How These Four Essential Oils Help You Clean Out a Toxic Mold Infection
For people that are fighting a stubborn toxic mold infection
by Greg Lee
My sister had over a dozen guinea pigs when I was growing up. They loudly squeaked every time a person walked by, hoping to get fed. They would consume massive amounts of greens, grasses, and vegetables. My chores somehow included cleaning out their pens. Cleaning often required a scraper and a hose to get the waste out of the hard to reach corners of their habitat.
How is cleaning out guinea pig pens similar to eliminating a toxic mold infection?
Just like encrusted guinea pig pens, toxic mold can accumulate in hard to reach corners of the body
Several species of toxic mold can grow in homes, schools, or offices including: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, Aspergillus and Stachybotrys1. These molds are a type of fungi that reproduce by producing spores. Attached to each spore is a toxin to prevent it from being eaten by another microorganism. Dark, moist environments with cellulose are perfect environments for these molds to grow. Unfortunately, over two hundred and fifty different kinds of molds can grow in the body and cause chronic illness2.
Mold can infect your nasal passages
Breathing in mold spores can lead to your respiratory passages being colonized by these fungi. Mold infections have been found in sinus passages3, throat4, middle ear5, combat wounds6, brain7, skin8, lungs9, and meninges10. Mold also produces toxins which can create debilitating symptoms.
Mold toxins are small enough to get into remote places throughout the body
As mold grows, it produces spores and toxins. Mold toxins can wander everywhere in your body which can produce symptoms of brain fog, aches and pains, allergies, fatigue, and inflammation. These symptoms can migrate from one part of the body to the next. Unfortunately, some people are unable to eliminate these toxins because they lack the right genes.
Mold toxins accumulate faster in people who are lacking specific HLA genes
Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) genes help your immune system to identify mold toxins and produce antibodies to eliminate them. Approximately 25% of patients are lacking the specific HLA genes to eliminate mold toxins11. In this subgroup of patients, symptoms can appear quite rapidly due to elevated levels of toxins aggravating symptoms of pain, brain fog, and fatigue. Patients that have immune systems already burdened by other infections are especially vulnerable.
Patients with a compromised immune system are at much greater risk of contracting a mold infection
Patients with a weak or compromised immune system are at a greater risk of becoming very ill or possibly dying from an opportunistic mold infection. Patients diagnosed with an invasive Aspergillus mold infection can receive a variety of antifungal medications including: voriconazole, liposomal amphotericin B, posaconazole, itraconazole, caspofungin, or micafungin. Unfortunately, these antifungal medications can produce undesirable side effects like fever, rigors, chills, myalgias, arthralgias, bronchospasm, nausea, vomiting, headaches, hallucinations, kidney toxicity, and liver toxicity12. Aspergillus can also produce slimy biofilms to become more drug resistant13.
What else besides antifungal medications can help patients overcome a toxic mold infection?
Concentrated spice oils are effective at stopping a mold infection
Kitchen spices contain many natural compounds that are effective at killing mold and inhibiting their toxins. Studies show that when these spices are distilled into essential oils, these compounds are much more effective at inhibiting mold and its toxins compared to the raw spice itself. The volatile nature of essential oils enables them to penetrate into the lungs, nervous system, and other hard to reach areas of the body where mold has taken hold. Here are four essential oils that have anti-mold and anti-toxin properties.
Anti-fungal spice essential oil #1: Sage (S. Officinalis L.), Chinese name: Shu Wei Cao14
The properties of this spice herb are bitter, acrid, and neutral. This herb is used to clear infection, promote circulation and regulate the menses. It has detoxification properties and reduces swelling. Sage is also used to treat jaundice, red or white diarrhea, vaginal discharge due to infection, irregular menstruation, dysmenorrheal, sores, swollen boils, and injuries from impacts. This herb is also used to improve memory, enhance mnemonic performance and helps elevate mood.
The whole herb contains these compounds: β-sitosterol, β-sitosterol glucoside, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, 2α-hydroxyursolic acid, tormentic acid, caffeic acid, maslinic acid, ethyl-β-D-galactopyranoside. The essential oil can contain α-thujone, camphor, and up to 2.5% ketone and borneol. Sage essential oil is best used externally because α-thujone can be toxic if taken internally.
In one study, sage essential oil is effective at inhibiting the growth of these mold/fungi: Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus terreus, Candida albicans, and Fusarium species15. In another study, sage essential oil at 2 mg/ml had a strong antifungal effect against Alternaria alternate and reduced Aspergillus parasiticus growth by 87% and inhibited aflatoxin production by 96%15. In another study, sage essential oil was highly effective at killing Penicillium verrucosum believed to be due to the compounds α-thujone and camphor16.
Anti-fungal spice essential oil #2: Thyme, Chinese name: Bai Li Xiang18
The properties of this spice herb are bitter, pungent, and warming. It is used to: transform mucus, strengthen the spleen, strengthen the lungs, warm the middle, and expel cold mucus. Thyme stimulates the production of white blood cells and strengthens immunity. This oil is very beneficial for the heart, valves, and is an anti spasmodic. It also reduces blood pressure. Thyme is widely used in food and is non-toxic19. This spice contains the following compounds, thymol, p-Cymene, myrcene, borneol and linalool20.
