Safety Cleaning and Flood Support Kit
Here in the Northern Rivers, we have never seen such a large scale, incredible and heartwarming people-powered mobilisation from our community since our region was affected by the worst flooding event on record earlier this week.
Volunteers by the thousands have been turning up on people's doorsteps giving a helping hand to clean up after the flood waters ripped through, providing warm meals and emotional support. What we do need to consider though, is everyone's safety, as well as the prevention of any digestive or respiratory illness due to the increase of bacteria, mould and pollutants in the air within affected houses, as well as surrounding polluted mud build up and possible water contaminants.
We have collaborated with one of our Naturopaths, Jana to provide you with our Safety Cleaning and Flood Support Kit, including some simple tips to help protect yourself and your family from becoming unwell whilst cleaning up your goods/home and when helping others in need.
Cleaning Safety Gear
Please wear mask, gloves and protective gear while cleaning your house or helping others. The highly polluted mud may pose some serious health risks. Colloidal silver can be used as a nose spray to help prevent air-born bacteria going into the respiratory system. Ensure that you clean your clothes in the washing machine using hot water after each day. Also clean your hands with sanitiser, especially before consuming food or drinks.
Clean your cuts to prevent bacterial overgrowth: use oxygen peroxide diluted to 3% topically on the wound and protect using bandages or protective dressing. You may also use high strength Manuka honey UMF 15+ internally or topically on the cut. For cuts, which are not infected or open or around open wounds: use antibacterial / fungal cream containing Pau Darco, Usnea, horopito, Manuka, tea tree oil and colloidal silver as an example (available at Santos Organics).Use Arnica cream for bruising and swelling or a mix of arnica, rue and comfrey cream for sprain and strains. Use Magnesium oil with St. John’s wort for muscle and nerve pain (also available at Santos Organics).
For skin irritations from cleaning products: use calendula cream or for skin fungal infections use neem oil.
Citronella and peppermint oil can be used in a carrier oil on the body to prevent mosquito bites or aloe vera, ledum, lavender and tree oil, which can also be used on irritations and itchy bites.
To prevent gastritis: further to good hygiene and regular hand washing and sanitising, use activated charcoal tablets or powder internally or grapefruit seed extract, which can also be used with a few drops in your water to purify. If you are already experiencing digestive problems, use charcoal tablets 2-3 times a day and for diarrhoea: SB flora prebiotic every two hours if needed. (All available at Santos Organics).
Mould is part of a group of very common organisms known as fungi and is commonly found in households, particularly in humid and damp climates. Mould can grow anywhere indoors where there are wet or moist areas lacking ventilation including walls, ceilings, bathroom, shower tiles, carpet and wood. Exposure to mould via inhalation is commonly associated with health conditions such as allergies and asthma. It can also affect those with weaker immune systems.
To help combat mould issues, one option is to use a diffuser in the room of a flood affected house using a few drops of clove, thyme, tea tree, eucalyptus and cinnamon to prevent mould travelling in the air: we recommend using an essential oil mix called Thieves, which includes all of the essential oils above helping to prevent air born bacteria when combined.
Here are a few tips on how to kill mould: all you need for a DIY cleaning product is an empty spray bottle, warm filtered water and a few drops of clove, lemongrass and tea tree oil - three powerful anti-fungal essential oils. You can also add colloidal silver. Fill your spray bottle with two cups of filtered water, add 10-15 drops of each oil and that’s it! Spray the mix directly onto those mouldy, grimy and dirty spots wherever needed most especially around bathrooms/ showers and in between tiles for some potent antifungal and antibacterial powers.
For cleaning mould from hard surfaces:
Mix hot water, vinegar and bi carb soda with the suggested mix of essential oils above. Spray it on and leave for 30 mins, wash then spray on again and leave. It may take 24 h for mould spores to dry and drop off.
Furthermore, for anyone experiencing cold and flu symptoms: Vitamin C and Zinc is recommended. Echinacea, Andrographis or Olive leaf, or a mix of these would be some suggestions. A mix of medicinal mushrooms would also be useful for keeping your immune and adrenal system strong.
Lastly but non the least extremely important: mental health. Speak to your loved ones or those that you trust. Some helpful remedies may include:
Rescue Remedy or Emergency Essence: 4 drops up to 4 times a day of when needed
Magnesium for anxiety
Herbal medicine formulas for calming anxiety and supporting the nervous system may include: lavender, oats, passionflower, scullcap, kava. For sleep support: valerian, hops, Jamaica dogwood and Californian poppy
Natural antidepressants: St. John’s wort and Saffron. 5htP or SAMe. GABA for anxiety.
For heavy metal / toxins detox post cleaning: use chlorophyll in the water, humic fulvic mineral for cell detox and replication, plus to boost immune system. Chlorella powder can be used for extra immune support, as well as detox.
Remember that these tips and recommendations may have some contraindications for some people, so please speak with your GP's and/or one of our friendly in-store Naturopaths at our Byron Bay and Mullumbimby stores for more information, or for a tailored plan to best support your personal needs.
Special thanks to Jana/ @thesecret_kitchen for writing this article