What to Do About the Fungus Among Us

Floodwaters bring damage and despair in their wake, and so can warm summer weather and moist air, if it is allowed to foster the growth of mold. In the South, mold exists everywhere, even after we have washed our walls, torn up our carpets and replaced the drywall. Mold spores are in the air, in our gardens, in rotting leaves and in the dew of cool shade. Mold can grow in our homes wherever moisture collects, like in the bathroom, in refrigerator drip trays, houseplants, mattresses, foam rubber pillows, garbage pails, in the walls, floors or carpets; wherever there are wet cellulose materials they can feed on, such as wood, ceiling tiles, or plasterboard, even if they are not visible.
Molds come in thousands of different varieties, and fungus reproduces into spores that come in many sizes, shapes and colors. The spores will reproduce and germinate into new mold growth which can produce millions more spores. In our tropical climate, molds thrive all year-round to cause problems. After even limited exposure, spores can colonize in the body, as well, because it is a perfect breeding ground in which to live and reproduce.

Airborne mycotoxins from certain types of mold can be extremely dangerous to our health. Sometimes, people are unaware that they are breathing mold spores until they become very sick. If we are lucky and have a minor allergic reaction to the mold, once we leave the affected area we will recover.

Many molds can emit allergens that affect some of the population, but some can also cause toxins that affect everyone. These toxins and the damage they cause are one of the greatest health hazards of this century. Although approximately 25 million Americans suffer from allergic reactions to molds, most of them don't even realize that when they're sneezing and sniffling, the cause could be from fungi.

Common ailments from toxigenic mold, including allergies (hypersensitivity after initial toxicity), acid reflux, brain fog, sexual dysfunction, high blood pressure, head sweats, asthma and bruising, usually can be treated and reduced after people leave their contaminated environment. Sometimes medication, diet and other treatment protocols are necessary. Eyesight, memory, coordination/balance and hearing are generally the most common residual effects that do not improve after treatment. Currently, the federal government has failed to establish exposure limits on toxigenic molds, which has made it very difficult for the public to fully comprehend the danger of elevated mold counts with indoor fungal exposure.

Some people choose a proactive approach and diffuse high-quality, research-tested therapeutic essential oils to combat the mold in the home, office and body and use digestive enzymes to help completely digest foods so there won’t be any “leftovers” circulating in their system to feed parasitic spores. It’s a good idea to periodically check for leaks and clean up all water spills quickly, especially around faucets. Clean and check air conditioning units twice a year. change air filters every three months (and spray them with Essential Young Living Oils Thieves Spray).

Some suggest ingesting medicinal-grade essential oil-infused supplements, because plant oils contain compounds that naturally kill and deter mold. Plants survive and thrive in this moist environment, and this is where we need to look for the missing link to retrieve and maintain our health on our beautifully humid Gulf Coast.

Laurie Azzarella teaches monthly classes on Young Living Essential Oils and can be reached at 850-380-4943 or LaurieAzzarella@gmail.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

A Garden Like No Other

Rob Eubanks, aesthetic director and volunteer for From the Ground Up Community Garden, says he’s never seen a project like it. Besides its educational and nutrition outreach, it also provides a space for a variety of creative artists and events.

Pensacola Sprouts

This isn’t your typical garden. Sure, From the Ground Up Community Garden houses plants, but it also educates the public from grade school to adulthood, gives back to the community and offers entertainment under the stars with a unique and beautiful backdrop.


Most people who decide to visit a chiropractor are seeking treatment for an injury or structural concern.

Barbara Bruni on Pilates for Breast Cancer Patients

Exercise has numerous benefits to our physical and psychological health, from increasing our strength, flexibility, mood and self-esteem to reducing stress, depression and anxiety.

WELLSTOCK Festival Returns to Destin

The second annual Wellstock Festival will take place November 3, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin. This year’s festival has a youth theme, says founder Maurice Hunter.

Add your comment: