The page in
which I first discussed mold was written several years ago. My
own odyssey is almost at the four-year mark, and I am still battling
the insurance company. In the meantime, I have had two professional
mold tests performed and have implemented ever so many superficial
measures. These include cleaning the ducts of the heating system,
installing an ultraviolet lamp in the duct itself (right before
the air is recirculated back into the house) and a extra filter
in the duct system before air is heated and sent back into the
I have also used a negative ion generator and
two different brands of portable air filters and several brands
of ozone machines. To play it extra safe, I bought a Miele vacuum
cleaner with HEPA filter; and periodically, I also diffuse essential
oils or colloidal silver into the air, and I continue to take
a lot of herbs to counteract the dangerous physical effects of
mold on my health.
All of these measures are bandaids because they
do not address the contamination at the core, but this is an
expensive matter that the insurance company has been stonewalling.
The two mold tests involved quite different
testing measuresand each "expert" tended to argue
that his competitor was less competent. The first test was performed
by a man who said he had developed the testing protocols for
the Navy for detection of microbial agents, including mycoplasms,
that might be used in the war we have to pray will never happen.
He used a device that suctions ambient air onto a prepared slide
with 30 squares marked. He took ten samples outdoors, ten downstairs,
and ten upstairs. In addition, we sent the air filters for testing
and we used some very high tech German vials for testing chemical
toxins, such as formaldehyde. For the record, no formaldehyde
was found. This is astonishing because the house was new, but
the UV filter had been operating for several months by the time
that test was performed. There was die off during the first hundred
or so hours of operation of the UV system.
The second test involved tape lifts that were
sent to a laboratory under chain of custody protocols. I went
to the lab to see what the technician found. She used conventional
brightfield microscopes and found graphium, one of the rare but
dangerous molds. It's important to point out that despite all
the measures I have taken, the graphium was found three years
after the flood. I do not believe that my efforts to minimize
risks to myself and my pets were useless, but they obviously
have not been adequate.
Some weeks later, I found something curious
in my own blood that was the same shape as the graphium I had
seen in brightfield. For many years, I have observed that blood
often moves quite quickly on the slide after removal from the
fingertip. I decided to scan the opposite direction of the
movement and "learned" that often the blood is fleeing
something toxic. This object may be organic or inorganic, but
the blood seems to try to run away from the danger. I therefore
developed the habit of scanning the edges of the sample for
movement lest I lose important information because an object
appears outside the sample after the blood has moved away from
Curious and cautious as I am, I sent the
images that follow to the man who did the environmental testing
of my house as well as the lab where his samples were analyzed.
Both concurred that I had probably found graphium in my blood.
Subsequently, I have sent the pictures to a number of others
who are of the same opinion. I am anxious to point out that
we have an educated opinion of what is shown below but we could
be wrong. This said, once I observed the "mold" in
my blood, my own understanding of mold was shaken to the core.
Understanding that many visitors to this
site have never looked through a microscope before, I will
explain a little before going on too much farther. In live
blood microscopy, the sample is viable for a considerable time
after being removed from the body. Only one drop of blood is
required and its behavior can be observed over many hours and
On the first picture, it is probably safe
to assume that the mold was in the middle of the blood sample
before the blood fled. Therefore, what you see in the image
below is an opaque area at the bottom right of the photograph
that is outside the sample. On the top left, you see red blood
cells that are not only crowded into each other but already
turning fuzzy (dying). They are too close together because
they are fleeing and "running out of space."
This photograph was
taken with a Nikon Coolpix 4300 attached to a photo tube
of a Motic BA300 microscope.. It is already obvious from
this image that the red blood cells are moving away from
the object, a form that is believed to be graphium.
Normally, I take 2-3 samples of blood
at the same time. This object was only on one slide. The
other slide was therefore kept for comparison purposes.
The morning after the curious object was observed, I checked
the slide to see what had happened.
As you can see, there was no more
blood, neither red or white blood cells. There was nothing
in proximity to the object and nothing left on the entire
slide except the mold seen below. The control slide was
perfectly normal even though the two slides were next to
each on the microscope stage.
This second photograph was taken the
following morning. There was nothing left on the entire
slide except this object.
