Protect yourself from Environmental Toxins

Last week, we discussed herbs and remedies that help protect us from radiation. Sadly, ionizing radiation is only one of the hazards we face on a daily basis. We humans have been so clever! We have introduced hundreds of toxic substances into our air, our water, our soil and our food chain in an effort to make life easier for ourselves--or to make our businesses more profitable. As a result, we continuously encounter an array of solvents, toxic metals, adhesives, plastics, endocrine disruptors, pesticides and herbicides, radionucleotides and more. We are often quite unaware of our exposures. While miners, factory workers, farmers, people in the beauty industry and construction workers may be getting the most severe exposures, we all do share the same air and water. Some toxins are taken up in the water cycle and deposited through rainfall, while others linger in soil or riverbeds. Even carcinogens banned decades ago, such as PCBs, linger in our environment as 'legacy toxins.'

Prevent Excess Exposure

  • Prevent excess arsenic exposure by taking care with your rice consumption.

  • Prevent excess mercury exposure by using the mercury in fish wallet card.

  • Reduce pesticide exposure by eating organic. Know your dirty dozen and clean fifteen.

  • Pesticides concentrate in fat. Be especially careful to use organic dairy, eggs and meats!

  • Keep your home well ventilated to exhaust toxins that may be offgassing.

  • Be aware of industries and nuclear power plants in your locality and stay active in making sure their emissions are in check.

  • Don't use standard aluminium-containing anti-perspirants. Although you will find many websites debunking any connection between aluminium-based antiperspirants and breast cancer, you will also find studies pointing to a potential link. Why take the risk?

  • Don't use over-the-counter aluminum-based antacids. Again, the link between aluminium and illnesses such as Alzheimers Disease (AD), allergies and auto-immunity is considered controversial. But there are many billions of dollars involved in the production of aluminium. Is money influencing the discussion? You decide. As one study states, "The hypothesis that Aluminium significantly contributes to AD is built upon very solid experimental evidence and should not be dismissed. Immediate steps should be taken to lessen human exposure to Al, which may be the single most aggravating and avoidable factor related to AD." This is only one of numerous articles on the topic in PubMed.

  • Don't use aluminium cookware--for the same reasons.

Clear toxins from your system

Despite your best efforts, you will continue to be exposed to unavoidable and often unknown environmental toxins. Take the help of Ayurveda to keep these toxins from building up in your system.

  • Do regular/annual panchakarma (Ayurvedic cleansing) to clear toxins from your tissues.

  • Take the special dushivishi formula for six weeks a year--especially after panchakarma. The sages of Ayurveda designed this formula for chronic low-level poisoning, which nowadays we all experience. (Alandi's dushivishi should be ready by late summer!)

  • Eat bitter greens frequently.

  • Make members of the cabbage family a key part of your diet (cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, daikon, radishes, mustard greens etc).

  • Eat colourful fruits such as mangoes.

  • Eat plenty of cilantro to chelate out heavy metals

Make antitoxic herbs a part of your way of life:

  • Drink tulsi tea

  • Use turmeric in your food.

  • Use ginger in your food and teas.

  • Take triphala regularly.

  • Take chyavanprash medicinal jam as a source of the antitoxic herb amkali.

Your Ayurvedic practitioner can help you with a personal detox formula as appropriate.

So take care, minimize your exposure, but don't despair. Your herbal allies are here to help!

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!