Enough can’t be said about our toxic world. Although not usually visible to the eye, toxins play a detrimental role in our overall health. It is important to detoxify our bodies with various and continual approaches; it is even more important to remove all aggravating factors from our environment and replenish our living space with healing modalities. If anyone in your home suffers from allergies, eczema, asthma or any other immune, nervous, skin or respiratory system disorder, it is imperative that you heed this information. We have two great books to get you started: Home Enlightenment by Annie Bond, and Healthy Home by Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz.
HERE’S THE DIRT
Living in a clean home doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are always various options to living chemical-free! The purpose of this article is to convince you of the harmful chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis and to provide you with natural yet effective alternatives to these products. My focus is on products that you inhale and products that are absorbed through your skin. If you are someone who has made the switch to natural alternatives, then you can attest to the fact that 1) your health is much improved; 2) you are now aware and sensitive to any chemicals that saunter their way to your nasal passages and skin; and 3) people that you observe are completely being affected negatively by the chemicals in their environment.
Remember Pig Pen and the cloud of dirtiness always around him? Well, this is what I picture when I experience someone with Tide on their clothes, strong perfume or cologne and perfumed lotions on their bodies. Case-in-point: I recently attended a natural health conference and spent the whole day on a tour with 100 people. As we broke down to smaller groups, I was stuck with a gentleman who wore the most invasive cologne I have ever smelled. I watched him all day as he sniffed, twitched and cleared his throat. By the end of the day, I had a headache and was in a foul mood. His respiratory issues clearly could have been remedied with the elimination of these chemicals. Another time I drove in someone’s car for two hours only to feel sick and exhausted from the smell of her car cleaners and air fresheners. Dreading the drive back, I had to put her Christmas Tree Scents in the glovebox.
I see these situations on a daily basis.
Definition: “A degenerative neurologic disorder caused by exposure to toxic substances leading to a variety of symptoms including altered mental status (even “substance induced persistent dementia”), memory loss, visual problems, headaches, mood changes and irritability, difficulty concentrating and focusing, hyperactivity, seizures, arm strength problems, depression, anxiety, fatigue, changes in taste function and decreased immune function.”
These chemicals can be occupationally related, but more often they are products used in every day life such as perfumes, colognes, fragranced body lotions, hair products, make-up, soaps, detergents, household cleaning products, air fresheners, car cleaners and fresheners, building materials, paints, bug sprays, mechanic oils and many more. Chemicals inhaled or absorbed through the skin diffuse to the brain rapidly as they are able to readily cross the protective Blood Brain Barrier. “Toxic Encephalopathy can permanently damage the brain.” MRI and SPECT brain scans have shown changes to brain and spinal cord tissues due to occupational, daily product use, medication, alcohol and drug toxicities.
Testimonies:A 30-year-old female eliminated her favorite perfume and all fragranced or perfumed lotions … her headaches completely disappeared. The parents of an 8-year-old diagnosed with mild ADHD removed all of the toxins out of their house … his symptoms subsided to the point where he didn’t even need his supplements anymore. A 30-year-old mom removed Tide and Downy from her home and replaced them with a natural detergent … her sinus infections resolved along with her son’s mild asthma and eczema. An owner of two dogs, who allowed them to sleep on the bed, removed Tide, Bleach, Fabric Softeners and Dryer Sheets … he observed a complete resolution of their itching and scratching. A woman suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy reduced her nausea by 75% by eliminating all chemicals from her home.
Perfumes, Colognes and Fragranced Body Products:When you apply these chemicals to your body, you personally don’t smell them after 10 minutes due to the physiology of the olfactory nerve, bulb and transmission to and from the brain. Often these chemicals are then reapplied! But … even if you don’t smell them, they are still affecting your brain, spinal cord and nervous system along with all the lovely people in your life. You probably don’t realize that your fragrances are a problem to other people because no one wants to tell you! Solution:There are essential oils (condensed and concentrated from the oils and resin from plants) readily available to add directly to the skin as a “perfume/cologne”, to fragrance-free body products, to Aloe Vera Gel and to oils such as coconut, almond or plain oils. Not only are essential oils non-toxic and not harmful to your brain, but they are also healing! They can be used for anxiety (Lavender), depression (Lemon, Grapefruit), hyperactivity (Chamomile), skin healing (Tei fu, Lavender, Tea Tree), to attract love (Cinnamon, Clove), for headaches (Tei fu, Peppermint), as a spray for ants (Peppermint), and spiders (Peppermint with Lemon and Lavender) and many more! Come in to Nature’s Remedy … we have recipes for many ailments and disorders including cancer!
Look at all product ingredient labels for various perfumes and fragrances and for any ingredients with the word “-prop-“ in it, which should not be used due to possible carcinogenic properties.
