by Brigitte Mars
Our three sources of oxygen, food, water and air are polluted and bound with toxins. As these sources become deoxygenated, they become breeding grounds for anaerobic bacteria. All forms of pollution starve our bodies of oxygen. Environmental illness, though currently a rare disorder is thought to be a forerunner of what many will experience in thirty to forty years. Most people that suffer from the disorder were at one time exposed to high levels of chemicals or had an immune system breakdown due to stress or over medication.
There is still a low acceptance of environmental illness (EI). Since it is not successfully treated with drugs, there is a lack of research and advertising to be done on the subject. It is often misdiagnosed and considered psychosomatic by many physicians. Environmental Illness is also referred to as total allergy syndrome. It is a sensitivity to the modern world. In the past fifty years in America, there has been more pollution than in all the world’s nations for all of history. There are over 3000 chemicals added intentionally to our food and about 700 added to our water. Oriental medicine classifies EI as an imbalance in the kidneys and liver with deficient chi. It is characterized by many disorders that last more than 3 months. It usually involves the central nervous system and at least one other symptom. The brain is often affected first, resulting in headaches, depression, unclear thinking, watery eyes and fatigue. It is common for the face to be red and swollen, for dark circles to appear under the eyes and for rashes to occur. The typical age is for EI is in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. This is also the age group that was first introduced to processed food and infant formulas.
There are a number of foods that can better help our bodies tolerate the effects of pollution. Eating lower on the food chain minimizes our chemical intake. Consuming more grains has a multitude of benefits. Their high fiber content binds with toxins and lessens intestinal transit time. Their Vitamin B -6 content nourishes the thymus gland and their Vitamin E content helps the body to better utilize oxygen. The grain buckwheat is high in rutin, helps to protect against radiation and stimulates new bone marrow production. The mucilaginous fibers in seaweed helps to prevent the reabsorbtion of radioactive strontium 90. Following the bombing of Nagasaki, a group of surviving macrobiotic doctors and their patients avoided radiation sickness by eating brown rice, miso and seaweed. They also did not get leukemia. Seaweeds also help to break down fatty deposits. High chlorophyll foods like wheatgrass and barley grass strengthen cells, transport oxygen, help to detoxify the blood and liver as well as helping to neutralize polluting elements and stimulate RNA production. Sulfur rich vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and mustard greenscombine with heavy metals and help to prevent free radical damage.
High pectin foods like carrots, sunflower seeds and apples help to keep pollutants from being assimilated. Use liver cleansing foods such asartichokes, beets and radishes. Fermented foods like miso,unpasturized sauerkraut and yogurt help to promote healthy intestinal flora. Garlic keeps radioactive isotopes from being absorbed. Nutritional yeast, high in B vitamins binds, absorbs and carries heavy metals out of our systems. Select foods that are as organic as possible. Learn to identify and eat some of the wild edible plants from unpolluted areas such as chickweed, dandelion, malva and violets. Taking a bitter tonicbefore meals can help improve digestion. Store food in glass rather than plastic containers
Herbs to aid environmental illness include:
Burdock – During the Industrial Revolution, burdock was recommended as medicine to help people cope with the increased pollution. helps improve skin and liver conditions. Alterative, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, demulcent, nutritive and rejuvenative.
Chaparral – Alterative, antifungal, antioxidant and immune stimulant.
Dandelion – Improves function of body’s organs of elimination. Consider how this plant has done a good job for itself adapting to environmental pollutants. Helps with depression, liver and skin problems. Antifungal, cholagogue, diuretic, liver tonic and nutritive.
Echinacea – Stimulates white blood cell and interferon production. Alterative, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, immune stimulant.
Green and black tea – Helps with allergies, congestion, depression and fatigue. Antioxidant, decongestant, immune stimulant, nervine and stimulant.
Milk thistle seed – Use for chemical exposure, environmental illness and liver damage. Antioxidant, cholagogue and hepatoprotective.
Myrrh – Increases motility of white blood cells and normalizes mucus membrane activity. Alterative, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, decongestant and rejuvenative.
Nettles – Improves allergies, anemia, convalescence and headache. It helps to reduce sensitivities by binding immunoglobulin. Adrenal tonic, alterative, cholagogue, expectorant, kidney tonic, nutritive and respiratory tonic.
Red clover – Improves health in general. Alterative, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, expectorant and nutritive.
Siberian ginseng can help alleviate fatigue, ameliorate symptoms from chemical and radiation exposure and lessen the effects of stress. Adaptogen, chi tonic and immune stimulant.
Yellow dock – Improves the function of the kidneys, liver, lymphatic system, intestines and skin thus aiding the body’s natural cleansing process. Aids anemia, convalescence, heavy metal toxicity and swollen glands. Alterative, antiseptic, blood tonic and cholagogue.
Pink yarrow flower essence is a specific for environmental sensitivities.
Supplements to help one better cope with environmental pollutants include the antioxidants. Vitamin A and beta-carotene improves tissue strength and decrease wound healing time. The B complex can improve stress and fatigue. Vitamin C gives protection against a wide range of pollutants, reduces allergy symptoms and improves healing time. Selenium, helps protect one from heavy metal toxicity. Zinc is needed for B and T cell production. It also helps in the elimination of aluminum, cadmium, copper and lead. Glutathione is very protective against environmental pollutants. L-cysteine helps the liver breakdown chemicals.
Calcium helps protect the body from absorbing radioactive materials and magnesium helps prevent the uptake of strontium 90. Bee pollen is extremely nutritive and reduces the side effects from radium and cobalt 60.
The most polluted place is often inside the home. Carpeting and gas heat are two major culprits. Be sure to select natural home cleaning products. Work to eliminate the problems. Remember that about one third of our lives are spent in bed. Use natural bedding materials and avoid polyurethane foam as well as sheets treated with formaldehyde finishes and permanent press.
Avoid dry cleaning your clothing and wear natural fibers as much as possible. Get a water filtering system for the entire household. Twice a week, soak in a bath to which one pound of Epsom salts have been added to help the body release toxins through the skin. Avoid the burning of incense and chemical air fresheners. Formaldehyde, which may be found in carpeting, clothing, plywood, cleaners and furniture can be cleansed from the air by having Spider Plants, Bamboo Palm, Philodendron, Corn Plant. Chrysanthemum, Golden Pothos and Mother-In-Law Tongue. Benzene which we get from tobacco smoke, plastics, detergents, detergents and rubber can be removed with house plants such as English Ivy, Gerber Daisy, Chrysanthemum, Peace Lily and Janet Craig. Having 15 Spider plants in the home is said to be enough to help a home be rid of indoor pollution.
Practice gentle exercises such as stretching and yoga. Do what you can to let go of emotional toxins from old family issues.
Campaign for a cleaner, safer and less polluted world!