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black mold natural remedy

Natural Remedies for Black Mold

Black mold is a common and toxic mold type often found in homes with some kind of water damage. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes and flooding, are frequently followed by black mold, and can bring unwanted damage to homes and human health.

However, just like there is hope for your home to be properly remediated from mold damage, there is hope in getting rid of black mold symptoms! First, lets take a quick look at what black mold is, the symptoms of black mold exposure, and then learn about some natural remedies for black mold.

What is Black Mold?

When someone refers to black mold, they are usually talking about Stachybotrys chartarum. Stachybotrys chartarum is a greenish-black mold that is commonly found in homes that have some sort of water damage, providing the constant source of moisture that black mold requires to grow. It prefers a high-cellulose diet and thus grows often on surfaces such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. (1)

Symptoms of Black Mold

Some of the most recognized black mold symptoms have to do with the respiratory system. Coughing, sneezing, and other allergy-like responses can often indicate exposure to black mold. Black mold symptoms may include:

  • Chronic coughing/sneezing
  • Nasal irritation
  • Eye irritation
  • Headaches
  • Rashes
  • Chronic fatigue

Severe symptoms from long-term exposure:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bleeding from the lungs and nose (2)

Natural Remedies for Black Mold

It is important to seek medical care for your health if you are dealing with black mold. It is also very crucial that you remove yourself from the environment with black mold. Whether you need to move, or have your home professionally remediated, it is important to have a healthy place to live and recover from the health effects of black mold exposure. Once you have done both of these things, and if you wish to add in natural remedies to your health-boosting protocol, then these natural options may be worth trying.

In her book, Self Heal By Design, Barbara O’neill discuses the importance of this three-pronged approach to conquer mold-related illnesses.

  1. Starve the fungus.
  2. Kill the fungus.
  3. Restore the balance of the beneficial microbes.

1) Starve the Fungus

Cut out Sugar

Mold thrives on sugar. As a result, you will want to cut out or significantly reduce your sugar intake. This even includes fruit, with the exception of Granny Smith apples and grapefruit

Avoid Yeasts

To starve the fungus, you will want to eliminate yeast from your diet. This includes yeasted bread (but not sourdough), alcohol, and all other yeast products, such as brewer’s yeast and soy sauce.

Old and Expired Food

Do not eat any old foods or expired foods. Anything with mold on it should not be eaten. Avoid eating foods more than a few days old.

Corn, Wheat, and Peanuts

Corn, wheat, and peanuts should be avoided because they are often contaminated with fungal growth as a result of how they are stored, thus fungal infestations are prevalent in these foods.

2) Kill the Fungus

Herbs

There are a number of herbs with anti fungal properties. The following herbs may be helpful in boosting your health while dealing with black mold symptoms:

  • Garlic
  • Olive Leaf Extract
  • Oregano Oil
  • Pau D’Arco
  • Horopito
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • Iodine

Always discuss adding herbs to your health-care protocol with your trusted health care practitioner, and use proper dosing.

Foods

These foods contain anti fungal properties and can be added to the diet to help boost your body.

  • Coconut in all forms.
  • All legumes.
  • Raw nuts and seeds (except peanuts and pistachio nuts).

3) Restore the Balance

  • Eat cultured foods such as sourdough spelt bread, sauerkraut, miso, organic tofu, and non-dairy yogurt.
  • Consider adding a probiotic supplement, specifically containing acidophilus and bifidus.

For more extensive lists and information, please check out the book Self Heal By Design.

mold risk

Got Mold? 4 Ways to Assess Your Mold Risk

Mold is a common and necessary part of our world. This type of fungus is useful in decomposing organic material, and is part of nature’s garbage disposal system. It is when mold begins growing in places we do not want it (such as in our homes) that it becomes a serious issue that can negatively impact our health and the longevity and safety of our house. That is why it is important to regularly check and evaluate the mold risk of the place in which we inhabit.

Can You See Mold?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to mold, seeing it is a sure indicator that you have a problem. Visually spotting the mold is the most obvious way to determine if you have mold in your home. If mold is growing on walls, ceilings, in cabinets, etc, you most likely have something going on that is encouraging the mold growth, such as a leak, or a humidity issue. The item that is causing the mold is important to fix, even before you begin to think about how to get rid of the mold, because if you don’t fix the root cause, the mold will inevitably return.

