<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Mold Remediation - The Sense of Smell - Allergies - Adrenal Exhaustion





Sense of Smell


The sense of smell is the most basic and crucial to life.  It is associated with the adrenals glands and tends to become more acute as stress accumulates, until a point comes when, for some people, they lose the sense completely, sometimes temporarily and occasionally permanently.

I have made a lifelong study of Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India.  According to the ancient wisdom, there are energy centers in the vital body that are invisible to most people but they can be seen by people with even a slight extension of vision.  These energy centers are highly specialized to work with specific frequencies of vibration.  There are seven of them and they have physical correspondences with the endocrine glands.

Fight or Flight Mechanism

The first energy center has the task of maintaining life and it corresponds with the adrenal glands which have a fight or flight mechanism.  You might say that there are two types of people: those who have developed the capacity to escape danger and those who try to overcome difficulties through strength and stamina.  There might actually be a third type that is dominated by fright, paralyzed by fear, and that deals with danger by sitting as still as a canary being stalked by a cat.

Regardless of the coping strategy assumed by the individual, all stress triggers an adrenal reaction, an involuntary adrenal reaction.  You might say that none of us have a choice as to whether or not the body will be flooded by adrenaline when experiencing a near miss automobile accident.  The response is instantaneous and the body is flooded with a surge of hormones that trigger heightened alertness and increased short-term power to deal with the threat.  For however long this response lasts, all other issues, such as hunger and sexual desire and countless other everyday sensations and interests are completely displaced by the urgency of the immediate situation.


Interestingly, each of the energy centers correlates with one of the senses and an element.  The first center is the root and is earthy.  It rules the sense of smell.  With people who are more vigilant, the sense of smell becomes acute because it is inseparable from the survival instinct.  We smell leaking gas, tainted food, and even offensive body odors.  The more in touch we are with our survival instinct, the more reliable the sense of smell, but it becomes more and more subtle as the adrenals pour more hormones into the blood stream.  Many other physiological functions are affected by this same instinct, but smell is the most fundamental of the responses as well as most basic of the senses.

Studies have been done of methods of torture.  People break faster under the influence of obnoxious odors because they have to breathe so there is less fortitude and resistance when repugnant odors are filling our nostrils.  More importantly, the sensitivity to smell operates below the threshold of consciousness.  If we were in touch with our instincts, we would immediately know what we are breathing and whether or not it is harmful; however, most of us have lost the ability to transfer the information from this part of our being to our conscious minds.

This is partly what separates us from animals.  It is also why we have to go to doctors to ask them what causes allergic reactions.  You might even say it's why we have to go to therapists to find out what we do not like about certain people.  I am quite certain that animals cannot understand why this information is so illusive for humans.

This is not the time or place to compare consciousness between the various Kingdoms of Nature but rather to explain how tiring it is to be exposed to an odor that is dangerous, even if one is not able to translate the information in the nostrils to a sensation much less conscious interpretation.  My point about these reactions occurring below the threshold of consciousness is that regardless of awareness, the adrenals are reacting.

Allergic Response

Because they do not use linear or verbal communications, the adrenals trigger physiological responses to get our attention.  An allergy is a warning that we are in danger from an exposure that is hostile or antipathetic.  Given that our personal histories are all different one from another, we are not all allergic to exactly the same odors, foods, or chemicals.  Moreover, because sensitive people are often the flight types rather than the fight types, they are more prone to dramatic responses to allergens than are fight people.  It does not mean that the substance is less dangerous to the fight people; it only means that their habitual responses are more measured and therefore fewer hormonal messages are sent.

I have been very observant of this phenomenon and was in the middle of a book on adrenal exhaustion when the mold experience usurped my field of consciousness and forced all other projects to take a back seat.

There are many physiological responses that are associated with the adrenals, with adrenal hormones, and with allergies, but the bottom line is that the person who is exposed to a threat does not have a choice about whether or not to react.  The reaction occurs with or without the permission of the rational mind because the adrenals operate below the threshold of consciousness.  This means that if a person is in a situation that is stressful, the adrenals keep pumping hormones into the body.

Because they sit on top of the kidneys, the kidneys tend to quiver when the adrenals are active.  This can result in more frequent and urgent urination, fluid loss, mineral loss, and less distance between the nerves so all sensations are heightened because it is important to hear the message sent by the adrenals.  A point can come when all this hyperactivity is tiring and eventually, opposite conditions can develop.  For example, the sense of smell may become less acute or so weak that it seems to have been lost; the kidneys can become sluggish so there is fluid accumulation instead of elimination; and responses are inadequate as measured by the threat.

In Sum

The messages from the adrenals should be heeded as quickly as possible because life depends on our responses to situations that are endangering survival.  Mold is a relatively silent threat.  The truth is, most people can smell the metabolic wastes but they may not translate the information and take appropriate actions to survive.  To the extent that they fail to do this, the body continues to howl and complain . . . because of the urgency of the situation.

It is not at all surprising that during the acute phase of adrenal hyperactivity that exposed individuals are sensitive to all odors, this because the sense of smell has become more acute and because tolerance for stress is limited. Stress is cumulative.  It's very important to keep this in mind.  Experts in stress such as Dr. Hans Selye have published extensive research in which it is stated that stress accumulates.  In short, it is incorrect to say that we can cope with x amount of exposure to mold and x amount of stress over finances and x amount of stress over dwindling energy and loss of memory as if we had a specific quota for each type of stress.  The fact is we have a quota for the total added together so countless physiological symptoms combined with several other issues can bring about critical mass.  For this reason, solving problems in a timely fashion is extremely important.

In the short-term, people can take herbs that enhance stamina as well as the ability to metabolize toxins.  I discovered that hot spices are the most useful in reducing allergic responses but many roots support stamina.  There are also very specific adrenal herbs and tonics, such as licorice, Siberian ginseng, and jatobá.  This should not, however, replace the need to eliminate hazards to health, merely to increase the margins for dealing with stress.

Ingrid Naiman
12 October 2005
Updated 6 October 2006





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