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Mind Altering Substances

Posted Jul 01 2008 5:08pm

My sister spoils our children with presents. She is very generous and kind, and on one birthday she gave my daughter Maddie a 70 piece toy makeup set. Maddie loved it and promptly plastered it all over her face. The result was awful. Within an hour she was a feral animal - hitting, scratching, screaming and crying. It lasted for 7 hours. She’s no longer allowed to wear makeup.

Chemicals in food can cause major problems, which I wrote about in a recent post. However, chemicals in the environment can be just as bad. Your skin is your largest organ and it can absorb enormous amounts of chemicals, not just from makeup. Chemicals also enter your body through your nose. Aromatherapy is an example where your mood can be altered through your sense of smell.

Can the chemicals in your environment make your mood worse or even make you sick? Absolutely.

Gas cookers increase the carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide levels in the house. Moulds give off toxic fumes. You should make sure that your house is well ventilated and clean.

Think about the personal care products that you use. Makeup is a big culprit. Look at the ingredients - I can’t pronounce most of them. Liquid soap normally contains a chemical called sodium laureth sulfate which is a detergent and known skin irritant. It is also found in shampoos and toothpaste. But the list of chemicals is long and so are their potential effects for people who are sensitive. They are in deodorants, moisturizers, sunscreens.

If you’re concerned about the chemicals in your life then it would be a good idea to research the products you are using and potential substitutes, either online or somewhere like your local health food shop. There are many alternative products that are safe, work well, and don’t use harsh chemicals. For example cleaning with a mixture of vinegar and bicarbonate soda is an excellent substitute for detergents on many surfaces in the home.

Sensitivity to chemicals can cause real problems for some people, including changes to their moods. But once you adjust the products that you use in the house it is fairly easy to keep going. An allergy specialist can also do tests that hone in on each class of chemicals. That is what we ended up doing for Maddie.

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