Posted to Subscribers on 21 December 2011


Dear Subscribers,

After saying that the posts would go back to mold, a lot of you wrote! Many thanks, I will continue, but now is a wonderful time to announce the unfoldment of several new Ayurvedic products. As you know, Ayurveda is one of my passions, but my lab did not have Guduchi — so they had to special order it so as to allow me to produce a new formula that a subscriber suggested.

Review is helpful because we are all assailed with information that takes a while to assimilate. Mold health problems can basically be divided into three broad groups, each with many nuances, but let's call them allergies, colonization, and mycotoxins. When I was first massively exposed to mold, all that formal literature discussed was allergic reactions and risks to the immune system if people were already compromised. I took strong offense over these statements, but the professional literature is used to play down a very dangerous health risk by suggesting that only those who are HIV positive or otherwise fragile have any real cause for concern if exposed to mold. Expert witnesses put their hands on Bibles and swear to tell the truth when either they don't know the truth or are accepting money to obfuscate it. Anaphylactic shock can be fatal, but allergies are the tip of the iceberg, truly not even the tip if one considers the rest of the equation. As I have written previously, the main herb that helped me with allergic reactions was Jatoba, a rain forest herb. It also helps with stamina and other adrenal-related "secondary symptoms".

Colonization is something that is very poorly understood in official literature. Basically, just as mold growing on food consumes the food in order to enrich itself, the same dangers exist within the body. When I first suspected this, I could not find very much corroborating evidence, but there is a tiny gold mine on the University of Adelaide website called Fungal Jungle where these suspicions were amply acknowledged. Later, I found other support for my theory in journals from India, but practically nothing in the U.S. We really do have to question the stranglehold mainstream medicine and the insurance industry have over medical fact and fiction. The long and the short is that when mold colonizes, it tends to look very different radiologically than normal tissue, so what we mainly see are "holes" because of the lack of density as compared to body tissues. These holes can occur almost anywhere, but since mold thrives on nutrients, it tends to go where there is a rich blood supply or source of food, i.e., the stomach and lungs, but truly, mold can and does colonize where it chooses so the knees, brain, vital organs, intestines, etc. are all fair game.

In my essays to date, I have mentioned formulas that disrupt the hyphal structures used by mold to feed itself. These hyphae are like straws that pierce lungs or any other tissue, and then they suck the nutrients into the tubes that are filled with acids that are used for digestion. In darkfield microscopy, I have occasionally seen whole queues of erythrocytes moving through such tubes; then they hit a point where there is massive swirling and the erythrocytes are liquefied and thereby rendered digestible. Mold does not have a stomach — and therefore is not considered as part of the animal kingdom — and it does not derive energy through photosynthesis so it is not considered to be part of the plant kingdom. It derives its nutrients by decomposing "organic" materials and then processing them in the hyphae for the mold itself. I put "organic" in quotation marks because this is what books say, but it would not be correct to suggest that mold does not also eat inorganic "matter". Take a moment to reflect on this: mold not only will consume substances that are not grown organically — but that are technically organic from the point of view of those comparing vegetables to minerals — but we are hearing more and more about mold digesting radioactivity and doing so not only in Chernobyl and Fukushima and environs but in space.

Okay, to reiterate, mold (1) can cause allergies, and it (2) can colonize. Of these, the allergies are serious but usually less life threatening. You might however want to consider them as early warning signs that something needs your undivided attention.

Now, the third concern, and also a very, very serious one, is mycotoxins. These are metabolic residuals of the vegetative state, i.e., when mold is eating, reproducing, and colonizing, it has waste products that are often very seriously toxic. Many of these mycotoxins are carcinogens, and some are so resistant to breakdown that they can be harmful decades into the future because the toxin is deposited on the outside of the spores, even if the spores are not viable. What this means is that if humidity drops to a very low point, so low that mold cannot grow, the spores may be toxic for an indefinite time into the future. This means that if one is remodeling an old property or using a saw to cut away weathered or ugly construction materials, the inhalation of dust could be serious. However, unlike viable mold, we are now talking about a chemical, not something that can colonize.

Let me dot the i's really carefully. Most people talking about mold are differentiating viable and non-viable. I have tried to reform our language a bit and suggest thinking in terms of vegetative and inhibited — because most molds will "come back to life" if the temperature and humidity permit. What this means is that any exposure to viable mold is potentially life-threatening, because all other things equal, the mold will eventually consume the host and return it to dust. Mold is not very friendly, but it has a role.

When we are speaking about viable mold, the amount of the exposure is irrelevant, because in time, the possibility exists that there will be enough mold to cause really serious problems. However, with mycotoxins, we are closer to what most people think about with parts per million, i.e., at certain levels, the exposure is less significant, but time does not cause the level to increase. The level only increases as more mycotoxins are inhaled or ingested or if the viable mold is internal and continuing to dump poison into the host.

Whew, for an intuitive thinker like myself, this is really concrete!

Okay, the word mycotoxin comes from the Greek for "mold" + "poison" and there you have it. The three most commonly studied mycotoxins are aflatoxin, ergot, and ochratoxin, but there are countless types with varying degrees of toxicity. Over the next few weeks, I want to go into this in much more depth, but for now, I would like everyone to realize that even after the allergies are gone and the mold has been checkmated, the mycotoxins can remain. They tend to accumulate most in the kidneys but can be found in countless other tissues. In some cases, they cause irritation and redness that is site specific, usually where there is moisture, such as under the arms or behind the knees; but in other cases, the toxicity goes undetected and, of course, undiagnosed. As with most medical conditions, having one or more symptoms does not justify the conclusion that one is suffering from mycotoxicosis, but if someone has a history of mold exposure, then even something as apparently far-removed as fibromyalgia or hair loss might suggest the presence of mycotoxins. Obviously, these and dozens of other symptoms do not prove mycotoxicosis, but they might warrant testing for mycotoxins. This is what happened with one person who corresponds with me.