If you have high humidity in your home, you may want to periodically move your furniture to make sure mold isn’t growing on the wall behind it. I have discovered this type of mold issue growing several times when I lived in a very humid and wet climate. Dehumidifiers can be excellent to add to your mold prevention protocol if the issue is high humidity and not a leak.

Can You Smell Mold?

Is there a constant musty smell in your home or in certain areas of your residence? Is there a wall that emanates a scent that just doesn’t seem normal? If so, you may want to test and/or do a little investigation to see if there is some mold hiding somewhere.

When I was pregnant with my third, we were renting an apartment and each day in the summer, when the sun hit our southern wall, which was the wall in the kitchen, a smell that made me feel sicker than my normal morning sickness with the pregnancy began to grow and get stronger as the suns rays heated up that side of our home. I told my husband that there must be mold in that wall (I have had previous experience with mold sickness and was having symptoms again). Finally, he did some investigating behind the dishwasher and found the mold, and a leak from a slice in the plumbing that was continuously pouring in the surrounding wall. Apparently, whomever had been hired to do the plumbing for the apartment had cut the pipe in the wrong spot and then cut in the right spot, but then installed the partially cut pipe that leaked from day one! Always double check your plumbing to make sure there are no leaks that will grow a garden of mold in your home.

Do You Feel Sicker at Home?

Are you constantly feeling sick, and is it worse when you are at home? Do you experience unexplained respiratory issues, headaches, etc? Sick building syndrome is a real issue that many occupants of homes and buildings suffer from. The NCBI characterizes the signs and symptoms of sick building symptoms as: “Headache, dizziness, nausea, eye, nose or throat irritation, dry cough, dry or itching skin, difficulty in concentration, fatigue, sensitivity to odors, hoarseness of voice, allergies, cold, flu-like symptoms, increased incidence of asthma attacks and personality changes.” There can be many factors related to sick building symptom other than mold, and the cause of it is unknown, however, if you constantly feel sicker at home and suspect a possible mold problem, you may want to test your home for that possibility. 

Test Your Home

If you an unsure whether or not your home is infested with mold, or if you are purchasing a home and want to make sure you are not buying a mold headache to deal with, it may be a great idea to test your home for mold. There are many different ways to test your home, whether by hiring a professional to inspect and test, or by performing your own mold test, such as an ERMI dust test. It is a good idea to research which option is the best and most thorough way to test for your budget and situation.

What is Concrobium Mold Control

Concrobium Mold Control

What is Concrobium Mold Control?

In several articles on the web, readers have been advised on how to create their own mold killer products from natural ingredients, such as borax or essential oils. There is even advise on how to concoct a DIY laundry detergent, as well as some insight into the effectiveness of antifungal supplements and antifungal diets. This is quite possibly because many commercial mold removal products are ineffective and equally—if not more—hazardous to the consumer’s health. Over the past few years, however, one product in particular—Concrobium Mold Control—has held the attention of mold remediation experts. Could this product be as effective against mold as it claims to be?

Keep on reading!
snow mold

Snow Mold in Your Lawn?

As winter melts away into spring, things may start to reappear in your yard that was previously hidden by winter’s thick blanket of snow. You may rediscover that tool that was not put away before the first significant flurries, or just the welcome signs of spring as your perennial bulbs begin to push through the surface. An unwelcome sight, however, may be the appearance of a fungal lawn disease called snow mold.
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checking your house for mold

Checking Your House for Mold

There is quite a bit of contradictory advice when it comes to testing for mold in the home; namely, whether it’s a DIY-type job or one that calls for the experts. But as with most things, it’s not a black and white answer, with different circumstances requiring different approaches. Before we explain further, however, let’s outline the factors that may lead you to check your home for mold in the first place:
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How to Keep Fruit and Vegetables Fresher for Longer

Summertime is well and truly here and, with it, the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. But like a contestant on America’s Got Talent who has only two minutes to change their destiny, the window of opportunity for some juicy summer berries or a crisp green salad – before mold and other unwanted visitors mark their territory – is tiny.

