Effective Microorganisms (EM) and Cleaning Biotoxins
What is EM1?
EM1 is a special blend of beneficial microorganisms that includes lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and phototrophic bacteria.
When we introduce this mix into an environment it will incorporate with the existing microbes and work with them. This will favour fermentation over putrefaction and increase the biodiversity of microorganisms and other organisms, supporting a healthier soil, water and home environment.
You can learn more about EM by watching this short video: What is EM?
EM has been shown to help purify water contaminated with pollution, increase the yields and health of crops and also improve animal and human health.
You can find more detailed information on the official website of the creator of EM1, who started a company named EMRO to develop it: https://emrojapan.com/what/
The official EM representative in the USA is TeraGanix. You also can buy EM1 from Amazon US here: EM1 on Amazon.
For other places to buy worldwide search on the “Local” tab on https://emrojapan.com .
Can EM1 help clear mycotoxin contamination?
When I first learned that mycotoxins would contaminate all items that are kept in an environment where mold is present, it seemed like an insurmountable problem: mycotoxins were shown to be resistant to chemicals, heat and UV light and so almost impossible to destroy.
How could we possibly get rid of them? Were all possessions and spaces lost to mold toxins for those of us who react severely to them like I do?
I reasoned that just like molds and other microorganisms have evolved to produce biotoxins that harm other living beings and give them an advantage over other life forms; so there must be microorganisms that evolved to decompose these toxins.
So I was very excited to experiment with EM1 to try to decontaminate my possessions, including cards, clothes, shoes, computer, mobile phone and living spaces.
The results were thrilling.
What is the difference between EM1 and EMA?
EM1 is the product you buy from the manufacturer. It is produced by growing the special blend of microorganisms in a controlled culture.
It is possible to use EM1 liquid as a starting culture and grow the microorganisms using molasses or rice water as their food at home. This fermentation product is called EMA – standing for activated EM.
However, I don't recommend trying to grow your own EM if you live in an environment contaminated with toxic mold or are experiencing bad outdoor toxins, because that might result in your batch growing harmful microorganisms.
EM1 for decontaminating clothes
EM1 is effective for decontaminating clothes contaminated with microbial particulates ("dust") and mold toxins and chemicals.
I use the following procedure for all new clothes and other textiles before they come into my safe space or on clothes that get contaminated with toxic mold when I am wearing them:
Clothes Decontamination with EM
1. use the boiling water protocol to kill any living mold spores/contaminating microorganisms
2. wash with natural laundry product
3. add EM1 to last rinse at a dilution of 1 teaspoon/5L water
4. let dry on a line and leave airing for a few days
The effective microorganisms will digest any contaminating toxins and remove musty odours over the course of a few days
This procedure is the best for items that are not too contaminated. It can be used not only for textiles but also for any other item that can be soaked in boiling water and will result in a good amount of biotoxins being eliminated.
For more heavily contaminated items, it might be necessary to soak with EM1. Use this procedure:
Soaking with EM
1. use the boiling water protocol to kill any living mold spores/contaminating microorganisms
2. wait for the water to cool to body temperature and add EM1 to a dilution of 1:100
- that is 100mL for a 10L bucket
3. leave soaking outdoors without a lid for maximum of 4 days
(warning – toxins released into the air during this time)
4. repeat steps 1 to 3 if contamination is still significant until results are satisfactory
Please note that if your environment is contaminated, there is a risk that something bad might grow in the soaking, though this risk is minimised due to the beneficial effect of EM.
However, it is ESSENTIAL to use boiling water to sterilise the bath before adding EM1 and I also strongly recommend changing the soaking water often as described.
For regular laundry I just wash with laundry soap and then add EM1 on the last rinse, 1 teaspoon/5L water. This helps keep clothes fresh and healthy.
If clothes have been contaminated over a long period of time by being kept in an environment where toxic mold is growing, it will be hard to make them clean enough by any procedure.
If you have lived in a house with toxic mold for more than a few months, your clothes will be likely very contaminated and this contamination will make your healing difficult.
In this case, I recommend replacing your contaminated clothes with new ones and then use EM1 to clean up any contamination that your new clothes might be exposed to when going out.
EM1 for decontaminating plastic, electronics and other items
I have found EM1 to be very effective for decontaminating plastic items, including electronics.
For this purpose I use I use EM1 diluted 1:20 and I put it a small spray bottle that creates a fine spray. I spray items, wipe with a cloth and repeat.
