Preventing Infection Naturally
Washing your hands is essential to removing bacteria and viruses from your skin. The type of soap is important – bar soap is made with lye and liquid soap is a low grade detergent with ‘antibacterial’ chemicals added. Sodium Hydroxide (lye) used in saponification of fats for making soap is known to kill bacteria by breaking down the phospholipid bilayer that make up their cell wall. Once the cell wall is open the cell bleeds out and dies. Detergents do not kill bacteria they simply emulsify organic material for removal from cloth, surfaces or skin.
Alcohol Derived from Petroleum
The problem with ‘antibacterial’ chemicals is that they kill ‘good’ bacteria too. These ‘good’ bacteria are essential to our life; we have healthy bodies due to the symbiotic relationship we have with ‘good’ bacteria. Antibiotics and alcohol based antibacterials indiscriminately kill all bacteria and viruses. This leads to over sanitation or overkill of bacteria.
Over sanitation is one cause of the spread of infection in children and adults. If we kill all the bacteria on/in ourselves and on the surfaces of our homes then we directly affect our immune system’s ability to defend us. Our immunity is dependent on bacteria to function properly, these bacteria live within and around us for a reason. When we indiscriminately kill all the bacteria, we kill what we need as well.
Alcohol based hand sanitizers and air sprays are the leading cause of this problem. Alcohol at 60% concentration or stronger kills all bacteria, good and bad. Harming our internal environment and reducing our immune function. Also the companies that produce these products cannot guarantee their effectiveness because the products strength decreases the longer it sits on store shelves or in back-stock warehouses. This is especially true of the sanitizing wipes. They have been tested and proven to be completely ineffective after only 6 months of storage. So how long do they sit it warehouses before placed on a shelf for you to purchase? At least 3 months, sometimes more with companies like Walmart that purchase huge amounts of product at once to gain a discount.
Now that we’ve covered that let’s take a look at what we can do to prevent infection in ourselves and our homes without these man-made, chemical based antibacterials and sanitizers.
Mechanical protection like masks and gloves are beneficial when outside of your personal environment but must be removed prior to entering your home or car to prevent bringing infection in. Although paper masks do little to prevent you from breathing in small particles like bacteria, they do help in reducing the spread by slowing the speed of your breath (and mucus) as it comes out of your mouth and thus reducing the distance that your breath travels. Gloves only prevent bacteria from touching the skin of your hands. So if you touch your mask or face to adjust with the gloves on you just spread everything you’ve touched onto yourself, destroying the purpose of wearing them in the first place. These tools can be beneficial if used properly.
We have the tools for defense. Now how about a stronger healthier body capable of preventing infection all by itself.
First and foremost we need sleep. Not just a certain number of hours of sleep but a deep restful sleep that allows the body to regenerate. If you’re not sleeping well, then your body is not as strong and healthy as it could be. Which does put you at a higher risk for infection.
The next most important is your diet. The type of nutrition you get greatly affects your immune function and ability to prevent infection. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are more nutrient dense, so they offer more nutrients that the body can use to build strong immune cells.
Sun, Air, Nature & Exercise
Another important factor to consider is your outdoor exposure. Not just sunshine but also fresh air, plant life, dirt and wildlife are beneficial to our physical and mental health. Exercise is also very important for maintaining a healthy immune system. Movement alone stimulates ‘good’ hormones that make the body feel good and be more productive. Spending time outdoors, no matter what you are doing, is going to help boost your immune function.
Regarding the sun; it is essential for proper vitamin D balance in the body. Which in turn is essential for all hormone and immune cell function throughout the body. All you need is at least 10 minutes of direct sunlight on your skin to produce sufficient vitamin D for the day. In other words, there is no reason to get a sun burn. There are exceptions to this at higher latitudes, due to the angle of the suns rays.
Other options for preventing infection naturally include Aromatherapy, Herbal Remedies, Supplements and Skin Care.
Aromatherapy: using concentrated aromatic compounds taken directly from plants with water distillation, alcohol extraction or fat absorption and used externally either through inhalation on absorption through the skin to nourish the body and support healthy function.
Herbal Remedies: dried plant materials prepared in various ways for the purpose of healing the body and reversing the cause of illness and infection through nutrition instead of chemical intervention. Herbs, spices and flowers provide nutrients that are not commonly found in foods commonly consumed everyday.
Check out Mother Jai’s Aromatherapy products and Herbal Remedies.
Bath & Body Oils – 8oz Bottle
Add natural moisture and aroma to any bath. Simply pour and enjoy!
Supplements: concentrated extracts of plants and minerals for the purpose of nourishing the body and providing nutrients not commonly found in every day foods. Beware of overuse with these large doses of plant compounds. You can end up feeling worse than better if you’re using too many supplements.
Skin Care: besides our nose, our skin is our next whole-body defense against infection. If it is dry or cracked, anywhere, it is susceptible to invasion through the openings in the top layer. Soft and supple, moisturized skin is the best protection against external invasion.
The composition of the products you put on your skin have a dramatic effect on your skin’s health. Petroleum is not moisturizing, it is coating. Coated skin does not breathe or exchange gases with its environment, thus decreasing its function of toxin removal and electrolyte balance in the body. Sunscreen reduces or prevents vitamin D formation by the skin, thus reducing or preventing vitamin D to be available to be used in the body for essential hormone production and immune function. Most sunscreens also contain petroleum.
Magnesium: essential for cellular function throughout the body. As we consume fewer strong tasting, magnesium rich foods, like onions and garlic, the less magnesium we have for bodily function. Epsom salt and magnesium oil are two great ways to get more magnesium into the skin.