In one study, thyme essential oil was highly effective at killing intracellular Candida albicans21. In another study, the essential oil was effective at killing Aspergillus species. and inhibiting aflatoxin production22, and inhibiting mold spore germination23. A third study showed thyme essential oil as effective at inhibiting multiple Penicillum species24. Thyme essential oil has been used internally safely and effectively with patients struggling with chronic mold infections.
Anti-fungal spice essential oil #3: Clove, Chinese name: Ding Xiang25
The properties of this spice herb are acrid and warm. It is used to warm the abdomen and relieve pain. Clove is also used to treat hiccups, nausea, morning sickness, vomiting, and diarrhea. This herb is also used to treat impotence, and coldness in the body and extremities. It also promotes digestion by increasing bile and gastric acid secretions. Clove is also used topically to treat toothache. The essential oil has anti-asthmatic properties.
This herb is contraindicated in cases of fever and excess internal heat accompanied with symptoms of dryness. Side effects of this herb include dizziness, palpitations, chest oppression, headache, perspiration, decreased blood pressure, and skin rash. Clove has an inhibitory effect against Vibrio cholerae, Bacillus anthracis, Salmonella typhi, Corynebacterium diptheriae, Bacillus dysenteriae, E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, and Staphlococcus aureus.
Essential oil of clove contains these compounds: eugenol, caryophyllene, acetyleugenol, α- caryophyllene, and chavicol. In one study, clove essential oil inhibits Candida, Aspergillus, and some dematophytes including fluconazole resistant strains26. In another study, the compound eugenol was effective at inhibiting Fusarium moniliforme, Fusarium oxysporum, Aspergillus species, Mucor species, Trichophyton rubrum and Microsporum gypseum27. In a third study, clove essential oil increased the effectiveness of fluconazole and voriconazole against multiple Candida species28. In another study, this essential oil was effective at inhibiting drug resistant Candida biofilms29. Low doses of clove essential oil have been used safely and effectively for years with patients diagnosed with Lyme disease, parasites, and mold toxicity.
Anti-fungal spice essential oil #4: Cinnamon, Chinese name: Rou Gui30
The properties of this spice herb are acrid, sweet, and hot. This herb is used to treat a wide variety of disorders including intolerance to cold, cold extremities, weakness, soreness and coldness of the low back and knees, impotence, lack of libido, excess urine production, and loose stools. It is also used to treat wheezing, asthma, labored breathing, swelling, and profuse phlegm. Cinnamon is also used for dizziness, flushed face, sore throat, and coldness in the lower extremities.
This herb also treats epigastric and abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, bloating, slow digestion, hernia pain, and spasmodic pain in the stomach and intestines. It is also used to treat hypercoagulation, irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, postpartum pain, external injuries, trauma, deep rooted sores, psoriasis, and feelings of oppression in the abdomen.
This herb contains the following compounds: cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamic acid, cinnamyl acetate, phenylpropyl acetate, cinncassiol-A, -B, -C1, -C2, -C3, cinnzelanine, and cinnzeylanol.
Cinnamon is contraindicated during pregnancy and in patients with signs of excess heat, excess dryness, and excess bleeding. Excess amount of cinnamon can result in symptoms of flushed face, red eyes, dry mouth and tongue, bleeding, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, excess urination, anuria, burning sensations upon urination, excess serum proteins in the urine, dizziness, blurred vision, and numbness of the tongue.
Intravenous cinnamon reduced blood pressure, decreased heart rate, peripheral vasodilation, and decreased vessel resistance within 3-5 minutes. Subcutaneous injection of cinnamon in dogs increased the white blood cell count by 150 – 200%. This herb has an inhibitory effect on dermatophytes, pathogenic fungi, and many gram positive bacteria. In a rat study, essential oil of cinnamon has an analgesic and sedative effect.
Cinnamon bark essential oil was more effective at inhibiting more Aspergillus and Penicillium species than cinnamon leaf essential oil31. Cinnamon bark essential oil inhibits Aspergillus species and aflatoxin, aflatoxin-B1, and aflatoxin-G1 production. These toxins are inhibited because the essential oil binds to the DNA of aflatoxins. Also, this essential oil reacts with reactive oxygen species produced by aflatoxins, which has a protective effect on cells32. In another study, cinnamon bark essential oil was the most effective against oral isolates of Candida albicans33. Another study demonstrated that cinnamon bark essential oil was more effective against fluconazole susceptible Candida species than against fluconazole resistant Candida species34. Low dilutions of cinnamon essential oil have been taken internally by people diagnosed with mold toxicity safely with out side-effects.
The right combination of essential oils can help you to overcome a toxic mold infection
Just like cleaning out a guinea pig habitat with a pressure washer, a combination of anti-mold/fungal and anti-toxin essential oils can help you penetrate, kill, and detoxify a hidden mold infection. Since some of these essential oils come with cautions on their use, work with a herbalist knowledgeable in essential oils and chronic fungal infections to develop a proper, safe, and effective essential oil strategy for your condition.
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