Poisoning can occur a number of ways. It can occur because of a dangerous mixture of medications, from an overdose, from swallowing dangerous household chemicals or insecticides, and from ingesting poisonous plants, food, or nicotine.

A persons reaction can vary, dependent on the type and the amount of toxins ingested, with possible emergency and fatal outcomes. Reactions can include inflam- mation or burning around the lips, if the substance was taken orally; difficulty swal- lowing; nausea; sudden behavior changes; extreme thirst; breathing difficulties; unconsciousness; headaches; convulsions; vomiting; and death.



illions of poisoning  exposures  occur  each year in the United States, resulting in nearly 900,000 visits to emergency rooms. About 90 per- cent of poisonings  happen in the home,  and more than half of these involve children  under age six.

Prevention  is the key. Following are recommen- dations from the American Association of Poison Control Centers that can help you protect  children from poisons:

Post the telephone number  for your poison con- trol center near your phone,  in a place where all family members  will be able to find it quickly in an emergency.

Remove all nonessential drugs and household products  from your home.  Discard them accord- ing to the manufacturers instructions.

If you have small children,  avoid keeping highly toxic products,  such as drain cleaners,  in the home,  the garage, the shed, or any other place that children  can access.

Buy medicines and household products  in child- resistant packaging,  and be sure that caps are always on tight. Do not remove child-safety  caps. Avoid keeping medicines, vitamins, or household products  in anything but their original packaging.

Store all of your medicines and household prod- ucts in a locked closet or cabinet—including products  and medicines with child-resistant containers.

Crawl around  your house,  including  inside your closets, to inspect  it from a childs point of view. You’ll likely find a poisoning  hazard  that you hadnt noticed  before.

Never refer to medicine or vitamins as “candy.

Make sure that visiting grandparents, family members,  friends, or other caregivers keep their medications away from children.  For example,  if Grandma keeps pills in her purse, make sure the purse is out of the childrens reach.

Keep a bottle of syrup of ipecac  in your home— this can be used to induce  vomiting. Use it only when the poison control  center tells you to.

Avoid products  such as cough syrup or mouth- wash that contain  alcohol—these are hazardous for young children.  Look for alcohol-free alternatives.

Keep cosmetics  and beauty products  out of chil- drens reach.  Remember  that hair permanents and relaxers are toxins as well.


Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, poisonous gas that can also cause  sickness and death. The incomplete burning of fuels such as nat- ural gas, oil, kerosene, propane, coal, and wood produce carbon  monoxide. Also, fuel-burning appliances that are not working properly or are installed incorrectly  can produce fatal concentra- tions of carbon  monoxide in your home.  Other hazards  include  burning charcoal indoors and run- ning a car in the garage, both of which can lead to dangerous levels of CO in your home.

The following simple tips from the Centers for Disease Control will prevent carbon  monoxide poisoning.

Install carbon  monoxide alarms near the bed- rooms and on each floor of your home.  If your alarm sounds,  the U.S. Consumer  Product Safety Commission  suggests that you press the reset but- ton, call emergency services (911 or your local fire department), and immediately  move to fresh air (either outdoors  or near an open door or win- dow). If you learn that fuel-burning  appliances were the most likely cause  of the poisoning,  have a serviceperson check them for malfunction before turning them back on. Refer to the instruc- tions on your CO alarm for more specific infor- mation  about  what to do if your alarm goes off.

Symptoms of CO poisoning  are similar to those of the flu, only without a fever (headache, fatigue, nausea,  dizziness, shortness  of breath). If you experience any of these symptoms, get fresh air immediately  and contact  a physician  for a proper diagnosis. Also, open windows  and doors, turn

off combustion appliances, contact  emergency services, and take the steps listed previously to ensure your homes safety.

To keep carbon  monoxide from collecting  in your home,  make sure that any fuel-burning  equip- ment, such as a furnace,  a stove, or a heater, works properly,  and never use charcoal or other grills indoors or in the garage. Do not leave your cars engine running while its in the garage, and consider  putting weather  stripping around  the door between the garage and the house.


Iron Poisoning from

Supplements or Medicines


From 1986 through 1997,  more than

218,000 children,  ages ve and under,  ingested iron preparations, and 46 died. Again, make sure that medicines and supplements are out of the reach of children. 



