Our world is filled with man-made toxins in the soil and air. These toxins are difficult to avoid, but we organic farmers make our food and herbal medicines safer. Additionally, we are not supporting the chemical fertilizer and pesticide industry. Make compost and grow your own medicine!
Pesticides & Herbicides
Exposure to weed killers such as Cyanazine, 2,4-D, and Atrazine—the most commonly used herbicide in the US—can cause hormonal imbalances in the body. Even though the popular insecticide, Pyrethroid, was developed from pyrethrum daisy (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium), it is still a hard-hitting chemical; use it with caution. Studies indicate that it targets the nervous system, disrupts hormones, and promotes breast cancer cell growth in the laboratory. One study from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York stated, “Certain pyrethroids may contribute to reproductive dysfunction, developmental impairment, and cancer.” Combining pesticides into a chemical soup can increase their harmful effects.
Organochlorines are produced during the manufacture of some herbicides, and petrochemical plastics like PCBs and PVC, and detergents. Examples are Malathion, Aldrin, and Parathion. They are extremely resistant to breaking down and are found in soil, water, plants, animals, and people throughout the world. DDT was banned in the US in the 1970s (in part, thanks to Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Spring) and its replacement, Toxaphene, in 1986. But DDT is still manufactured and used on crops in India, China, and Mexico.
• Alligators living in Florida’s Lake Apopka chemical waste from factories manufacturing Dicofol have been born half male and half female.
• Breast milk of Inuit Indian women living in isolated regions of Canada contains high concentrations of Dioxin, Toxaphene, and PCB.
• Women working at a Hamburg, Germany chemical plant, in Chapaevsk, Russia, and living near organochlorine chemical plants in Minnesota and Long Island, New York have high levels of DDE (DDT derivative). Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that this makes them four times more likely to develop breast cancer.
• Israel was the only country to see a substantial drop in breast cancer deaths when they banned DDT, Lindane, and BHC pesticides in 1978.
• Most of the thirteen tons of chlorine, another organochlorine, produced in North America every year goes into manufacturing pesticides, plastics, and bleached paper products.
~ Excerpt from Women’s Herbs, Women’s Health (Botanica Press) by herbalist Kathi Keville
The scent of growing herbs is a powerful pest deterrent in the garden, and you have the additional benefit of having healthy herbs to use. You can also make a natural insect repellent garden spray for your plants by tossing a repellent herb into a blender with enough water to liquefy it into a thin consistency. Then strain it well before putting it into a garden sprayer. Herbs that work very well include garlic bulb and peppermint leaves.
~Excerpt from Aromatherapy for Dummies, by herbalist Kathi Keville