Molds are naturally occurring fungi that grow wherever moisture is present. The most common health effect of mold exposure is allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. More rarely, certain types of mold can cause serious illnesses like liver cancer (aflatoxin) and lung disease (aspergillus), though this is most common among immunosuppressed persons. While over 100,000 mold species exist, fewer than 500 are known to cause illness in humans, according to Fema.gov.
Anti-fungal herbs have the ability to kill molds, yeasts and other fungi. They are most commonly used to treat Candida yeast infection but may also be of benefit following mold exposure.
Garlic is among the most potent anti-fungals available. According to NIG.gov, garlic is as effective at treating ear infections caused by the aspergillus fungus as prescription anti-fungals. Other excellent herbal options for treating fungal infection include Pau d'Arco, thyme and clove.
Immune-stimulating herbs are used to strengthen and protect immune function. Echinacea is one of the most popular herbs for this purpose. It is used to speed healing from viral infections like the cold and flu and has been used for centuries as a remedy for conditions ranging from menopausal symptoms to syphilis. According to Umm.edu, Echinacea contains antimicrobial compounds that can boost immune function by fighting inflammation and infection. Other popular immune stimulants include garlic, oil of oregano and cordyceps.
Detoxifying herbs are used for their ability to remove harmful substances from the bloodstream and organs. They work by increasing the flow of bodily secretions like sweat, urine and tears---the body's main routes of detoxification.
Dandelion root is an especially efficient detoxifier. It not only stimulates the production of bile in the liver but also increases urine output due to its mild diuretic properties, both of which help purify the body of harmful toxins. Milk thistle, spirulina and psyllium seed may also be useful in detoxifying following mold exposure.
Herbs for Brain Function
Because exposure to some types of mold can cause cerebral allergy or nervous system damage, herbs that protect brain function are an important component of recovery.
Gingko biloba is a supplement used to improve memory and cognition. It works by improving circulation, resulting in increased oxygen flow to the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for proper brain functioning. According to NaturalNews.com, omega-3s can help treat low mood and depression, leading to an overall improvement in brain function. Herbal sources of omega-3s include hempseed, flaxseed and Evening Primrose Oil.
Adaptogens normalize bodily functions to bring about a state of balance, or homeostasis. Most have immune-protective properties and are used for their ability to restore organs like the adrenal glands and kidneys to their once-healthy states.
Siberian ginseng is among the most frequently used adaptogens. When taken over long periods, it can help the body cope with exposures to stressors like physical injury and toxic exposures to molds and other pathogens, according to Umm.edu. Herbs with similar effects include rhodiola rosea, astragalus and maca.