Antibacterial hand soap is everywhere. Most of us carry a mini bottle of hand sanitizer with us wherever we go. Doctors are quick to prescribe antibiotics for a child who falls ill due to a cold. I am constantly seeing parents and teachers wiping down everything with antibacterial wipes.
From a young age, we are vaccinated against everything. And everything we eat has been pasteurized.
We are a culture obsessed with avoiding germs.
Perhaps I’m going overboard in saying that germs are our friends, but it is true that we actually we need them.
There is such a thing as too clean.
Did you know that our fervent use of antibacterial agents is contributing to a health crisis? We now have a ton of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Overtime, bacteria becomes resistant to these sanitizing products that are in every household, classroom, store, and doctor’s office. Bacteria keeps mutating; these bad germs overtake good germs and the end result is that we are left with superbugs- but nothing to kill them with.
Antibiotics given to people and animals… vaccines, pasteurization, antibacterial/viral cleaning agents. I am not saying that these are never necessary, but overuse of these things has the potential to turn ordinary infections into deadly killers.
The list of superbugs is growing:
Believe it or not, I used to be a germaphobe! And ironically, I was always getting sick! Now that I know what I know about germs, I literally eat food off of the floor. In public places. And I let my daughter do the same!
…Or am I?
Our kids, especially, need to be exposed to germs so that their immune systems will mature. Babies and toddlers eat dirt for a reason!
The germs we come in contact with as children stimulate our natural killer cells and make them stronger. If our environment is too clean, the killer cells do not develop properly and this can lead to immune system disorders such as allergies, asthma, and digestive problems! In other words, if our immune systems are not used to fighting off normal infections, it has a tendency to begin overreacting to things in the environment that it shouldn’t (such as pollen, dust, or foods).
Although we try to avoid germs, just know that avoiding germs is impossible! They are everywhere, and on your body at all times! No matter how many times we wash our hands, and regardless of how clean we keep our homes, we will still come into contact with hundreds of bacteria and viruses in the course of one day. And using strong antibacterial agents have actually not been proven to keep us healthier. Not only are these commercial products filled with harsh chemicals (which contribute to your body’s toxic burden, and weaken the immune system), they kill the good bacteria along with the bad bacteria. Then, the bad guys that are left become stronger. And mutate. And this is why we are seeing so many drug resistant bacteria these days.
So your mission should not be to avoid all germs. The key is to build your immune system, so that when it comes into contact with bad germs, it will be able to fight them off. When you take care of your body, your immune system will be strong, and you don’t have to worry about every bad bug out there.
Obviously, there is a balance. You should practice common sense. If someone is sick, you don’t need to be hanging out with them if not necessary. And it’s always a good idea to wash your hands before prepping food, before eating, after using the restroom and before touching your face.
Hand-washing is actually great, natural method of keeping yourself healthy!
But don’t wash them too much! Your skin is actually your first line of defense from germs that cause the cold or flu. If you wash too much your hands may become dry and cracked, allowing an entry way for the bad guys.
Also, when it comes to washing your hands, plain soap and water is enough!!
But what should you clean your home with?
There are plenty of natural cleaning supplies on the market right now. But I’ll let you in on my little secret.
I use vinegar for everything!
If you have been following this blog, you know that I am a simple gal! Since I use vinegar for just about everything, I don’t have to worry about juggling a bunch of different spray bottles. Another perk of vinegar: it’s cheap!
I use straight up vinegar to clean glass, countertops, and the bathroom. Also, every few days or so I round up my daughter’s toys and clean then with vinegar too. You can add a little water to it to make it last longer and to protect delicate surfaces.
Vinegar kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold and 80 percent of viruses. And vinegar is non-toxic! It does the job without going overboard. Just powerful enough to get a surface very clean, but without wiping out everything. It leaves enough good germs to battle the bad guys
Anyway, my points are simple:
1. Take care of your body. Build your immune system by eating healthy, getting exercise, and plenty of sleep.
2. Practice good hygiene and reasonable cleanliness. Plain soap and water is fine!
3. Let your kids enjoy some dirt from time to time.
4. Try to limit your use of hand sanitizer.
Your body is amazing! You will be surprised just how healthy you can be when you nourish your body and avoid chemicals. Your body, when functioning properly, can fight off lots of scary things without the need for conventional medicine.
I hope you found this article to be helpful! Let me know what you think!
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