As you imagine, I get emails all day long from people asking about mold, and what I want to assure others is that recovery is possible; but in my own case, I have been aware that while my brain seems to work fine (which it didn't at one point) and I am no longer exhausted, there has been a nagging concern that maybe the mycotoxins haven't actually been flushed out. I also have felt like as much as I know about mold, there is more to learn. Without a clinic and the right to use darkfield, some help that could be rendered is not being offered those who need it. However, as fate would have it, the correspondent found a PubMed study based on four Ayurvedic herbs that strongly suggested that these herbs can alleviate mycotoxicosis. I gave her the honor of naming the formula; and after three heads were put together, it sports a label suggesting its origin: Mold Chikitsa, loosely translated to mean Healer of Mold. The lab shipped it yesterday, so I will write another post about the formula after it arrives, but I want to start now with Guduchi for a number of reasons. It was the only herb the lab did not already have in production; and it bears the alternate name Amrita, truly a difficult word to translate. I have always slid by saying Amrit is the nectar of the gods, but in several texts, it is regarded as the elixir that brings the dead back to life.

Now you see the synchronicity!

I believe the solstice and our celebrations at this time of year go back thousands of years — because we live on a Planet with a specific reality that in the extreme latitudes, we appear to lose our sun for three days. The place in the sky where this happens is called the "tomb"; and when the sun reappears and the days start to get longer again, we celebrate the triumph of good over evil. I.e., it would make much more sense to me if we celebrated the birth of Jesus in summer — when the Wise Men really could see the stars they were alleged to be following . . . ho hum. In any event, long before Christianity, there were festivals of light at this time of year.

Now for a small but personally fascinating digestion: one of the herbs I have found hugely effective in treating mold is horopito, Pseudowintera colorata. It comes from New Zealand, and a Maori herbalist who corresponds with me says that it is placed on the body of the departed so that those on this side of the veil can continue to communicate with those on the other side.

To some extent, it plays a role a little bit similar to that of yarrow, since this herb is also used to cross the boundaries between our ordinary knowing and more extraordinary knowing.

Guduchi thus joins an illustrious family of unique herbs. It is even more special because, as is hinted by its botanical name, Cordifolia tinospora has leaves that are the shape of the heart.

Guduchi is native to tropical South Asia, mainly India, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka, and the vine likes to twist around the trunks of neem trees. The medicinal properties are said to be enhanced when the two bitter plants are found growing together. Interestingly, one of its chemical constituents is the very bitter berberine, so it presumably easily crosses the blood-brain barrier as do other plants with this alkaloid. Even modern research confirms that Guduchi improves cognitive functions, both alertness and memory.

Guduchi is a rasayana herb and adaptogen, but its main claim to fame is its ability to destroy toxins. It is therefore an ingredient in countless Ayurvedic formulas, including the famous dashmool that I have in tea, capsule, bulk, and massage oil forms. Then, dashmool, which means ten roots, is listed as a "single" ingredient in Chyawanprash, but it, of course, actually means that all ten roots are in the formula. As with all rasayana herbs, it is an antioxidant, but it has also demonstrated remarkable ability to protect against gamma radiation. The tests on mice showed that a single dose given one hour before irradiation protected them from the harmful effects such as radiation sickness, weight loss, and destruction of lymphocytes!

All the rasayana herbs are considered to be useful in promoting longevity, but Guduchi is the first one I have read about that is discussed in such lofty terms that it can call a departed soul back to its body. Obviously, no one is literally claiming this to be true, but the ancients waxed poetic and showed their appreciation for what is great and good by raising the plants to the level of the immortals. One of the oldest Indian texts, the Charaka Samhita, describes many formulas containing Guduchi and says that when taken for three years, all vigor is restored and the body becomes impervious to toxins. He adds that the expected life span will then be one hundred years.

Realistically, we need to concentrate on the basics, i.e., the bitter taste. The taste is due to the alkaloids; these neutralize acids, including sugars that feed microrganisms and fungi. So, in Ayurveda, foods and herbs that are bitter are used not only to detoxify but also to balance the excesses due to overindulgence in foods that are sweet. Generally speaking, bitter foods are decongesting for kapha types, detoxifying for pitta types, and only recommended in smaller quantities for vata types — although in the case of Guduchi, there are actually benefits for the nervous system so long as the dosage is not extreme. For example, an excellent way for vata types to consume Guduchi would be in the form of the new Tikta Ghee that I mentioned in a recent post. It has Guduchi, Neem, and Mahasudarshan, which is already a mixture of about 45 herbs.

In a few days, our shipment of Guduchi, as well as Mold Chikitsa, will arrive. Those who wish to pre-order are welcome to do so.

Meanwhile, I wish everyone a peaceful, insightful, and wonderful solstice. Speaking for myself, I absolutely cannot wait for the days to get longer again, and I believe there are a couple of plants in my yard sharing my anticipation.

Many blessings,



Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2011



Mold Herbs





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