Exposure to molds leads to growth of mold within our nasal passages, sinus cavities, bronchial passages, and lungs. Dead mold spores can produce irritation, allergic reaction, and other problems as well.
Some important information to consider:
- The Finnish workplace mold study estimates that the percentage of adult-onset asthma due to workplace mold is 35%.
- A 1997 study by the Mayo Clinic found that more than 95% of the 37 million Americans who suffer from chronic sinusitis symptoms do so because of exposure to mold.
- Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley Natl. Laboratory reported in June 2007 that approximately 4.6 million cases of asthma are attributable to mold in the home.
Mold can be found almost everywhere in our homes in areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, carpets, bedrooms, showers, backyards, sheds, refrigerators, and many more places. Even the most neat and clean home, with no visible sign of mold, may still hide super colonies of mold in ductwork, basements, attics and crawl places, under floors, behind wall paper and inside wall cavities. In our home the school room flooded during the big storm before Christmas, and we see stains on the walls, in is not hard to figure out that mold is growing inside the walls. We also noticed spots in the ceiling so the roof leaks as well. We rent this house and the landlord has been notified, but she doesn't seem to want to do anything about it. For now we diffuse essential oils while we are looking for other options.
Mold are successful life forms
Molds are probably the oldest and most successful life forms on earth. Even the most harsh conditions cannot prevent mold from settle and produce new colonies, and not even the desert climates are free from mold. Many forms of mold are beneficial and do not pose any threat to us humans, but many forms of mold create or contribute to health problems. It is also important to remember that some non-toxic mold can produce toxins when threatened.
Essential oils: Nature's Mold Solution
According to Edward R. Close, PhD, PE, there are several problems when using standard anti-fungal agents:
- many of these products, bleach included, use toxic chemicals that are themselves harmful to human health, just like the mold they are trying to eliminate.
- while these agents can kill the mold, they usually don't rid the area completely of mold, especially on porous surfaces, and they leave behind dead mold spores, which can also cause problems in the human body.
- bleach is about 94% water, which is the key ingredient for mold growth. Many experts believe that using bleach results in a rebound of mold growth within 24 hours.
Fortunately there are safer and effective anti-fungal solutions to mold problems. Therapeutic grade essential oils have recently been rediscovered as an effective way to both eliminate mold and support the body against chronic mold exposure.
A few highlights of research on the anti-fungal properties of essential oils:
- a 2005 study found that a various essential oils, including cinnamon, rosemary, bay, thyme, and clove were effective in eliminating common molds found in foods.
- forty-five oils were tested for their inhibitory effects on bacteria, mold, and yeast. All oils performed better than control compounds, with cinnamon and tea tree oils showing inhibitory effects against all test compounds.
- researchers found that lemongrass was effective against the mold Aspergillus flavus, a common toxic mold associated with a variety of infections in the body, and also produces aflatoxins, a known carcinogen.
There are not many research studies done using essential oils but the evidence suggests that specific blends can enhance the anti-fungal abilities of individual oils. Numerous case studies demonstrate the ability of certain oil blends to counter the effects of mold. Dr. Ed Close has performed field studies and lots of research using Essential oils for mold.
The results are impressive:
- Apartment complexes and offices that contained high levels of mold were effectively treated using an anti-microbial blend that contained lemon, cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils.
- The effects were long-lasting. Testing weeks later showed little or no mold had returned to previously affected area.
- In some instances, bleach, hospital disinfectants and industrial strength fungicides had already failed to effectively eradicate the mold.
- Even dead mold spores were removed by the essential oil blend.
Take a look at this video:
How to use the oils
You can use diffuse the essential oils using a cold air diffuser, which diffuses the oils in a fine mist in the air. A high quality diffuser will be able to more efficiently cover a larger area. Essential oils can also be added in various ways and used to clean the house.
You want to make sure that you use high quality essential oils for best results. Only a few handful companies sell pure, therapeutic grade essential oils. So, make sure you do your homework when buying essential oils to make sure you get oils that contain all the healing benefits.
As always, this information is for educational purposes only, and is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffer from a medical condition, consult with your health care practitioner prior to using essential oils.
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Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives.
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