The ingestion of dust from deteriorat- ing lead-based paint is the most common cause  of lead poisoning among children.  Currently, more

than 80 percent  of public  and pri- vately owned  housing  units built before 1980 contain  some lead- based paint.

Improper use of medications, such as an overdose or the mix- ture of one medication with another without the doctors recom- mendation, can trigger an adverse reaction. Many prescription medications can have negative effects when combined with oth- ers. Also, some people unknowingly harbor allergies to medica- tions, which could lead to poisonous predicaments.

Children with access to household chemicals, detergents, and cleaners that are poorly capped and stored are vulnerable to sam- pling these poisons. The immediate response could include vom- iting or gagging. Also, children may accidentally lick, chew, or swallow poisonous plants or nicotine patches, which could induce dizziness or possibly only transitory distress.

Another more common form of poisoning comes from the ingestion of tainted food that was improperly cleaned, cooked, or refrigerated. These foods can contain dangerous bacteria and contaminants that create a feeling of pain, bloating, and nausea for three to six hours after consumption, as well as diarrhea, stom- ach cramps, and vomiting (see the Food Poisoning section).

The most serious type of food poisoning, particularly with improperly canned foods and seafood, is a potentially fatal form known as botulism. Generally, the longer it takes for the symp- toms of food poisoning to appear, the more serious the poisoning.




Difficulty swallowing


Sudden behavior changes

Extreme thirst

Breathing difficulties 








Ingestion of a toxic substance




Acute Poisoning (Internal)

If you suspect that your child has ingested a poison, first get the poisonous substance away from your child. If there is still some in his or her mouth, have the child spit it out into a bowl, so that you have the substance if a doctor needs to examine it. Next, check your child for these signs:

Severe throat pain or discomfort

Excessive drooling

Trouble breathing



If your child has any of these signs, call an ambulance or get the child to an emer- gency room immediately. If there is no sign of these serious symptoms, call your local poison control center. The number is usually listed on the inside cover of your phone book (its best to have it on a sheet near your phone for emergency use). If you can- not find the number, call 911 and ask for poison control. You can also call your pedi- atrician. Do not make your child vomit unless instructed to do so by the poison control center or your doctor.


Poison on the Skin

If a chemical is spilled on your skin, remove your clothes and rinse the skin with luke- warm water for fifteen minutes. Then call the poison control center for further advice. Do not apply any topical treatment unless instructed to do so.


Poison in the Eye

Immediately flush your eye with lukewarm water. Aim for the inner corner of the eye. Flush for fifteen minutes, and call the poison control center for further directions.




Testing Techniques


The following tests help assess poisons that have accumulated in the body: Variety of different poisons,  as ordered  by your doctor—blood

Digestive function and microbe/parasite/candida testing—stool  analysis

Toxic metals—hair  or urine




Super Seven Prescriptions—Poisoning


Note: These recommendations are not to be used instead of conventional/emergency therapy for poisoning.

Super Prescription #1    Activated charcoal capsules

Take 3 capsules three times daily for two days. Charcoal binds toxins in the digestive tract so that they can be excreted out with the stool.

Super Prescription #2    Homeopathic Nux Vomica (Strychnos nux vomica)

Take a 30C potency four times daily. It is specific for poisoning from foods, med- ications, recreational drugs, or alcohol. The person is irritable and constipated.

Super Prescription #3    Homeopathic Arsenicum Album

Take a 30C potency four times daily. It is specific for the symptoms of food poi- soning, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Super Prescription #4    Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)

Take 250 mg of an 85 percent silymarin extract three times daily. It protects the liver and the kidneys from being damaged and improves detoxification.

Super Prescription #5    Alpha lipoic acid

Take 100 mg three times daily to prevent liver damage, especially from a medica- tion overdosage.

Super Prescription #6    Vitamin C

Take 1,000 mg three times daily, or request the intravenous form from your doctor. Vitamin C aids in detoxification and prevents organ damage.

Super Prescription #7    N-acetylcysteine (NAC)

Take 500 mg three times daily. NAC improves detoxification and increases the level of the antioxidant glutathione.



General Recommendations


Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) extract supports liver and kidney detoxification. Take

800 mg twice daily.






Acupuncture is recommended to reduce the side effects of poisoning. See a qualified practitioner.


Other  Bodywork  Recommendations

Talk with your doctor about using these complementary therapies along with conven- tional therapy to recover from poisoning.




