It’s official: Japan’s Radiation Heads to the US, in Diluted Form – from the NY Times.
If you would like to be reassured in a thorough manner that the radiation level poses absolutely no long-term health risk, you can read this article from BoingBoing, a reputable source: Japan nuclear crisis: “Should I take potassium iodide pills to protect against radiation exposure?” by Maggie Koerth-Baker on Mar 17, 2011
However, I feel that the information we are receiving in the US is not transparent, and regardless the situation is unpredictable. We may not need to worry about horrible things like vomiting blood, but long-term genetic changes can occur with small amounts of radiation. The thyroid in particular can be effected, since it rapidly uptakes radioactive forms of iodine. If a the situation in Japan escalates, I think it would be a good idea to be prepared. In the event of a greater catastrophe, we can protect ourselves by preventively and carefully using iodine and mineral supplements.
Everyone on the West Coast should read this excellent information about how to protect yourself from radiation:
Treatments for Nuclear Contamination on Dr. Sircus’ blog.
He recommends specific protocol for iodine treatments for radiation exposure:
Nascent iodine, though more expensive, actually tastes and feels good while going down and is gentle enough to give to children, who do not seem to complain about its taste. My recommendation would be to use the Nascent Iodine in high dosages to both saturate the thyroid (which makes it less vulnerable to chemical and radioactive attack) while it will also knock out any contaminants already absorbed. Nascent iodine contains approximately 400 mcg per drop so 10 drops is 4 mg and 100 drops is only 40 so it’s safe to take much higher dosages than is suggested on the bottle. In fact one has to completely ignore the suggested dosages on the bottle and take some of the information below as ones guidance for dealing with threatening radiation dropping down out of the clouds that are moving along with the jet stream.
One hundred drops a day is a strong dose, but when treating life threatening diseases it would not be unheard of to use upward of 200 drops a day in divided doses, but if you get your iodine on the day the news is sounding the radiation alarm I would jump right to 100 drops or 50 drops in divided dosages for children. It is my belief that the Nascent atomic form is much more efficient than the molecular form meaning you would need less but when confronted with a cloud of radiation one wants to work beyond the speculative. Again the government is recommending a onetime dosage, which makes sense if there is no time to address iodine deficiencies.
Iodine will do nothing to protect a person from uranium, cesium or plutonium radiation exposure so one has to turn to my full protocol and especially to eating clay and clay baths to try to remove these other particles as fast as possible.
For a more diet-based approach, incorporate certain cleansing recipes and foods into your daily routine for the next month or two. Dori Midnight has written an excellent article about these foods:
1. SEAWEED*: eat nori, put wakame, kombu, and hijiki in your soups and stews, make crunchy kelp brittle with it. The iodine in kelp helps protect your thyroid and other glands from radioactive uptake and in general is one of the most magical, medicinal foods on earth, grown by the O.F. (that’s the Original Farmer also known as the Sea!) (see where to get seaweed at bottom of post)
2. MISO: good medicine full of live cultures, amino acids, minerals, and protein. I’d recommend making a big pot this week, having a bowl everyday and feeding it to all your friends, neighbors, and weirded-out co-workers (like one time when I brought my lunch to work and someone said it looked like a terrarium). recipe follows below.
3. MUSHROOMS: strengthen your immune system with some shitake mushrooms, sauteed or in soups. Mushrooms are the genius healers of the forest- they know how to bring everything (on earth and in the tiny microcosm of your body) back into balance.
4. Eat vegetables, especially DAIKON radishes and BURDOCK root- stick them in your soup too or make a shredded salad (recipe below). Daikon has been used for drawing out radiation, post nuclear fall out- it’s cooling and detoxifying. These will make your liver fall madly in love with you.
5. WATER: DRINK it. lots of it. take BATHS in epsom salt and baking soda (1 lb of salt, with a bit of baking soda 2x week). Cry. (see #8)
6. IMMUNE support: do the things you know boost your immune system- sleep well, eat garlic and Vitamin C rich foods, and go easy on the sugar, please.
7. FERMENT (thank you Shoshi!): buy or make homemade sauerkrauts & kim chi or trade with someone who does. This weekend some friends and I had a fermenting party and made buckets of crunchy apple, juniper berry and cabbage kraut, pickled ginger beets, and spicy kim chi. it’s fun to massage vegetables in community. These lively foods have the probiotics your gut needs and wants and are deeply nourishing and restorative. my favorite (and very roughly used) cookbook on this subject: Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz
8. LOVE: send prayers, love, healing thoughts for those who need it most. Instead of freaking out or shutting down, let your anger, fear, and grief flow- it’s what makes us human and feel connected to what’s going on in the world right now. Crying is a potent way to detox, friends.
