I thought this was an interesting piece on the role of good bacteria on our skin and how washing kills a type of bacteria that is very good for skin.
Bacteria used to be a bad word, but I think people are beginning to realize that 99% of bacteria are good and if you get rid of the good ones, the bad ones can proliferate. Of course, there’s the data that kids growing up on a farm or with a pet have a lower rate of allergies. Dirt is good; however, when it comes to personal hygiene it’s interesting to dig into all the cultural dogmas wrapped into it. I only bath my kid about once a week/ when he smells and never felt compelled to do it more frequently than that as it usually takes kids a while to start smelling. I’ve never done the hand sanitizer or antibacterial soap thing- mainly because I know that soap alone kills bacteria so it’s marketing gimmick. Now I’m thinking, maybe I should lay off the soap. The other reason is my theory that our immune systems were created for a reason- to kill stuff, and if you don’t have enough for your immune system to do it gets bored and starts in on bad patters like autoimmune disease and allergies etc.
I’m hoping the next word that have a cultural shift is “chemicals”. “Chemicals” seems to have been equated with all things bad and “unnatural” these days. I think the world (and internet) would be a different place if more people took several semesters of college and graduate level chemistry courses, but alas, a whole industry would be put out of business. We are made of chemicals and chock full of hormones. Even little baby boys are pumping out their own steroids that actually make their brain develop into the masculine type brain. Give me an organic beet and I could isolate the chemical that gives it the red color and the structure looks very similar to a red color made in a lab. Your body is its own little lab churning out chemicals and hormones 24 hrs a day. Acid is acid whether it comes from vinegar or from a different bottle -it’s chemical that likes to donate protons. Of course there are certainly bad chemicals- ones that trick your own hormone receptors into activating or toxins. DES, agent orange, pesticides, stuff that leaches out of plastic… all bad ideas. I’m personally very impressed with my liver as I was injected with known toxins- chemotherapeutic agents on several occasions, yes, it was awful, but my liver took care of it and my body healed itself. One of my chemotherapy agents could have even been derived “organically” as it comes from the bark of a type of tree in Oregon. Fortunately, they synthesize it in the lab these days so “no trees were harmed” for my cancer treatment. If detoxifying required conscience actions on our part we would all be dead already. Take a moment and thank your liver and your kidneys for detoxifying all day long, 24 hrs a day without even having to follow a recipe on Pinterest!