I use this procedure to clean plastic items when I arrive home after I go out, including bank and ID cards, mobile phone and plastic bags.
Spraying these items often with EM will keep mycotoxin contamination very low.
You can use this spray on anything, including money, books, clothes, and surfaces to clean them up and create a healthy environment around you. Note that paper items might wrinkle and stain.
Spraying is also an effective way to decontaminate shoes and I spray my shoes when I arrive home to keep them clean.
EM1 for decontaminating a computer
Computers and other electronic items with fans are harder to decontaminate due to the fact that the fan will pull toxins in and out of the machine.
I spray and wipe the exterior of the computer daily with EM1 as described above.
To help clean up the interior space of the computer and prevent it contaminating the surrounding environment I put EM1 diluted 1:20 on an organic disposable cotton pad (the kind used for cleaning babies) and place it over the fan.
In this way the pad will act as a filter, and the action of the fan will draw good microorganisms in that will help clean the inside of the computer.
After some time running the computer the pad gets quite full of toxins, so I put it in the compost and substitute for a new one.
EM1 for cleaning surfaces and living spaces
The same 1:20 EM1 solution can be used for cleaning kitchen, bathroom, other rooms and furniture. Wipe with a cloth damp in EM1 and then spray to finish it off.
For cleaning stone, tile or wood floors you can pour a solution 1:500 and wipe, or just let it dry.
Note that when cleaning with EM1, if your house is heavily contaminated with mold toxins those will be released into the air over the next few days to weeks and it might make it hard for you if you are very sensitive.
So it is a good idea to keep the windows open and plan not to use the space you are cleaning for some time until the contamination levels die down.
Over time, regular use of EM1 will populate your house with a healthy biome that will help clean up any toxins that come in and prevent toxic organisms from growing in your home.
EM1 can also be used outdoors to clean contaminated soil, as well as help the plants and animals in your garden! For this purpose I use 1:100 dilution in a watering can.
I have successfully used EM1 to clean difficult toxic mold dust contamination in my outdoor home. It works fastest on living soil, but it is effective for decontaminating wood and stone as well.
Thanks to EM1 I have been able to partially recover my health in a space that was previously so contaminated with toxins that bees and flies were dying when they entered the contaminated zone.
I spray my living spaces often, especially if they accidentally become contaminated with toxic particulates ("dust"). Spraying in itself often provides instant relief of symptoms and contamination will clear within hours or 1-2days.
EM1 for personal care and health
Washing and spraying yourself with EM1 is a good way to help create a healthy biome on and inside your body.
It can be a very effective way to deal with infections – just aptly EM1 either undiluted or diluted 1:5 on the affected area. Repeat several times a day until the infection clears.
EM1 has been reported to have been used effectively to heal skin, ear and sinus infections.
It is also very good to ingest EM1 as it will help balance gut flora and clean up toxins that are excreted into the digestive tract.
It is a good idea to start slowly, with 1 drop in half a glass of water and build it up according to what your body can tolerate comfortably, since abdominal discomfort and diarrhoea might happen when first ingesting EM1. This is the result of the gut flora changing and is harmless.
Tolerance will build up in time. After the adjustment period, I recommend 1 teaspoon of EM1 in half a glass of water for daily use. It is best to take it with food, specially starchy food or fruit, so that the microbes can have a source of food to start growing right away.
When I am detoxing heavily and experience stomach and gut pain as a result, I take EM1 several times a day and it helps reduce the pain and other symptoms of detox.
Now for something radical.
I've had very serious problems with my digestive tract, including ulcers, bad infections and excruciating pain for several years. I tried different probiotics and diets but I was never able to fully restore my gut health until I decided to start ingesting good forest earth.
In studying about the gut microbiome I learned that most of the beneficial microorganisms that we need in our guts in order to be healthy are actually native to the soil!
So, why spend money on pills that can never duplicate the true richness and diversity of the microorganisms present in healthy soil?
I decided to try eating earth. For this I dilute 3 serving spoons of good forest soil in a glass of water, stir well and then strain and drink this liquid. I did this every day for several weeks and it felt very positive to my body. At some point I felt I had had enough and didn't need it any more.
The earth needs to be collected fresh each day, as it dries out and loses its power with time.
Now I still take soil when I have particular bad toxins coming out in my bile that cause damage and pain in my guts – the earth helps to neutralise the toxins and stop the pain.
