Mold is everywhere, whether you can see it or not. These microscopic fungi flourish not only in the bathroom but in food, dust, air ducts, washing machines, and other inconspicuous places.
Getting rid of mold is a very good idea.
Mold toxicity can manifest in many ways. The most obvious is an allergic reaction: sneezing, watery eyes, sore throat, cough, and the onset of asthmatic episodes. Other symptoms aren’t as conspicuous:
- Auto-immune issues
- Blurred vision
- Gastrointestinal distress and food sensitivities
- Joint pain
- Moodiness and depression
- Neurocognitive problems: brain fog, confusion, memory loss
- Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
- Sensitivity to light
- Skin irritation
- Sleep issues
- Weight fluctuation
Chronic illness has been associated with long-term exposure to mold:
“…storage of mycotoxins occurs in variety of tissues [sic]…lungs, spleen and lymph nodes…Prior exposure to toxic mold and mycotoxins may represent an important feature of chronically ill patients such as CFS [chronic fatigue syndrome] as well as those with CRS [chronic rhinosinusitis]. An internal reservoir of toxin producing mold (e.g., sinuses) that persists in biofilms could produce and release mycotoxins.” (1)
Once mold has taken long-term residence inside the human body, it doesn’t like to leave. “Sick building syndrome” is often the culprit and the study cited above found that people with chronic conditions stemming from mold exposure didn’t get better after being removed from the environment—even years later. A mycologist (biologist specializing in fungi) explains:
“Macrocyclic trichothecenes are highly toxic compounds with a potent ability to inhibit protein synthesis… In addition, the fungus produces nine phenylspirodrimanes (spirolactones and spirolactams) and cyclosporin, which are potent immunosuppressive agents…these compounds could be pathogenicity factors involved in pulmonary hemorrhage in infants…Penicillium andStachybotrys species may be associated with sick building syndrome… occupants developed fatigue, headaches, chest tightness, mucous membrane irritation and pulmonary disease…researchers concluded that a mycotoxin-induced effect was a likely cause of disease.” (2)
Ingesting mold is even more serious, sometimes leading to life-threatening illness such as cancer and heart disease. (3)
For every living thing, there is a predator.
Oil from the leaves of Maleleuca Alternifoli—the tea tree—is known for its antiseptic properties.
In its native Australia, leaves were crushed and applied to skin wounds by Aborigines long before Western science existed.
Tea tree oil is a very effective fungicide; it can be used to kill foot and fingernail fungi, candida, dandruff, and even those on household and outdoor plants. (4) It also quickly kills the most commonly-found household molds. (5)
The recipe below is as simple as it gets for ridding surfaces of potentially harmful fungi.
Tea Tree Oil Mold SprayYou'll need:
- 1 spray bottle
- 2 teaspoons tea tree oil
- 2 cups water
- Pour water and tea tree oil in spray bottle, affix sprayer, and shake to mix.
- Once settled, spray to cover spread of mold. Do not rinse. All the mold will be dead in 24 hours. If there is residual staining, wash with a natural abrasive like baking soda or borax.
- Use regularly in spots where fungi develop to keep them under control.
If you suspect you may be experiencing mold toxicity, click here for suggestions on what you can do to eliminate it.