, it would have the ability to kills millions in the US alone.

So if this thing spreads like wildfire, like it has in China and Italy, it can seriously hamper, and even overwhelm, our health infrastructure. (Canada is already reporting that their hospitals would be unable to cope with a coronavirus outbreak.)

And it’s not just a concern for those with weakened immune systems, cancer or anyone over the age of 60. This virus is especially dangerous to anyone with diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, anyone who smokes or vapes and those with heart, lung or kidney disease. Many of my friends and family fall into one of these categories. And while I’d like to believe I’m invincible to anything life throws my way, I know that I’m not. I’m especially concerned for friends who recently had cancer (and have weakened immune systems,) my brother who has lupus and my dad who has both high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. But beyond that, I care about the rest of the people in the world as well. Which is why I felt it was so important to address this topic on my blog.

I know I’ve made jokes, both publicly and personally, in regards to this being the beginning of the apocalypse and the start of the toilet paper wars. But what remains is that we all need to be diligent and treat this as a real and possible threat. Maybe not to the point we’re rioting outside of Walmart in Cleveland because baby formula is sold out and there’s nothing to cut crack with. But with reasonable measures in which we take not only our safety into account, but also the consideration and safety of others — most especially those at risk.

So if you’re over there hoarding toilet paper, ibuprofen, face masks and hand sanitizer, maybe check in with neighbors and donate some to those in need. I promise you don’t need a year’s supply of provisions to survive this thing. And we need the rest of the population to be able to protect themselves from the coronavirus as well. (If you have doubts, here’s a first hand account of someone who has actually had COVID-19.)

Common Sense Ways to Protect Yourself from the Flu. Learn why you need to be concerned about the flu. Plus easy, everyday tips on reducing your chances of becoming infected with flu. I’m also sharing my favorite, hydrating Bastille soap recipe. It’s perfect for dry hand relief from overuse of cheap liquid hand soap and alcohol based hand sanitizers. Plus it’s the perfect project to make while practicing social distancing to avoid the spread of flu in your community.

Common Sense Ways to Protect Yourself from the Coronavirus

Taking all this into account, here are some common sense ways to protect yourself from the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

  • Practice social distancing. That means avoiding close contact with anyone who is sick, as well as distancing yourself from people if the coronavirus is spreading in your community.
  • Avoid crowds or crowded areas and events.
  • Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water. This is especially important if you have been in a public space.
  • If soap and water are unavailable, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. (You may want to carry some with you at all times.) To use, rub hands together until they feel dry. (If hand sanitizer is sold out, here’s how to make DIY hand sanitizer that meets CDC minimum guidelines.)
  • Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth) with unwashed hands.
  • In public, stay 6 feet (or a coughing distance) from others. 
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Disinfect your travel mug after every outing. 
  • Keep disinfectant by every entrance to your home.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces every day. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. Household disinfectants should be at least 70% alcohol or an EPA-registered household disinfectant. Alternately, you can also use a bleach solution comprised of 4 teaspoons of bleach combined with 1 quart of water. (Or 1/3rd cup bleach per gallon of water.)
  • Avoid anyone with a cough and stay away from poorly ventilated areas.
  • If you need to cough, do so into your elbow or into a tissue, which is preferable, as it can be disposed of afterwards.
  • If possible, work remotely from home rather than going into the office. Most people get sick at work.
  • As there is a global shortage in face masks, donate yours to communities in need such as senior care facilities and caregivers to help slow the spread of transmission. You only need to wear a face mask if you’re sick, or caring for someone who is sick.
  • Donate excess supplies of hand sanitizer to those in your community who have none.
  • Make preparations in the chance that you do get sick and are quarantined. You will need two weeks worth of provisions, including food. (Not ten years of toilet paper.)
  • Don’t share anything with other people that comes in contact with your mouth or nose.
  • Ensure proper ventilation by keeping air circulation either by opening a window or using a fan. 
  • Use a humidifier. Higher humidity will keep the protective membranes in your nose from drying out, which makes them less effective as they try to keep pathogens out. Mid-range humidity also appears to cause some viruses to decay faster.

Tips to Prevent Flu Infection. Plus Proper Hand Washing with Soap and Water. Washing your hands is still the best way to protect yourself from the flu. Get tips for washing your hands correctly with soap and water. Plus how to make a hydrating Bastille soap recipe that won't dry out your hands like liquid hand soap or alcohol based hand sanitizers.

