Moldy: Comments on the Film

Posted to Subscribers on 6 June 2015


Dear Subscribers,

As promised, here are some further comments on Moldy. The film can still be seen for free at this link:

There is a way to tidy up the understanding of mold. A typical medical textbook will state, as indicated in the film, that a certain percentage of people are allergic to mold. That figure is usually around 25%, sometimes a bit higher depending on location, ethnicity, and some other variables. The implication — and what many doctors understand to be the case — is that some people have allergies and this is not a big deal unless they are severely immunocompromised.


Allergies are an issue and should be addressed, but mold is dangerous to absolutely everyone whether or not the individual exhibits signs of allergic reactions. Let's say the allergic individual is the canary in the coal mine who alerts others to the potential for very serious consequences.

I mentioned a few days ago that some nails were not hit on the head in "Moldy". The film is basically good, but it could have been better. The two really important shortcomings were the overemphasis on mold toxicity as compared to mold colonization. I will come back to this and hammer the point.

The other issue is that the film was slightly biased in favor of mold survival as compared to the realities. Countless people I have met in the last 15 years have died of the consequences of mold exposure — so while it is nice to see people who have recovered, even if they are living in tents in the desert, the truly horrifying and pitiful consequences of mold were not emphasized sufficiently. Moreover, no reference to pets or infants who crawl on floors was made and that is a serious omission.

As said, I will return with my hammer. However, I agree with most of what was shown about remediation. It is always essential that mold victims either remediate or vacate. Remediation is often an expensive proposition. Moreover, who exactly ought to foot the bill depends on circumstances. In my case, a washing machine was not installed properly. This is sort of an "O Ring" story in that a clamp costing a few cents could have spared me years of suffering and loss of life of three parakeets and a dog, not to mention $85,000 in bills, basically more than I had since much went onto credit cards. However, in some cases, deferred maintenance is the cause and sometimes Nature changes fates overnight. A leaky faucet is a maintenance issue, usually fixed with a wrench. Hurricanes are "Acts of God" and are seldom covered by insurance but FEMA may help some victims.

The bills are important but secondary to the survival issues. All mold, even tiny, tiny bits of mold must be removed in a sound manner. The rule is that very small contaminated areas can be remediated by inexperienced people but anything over one square foot requires a professional. I disagree because there is always a risk of anaphylactic shock, even with a small exposure, and any viable mold that is ingested or inhaled can colonize and kill someone.

There are checklists for how to find mold and what to do. I have a lot of information about this on in the remediation section. Basically, one is always looking for water intrusion due to defects in plumbing, condensation, drainage, or flooding.

Now the hammer. While mold toxicity can lead to all kinds of problems, such as liver damage or even cancer, it is generally a somewhat longer-term risk and can be addressed little by little over a period of months or years. Toxicity causes redness, itchiness, and other symptoms that are consistent with what one expects from chemical exposures. The toxins are dangerous but usually gradual in consequence once the acute symptoms subside. The toxins persist long after the allergies and red blotches have subsided.

The big problem with mold is that it is usually almost indestructible. The example in the film with paint was a case in point. The mold changed into something more toxic when fungicides were added to the paint. This point was emphasized in the mold seminar I took years ago. If one uses a commercial fungicide, the recognized mold, such as stachybotrys, may seem to disappear but another more toxic mold will appear. That mold may not be widely recognized as toxic so getting the attention of doctors and insurance companies and others may be almost impossible. Because of the way the system works, something about which little is known is generally ignored since it is not on the official list of culprits.

Let me take a few sentences to put this in context. When my house was tested, a sample was sent under "chain of custody" to a lab where it was identified as graphium. The microscopes at the lab were not equipped with cameras so the written report was the final word. However, I went there to see the sample in the microscope and remember exactly what I saw. Later, I found mold in my blood that was a perfect match. I took pictures and showed them to the instructors at the mold seminar. One said penicillium and the other said aspergillus. My lawyer said that if the lab had said either of those instead of graphium, the legal issues would have been slam dunk, but not much was known about graphium, and we were stuck with that analysis because it was on the piece of paper. However, the reality is that they did not culture the mold and there was no real basis for the declaration. "Exotic" is not useful in a legal situation so this hurt my case a lot.