Luckily for you, we’ve put together a handy guide to ensure your five a day go the distance!
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summertime mold

Your Summertime Guide to Mold

The days are long, the sun is out and the beaches are having their moment; summer is well and truly here. Hooray! Yet, as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free, er, BBQ. For with all the fun of the summer comes the added risk of mold.

Yup, that pesky fungal growth really knows how to get everywhere, doesn’t it? Especially at this time of year. This is down to several factors, which we shall now explore:
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prevent mold

The Importance of Clean Air to Prevent Mold

Clean Air Day 2018 came and went last week, but it got us thinking:  If mold thrives off elements present in the air we breathe, surely there must be a connection pertinent to our cause. And we were right.

One of the largest factors in mold survival is the amount of moisture in the air, as it can – and will – grow anywhere and on any substance that dampness is present.

But did you know that, as well as causing mold, excess moisture in the home can also contaminate the actual air, too? Just think of the cold, musty smell often accompanying it. And according to Global Action Plan – the organizers behind Clean Air Day – mold in the home is a source of air pollution itself. Yet the relationship is actually more complex, as if mold is present, toxic particles will emanate from it and infiltrate the air you breathe – not to mention the fact that damp itself causes water vapor, which in turn encourages microbial growth, leading to yet more mold in an ongoing vicious cycle. Thus, this two-way relationship emphasises how important – both for the cleanliness of the air and the actual, tangible things surrounding it – controlling the level of moisture is.

Monitoring the levels of humidity in the home, therefore, is extremely important, and most experts believe that erring on the lower side of the 40-60% recommended bracket will help to prevent the build-up of mold – thus keeping the air clean, too.

But there are many other things you can – and should – do to reduce the growth of mold and – by extension – keep the air around you clean. You can breathe a (toxin-free!) sigh of relief, as we’ve done the hard work for you:
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mold growth

How Does Mold Grow and What Conditions are Best for Mold Growth?

What Conditions are Best for Mold Growth?

Keeping mold from growing in your home is an important consideration for a healthy, safe environment to live. The first task in keeping mold at bay is discovering what areas and conditions might encourage mold growth. Molds are pervasive everywhere, and thrive in wet conditions. How does mold grow? Mold grows best when moisture and humidity are present. When mold spores encounter a damp surface most advantageous for fungal growth, they can begin to grow and thrive.
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the smell of mold

What Does Mold Smell Like?

What is that smell?

There are numerous aromas our olfactory organs are subjected to each day. Whether it be the smell of food cooking or baking, the distinct aroma of herbs or essential oils, or the unpleasant reek of yesterday’s trash, our nose encounters a host of various scents, both appealing and unappealing. While our sense of smell has many purposes, it is often overlooked as an alarm system. In fact, when it comes to personal safety, our nose is an excellent source for warnings against danger—not just burnt toast. Are there smells that can alert us to potential health hazards or signal that the environment we are in is not safe? Certainly. Aside from the distinct smell of smoke or gas, mold’s pungent odor is a helpful indicator that your health, as well as the health of those living with you, is at risk.

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baby allergies mold

Mold and Babies – The Importance of Mold Removal

Is Your Baby at Risk from Toxic Mold?

This time of year brings lots of sneezes and wheezes to young babies as the warm weather is replaced with colder temperatures. Going outside may seem like a bad idea to those parents whose children suffer with seasonal allergies or are susceptible to colds and flus. You may be tempted to stay indoors. But what if staying inside is actually worse? If mold is present in your home, your baby could be at a higher risk indoors.
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diy mold removal

DIY Mold Removal vs Professional Mold Remediation

DIY vs Professional

Are you a “DIY-er” at heart? A lot of people love the thrill of taking on home projects from building their own furniture to remodeling a kitchen. DIY can be a great hobby, involve the entire family and save a lot of money. But what about when it comes to major issues like mold remediation?