Hand Washing with Soap and Water

Washing your hands is still the best way to protect yourself from the coronavirus. (I mean, we can’t all hide under a rock forever.) Unfortunately, most cheap, liquid hand soaps aren’t real soap. Much like alcohol based hand sanitizers, they can also dry out your hands when used frequently. This leaves hands feeling tight, dry and itchy. Sometimes they even crack. In turn, this leads to an endless cycle of hand washing followed with moisturizers.

But what if there was a soap that didn’t dry your hands out? An alternative that left your hands clean and also offered some level of dry skin relief?

There are actually a number of these alternatives. Many handmade, cold process soaps meet this criteria. And believe it or not, bar soap is no less sanitary than using liquid hand soap. It does the same job, without the drying side effects, provided the formula isn’t overly cleansing. 

Soap can’t moisturize skin. It is, after all, a wash off product. However, it can hydrate skin. And by choosing a soap with a high level of conditioning and a lower cleansing level, you can actually avoid dry skin all together. Don’t let the lower cleansing level scare you, however. All that means is that it strips fewer oils from your skin. Soap, the combination of a fat and an alkali, is still soap. What hand washing with soap does is mechanically remove germs and pulls unwanted material off skin. Bar soaps does that.

In fact, good old soap and water is more effective than alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially if hands are visibly dirty. This is because the proteins and fats found in things, such as food tend, to reduce alcohol’s germ-killing power. It’s also favorable over antibacterial liquid hand soap containing triclosan, which contributes to antibiotic resistance. Studies have shown that both antibacterial soap versus good, old fashioned soap and water perform the same against bacteria. However, when tackling cold and flu viruses, antibacterial soap has no benefits over soap and water. This is because viruses aren’t affect by triclosan.

Tips for Washing Hands

When washing hands, there is a right way and a wrong way. Here are some tips to get the most out of washing your hands with soap and water.

  • Avoid scrubbing your skin when washing hands. This can easily damage skin and cause cracks and small cuts that give pathogens a place to grow.
  • As bacteria likes to live under fingernails, it’s wise to keep your nails short so the area underneath is easier to clean.
  • Use a hand lotion or other moisturizer after washing your hands. This helps to keep your skin barrier intact. 
  • Take your time when washing your hands. It takes about a minute to properly wash your hands. (Most of us take about 5 seconds.) However, washing your hands for a full 30 seconds can drop the bacteria count by 99.9%.

Bastille Soap Recipe. How to make cold process Bastille soap. This hydrating Bastille soap recipe won't strip your skin and dry out your hands through repeated hand washings like liquid soap does. Learn the benefits of homemade Bastille soap, how it's made and how you can use DIY Bastille soap when hand washing with soap and water to help prevent flu transmission and infection. Plus tips for washing hands the right way to remove germs.

How to Make Bastille Soap

If you’re in the midst of social distancing, now is a great time to learn how to make soap! And with a number of wonderful soap making suppliers online, you don’t even need to leave your home for supplies. A basic Bastille soap recipe is an easy way to get started. Not only is this hydrating Bastille soap recipe great for repetitive hand washing throughout the day, if you or your family have sensitive skin, it can also help to alleviate some of your other skin care issues.

(This portion of this post originally appeared as a guest post, written by myself, on Everything Pretty.)

What is Bastille Soap?

Formulated with a high percentage olive oil in combination with additional soapmaking oils, Bastille soap is a modern twist on traditional Castile soap which is made using only olive oil. While a traditional Castile soap recipe contains 100% olive oil, modern Castile soap has a looser definition in which Castile soap is defined as any hard soap made from olive oil in addition to other fats and oils. However, purists reject any soap not made with 100% olive oil as Castile soap and instead term soaps made primarily, but not wholly, with olive oil as Bastille soap.

Like Castile soap, Bastille soap still entertains a high percentage of olive oil. Any cold process soap made with at least 70% olive oil is considered a Bastille soap. However, because Castile soap has low lather and requires an extended cure time, Bastille soap makes a wonderful substitute that results both in a better lather as well as a harder bar.

Additionally, as olive oil historically creates a gentle soap that is well suited for sensitive or delicate skin, Bastille soap tends to be gentler on skin than other types of soap. This includes many commercial soaps and beauty bars made with detergent foaming agents and poor quality ingredients. With bastille soap there is also less of a chance that you might develop an allergic reaction to the ingredients used as typically the ingredients for homemade soaps are chosen for their purity and benefits in skin care.

My hydrating Bastille soap recipe that I’m sharing with you today is comprised of 80% olive oil. I also have included coconut and castor oil for better lather and cocoa butter to make a harder soap bar, thus shortening the cure time considerably over Castile soap.

