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
- 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.
- Starve the fungus.
- Kill the fungus.
- 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
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
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:
- Olive Leaf Extract
- Oregano Oil
- Pau D’Arco
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
Always discuss adding herbs to your health-care protocol with your trusted health care practitioner, and use proper dosing.
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.