Mold inside your house is a serious condition. If you’ve seen some or suspect it in your home, you may be wondering what the best method is to remove it. No matter what, mold is definitely different than your typical home maintenance project. When it comes to mold remediation in your home, should you try to DIY or should you call in the professionals?
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mold in houston

Essential Steps to Take After Your Home Floods

Hurricanes, Rain, and Mold

What happens to a city when a storm system dumps an entire year’s worth of rain in just 3 days? In late August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated the city of Houston, Tx and surrounding areas. The storm left 33 trillion gallons of water on U.S. soil before finally weakening. As you can imagine, the flooding experienced in Houston was intense. Many lives were lost. Homes were ripped apart, bridges collapsed and dams gave way. Even though the hurricane is now in the rear-view mirror, the health catastrophe continues to unfold in slow motion. While the focus of the news was on the shear amount of rainfall in the city (upwards of 50 inches in some locations), mold will be an issue for months and potentially years to come.

So, the question remains: after the wrath of a big storm has passed, what should a homeowner or renter do to keep mold from growing in their homes? Here are the essential steps to consider after your home has been flooded.
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mold expert

MoldBlogger Interview: Lisa and Ron Beres

Q. Being advocates for healthy homes, how often do you get contacted concerning black mold and how to remove it?

Lisa: We get contacted quite often for mold inquiries from people all across the country, but most people are unaware if they actually have mold, the scope of the problem or how to properly remove it. Many people will experience hay fever like symptoms, but if they can’t see visible mold, they tend to think it doesn’t exist or isn’t a real threat.

Ron: We always start by advising the person test, not guess. Too many people unknowingly put themselves and/or their loved ones in danger by ignoring the visible signs of moisture or water damage and/or a musty smell. They assume it will go away on its own. Many people wait too long before addressing the root cause of the issue – typically a leaky water source.
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mold types and classes

A Closer Look at Mold – Types, Classes, and Tips to Clean it

A Closer Look at Mold – Types, Classes, and Tips to Clean it

  1. Mold can grow almost anywhere! You might not see it but it could be there!.
  2. All types of mold prefer areas low on light and high on moisture – behind drywall/sheetrock, within wallpapers, carpeting, bathtub stains and etc.
  3. Mold spores or mold toxins can be present in food without you ever knowing.
  4. Many anti-biotics are manufactured thanks to mold types like Penicillium & more.
  5. Baking soda, borax, ammonia, oregano oil, neem seed oil, they all can help you clean up and get rid of mold, but bleach and peroxide will not handle Class A types of mold.
  6. The early stage of being sick from Mycotoxin will show no physical symptoms but it can affect the brain cavity.
  7. There is no such thing as mold allergy. You either fight it as a virus, or you end up sick (or even very sick).
  8. Mold toxins are even more dangerous if you use steroids, anti-biotics or even immune suppressing products.
  9. Candida Albicans is detected in the stomach and mouth of 40% to 60% of adults.It emits toxins, able to cause cancer.
  10. Most types of mold prefer to grow in a low pH environment, while Candida does it at pH of 7.
  11. NOBODY IS IMMUNED TO HEALTH RISKS FROM MOLD TOXINS!

Yellow. Green. Brown. White. Black. Mold comes in these and many other colors, just like a box of crayons. However, unlike crayons, these invasive fungi are nowhere near as fun to work with. If your property has been affected by this highly persistent growth, simply wiping it away will not solve the issue. Below, we will discuss the effects of mold on health, its common varieties, and the cleaning techniques that you can use to prevent the growth from coming back.
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health problems due to mold

How to Prevent Five Common Health Problems Caused By Mold

The Health Effects of Mycotoxins

No one is very comfortable with the idea of mold. It’s slimy and smells bad and just is generally distasteful. Even the word “mold” is an ugly sounding word. You wouldn’t even imagine eating a piece of cheese or slice of bread that has mold on it. And yet, when it comes to mold in their home, many people are surprisingly complacent. The smell might be annoying, but not annoying enough for many to want to spend time, money, or effort getting rid of it. This idea is potentially disastrous; despite being seemingly innocuous, mold in the home can be very dangerous. Even if you don’t come into physical contact with the mold, it can still affect you. A number of different types of mold especially forms of black mold, release airborne spores known as mycotoxins, which can enter the human body through the respiratory system and cause a number of adverse health effects.
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