Bastille soap recipe for dry skin or sensitive skin. Get dry skin relief for your dry or sensitive skin by using a handcrafted, cold process Bastille soap bar. Learn how to craft this natural soap recipe is made with 80% olive oil for a hydrating, skin conditioning soap that won't strip skin of its beneficial oils that lead to dryness and itching. A modern twist on traditional Castile soap, this moisturizing Bastille soap recipe is the perfect option for your family's natural skin care routine.

Tips for Making a Bastille Soap Recipe

While making homemade soap from scratch using fats (soapmaking oils and butters) and an alkali (lye or sodium hydroxide) involves a bit more know how than crafting your own melt and pour soaps, getting started with a basic recipe isn’t as difficult as one might presume. In fact, this basic bastille soap recipe can made in about hour and is a lot like baking a cake in many ways, though with weights rather than liquid measurements.

There are however, certain safety precautions you should take to avoid harm when working with a caustic material such as lye. These include wearing gloves, safety glasses and a safety mask that covers your mouth and nose. Nature’s Garden actually has a wonderful article on soap making safety where you can learn more about how to best protect yourself when working with lye.

If you’ve never made cold process soap before, I have an in-depth, cold process soapmaking tutorial here that instructs you on how to get started making homemade soaps from scratch. In addition, you can also find a plethora of soap making videos on YouTube, something that wasn’t available when I first started making soap many many years ago. So hopefully you’ll feel comfortable diving right in once you have a grasp of how it all works.

I know this information can seem like a lot at first for someone new to soapmaking, however, I promise you that once you start you won’t want to stop. Not only are cold process soaps a blessing for troubled skin, but they also make beautiful and functional homemade gift ideas for friends and family.

My hydrating Bastille soap recipe yields approximately six 3.5 oz. soap bars.

Hydrating Bastille soap recipe for dry skin or sensitive skin. Get dry skin relief for your dry or sensitive skin by using a handcrafted, cold process Bastille soap bar. This natural soap recipe is made with 80% olive oil for a hydrating, skin conditioning soap that won't strip skin of its beneficial oils that lead to dryness and itching. A modern twist on traditional Castile soap, this moisturizing Bastille soap recipe is the perfect option for your family's natural skin care routine.

Hydrating Bastille Soap Recipe

Ingredients:

1.6 oz. refined coconut oil (10%)
.8 oz. castor oil (5%)
12.8 oz. pomace olive oil (80%)
.8 oz. cocoa butter (5%)

4.85 fluid oz. distilled water (30.5% of oil weight)
2.05 oz. sodium hydroxide (8 % super fat)

1 Tablespoon sodium lactate (60% solution), optional
.5 oz. essential oil (or essential oil blend) of choice

Instructions:

To make this hydrating Bastille soap recipe, you’ll begin by measuring out the water into a non-aluminum, heat safe container. Next, using a digital scale, weigh out the lye.

In a well ventilated area, slowly pour the lye into the distilled water, then stir until all of the lye has dissolved. Now set the lye-water aside to cool.

Meanwhile, while the lye-water cools, weigh out and combine the soap making oils (coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil and cocoa butter) in a non-aluminum pot. Then heat on the stove over medium-low heat until all the oils have melted.

Remove the soap making oils from heat once the oils have melted and allow to cool.

Once both your soap making oils and lye-water have reached about 90° – 95°F you’re ready to make your hydrating Bastille soap recipe!

If desired you can add one Tablespoon of sodium lactate (60% solution) to your lye-water prior to making soap for a harder bar and to give your soap an additional boost in lather.

Now slowly pour the lye-water into the liquified soap making oils then blend with a stick or immersion blender until you reach a light trace.

Weigh out the essential oil you’ve chosen to use, if a fragrance is desired, then add to the soap batter.

Continue mixing with a stick blender until you reach a medium trace, then pour the Bastille soap batter into a six-cavity rectangle silicone soap mold.

If desired, you can add flowers or decorative, cosmetic salt to the tops of your freshly poured soap. I added blue cornflowers to the tops of my hydrating Bastille soap bars.

Cover the soap lightly with plastic wrap then set aside in a safe location for 24-48 hours.

Once your Bastille soap bars are no longer soft, remove them from the mold and allow the bars to cure in a cool, dry location for four to six weeks.

