Archive for Environmental Detox

Get Out And Find Your Own Food!

I know a lot of you are starting to grow your own food. Some of you have been doing it for a while. And a lot of you, like me, have been trying it off and on with limited success. My tomato seedlings look pretty poor right now but I think a few peppers are going to be viable. It’s a hit and miss affair with a lot depending on how healthy the seeds are to begin with. Anyways, some of you are doing this because of concerns over the quality of the food we are being sold and others are doing it simply because money is tight. From my vantage point, money is very tight and growing food can help lift some of that stress. It can also give our bodies a reprieve from all the additives and chemicals in our commercial foods.

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The Dangers of Pet Food

Those of us who are pet owners love our pets a lot. In fact, most are like me and treat their pets like their kids, with great love, attention and care. And most of us are deeply involved in the feeding and care of our pets, from the flea meds we use on them to the food we feed them and the last thing we want is to poison or sicken our beloved critters. So this post is about just that, the foods you may be buying without thought or with just blind faith that may also be dangerous.

I am sure none of you have forgotten the pet food scare of two years ago where a lot of animals died from eating pet food made with a wheat gluten that had been treated with melamine. Melamine, a chemical used in fertilizers, is commonly added to food in China because it boosts the protein levels of the food and allows the manufacturer to charge more for it. They have no animal welfare laws in China and they still feed this stuff to their own pets, who have no protections and mostly live short lives, unfixed, hardly cared for, sick with any one of many common diseases. They have also had several recent scares with children being sick or dieing from melamine exposure in baby formulas. Here in America we may not be the most alert guard at the gate and our own regulatory laws are way too lax but we, at least, stop serving up poison once we recognize it as such.

My guess is you think the problem has stopped and there is nothing to fear in the foods you feed your pets. Well, I can admit that you probably won’t see any melamine any time soon, but there are plenty of other evil agents you must keep a wary eye open for. These are not all poisonous ingredients, some of them are just downright gross and unhealthy. Like dog or cat hair? Or bone from decomposing carcasses? How about human pain killers? Oh, yes. Be prepared to be surprised.

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Bug Spray, Arthritis and Lupus

You guys are gonna love this… just kidding. But it’s more testimony for the case of going natural and dumping all these chemicals! Especially bug sprays and other deadly poisons. It seems that research that was done in Philadelphia is suggesting a link between women’s exposure to household insecticides (including roach and mosquito killers) and the autoimmune disorders rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Do you realize how many women have these diseases? It’s unnatural. And that previous research hinted at a link between agricultural pesticides and a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. I think it’s time to take this information seriously. Lupus and RA are nothing to take lightly; in general, autoimmune diseases are diseases where the immune system goes haywire and begins to attack the body. And to ice the cake, it was also shown that farmers are a high risk group for these diseases and the reason now seems to be bug killers. Ugh.

Women in the study who reported use of insecticides presented a higher risk of developing the two autoimmune disorders than women who reported no insecticide use, whether or not they had lived on a farm. Those who used the insecticide the most often and most frequently had double the risk! Are you using this stuff? Do you want to develop RA? I know people who have this and, take my word for it, you don’t! But I guess the powers that be just don’t care about any of this; after all, the people who make the bug spray make a lot of the OTC meds that are used to treat the pain. Bayer comes to mind. They make insecticides and herbacides and also make the aspirin you’re taking to treat your arthritis. So many drug companies today have merged with larger corporate interests so that many different product lines are mixed and this mix can cause conflicts of interest. So it’s up to you to investigate and find out who’s who in the zoo.

This involves reading the lables and taking precautions to limit your own exposure to dangerous chemicals. Epidemiologists are saying that this should include products you’ve taken in the past and even those you know are no longer available. Especially if that product has since been implicated in health issues or larger crises. Keep your ear to the ground about whatever chemicals you currently use or feel you cannot give up. If you hear anything at all about possible health risks, have yourself assessed as soon as possible. It is true that more research is needed to nail down the direct link between insecticides and autoimmune disease. In this case, the researchers examined data from a previous study of almost 77,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79. Even if you do not meet this criteria, care should be taken when deciding to use deadly poisons or toxic chemicals. In general, the insecticides implicated in the study include insect killers, such as those designed to eradicate ants, wasps, termites, mosquitoes and roaches. This is the stuff that will actually kill the bugs. The study didn’t include insect repellents or skin rubs for mosquitoes, flies or fleas.

