Do You Use Antibacterial Soaps? If So, Throw Them Away...
Due to the aggressive marketing techniques of cleaning manufacturers, the American public has developed a neurosis when it comes to the subject of bacteria. The fear-mongering has millions of Americans needlessly spending huge sums of money on toxic household cleaners and hand sanitizers in the belief that we must all lead highly sanitized lives.
This obsessive need to eradicate all germs is unhealthy and does far more harm than good. Most consumers are unaware that these very products contain highly toxic materials that cause far worse damage to our bodies.
Our bodies are filled with bacteria. They are an essential part of a healthy gut, and in the development of a healthy and strong immune system. Children need to be exposed to some germs to strengthen their immunity and develop the ability to fight back against common bugs. Many doctors now believe that children growing up in sterile environments are far more likely to develop allergies, asthma, and childhood diseases than those who are not.
Growing up as a kid, many of my friends grew up in rural environments and on farms filled with cows, sheep, chickens, dogs, and many other creatures. There was no such thing as a sterilized environment and childhood sicknesses rampant today were practically unheard of. Allergies were rare and these kids were healthy, strong, and robust.
According to the AMA (American Medical Association), antibacterial/antimicrobial products can encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics and lead to new superbugs that can no longer be treated with antibiotics. Some are harmful if ingested by small children.
In 2006, there were over 12,000 cases of
hand sanitizer poisoning reported in the US.
It is impossible to eradicate germs and bacteria entirely from your house and you wouldn't want to anyway, because a clinical and antiseptic environment is not healthy!
Germs Help Strengthen Our Immune System
To understand how germs help play an important role in the development of a healthy immune system, we need to understand what germs are and how the immune system responds to them. Germs are tiny microorganisms that include bacteria and viruses. Some of these bacteria are essential to a healthy gut, helping to break down food into elements that we can absorb. Other strains can be potentially harmful.
When bacteria enters the body, it looks for the best environment to start reproducing. Our immune system looks for the bad bacteria and stops it from invading our bodies by destroying it. Sometimes, this results in a fever or cold symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and mucus build-up while the immune system clears these germs from our body (as we learned from the section of the protocol covering inflammation, using anti-inflammatory medications suppresses this natural immune mechanism and the body takes longer to complete the immune response).
When the immune system removes the bacteria or virus, it creates something special called an "antibody" which quickly destroys the bacteria or virus if it later returns to the body. Because an infant does not possess a fully mature immune system, it relies on its mother's milk to pass on these antibodies (which are naturally present in breast milk). As we grow older, exposure to various germs helps the immune system learn and become stronger. Each infection results in new antibodies to help fight against future infections.
Exposure to common microbes such as the cold or flu help teach the immune system to respond appropriately with antibodies, so that when we are exposed to more serious strains of bacteria, viruses, and allergens, our body is more prepared. Exposure to basic germs and dirt such as in the garden and around the home is important. Of course, it is also important to maintain basic sanitary habits such as washing our hands after going to the bathroom and keeping our homes clean. But obsessively worrying about cleanliness and the overuse of hand sanitizers is very unhealthy and can lower our children's immune system, making them more susceptible to allergies and illnesses.
What Can You Use Instead?
There are many products we can use instead that are natural and non-toxic! Simple soap and water are very effective when it comes to cleaning our skin. Products such as hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, and white vinegar are highly effective household cleaning agents. In fact, both the EPA and CDC state that spraying surfaces with vinegar followed by hydrogen peroxide, is just as effective at killing bacteria as bleach (over 99.6%).
For more information on ditching the toxic household cleaners and building your own non-toxic cleaning cabinet, check out the Body Healer protocol.