If you need to resize my hydrating Bastille soap recipe to fit another soap mold, or to make a larger batch, you will need to run the recipe back through a lye calculator prior to doing so. You can find more information on how to use a lye calculator as well as additional information on how to create custom soap recipes here.

Not ready to make my hydrating Bastille soap recipe? You can purchase a number of lovely, handcrafted Bastille soap bars from artisans on Etsy here.

Bastille soap recipe for dry skin or sensitive skin. Get dry skin relief for your dry or sensitive skin by using a handcrafted, cold process Bastille soap bar. Learn how to craft this natural soap recipe is made with 80% olive oil for a hydrating, skin conditioning soap that won't strip skin of its beneficial oils that lead to dryness and itching. A modern twist on traditional Castile soap, this moisturizing Bastille soap recipe is the perfect option for your family's natural skin care routine.

Love my hydrating Bastille soap recipe? Then be sure to pin this recipe to Pinterest for later. Or explore more of my cold process soap recipes here. You can also find and follow me on facebooktwitterinstagram and Blog Lovin‘. Or sign up to receive an email whenever I share a new post!

Fire Cider Vinegar Recipe: A Natural Cold and Flu Remedy

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I may receive compensation from links on this site. As an Amazon Associate I also earn from qualifying purchases. See my disclosure policy.

I tried fire cider vinegar as a natural cold and flu remedy for the first time at the end of last year. This was after getting yet another cold. A cold which I honestly think was being passed back and forth between me and and a guy I’d been dating. The results were quickly noticeable. By day three I felt like a whole new, shiny person. And that undying sinus headache, that typically only Sudafed takes care of, was quick to make a hasty retreat from the first use. Not only did it help immediately, I didn’t have to take any over the counter medication in addition to the fire cider I was taking.

Fire cider vinegar recipe: A natural cold and flu home remedy for symptom relief. Learn how to make a homemade fire cider vinegar as a natural cold and flu remedy. This traditional, warming apple cider vinegar tonic acts as a holistic decongestant while also supporting immune health. Boost your immunity for health and wellness with this holistic homeopathic fire cider recipe.

I’ve since recommended fire cider vinegar for natural cold and flu relief to all of my friends. Those who took my advice felt better within two days time, with complete relief in under a week. Those who didn’t, well. Let’s just say their illnesses dragged on for two full weeks. Unfortunately, buying fire cider can be expensive. Therefore, if you aren’t in a time crunch, I recommend making your own to keep in stock for when you need it as a home remedy for colds and flu.

With the new virus now a pandemic, a combo of both fire cider vinegar and elderberry syrup are my go to products for cold and flu season. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of fire cider as a cold and flu remedy, how to make your own fire cider vinegar recipe using raw apple cider vinegar, and other natural cold and flu remedies you can try.

ingredients for making fire cider at home from scratch

Fire Cider Cold and Flu Remedy

I’ve been an advocate for apple cider vinegar for a number of years now. It all started with a quest to learn how to better manage my fibromyalgia after realizing that pain killers were literally the worst ever way to treat a chronic condition. I tried literally a zillion supplements and remedies during my hunt for a natural alternative. This journey led me to kombucha tea. Then, eventually, to an apple cider vinegar tonic to remedy my gut health.

When I first learned about fire cider vinegar it was during a trademark dispute over the use of “fire cider.” A traditional cold and flu remedy, the term fire cider had been used for centuries as a holistic remedy. That a company had come along and trademarked a well known term used for a natural remedy was concerning to a lot of people. Luckily, some upstanding, prominent herbalists took it upon themselves to fight this trademark. And, after a lot of time and money (much of which was donated to the cause), they finally won. Five years later and Shire City Herbals no longer owns a trademark to the common term, fire cider.

horseradish for making traditional fire cider vinegar recipe as a natural home remedy for cold and flu relief

This also sets a precedent that prevents the names for traditional folk remedies from being trademarked in the future. Therefore it’s seen as a win for herbalists. After all, people had been making, using and selling fire cider vinegar long before Shire City Herbals trademarked the name in 2012.

Not only should the name not have been trademarked in the first place, but the claim that Shire City Herbals came up with fire cider vinegar on its own in 2010 was simply untrue. There are decades upon decades of history outlining its use. Rosemary Gladstar, a well known and respected herbalist, also outlined a fire cider tonic recipe in her book, Herbs for the Home Medicine Chest, which was first published in 1999 as a traditional, herbal cold and flu remedy.

raw honey and garlic for making a natural cold and flu home remedy for fire cider

What Is Fire Cider?