Pregnancy-Related Problems


Pregnancy is a joyful time, but its rarely a comfortable one. There are probably as many different combinations of pregnancy-related problems as there are pregnant women. Nevertheless, most uncomfortable conditions are caused by one of three fac- tors: hormonal changes; nutritional deficiencies, whether preexisting or brought on by the additional needs of the baby; and the pressure placed on bones and internal organs by the weight of the growing child.

If youre pregnant, its essential to have regular check-ups. Your doctor should mon- itor your health, as well as your babys, and should remain vigilant for any signs of trou- ble. Good conventional care has saved the lives of many women and their developing babies, and serious problems can often be successfully treated when caught early


When to Call the Doctor

 During pregnancy, your body goes through an astounding number  of changes.  Some will seem normal to you, but you may worry about  others. Its wise to develop  a good relationship with your doctor long before you get pregnant,  so that you are well-informed  and comfortable with asking questions.  No matter how often you see or talk to a doctor,  however,  you should always call a med- ical professional  right away if you experience any of the following:

Vaginal bleeding

Persistent abdominal pain or cramping

Continuous or intense  morning sickness during the first trimester


Nausea  and vomiting that occur  after the first trimester is over

In rare cases, water retention  and swelling are signs of a potentially  dangerous condition. While most women  do experience these symptoms dur- ing the course of a normal,  healthy pregnancy, its always a good idea to have them checked out by your doctor,  just to be on the safe side.

enough. But as valuable as conventional medicine can be for pregnant women, it rarely offers ways to handle the daily discomfort. During this time, a woman may come to fully appreciate the gentle power of natural therapies. Although some highly potent herbs and other treatments are too strong for the baby, there are still many complemen- tary strategies that will minimize the less-serious problems that accompany pregnancy. Each of the following recommendations is safe to use during pregnancy, but always alert your doctor or midwife to what you are using as nutritional supplements.




During pregnancy, your body needs more iron than usual. A deficiency can result in anemia, a disorder in which the bodys cells dont receive enough oxygen. As a result, you feel tired and drained, and you may be more vulnerable to illness.




Recommended Food

To overcome pregnancy-induced anemia, consume foods that are high in iron. Organic calf s liver is far and away the best source, but if youre a vegetarian or just cant hold organ meats down right now, you do have some other options. Molasses, green leafy vegetables (with the exception of spinach), leeks, cashews, cherries, straw- berries, dried fruits, figs, and eggs are all rich in iron.


Food to Avoid

Spinach, rhubarb, tomatoes, and chocolate are high in oxalic acid, a substance that blocks the absorption of iron.

If youre pregnant, youve already been advised to stay away from caffeine, which can harm the baby. Caffeine also inhibits iron absorption, as do carbon- ated sodas and dairy products.

Do not take iron pills with meals that are high in fiber. The fiber will sweep the iron out of your system before youve had a chance to digest it.



Super Seven Prescriptions—Anemia


Super Prescription #1    Iron

If you have been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia by your doctor, take 50 to 200 mg (or the amount recommended by your doctor, depending on the sever- ity) of an easily absorbed form of iron, such as iron citrate, gluconate, glycinate, or fumarate, one to two times daily. Also, iron chelate is generally well absorbed. Avoid the use of iron sulfate (ferrous sulfate), which is poorly absorbed and can cause digestive upset.

Super Prescription #2    Prenatal multivitamin

Take as directed on the container. It supplies a wide range of nutrients for healthy red blood cells.

Super Prescription #3    Ferrum Phosphoricum

Take 5 pellets of the 3x or 6x potency three times daily. This homeopathic remedy improves iron utilization in the cells.

Super Prescription #4    Yellow dock (Rumex crispis)

Take 1 (300 mg) capsule or 20 drops of the tincture with each meal. It contains iron and improves iron absorption.

Super Prescription #5    Nettles (Urtica diocia)

Take 2 ml of the tincture twice daily or 300 mg of the capsule form, or drink 1 cup of the tea twice daily (organic source). This herb is a source of iron and other blood- building minerals.

Super Prescription #6    Chlorella

Take as directed on the container for a host of iron-building nutrients, including chlorophyll.

Super Prescription #7    Vitamin C

Take 100 mg with each dose of iron. It provides an acidic environment for enhanced iron absorption.



General Recommendations


See the Anemia section for further details.

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