It is also useful to ingest earth after a stomach bug upset.
So, if you live near an area where you can obtain pristine healthy earth from a forest or other natural environment, I suggest you try this.
Adding EM1 to the soil solution will make it even better, turning it into a powerful healing elixir!
Precautions when using EM
It is important to keep the EM1 bottle in a cool and dry place, but not in the fridge.
You should squeeze the bottle after using it to let as much air out as possible before closing the lid. This will keep EM1 fresh for longer.
Use within 3 months after opening.
Diluted solutions should be used within 1-2 days, so be careful not to mix more than you will need.
One person has reported having a bad reaction to EM1, so I recommend everyone to test EM1 first by smelling it and see if any reaction occurs. If not, apply a small quantity on the skin on the inside of the wrist and let it dry. Wait to see if any reaction occurs until the next day.
Some people have considered using foggers to apply EM1 in their home, but I don't think this is a good idea for 2 reasons:
the fog is not a very effective way to apply EM1 on surfaces
the very fine mist full of microorganisms might irritate the lungs and cause adverse reactions
I believe it is better to use a spray bottle or a spray tank if bigger volumes are needed.
Also, as discussed before, I think it is safest not to try to grow your own EM.
I hope everybody can improve their lives and the health of the planet by using EM1. Enjoy!
Natural Personal Care
When I first developed Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and started reacting to all the personal care products I was previously using, I was lost. I did not know what to do. I had no idea what was happening to me.
I went to the pharmacy and tried baby products. Big mistake – they are not less chemical at all – some even had formaldehyde in their ingredients!
I tried perfume-free products for sensitive skin and that was a bit better, but my skin and hair were still looking awful and I could not find a toothpaste that I wouldn't react to.
Then I found out about organic products, so I tried that. But most had essential oils or other natural ingredients that I would react to, like wheat or oats.
It was a very long journey of many years and so many times I bought products I could not use – my friends got a lot of gifts from me!
For a few months my scalp was so sensitive I was unable to use any of the shampoo products I had used previously – so I could not wash my hair and it looked like a greasy mess – I was so embarrassed to go out in public!
In the end I decided I would not put on my skin anything that I could not safely eat.
Because the end result is very similar: substances are absorbed through the skin into the blood and end up all over our body.
You might even be aware that some supplements and medications can be taken through skin application, for example vitamin E oil or magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts) baths.
So, this is what I use now and my skin and hair have never looked so good and healthy! Another plus is that these products are generally much cheaper than anything else you could use.
It is a very short list – I find it so good to simplify life!
I was not able to find any commercial shampoo that would not irritate my scalp and make it flake and get itchy.
Then I read about someone who was using baking soda for shampoo. I tried it and never went back to the shampoo I was using before!
It makes my hair silky, soft and clean. My hair tends to get quite oily, and baking soda helps to balance it.
It is a must when decontaminating from mycotoxin exposure or when detoxing heavily through the skin.
Baking soda is also the best way I have found to remove chemical scents that linger on the skin after some exposure to scented products.
How to use it: dissolve 1/2 to 1 teaspoons of baking soda powder in a glass of warm water (cold water is just unpleasant when you are in the shower!) and use immediately as shampoo or for washing your skin. Repeat if necessary.
I struggled very hard to find a toothpaste I was happy with. Have you noticed that even natural toothpaste formulations have sweeteners? I did not like this, I wanted something really natural.
I also could not find any commercial product that did not make my gums hurt.
In the end, I decided to use green clay to brush my teeth.
After some time I was pleasantly surprised to find my cavities were healing! Now all of them are healed, except two that were drilled by a dentist and filled with a polymer, which feel out over time. I am hoping they will eventually heal too.
I used to have sensitive teeth and gums, and that is all gone!
The fine particles in the clay will gently polish our teeth, while the rich mineral content replenishes missing minerals.
Many people use clay as a toxin binder and that effect will also contribute to a healthy mouth, by cleaning up any toxins absorbed through environmental exposures or produced by dental bacteria.
Recently a friend asked me about what I was doing to make my teeth so white. I was surprised with that question! The answer is - I brush my teeth with green clay – that's all!
How to use it: put the clay in a small container. Wet your toothbrush and dip it in the clay, so that it picks up a layer of the powder. Brush your teeth!
Other recommendations: some green clays can contain high levels of aluminium. The clay should have a neutral or pleasant taste. If it tastes bad to you, don't use it – it is your body telling you this is not good for you. Try different brands until you find one you are happy with.