Fire cider vinegar is a traditional, warming apple cider vinegar tonic. It acts as a holistic decongestant while also supporting immune health. Comprised of onions, garlic, peppers, ginger, horseradish, a lemon or orange, turmeric, raw honey and apple cider vinegar, this spicy folk preparation is perfect as a shooter or an addition to water, oil and vinegar dressings and foods like fried rice or mixed veggies. There are a number of different ways to make fire cider vinegar, although the basics tend to remain the same due to their effectiveness.

It’s easy to customize and, of course, you can add as much honey as you like to taste. It also makes a great addition to non-alcoholic, bloody mary recipe. Unfortunately, it does take a month to steep in a cool, dark location. So if you need your fire cider fix ASAP, you can buy this traditional herbal cold remedy online. Or pick some up at your local co-op like I did!

Keep reading to learn how to make a homemade fire cider vinegar as a natural cold and flu remedy for you and your family.

Fire cider vinegar recipe: A natural cold and flu home remedy for symptom relief. Learn how to make a homemade fire cider vinegar as a natural cold and flu remedy. This traditional, warming apple cider vinegar tonic acts as a holistic decongestant while also supporting immune health. Boost your immunity for health and wellness with this holistic homeopathic fire cider recipe.

Traditional Fire Cider Vinegar Recipe

Ingredients:

1 medium organic onion, chopped
10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped
2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root
1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root
1 Tbsp. organic turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. organic cayenne powder
2 Tbsp. of dried rosemary leaves
organic apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of raw local honey, or to taste

Instructions:

Prepare the ingredients as indicated, by chopping the onion, garlic and peppers. Then grate the ginger and horseradish. Zest and juice the lemon, then combine with the prepared vegetables and spices in a one quart, sterilized mason jar.

Fill the remainder of the mason jar with unfiltered apple cider vinegar. (I love Bragg’s apple cider vinegar with the “mother.”) Then, place a piece of wax paper, or parchment paper, on top of the jar and screw on the lid. (Alternately, you can also use a mason jar with a plastic lid. You just don’t want the acid from the apple cider vinegar eating away at the metal.)

Shake the jar to combine the ingredients. Then, store the mason jar with the fire cider vinegar in a cool, dark location. You should shake the jar once a day for a period of four to six weeks.

After this time, strain the fire cider vinegar through a fine mesh sieve strainer or cheesecloth. Be sure to squeeze the liquid from the pulp of your fire cider vinegar ingredients as well. You want all the natural health benefits that are found in these particular foods!

Now add the raw honey to the fire cider vinegar. You can adjust the amount to taste. Fire cider vinegar is spicy, but not so spicy I couldn’t stand it. (And yes, I’m a wimp. I buy MILD salsa like a crazy person.)

Your fire cider vinegar is now ready to be used. When not in use, simply store your fire cider vinegar in a cool, dark location or in your refrigerator.

Fire cider vinegar recipe: A natural cold and flu home remedy for symptom relief. Learn how to make a homemade fire cider vinegar as a natural cold and flu remedy. This traditional, warming apple cider vinegar tonic acts as a holistic decongestant while also supporting immune health. Boost your immunity for health and wellness with this holistic homeopathic fire cider recipe.

How to Use Fire Cider as a Cold and Flu Remedy

To use your fire cider vinegar, take one to two Tablespoons as needed to naturally relieve cold and flu symptoms. I like to do shots about three times a day when I first start getting sick. (I also chug a glass of water directly afterwards to tame the burn.) However, you can adjust your intake based on what your body needs at the time.

If you drink a LOT of apple cider vinegar, it does have the potential to damage tooth enamel. So you may want to dilute yours in a glass of water instead.

Fire cider vinegar recipe: A natural cold and flu home remedy for symptom relief. Learn how to make a homemade fire cider vinegar as a natural cold and flu remedy. This traditional, warming apple cider vinegar tonic acts as a holistic decongestant while also supporting immune health. Boost your immunity for health and wellness with this holistic homeopathic fire cider recipe.

If you like my fire cider vinegar recipe, then be sure to pin it for later.

Alternative Natural Cold and Flu Remedies

If you’re looking for more ways to support immune health throughout cold and flu season, you can also try one of these other natural alternatives.

If you like my natural fire cider vinegar recipe, be sure to follow Soap Deli News on facebooktwitter and instagram as well as on Blog Lovin‘. Or sign up to receive an email whenever I share a new post!

This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Information on products mentioned are based on my own personal experience or research and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult a physician prior to making any changes that may impact your health.