I have been slow sharing these images because
the idea that mold might decompose the blood put me into another
reality. I think I was caught between shock and curiosity. I
wanted more time to research and contemplate the ramifications.
As fate would have it, I went to Austria in
August to lecture and consult. Four patients who were being seen
by the MD in whose office I was working also seemed to have mold
in their blood. One had multiple sclerosis. Her partner had hepatitis
C. The other two patients had cancer: liver cancer and ovarian
cancer, both very serious. All corroborated exposure to mold;
only the liver cancer patient had moved out of the contaminated
house (two years previously); the other three were constantly
exposed. The couple had plans to move on October 1st and hopefully
will start to get better. It is worth noting that compared to
these patients, I seemed relatively well and functional; however,
none of the patients had the symptoms of allergies that I had;
and they were therefore less aware of the hazards of their environments.
Still not satisfied, I continued to research
and discuss the situation with colleagues. The University of
Adelaide (Australia) web site has a fabulous gallery of mold
pictures, including many of cancer patients whose tumors were
found to be mold colonies. For those who might be jumping ahead,
keep in mind that tumors are sometimes not exactly what they
are described as being. For instance, some tumors seem
to consist of parasites (see the CDC web site for another visual
tour of health horrors.)
Since this was my first insight into what mold
might actually be doing in the body, I have been exceptionally
careful with the information. Before seeing this with my own
eyes, I assumed that mold was ingesting, digesting, and excreting
toxic by-products that damage organs. I believed that the chief
danger to people who are infected with mold was allergic reactions
and possibly organ damage from toxic gases and metabolites. However,
after studying this picture, I came to suspect that the manner
in which mold acts to decompose is vastly more efficient than
anyone has estimated.
Last week, an old friend who happens to be a
surgeon came by to see me. He was interested in my microscope
so he pricked his finger and lo and behold: mold! He said he
had been renovating a hundred year-old building and had been
exposed to lots of mold. However, it was obviously a different
species because the mechanism of its action was different. Nevertheless,
his blood was not in good condition.
The Learning Curve
As with all new pursuits, there
is a lot to learn. With cancer, I have often warned patients
who are passionate about information that they are racing the
clock so wisdom usually dictates the need to confer with people
who are further along on the learning curve. With mold, such
options are not readily available. I discovered this when my
lawyer wanted me to see an out-of-state medical doctor who would
run a battery of tests to prove mold caused damage to my central
nervous system. I asked other lawyers about her recommendation.
The first said that the defense attorney would get someone from
the University of Washington to say that they knew of no long-term
medical risks from mold exposure. So much for "expert" witnesses!
Another attorney told me that the
jury would not understand the arguments so the risk of losing
was great. A friend who is a doctor told me that no jury would
believe I had lost brain power. I think he meant to be funny
and friendly, but I decided to waive damages related to health
because of intimidation. My own lawyer told me that the defense
attorneys could force me to have lumbar punctures. I also believe
firmly that it is more important to protect oneself than to be
paid for suffering. Thus, I continued to explore herbs, but to
know what might work in which circumstances, I had to know what
the various molds might actually be doing inside the body. Obviously,
they are doing what molds do: decomposing.
The first herb that was presented
to me as suitable for use with mold was jatobá, Hymenaea
courbaril, a Brazilian herb. A Chilean lady who used to own
a small chain of health foods stores gave me a bottle. It was
love at first sight. Everything about jatobá is fascinating.
It produces a resin that exudes the most exotic pheromonal enticers
I have ever sniffed. The tree is tall and is pollinated by bats.
The resin converts to amber in the short geological span of a
million years, but more importantly, jatobá is a superb
supporter of the adrenals, something much needed by people who
are allergic, anemic, and tired from mold exposure and blood
As Leslie Taylor, owner of Rain
Tree Nutrition, explained to me, to survive in the rain forest,
a tree must be able to defend itself against termites and mold.
Rain forest trees therefore exude odors that repel or they have
toxins in their bark that protect them against the threats which
are sometimes not miniature but microscopic!
a complex chemical structure and contains chemicals that
are known to be not only antifungal but also antitumoral,
anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. Clinical studies
suggest it is also helpful in the battle against Candida
albicans and high blood sugar.
I have been using jatobá for
nearly five years now.