Laundry Detergents and Fabric Softeners:See information below. Detergents, softeners, bleach and dryer sheets are not only absorbed through your skin all day long, but they are inhaled all day long as well.
HouseHold Cleaners:Eliminate bleach and all cleaners with strong odors. Vinegar and water are great together for windows and mirrors. Miracle Soap products (used on the body and as a laundry detergent with healing effects) can be used to clean counters, floors, walls and as dish detergents. There are many, many, many companies making many more products that are healthy and safe … there should be no need for the use of chemicals in most household cleaning situations.
Home and Car Air Fresheners: Once again, essential oils rule for household and car air freshening. Add your favorite essential oil(s) to a spray bottle with distilled water and an ounce of vodka (for preserving the oil) and spray away. Use a diffuser ($75) to slowly and consistently diffuse the oils into the air all day long. Diffusers can also be plugged into a wall or a carport. There are lots of natural sprays such as citrus, lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit or vanilla for your home or car, too. Using sprays with essential oils to eliminate odors is more effective by far than covering up or mixing offensive odors with floral scents, disinfectant sprays or matches!
Kanberra Gel(kanberragel.com) was designed and is owned by a native WNYer, Joel Solly, with their headquarters in Lancaster, NY. Kanberra Gel is a combination of very high quality tea tree oil and other powerful essential oils producing extremely effective gels and sprays to eliminate mold, mildew and bacteria while safely freshening the air. These products can be used in your homes, cars, boats, RVs and air ducts. Joel’s sister company specializes in residential and commercial air quality control using these products more effectively than potent chemicals.
CHEMICALS ABSORBED THROUGH THE SKIN
Fragranced Body Products:Come in and check out all of our natural bath and body products made from various plants and essential oils. Simply use Coconut oil on your skin for moisturizing and soothing. Coconut provides a lot of nutrients to the skin very safely. Why not put on your body similar things to what you would ingest as both avenues enter the blood stream and affect our overall health? Coconut oil can also be used at night on your hair, over your eyes, in your mouth (see Oil Pulling), for hemorrhoids and calloused feet. Devita is a skin care line full of plants and essential oils, offering one of the best sunscreens available because it does not use nano technology nor titanium dioxide.
Deodorants:We all need deodorants that work … this is hard to find. For men we have a great line called Urban Cowboy. The scents are enticing and the products are “clean.” They also have shaving cream, aftershave lotion and soap. For women and men and young people, we have a line called Alvera in Aloe Vera, Almond or Plain scents. Over and over again, these have been shown to be effective when applied 1-2 times per day.
Laundry Detergents and Fabric Softeners:As you wear your chemically laundered clothes all day long and sleep on your sheets for 7-10 hours each night, you better bet that those chemicals are being constantly absorbed through your skin. These chemicals act as xenoestrogens, promoting hormonal imbalances leading to female reproductive problems, abnormal male and female breast growth, increased weight gain, emotional dysfunctions and more. No child should ever be exposed to these toxins on their delicate skin. Solution:There are many fragrance-free, biodegradable alternatives out there. Look for Eco, 7th Generation, or Ecover.
Bleach:Bleach should never be inhaled nor should it ever touch the skin. This is very, very toxic. Ecover and 7th Generation make alternative bleach for laundry care.
Dry Cleaning:Do this as little as possible, but if you have dry cleaning, bring it home and take off the plastic and hang it outside to air out all the chemicals.
Bug Sprays:Jason’s Quit Bugging Me,All Terrain Kid’s Herbal Armor, Natural Herbal Armor and our own essential oil spray consisting of Geranium, Lemon, Eucalyptus and Peppermint are smart alternatives. Tei fu oil is great for preventing bug bites and for treating the itchiness of bug bites.
PUT IT TO THE TEST
Please test this for 30 days. Write down all of your (and your family’s) current symptoms, remove all chemicals from your home, car and from your body, then observe how you feel after 30 days. The most detrimental and common chemicals are perfumes, colognes, fragranced lotions, laundry detergents and fabric softeners, bleach, air fresheners and cleaning products. (Also, please become aware of how your chemical scents are affecting other people - especially babies, the young, the old, the sick, pregnant women and those in medical facilities.) *Please come in to Nature’s Remedy at 26 Monroe Street in Ellicottville (phone 716-699-4372) or call me at 716-353-0786 for a mini consultation about home and body products individualized for your life.
*These ideas are not meant to be substitutes for proper pediatric allopathic care. They are meant to be added to it and used together with it.This information is NOT intended to treat, cure, diagnose, nor be a substitute for the proper diagnostic assessments and treatments prescribed by your doctor. Naturopathic doctors are not PCPs, so always consult with your doctor for your health care needs. This article is only intended for your information, at your discretion and supplementing your allopathic care.