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Toxins Can Block Healing (Lessons from the Darkness)

toxins cleansers

You can be healthier than your environment, but you need to beware of toxins and take action.


We’ve talked about mindfulness and how paying attention to your body can improve your health. In this post, I’m asking you to pay attention to your environment. The air you breathe, the contaminants you ingest, and the chemicals you come in contact with greatly affect your body and your health. It’s important to learn to recognize sources of health-disrupting chemicals and reduce your exposure to toxins.

Lesson Five from the Darkness – You Can’t Heal in a Sick House

Clean with Awareness

We Americans love household cleaners … but do they love us? Bubbles, sprays, and foams make the job of cleaning much easier. Some even promise to eliminate bacteria or molds. But there’s growing evidence that the chemicals in these cleaners are bad for our health. Swapping natural cleaning products for toxins and harsh chemicals is a place to start.

Consciously Reduce Exposure to Toxins

Outside the cleaning closet, our furniture, carpets, and even the clothes we wear can be sources of health-disrupting chemicals. Some 140,000 chemicals are currently being used in everyday products. Of those, less than half of the top 5,000 most commonly used substances have been substantively tested for safety and toxicity. This can make researching the safety of those products difficult. However, some hazards are labeled, so start with these.

What other positive steps can you take to create a healthy home environment? Start with awareness. Read labels. Then keep it simple and reduce the toxic load by reducing or eliminating everyday sources of known harmful chemicals. “If in doubt, leave it out,” might be a helpful rhyme for dealing with untested chemicals.

Mindfully Choose Your Foods

Even our food sources can be contaminated with toxins. Tuna, swordfish, and other top-of-the-food-chain marine life often contain mercury. Mercury accumulates in our bodies and can have toxic effects on the nervous system, digestive system, and immune system. Be conscious in your food selection, reduce your exposure to residual pesticides, and avoid foods that are known to contain heavy metals. Other heavy metals to be aware of include lead, cadmium, arsenic, and aluminum.

You can also help reduce the metals already accumulated in your body by adding cilantro, garlic, and fruits high in pectin to your diet.

Herbal Support Can Reduce Chemical Damage

Most chemicals that are disruptive to our health cause oxidative stress or interfere with the endocrine system. Herbal support can help reduce the damage. Phyllanthus niruri (Chanca Piedra) is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to protect the liver and kidneys from chemical damage. Adaptogens like Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi, Holy Basil) can help bring balance to systems disrupted by environmental stressors.

Stay Aware of Toxins, but Don’t Panic

In all likelihood, your house isn’t a superfund site. You don’t need to panic or fearfully eschew every modern convenience. That said, reducing the toxic load in your personal environment can go a long way toward improving your health. Make sure your water is clean, use natural cleaning products, and eat pesticide-free produce. Create a healthy home.

When I personally took these steps, I noticed fewer migraines, a significant drop in brain fog, and an improvement in memory. By reading labels and acting as a conscious consumer  and acting as your own advocate  you can significantly increase your overall health.

In Lesson 6 from the Darkness, I’ll talk about chronic illness support groups and the ways in which community can help.

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