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Radiation sickness

General characteristics

General characteristics

Radiation sickness occurs when the body is exposed to certain forms of radiation such as from a nuclear accident or explosion or medical treatments such as radiotherapy. X-rays also produce radiation but in much smaller doses and are unlikely to cause symptoms or sickness. This type of 'ionizing' radiation can effect the whole body depending on the amount of exposure to the radiation concerned. If exposure is very severe (such as in a nuclear accident) then death can occur within days or weeks but if exposure was short lived it is possible to recover with the possibility of health problems in future years.

Symptoms depend on the quantity and duration of exposure. The following are associated with severe exposure....nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, skin blisters and burns, skin darkening, hair loss, genetic damage, anaemia, digestive changes (diarrhoea and blood in the stools), headache, fatigue, dizziness, disorientation, dehydration, cancer, destruction of white blood cells, leukemia, bleeding gums, very dry mouth, haemorrhage, death, deformed offspring and premature ageing.

Healing objectives are to use herbal and natural agents and anti-oxidant rich foods to try and limit the damage caused by the radiation.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

The diet needs to be rich in foods that are loaded with plant based antioxidants and nutrients such as berries, leaves, vegetables, seeds, nuts, wholegrains and fruit. All of these foods will assist the body in detoxifying and lessen the harmful effects of radiation.

Apples are rich in pectin which helps to significantly reduce cesium-137 levels in the body. Eat at least 3 daily or use apple pectin powder.

Miso ( possibly due to its high vitamin B content) is very useful in protecting the body against radiation poisoning. Add to soups or spread on whole grain toast for example.

Avoid meat, sugar, processed foods and refined carbohydrates completely.

Useful herbs

Useful Herbs

Spirulina and chorella are known to help remove radioactive particles from the body. They also have anti-tumour and immune system protecting properties. 5g daily for about a month is a good dose to begin with. Other edible seaweeds such as bladderwrack and kelp are also helpful in providing natural iodine (which helps prevent the thyroid taking in radioactive iodine), removing radioactive substances from the body and reducing bone absorption of radioactive material. All of these have been used by people who have been exposed to nuclear radiation with good success and can also be used as protective remedies when around radiation sources. Add a pinch or small piece of seaweed to soups or sauces.

Reishi mushroom and other adaptogens like astragalus root and siberian ginseng can also help to protect the immune system.

Herbs such as marigold and aloe vera can help to heal skin suffering from radiation induced burns or damage.

Take a teaspoon of echinacea tincture 5 times daily to help the immune system.

A general tonic tea to help combat the various symptoms of radiation sickness could include yarrow, alfalfa, chamomile, lemon balm, ginkgo, turmeric, gentian and hawthorn berries. All of these plants help in a variety of ways. Use equal parts of each (except turmeric) and drink 3 cups daily, 1 heaped teaspoon of mix per cup. Add a pinch of turmeric powder to each tea. If you can get hold of them, add some sea buckthorn berries or powder to the mix.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Bentonite clay helps to bind radioactive substances and help the body with their removal. Take a teaspoon or so daily in water and drink plenty of fluids to help move the clay through the digestive tract. Bentonite clay can be very 'binding' so ensure you are not constipated after taking the clay, eat more apples and fibre to ensure its safe exit from the body.

Bee products such as pollen and propolis also have a good reputation for protecting against the effects of radiation poisoning.

Potassium iodide pills are the standard treatment for exposure to radiation but this only protects the thyroid gland from taking in radioactive iodine.

Adding several tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate to a bath is thought by some to encourage the removal of radioactive substances.

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