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Spring Project: Keeping the Bugs Out

Although not everybody is worried about being kind to insects almost everyone is worried about the dangerous poisons in the insecticides they use to get rid of the things. Either way, whether it’s compassion or fear, most of us have an interest in a safer, kinder, less toxic method of ridding ourselves of pests. I, for one, have had problems with how to handle bugs for a very long time. In some cases, I feel horrible about the insect (such as bees, wasps and other flying winged creatures like moths as well as some crawling insects that aren’t too ugly) and just can’t bring myself to kill it. Other, uglier and nastier, bugs like cockroaches and beetles make a big splat mess when killed and I despise the smell as well as I am allergic to their debris. So I hate stomping on them. I end up chasing most bugs around with a towel trying to trap them and toss them outside.

But I have had infestations in some of the rentals I have moved into. And these are nice places. They are just infested with bugs. Our previous unit had an explosion in roaches, German Cockroaches, which were nigh impossible to rid of. I spent tons of cash on special poisons like MaxForce and Raid Pro just to watch them step over the gel and continue raiding my kitchen. I ended up killing as many as twenty at a time with a fly swatter. And then push came to shove, we moved. I was successful at leaving the monsters behind after many hours of careful packing and unpacking only to have a flea infestation outbreak in the new digs. OMG, I spent endless hours trying to kill those things! I now have it under control but only after a litany of poisons, fogs and sprays where I can to empty my room, ban the pets, leave it on for hours and hours and then vacuum repeatedly and move everything back in. After exhausting rows with many a poison I still had fleas all over me. The only thing that finally worked was a natural miracle, Diatomaceous Earth. I have left the stuff in my carpets to this day and nary a flea!

Anyways, as you can see I have some experience with bugs. I think we all have. You don’t have to live in the slums to have roaches walking on your table. And once they arrive and move in, they are hard to evict. What has always amazed me is that the final solution, the one that really worked in most cases, was a natural, safe, non toxic one. So don’t believe the hype of the chemical manufacturers that you have to use deadly poisons. It just isn’t true. In the case of fleas, I highly recommend Diatomaceous Earth. Sprinkle it on and leave it. It takes a few days but they will be gone… I can promise you. I had a million and now there are none. And the same is true of other pest control. You can do it with natural and non toxic elements such as the Fossil Shell Flour I used. But the very best way is to ward them off to begin with which should be done all the time even if you do not see a bug yet. By practicing good, safe and non toxic repellent methods you can be sure you will not have bugs to begin with.

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Detox in the Bath

Everyone is trying to detox these days. Some for health conditions they can’t shake and others to cleanse their system of dangerous toxins that they fear will affect their health. No matter the reason, detoxing is a good idea. There are many varied ways to do it, some of them more difficult or painful than others. For many years, our elders believed that getting into a sauna or a thermal bath would do the trick and perhaps it did and still will. But I fear this is just not enough in our modern high tech world where everything is plastic, made from chemicals, loaded with drugs and genetically modified. Forget irradiation. We used to worry about that and now it has become the lesser of a dozen evils.

If you are looking for ways to detox your system on a daily basis that doesn’t require purging, colon cleansing, long terms of medication and drinking strange brews, then consider making detox baths. As adults, few of us clamber into a bathtub anymore. We are mostly too big to be comfortable there, opting instead to stand in a hot shower. I am one of those. I actually hate lolling around in a bathtub with half my body overexposed, not really submerged. But there is a lot to be said for sitting baths; my brother uses them to help him reduce his spinal cysts and my sister uses them for hemorrhoids.  And sitting in a detox bath can have overall very enjoyable effects on the body.