You can also try different kinds of clay – they should all have similar results.
I used to use a natural, biodegradable toothbrush made out of bamboo wood and I was very happy with it. The cost of shipping made it too expensive for me to buy more at the moment, so now I am using a plastic toothbrush with replaceable heads with bristles made with natural fibres.
Virgin coconut and olive oils
As a moisturiser for my skin I use natural cooking oils – virgin olive oil and coconut oil.
Coconut oil is also great for using after washing the hair if your hair is a bit dry and it makes beautiful curls if your hair is curly.
I also use coconut oil once in a while to brush my teeth - it removes dental plaque and makes the teeth feel great.
Natural coconut or olive oil soap
Most organic soaps I have found are made with a blend of different oils and are scented.
The most gentle kind of soaps for the skin are those made with 100% coconut or olive oil. They will not dry up the skin as much as other kinds of soap.
I use this for washing my hands.
So, technically this is the only item on my list that is not usually ingested, though I don't think one would come to any harm by eating soap – it would just be a very unpleasant experience from the bad taste!
The boiling water protocol
The boiling water protocol
The boiling water protocol is a method for removing toxins from textiles and other objects and consists of the following steps:
put your items in a bucket outdoors away from living spaces and people. I prefer to use a metal bucket because if you use plastic you end up with plastic residues on your items, but it is up to you what you prefer;
put water to boil in a big pot. If you don't have a big pot you can use a smaller pot, but you'll have to refill the water and boil several times;
when the water is boiling pour it over your item in the bucket. The water level should be enough to cover the item. If one pot-full is not enough, boil more water and repeat;
stay away from the bucket until the water is cool enough to touch – lots of toxins will be released in the vapour;
wash your item with warm water and soap or treat with EM1
OR put it in the washing machine and wash normally.
Using boiling water does not destroy mycotoxins and other biotoxins, which require much higher temperatures for that, but it allows the toxins to evaporate with the water vapour, releasing them from your fabrics and items in much higher amounts than you could otherwise achieve with washing alone.
Because of this, it is fundamental to do it outdoors and not breathe in the vapours!
Be careful when disposing of the water in the bucket because this will also be full of toxins and might contaminate an area if you tip it on the ground.
Wash the bucket with soap and water 2-3 times as soon as you are done with it to prevent toxins sticking.
Another advantage of this protocol is that it kills any spores or living organisms that might otherwise enter your safe space and grow there.
If you are using a washing machine it can keep it safe from contamination.
I use this protocol when I wash my clothes after going out and getting contaminated with powerful mycotoxins, to clean my clothes thoroughly and avoid bringing any bad mold spores into my safe space.
It is also fundamental to use the boiling water protocol for anything contaminated with live toxin-producing microorganisms that might grow on clothes and other items, or items that have come in contact with a contaminated item.
Washing clothes that have touched an item contaminated with certain toxin-producing microorganisms and hanging them to dry might be enough for these microorganisms to grow on your clothes and produce toxins there. This can become an entry point for these microbes to colonise your living space (and/or washing machine), so it is good to be vigilant when it comes to this effect.
The boiling water protocol is also very useful for cleaning your clothes when they have become contaminated from your sweat when you are going through heavy detox.
I have used this protocol with many different kinds of fabric: cotton, hemp, bamboo - even wool. If you use it for wool, be very careful not to agitate the clothes until the water is cool enough to touch and then rinse them with the same water temperature throughout to prevent shrinking.
Using the boiling water protocol does not appear to damage fabrics to a visible extent, except fabrics containing an elastane blend or an elastic band. In this case, clothes will stretch.
If your clothes are severely contaminated, but you still want to save them, you can actually boil your clothes.
To do this, put them in a big pot and heat. After the water reaches boiling point, let them boil for at least 30min.
You can use a camping cooker so that you are able to do this safely outdoors.
Don't put in too many items at once, because there needs to be room for clothes to move around with the boiling water.
If you are doing more than one load of clothes, discard the water and wash the pot several times with soap before re-using it.
Cotton can be boiled for a long time without sustaining much damage, but I do not advise this for synthetics which might lose their shape.
I haven't tried boiling other kinds of fabrics.
If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will do my best to answer!
Blog post at "Living Clean in a Dirty World"
Read it here: My Experiments with Mold Avoidance in the Portuguese Countryside