Toxic Load

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spray_2Unfortunately, we live in a toxic world.

Your toxic load is the overall amount of toxins you are exposed to daily. In previous emails I talked about the importance of buying organic foods to help reduce our exposure to fungicides, herbicides and pesticides that can damage our beneficial gut bacteria. I also mentioned eating meat and consuming dairy that is hormone and antibiotic free.

By doing these two things we can reduce a lot of extra toxins that inundate our body. But what about other toxins? We can’t control all of them, of course, but the cleaner we can live and reduce toxins we can reduce stress on our body—especially the liver which has to filter all of the toxins.

You skin is your biggest organ.

Your skin is exposed to toxins all day long and will absorb much of what is put on it. So an easy way to reduce your toxic load is to be careful of what you put on your skin! In a typical day someone will use body wash, shampoo, conditioner, facial lotion, deodorant, sunscreen and moisturizer, not to mention makeup. Each of these products is likely to contain some ingredients that are not great to have on or in your body.

Yes, your body can filter toxins quite well and, if there were just a few things to process, it could do wonders at keeping toxins at bay. But you are inundating yourself and your body’s filtration system can’t keep up! So each of those products I listed above, that we all use daily without even thinking, may have harmful ingredients, albeit in a small quantity, that have been tested and found “safe” for consumption. But if you look at the cumulative total amount of that chemical from all the different products—that cumulative amount is much higher and this level is not safe. Many people have health problems from high levels of some of these ingredients.

Parabens are an example.

Parabens are added to many body care products as a cheap way to prevent bacterial growth. In the product list above, most will contain parabens. But what’s the big deal? Parabens are deemed xenoestrogens—agents that mimic estrogen in the body.

Estrogen dominance leads to a host of health problems and weight gain. We are exposed to xenoestrogens in many places. And of the ingredients added to our beauty products, parabens seem relatively harmless. The US uses ingredients in our food and beauty products that most other countries ban. Some US companies actually use the cheap, harmful ingredients in US food and beauty products but change the formulation in order for the product to be sellable in other countries that don’t allow the suspect ingredients. It’s a very manipulative way to be more profitable. More information can be found in this article.

So clean up your skin care products!

Here are some products to check out. Some have cleaner ingredients than others but all are a step in the right direction, and I wanted to list some that are fairly easy to find.

If you go to a local health store you are likely to find brands of products that use fewer or no chemical ingredients. I find that many “healthier” products work better than the commercial alternative.

Household Cleaners

We all know that household cleaners are chock full of chemicals. By changing over to homemade alternatives that work just as well, if not better, we can reduce our toxic load significantly. Many of the chemicals can be replaced by natural ingredients that perform the same way. Remember, a company can’t make money off of plant oil but if they can create a chemical that can perform the same way they can patent and market that. For instance, essential oils like peppermint or eucalyptus are anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. They make a much safer counter top cleaner than something Dow Chemical concocts—and they smell wonderful! With vinegar, lemon juice, castile soap, baking soda and essential oils you can make household cleaners that aren’t toxic. Check out these websites for recipes:

Pest Control

Personally, this was a big find for me. Where we live we have lots of ants and spiders. It’s just how it is. During hot or dry times ants will start to come in the house. I have tried everything to get rid of them—both chemical treatments and the cayenne pepper type natural treatments. Nothing worked. Then somewhere I learned about diatomaceous earth. This is a fine talc-like powder that is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. It is harmless to swallow, in fact some people use it to rid themselves or their animals of parasites . For bugs with exoskeletons it dries out their outer shell and they die. It can be used to kill fleas, ants and spiders. It is inexpensive, too. Here is more info on it.

Note: Be sure you get it at a health food store and not at a hardware store. The hardware store diatomaceous earth is used for pool treatments and does contain harmful chemicals!

Laundry Detergent

Though it gets a bit less contact with our skin, making your own laundry detergent is fairly simple and again, it is more cost effective. Many people have recipes on line and use natural oils for scent.Here is one site that has a simple way to make your own.

I have heard countless stories of people who have suffered a myriad of ailments from fatigue, to auto
immune conditions, to skin conditions, who have cleaned up their diet and alleviated their symptoms but couldn’t rid themselves of their condition entirely. They then cleaned up their household and beauty products and felt amazing. It might be worth a try—and nothing smells better than an essential oil freshly sprayed on a counter top!

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