Natural-Healing wisdom to use for your better health…
Dated January 1, 2015 - Vol-1 Herbal Supplements
Our homes should be a haven, a place for our families to restore and rejuvenate. Instead, the EPA says the air is up to 10 times more toxic than the outdoors. Ironically, the products we clean with are often to blame. Today there are over 17,000 chemicals allowed in conventional cleaning products, many of which are linked to respiratory issues, learning disabilities and cancer.
Even many of the so-called “green” products contain potentially not-so-safe ingredients. The multi-billion-dollar household cleaning product industry is largely unregulated, so I recommend we do the homework ourselves to protect our families.
It’s also important to realize that you struggle with autoimmune disease using products with harmful chemicals can put stress on the liver. If your liver is overtaxed, then the body can have a hard time detoxing. “When the detoxification pathways that line the gut are compromised, chemical sensitivity can arise. Furthermore, the leakage of toxins overburdens the liver so that the body is less to handle everyday chemicals in foods, water, and air.”
So how do you start detoxing your home?
1. Read the labels on your household cleaning products – If it has ingredients that you cannot pronounce, consider finding something else to use in your house. As a rule, I recommend using cleaning products that are chlorine bleach free, phosphate free, non-petroleum-based and chemical fragrance-free. (See below for my favorite non-toxic soap)
2. Open Your Windows – The air inside our homes can be more polluted that the air outside, especially if we are using chemical cleaners. Open the windows and let some fresh air in.
3. Take off Your Shoes – Removing your shoes before you enter your home can help prevent heavy metals, pesticides, and other chemicals from coming into your home attached to the soles.
4. Bring nature inside – Indoor plants act as living air purifiers and provide a wonderful esthetic benefit! If you have small children or pets, make sure the plants are not poisonous if ingested.
5. Get rid of Synthetic Fragrances – Synthetic fragrances emit dozens of chemicals into the air. This applies to air fresheners, laundry detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets.
“In one study, a plug-in air freshener was found to emit 20 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including seven regulated as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws. These chemicals were not included on the label — only the word “fragrance” is required to be listed.
The actual composition of the fragrance is considered a ‘trade secret."
Tips for using herbs safely. If you use herbal supplements, remember:
• Do your homework. The Dietary Supplements Labels Database, which is available from the National Library of Medicine’s website, has information on thousands of supplements sold in the United States. You can look up products by brand name, uses, active ingredient or manufacturer. You can also find information about specific herbs or botanicals — common names, uses, potential side effects — on the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) website.
•Read the label and look for a seal of approval. Quality and strength can vary greatly by brand. Look for a seal of approval from an independent verification program, such as the U.S. Pharmacopeia’s “USP Dietary Supplement Verified” mark, indicating that the supplements meet certain standards of quality. If you do not understand something on the label, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Follow directions. Similar to over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs, herbal products have active ingredients that can affect how your body functions. Don’t exceed the recommended dosages. Some herbs can be harmful if taken for too long a period.
•Keep track of what you take. Choose one type of supplement at a time to try to determine its effect. Make a note of what you take, how much and how it affects you. Does it do what it claims to do? Do you experience any side effects, such as drowsiness, sleeplessness, headache or nausea?
•Tell your doctor what you are taking. Some herbs may interfere with the effectiveness of prescription or OTC drugs or have other harmful effects. (See “Avoid herb-drug interactions” on page 12.) In addition, make sure you do not have an underlying medical condition that calls for treatment by your doctor. Avoid taking any herbs for several weeks before you are scheduled to have surgery.
•Avoid herbs if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Unless your doctor approves, don’t take any medications — prescription, OTC or herbal — when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. They can harm your baby.
•Keep up on alerts and recalls. The FDA and NCCAM maintain lists of supplements that are under regulatory review or that have been reported to cause adverse effects.
Information provided by the Mayo Clinic. The Book is available on the Mayo Clinic website.