Mold is an opportunistic fungal microorganism that needs moisture, darkness, and decomposing organic material (nutrients) to survive. The spores (reproductive agents) are most-often carried on air currents, floating in and out of human living spaces by the thousands (sometimes millions). In other cases, the spores land on a person or animal and are then transferred from one possible habitat to another. As long as there is a dark, damp, and warm place with spoiling food, dead insects, wood, or even dust (which originates from human skin cells), mold can grow just about anywhere it lands.
Some molds have been labeled as toxic because ingestion, inhalation, and even skin contact with such molds have proven to be fatal, if not permanently damaging to the health of the human or animal. Other molds, even the most common and seemingly harmless molds, can actually cause serious health issues as well.
The best solution is to be proactive against mold. Living spaces, food storage areas, and other types of areas that are considered a living or working space for a human or animal should be kept dry, clean, cool, and naturally lit (if possible). This will ensure that those spaces and areas are indeed, inhabitable and – more importantly – inhospitable to molds of all types. However, if an infestation of mold already exists, further action is required. Mold is far too dangerous to be allowed a safe haven in human living spaces. It must be removed. But how?
There are many ways of ridding a home or specific material or location of mold, regardless of whether it is toxic or “non-toxic.” Most experts will warn against using bleach as it does not have a lasting effect on the mold, and in the majority of cases, simply changes its coloring on a cellular level to something less noticeable like white or beige (which has tricked many victims into believing they’re mold free when in fact, the mold still thrives). Other solutions suggest treatments that are not only costly, but packed full of synthetic “cleaning” solutions and are heavily laden with harmful chemicals. There is no doubt that mold is dangerous, but bringing equally dangerous chemicals into a home or workplace to combat the dangers of mold seems rather obtuse.
Natural remedies – in most cases – are the best solution to a mold infestation. Anti-fungal essential oils and natural herbs are all derived from plants (fruit, vegetation) that have been battling mold since the beginning of time itself. Fruits, vegetables, even various non-edible plants have natural anti-fungal, mold-inhibiting advantages on the cellular level. Many of these barely-processed oils and herbs can be used in a spray bottle with ? water and spritzed on mold growth* or ingested by or applied dermally to a victim who has been personally affected by mold.
There are many anti-fungal essential oils available on the market and most are equally successful and safe. For the sake of brevity, only three of the top anti-mold essential oils will be listed here.
Tea Tree Oil: Derived from the tea tree and native to Australia, it is often mistaken in conversation for the tea plant, which is notorious for its black and green teas that are enjoyed worldwide. Tea tree oil – as a natural remedy to many health issues – is used as a topical application (rubbed on the skin) to fight fungal infections of the skin and nails, acne, lice, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and scabies. Its other topical uses are for cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites, bee and wasp stings, boils, genital infections in women, a select few sexually transmitted disease symptoms, toothaches, mouth and sinus infections, sore throats, and ear infections. As one can clearly see, tea tree oil is one of the go-to natural remedies for a wide range of health problems.
Tea Tree Oil Spray
2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cups water
Combine in a spray bottle (makes 2 cups), shake until blended, and spray on problematic areas. No rinsing necessary.
Oregano Oil: Originating from Greece and translating as “Joy of the Mountain,” the oregano plant is known for its potent flavor, as well as it remedial attributes (healing properties). Not only is it anti-fungal, it is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, anti-septic, anti-oxidant, and anti-viral. It is also quite stimulating to the immune system. Oregano leaves can be added to meals to assist in the healing of fungus victims; but oregano oil is even stronger and must be diluted (1:3 ratio) with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and then applied to the affected areas on the skin. Be mindful: not many brands are safe for consumption. For most brands, oregano oil is strictly meant as a topical aid.
*** For an intense-smelling and highly-potent mold-fighter, prepare a few drops of oregano oil in a spray bottle filled with 2-3 cups of water (remember to shake well before each use) and spritz on the mold-prone or pre-existing molded areas. (This oil works best in bathrooms and kitchens.)
Lavender Oil: The lavender flower is notorious for its beauty and calming aroma. Its essential oil has an even greater effect upon the olfactory senses. Despite its allure to both humans and animals, lavender oil is one of mold’s worst enemies. It quite possibly takes the cake on all things “anti,” too. Not only is lavender oil anti-fungal, it’s:
If there’s an essential oil one is willing to spend their hard-earned money on and reap more than one reward (such as ridding their home of mold), the choice is lavender oil. Especially when spraying directly on mold or applying topically to the affected skin, lavender oil is more appealing to the senses than any other oil. In fact, it is safe to apply or spray without any dilution unless, of course, dilution with water or a carrier oil (coconut or olive oil) is preferred.
Most plants, in general, are naturally anti-fungal on a cellular level but once those herbs are processed for human consumption or household use, they have lost much of their potency. To remain as brief as possible, this list supplies only three of some of the most powerful anti-fungal herbs, but keep in mind that there are many more natural herbs out there that are just as effective. (The following remedies are for internal or topical use and are not to be applied to items or areas within the home.)
Black Walnut (hull): Black Walnut Hull is one of the most common ingredients in natural anti-fungal solutions sold worldwide. The hull of the black walnut (as well as the leaves) are anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial, anti-septic and contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and other mold-based illness-fighting active ingredients such as tannin, quinone, iodine, and vitamin C (in the form of ascorbic acid). It’s been used for canker sores, sexually-transmitted skin disease sores, and psoriasis. It is also an excellent laxative, as constipation is a serious complaint among many mold victims. It can be taken internally or used topically.
Garlic: Garlic is brother to the onion and belongs to the Allium family of vegetables, which in addition to onions, includes chives, shallots, and leeks. It is considered one of the most valuable and versatile herbs in all the world, and is quite notorious as a health-enhancing food source. With its anti-oxidant properties, Garlic strongly promotes the well-being of the heart and the continuity of the immune system, improving immune cellular activity. For many afflicted people, it is the key to healthy blood circulation as well. The active sulfuric component within garlic is a chemical called allicin, which is produced upon cutting, bruising, or chewing the garlic. Allicin is an incredibly powerful anti-biotic and is quite potent in ridding the body of germs and molds by ending their growth cycles. Its potency has been likened to, ironically, that of penicillin (a mold).
Pau D’Arco: Most commonly made into tea, pau d’arco is a very large rainforest tree native to South America whose bark (and sometimes the leaves) is used for the treatment of a variety of conditions, such as general pain, arthritis, inflammation, fever, dysentery, boils, ulcers, and various cancers. It’s anti-fungal properties are top-notch among herbs and many mold (and yeast) victims are able to find relief and total healing in some cases, simply by drinking its tea, due to the antifungal nature of the lapachol component.
* If spraying mold with an essential oil, be sure the area is well-ventilated. Cover mouth and nose with a napkin, handkerchief, or mask and spray the affected area liberally. Allow 2 to 5 minutes for the solution to set and begin its work. Wearing gloves, use a disposable cloth or wipe and remove the mold (while still wearing the mask). Spray the “cleaned” area and repeat. For proactivity in spaces that do not yet have mold but are difficult to keep dry (refrigerator drawers, bathroom tiles, etc.), spray essential oils once a week or daily, depending on the situation and only wipe away if it is a falling hazard.
Beankeeper is a mother of two, a business owner, and a freelance writer. You may find her other works at The Wife’s Life, a blog devoted to those who still believe in wholesome living, dedicated parenting, and faith-filled marriages. She is also a content-writer for the folks at Lots of Motts, a webstore making coin collectors’ dreams come true since 2011.