Consider the fact that hot water draws toxins out of the body to the skin’s surface, a principle at work in the saunas and thermal baths our parents pursued. But this is also true when the water cools; the cooling off pulls toxins from the skin. Epsom salts are known to encourage this detoxification by causing you to sweat. Other salts-all highly alkaline and cleansing-used in baths include sea salt, baking soda, clay, and Dead Sea salts. Personally, I have made herbal baths with fresh herbs and baking soda and found them to be useful. Peppermint is wonderful; I highly recommend it for opening pores, opening orifices and allowing steam from the bath to penetrate and for toxins to sweat away. A bath made of fresh peppermint and baking soda is a wonderful way to cleanse the body, both inside and out. Try these recipes and see how they work for you:

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Are Antibacterial Soaps Dangerous?

It seems like you can’t even buy a soap that isn’t “antibacterial” anymore and often that those soaps are cheaper than the others! Indeed, it seems like antibacterial soap is everywhere now, in everything from shampoo to bar soaps. The idea is that we are crawling with germs and this stuff will keep us from getting sick. However, being an old lady these days I remember a time before they invented this stuff and I don’t recall being sick all the time. So are they really an upgrade in our lifestyles or is this just overkill?

Well, according to doctors in hospitals all across the country there is growing concern over “antibiotic resistance” which is fast becoming more dangerous than the germs themselves. We have developed antibiotic resistant bacteria that are responsible for killer diseases like MRSA and flesh eating bacteria. The general consensus is that factory farming is to blame for this with the non stop treatment of farm animals to prevent infections. But there is also a concern over the use of antibacterial soaps and sprays. Our immune systems need to be exposed to germs in order to develop resistance to them.. and the current rage over antibacterial environments does not allow that to happen.

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100,000 Chemicals Surround You

In September of 2009, the Chemical Abstract Service, an agency that registers every new chemical as it is invented or discovered, assigned a registry number to the 50 millionth chemical. I think this is amazing considering the natural resources we have. Why do we have to make everything into a chemical? Do you realize that the Chemical Abstract Service began to register chemicals in 1956, and it took 33 years to register the first 10 million new chemicals while the last 10 million chemicals were registered in just 9 months at the rate of 25 per minute! We are accelerating in our use of chemicals.

The identification of 40% of these chemicals is done primarily by scouring research papers from worldwide projects while 60% were from major patent offices worldwide.. So 40% of these are chemicals developed in research projects, some for commercial use, some for other uses like laboratory, medical and industrial materials. The majority of these new chemicals are developed for public use; ie, foods, cosmetics, health products, housing materials.. all materials used by all of us every day.

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Herbal Remedies for Cold and Flu

Here we are in the middle of a deep freeze and cold and flus are rampant. With the addition of H1N1 to our concerns, the need for vaccines and other preventatives have never been higher. But if you are among those who are not high risk for swine flu or who refuse the vaccines for whatever reason you may prefer to use herbal remedies for the everyday coughs and sneezes as they come along. Personally I am always in favor of the most natural solution to any illness or everyday need.

Here are some of my favorite fixes for coughs, colds and flu. Depending on how bad your brand is, it will be up to you to decide which remedy might help and when it is time to run up the white flag and head to the doctor. But for most of us, a sore throat or cough usually just means Vitamin C tablets and Echinacea tea and this can often be good enough. But in case you are looking for more ammunition in your arsenal, here are some good ideas.

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The Healing Powers of Common Kitchen Spices

You have a cabinet full of miracle medicine at home! I’m sure you realize that some of it is good for you, this sort of information has been all over the news. But the information is scattered and comes in small doses so that unless you keep a journal you will have trouble putting it all together. So I thought it might be handy to list every spice, explain how it works and give ideas for uses in your cooking. I will be posting in the future recipes that will help heal certain diseases. I am waiting until Winter because most of my recipes are too hearty for summer fare.

Although I have covered the subject in various ways and to a certain extent in previous posts, I am going to bring it all together now. Which spices can be used to heal what? And how do I use that spice in a meal? Here are the answers, in a simple list form:

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Are All Plastics Dangerous?

With all the grim news about plastics and plastic products, with much of this information already presented in my posts here on this blog, it brings to mind the question of whether there are safe plastics or not. Are all plastics poison? Or are there some that we can handle without fear? This question interested me so I thought I’d investigate.

Looking around on the web, I found quite a few articles about the dangerous chemicals in plastic and why plastic is dangerous to the human body. It took a little more digging and research to pull together a list of plastics and plastic products that are more benign. Here is what I discovered about both, in a handy, easy to reference, list:

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