9. HERBS: if you want to get herbal, some great allies are nettle tea, cilantro (eat a lot of it or take a tincture- it helps draw heavy metals out ), and milk thistle (helps your liver process toxins). Also Yarrow Environmental Essence from FES is a beautiful formula to support the body in environmental disasters.
Magical Medicinal Miso* Soup
Saute one onion, sliced thin til translucent. Add water, seaweed of choice (I like Kombu and Wakame), shitake mushrooms (dried or fresh), burdock root, carrots, and any other hearty roots you like. Simmer for 25 minutes.
I like to add shredded or sliced ginger near the end, so it’s strong, and some garlic. You can also add greens, like kale or spinach.
Because you don’t want to boil your miso, I usually put a large dollop of miso paste in my bowl and then pour the broth on top to dissolve it.
Drink bowls and offer bowls to all your loved ones and neighbors, kiddos and pets, family and friends.
*I live about 20 minutes from the best miso factory ever, South River Miso, which is made in barrels with lots of love and magic.
Get your Daikon
Easy Shredded Salad
Shred 1 carrot and 1 daikon radish
Mix with sesame oil and a little umeboshi vinegar (also a great medicine!), sesame seeds, whatever fresh herbs you’ve got on hand (I love mint or cilantro), and a little tamari. Eat and feel alive and well thanks to the plants, the sun, the water and the farmers.
Sesame Kelp Brittle
Another seaweed recipe courtesy of the folks at She Sells Seaweed, given to me by my friend Angie.
~1/2 Cup Brown Rice Syrup
~1/4 Cup Olive Oil
~Dash of shoyu soy sauce
~1 cup sesame seeds
~1/2 Cup crushed Almonds
~1/4-3/4 cup or to your liking of finely crushed kelp (set oven on low heat and bake kelp for 10 min or until crisp and grind in food processor)
~2-3 tsp of fresh finely chopped ginger root
Heat syrup, oil and soy sauce in small sauce pan. When mixture begins to foam up add seeds, nuts, kelp, and ginger, and stir thoroughly.
Line a large cookie sheet w/parchment.
Spread mixture onto parchment and then cover with another piece of parchment and roll out flat w/rolling pin (or glass or jar!). Remove top parchment.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes– and then for the last few minutes check every minute until golden. Remove from oven and rip away parchment after 5-10 minutes. Break into pieces and enjoy!!
Soooo, if you are getting a panicky sensation or even the inkling that you should maybe do something about these massive radiation clouds speeding our way, please take action! You will feel much better safe than sorry!!!
A good perspective on the danger of the situation can be found here. From James Ridgeway’s blog The Unsilent Generation:
Hopefully the Japanese situation can be brought under control. But if not and we have another Chernobyl, what can we learn from that horrendous experience. While the cancer rates were not as high as predicted following that accident, they were substantial. Yesterday Laurie Garrett, the former excellent science reporter at Newsday who now works at the Council on Foreign Relations, explained in a briefing paper:
“ In 2006, a multi-agency panel of UN experts estimated that two hundred thousand square miles of Eastern Europe were blanketed with fallout, five million residents of the area were exposed, and one hundred thousand people continue to receive radiation contamination from their food and environment that is above normal background levels. (See Environmental Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident and Their Remediation: Twenty Years of Experience, published by the IAEA in 2006.)’’
Later in her paper, Garrett writes as follows:
The clearest evidence of Chernobyl impact on human health was damage to the thyroid gland, a crucial hormone-producing organ located by the esophagus, which absorbs iodine. Radioactive iodine was a key component of Chernobyl fallout, and along the path of that grim extrusion are today thousands of deaths as well as ailing adults who were children in 1986. Distribution of prophylactic iodine–which saturates the organ’s receptors, blocking attachment by radioactive forms of the element–was slow under the Soviets after the Chernobyl incident. The 2006 IAEA analysis found this mistake fatal for many, because thyroid uptake of radioactive iodides was very rapid, saturating the organ within days.
Thirteen years after the Chernobyl disaster, the incidence of pediatric thyroid cancer is fifty-two times the region’s pre-1986 level. In Belarus, where the fallout blew, it was 113 times higher than the country’s pre-1986 diagnosed incidence of thyroid cancer.
Further notes about the effect of radioactive iodide and the precautions and protocol for preventive dosages: Potassium Iodide
Gentle iodine supplement from Standard Process: Organically Bound Minerals
Give Aid to those in greater need:
Donate to MercyCorps, who has partnered with Peace Winds to bring emergency supplies to the earthquake victims in Japan.