The point however is that there are hundreds of possibilities of what could be found in a house or office building and only a handful are officially known to be dangerous. However, the truth is that because all viable molds can and will colonize, all are dangerous. The danger is typically equated to the mycotoxins rather than the colonization. However, mold eats. In live blood samples, I have seen two variations of the broader mold issue. In one case, one sees the mold, it sprays something really lethal and everything on the slide dies practically instantly. That is the mycotoxin. It can be very powerful, as was the case with the first sample I got of what was in my blood, or just annoying. I see milder versions with what are called edible mushrooms, but if you have been reading my posts for a few years, you know that I do not believe that any mushrooms are intended for human consumption. I am 100% convinced of this and am very unpopular with some people because of my conclusion. Mushrooms are fungi and molds are also fungi but mushrooms are not mold.

Okay, leave Socrates there and go on with the hammer. The other condition I have observed in the blood is that blood cells are being consumed, voraciously, via a system of hyphal structures. Mold does not have a stomach, but it generates tubes, called hyphae, that are sort of like straws. Inside the hyphae, there are caustic acids so when erythrocytes enter the hyphae and hit the acids, they are instantly liquefied. Now, we need a tiny lesson in hematology. Try not to think of blood as a liquid. The plasma is a liquid, straw-colored, and the red blood cells are discrete cells, round and sort of flat like a donut without a hole. These look like little floating objects but they can actually swim and change directions. Theoretically, they might not do this in an artery, but on a slide, it is clear that they can go with or against current. Anyway, they are red and look inflated, useful shape for living in liquids. However, once they hit the acids in the hyphae, they look like cherries in a blender. It takes only seconds for discrete cells to be swirled and liquefied. In short, these cells are consumed as food, prepared in the hyphae as gifts for the mold.

The hyphae in turn plunge into anything and everything so as to supply nutrients to the mold. In Nature, the hyphae can be miles and miles long. On a slide, the hyphae can easily wind through more or less the entire sample. In the brain or lungs or stomach, they are eating tissues and filling the vacant places with mycelial structures that, on an x-ray, look misty. One patient had this in her head and was diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia. Unlike the people in the film, she died. There is probably a window of opportunity during which the right treatments may allow the patient to recover.

The first step in the right direction for me was jatoba, given to me at a party by a Chilean lady who is no longer among us. As I learned more and more, I realized that for a tree to survive in a muggy place like a rain forest, it has to have chemicals that inhibit both mold growth and termite attacks. Most woods are quite mold resistant, especially if they have some volatile oils as natural constituents. Cork is naturally mold-resistant. I will never say that anything can actually kill mold. If we found such a substance, we would have an immense power over Nature and probably self-destruct in no time because of our human tendency not to recognize folly when it is staring us in the face.

I use the term mold-inhibitor and have been able to demonstrate to my satisfaction that certain aromatic substances, such as essential oils, can be powerful enough to inhibit mold growth for years, even in places like the Bayou where it is hot and moist much of the year.

So, to recap some of the mold points, we can separate the issues into (1) allergies, (2) colonization, and (3) toxicity. There is however a fourth concern and that is repair of damaged tissue. This can include blood, vital organs, and parts of the nervous system. Since mold loves moisture, it will colonize in synovial fluid or just about any other fluid in the body. On the outside of the body, we often find mold where there is the least air circulation such as in private parts or under the arms or behind the knees. It seems to have an affinity for synthetic substances so many people who are close to over the top have red blotches where elastic or nylon touches the body. Organic cotton would be more comfortable and much safer.

In a kind of way, this brings me full circle because what happened as a result of my misadventure with mold was that I found herbs that accomplish all the feats necessary. Allergic reactions can be minimized, thereby restoring comfort and adding several good hours to each day. Colonization can be disrupted by breaking the hyphae (yes, some herbs do this very efficiently); and detoxifying the body of mycotoxins. In addition, we are addressing the use of rejuvenative herbs so as to repair damaged tissue, even tissues in the nervous system. This arduous journey contributed immeasurably to the desire to create an Institute, and it also partly explains why we chose Ecuador rather than New Orleans or Kauai.

While you await further news on the Institute, please watch the film and visit my web sites: as well as

Many blessings,


Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2015


Mold Herbs




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Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2015

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