Black Mold, Toxic Tea

It’s near the end of the rainy season in Nicaragua. Theresa suffered with respiratory problems, a slow heart rate, symptoms of a sluggish thyroid, severe fatigue, insomnia, and a feeling of brain fog. “I just don’t understand what’s wrong with me,” she said. “All I want to do is eat Snickers bars and watch TV. My resting heart rate is 40 beats per minute. Am I going to die? It is so unlike me.”

If you have undiagnosed symptoms like Theresa’s, then you may want to check out Mycotoxicity, or Sick Building Syndrome. Environmental mold, especially black mold, can cause very serious medical and psychological problems. The airborne mold spores take refuge in the body, creating all kinds of havoc. Mycotoxins are also neurotoxins. Simply stated, a poison to the brain. “Controversial evidence suggests that ‘Yellow Rain’ (trichothecene mycotoxins) attacks by U.S. military in Southeast Asia caused thousands of deaths between 1974 and 1981.” ( McGovern, T. W. and Christopher, G.W., Biological Warfare and its Cutaneous Manifestations,, n.d.). Research has clearly demonstrated neurological damage as a result of their presence.

Scary, right? Fortunately, Theresa is a retired RN. Armed with all her symptoms and the help of several doctors on Ometepe Island, she received blood tests, an EKG, and the diagnosis of Mycotoxicity. Throughout Theresa’s mysterious onset of symptoms, I learned how devastating black mold can be, as well as the harmful health effects of breathing in malicious mold spores daily.

IMG_3773What does black mold look like?
Theresa took me on a hunt for black mold around my house. The picture above is the inside of my porch with the peeling paint as the mold slowly devours the concrete. Outside, growing on the brick is a gelatinous green-black mold.
Theresa lives in an unsealed concrete block house. At the baseboard level inside, she noticed black mold growing and moisture seeping through the cracked walls. For the duration of the rainy season, she had ingested the toxic spores as she slept.
Toxic Black Mold website

IMG_3772What can you do to rid your house of black mold?
Theresa sealed the outside of her walls with a cement covering after cleaning, disinfecting the area with chlorine bleach, and drying. Then, she tackled the inside walls with a solution of vinegar and soapy water.
I have to laugh at the research I’ve conducted because it says to contact a professional mold remover. Well, living in Nicaragua, that’s an impossibility. We have to do it ourselves. What horrifies me is the number of poorly constructed homes in Nicaragua. The poorest of the population live with dirt floors, black plastic walls, and thatched roofs. As money is available for sturdier houses, they buy cement blocks and construct one wall at a time. Only the wealthiest homeowners can afford to seal their cement walls against the elements and the deluge of water during the rainy season.
Asthma is a huge problem in Nicaragua. I’m beginning to wonder if it is a result of Mycotoxicity. Theresa was lucky. Her symptoms led to a correct diagnosis and medicine to alleviate most of the symptoms. There is no cure for Mycotoxicity, but awareness and proper treatment can alleviate most of the health problems…if caught in time.
A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home by the United States Environmental Protection Agency

Please spread the word about black mold, toxic tea. The rainy season is almost over, but precautions for the next rainy season can begin.


Clinical Microbiology Review on Mycotoxins

Study on the symptoms and effects of Micotoxicity


20 thoughts on “Black Mold, Toxic Tea

      • Ugh, my neighbours are digging up their back yard to build “something,” and they’ve stirred up all the termite filled dirt and termite droppings and decomposing wood. I was dying last night from allergies! And, dang, I am sure it’s molds. I’m so allergic to those! Moving, weee, soon no more of this ick 🙂

  1. Mold can also grow out of sight inside walls. Pay particular attention to the bath, a highly moist, warm area, ideal for mold growth.

  2. Reblogged this on Zeebra Designs & Destinations and commented:
    hey everyone!
    yahoo mail keeps booting me to the ‘sign in’ page every time i open or try to reply. 😦 —- to those who have sent emails, i’ll try again wheni am in town again.
    it’s been raining a lot here in mindo, and i’ve realized that my my old ‘cough/asthma/allergy’ has returned w/the cooler/damp weather. when the sun shines, most of my symptoms vanish! that’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?!!!
    anyway, debbie at isla ometepe/nicaragua has some interesting food for thought, and i suspect that her post helps explain why my ‘allergies’ are better in the dry climate on the coast!
    read on!
    (thanks, deb!)

  3. hey amiga
    thanks for this… i’m going to reblog and hope for your blessing rather than ask and wait, as we’re having a break in the rain and i’m in town and need to return while the weather’s ok… this will spook some people, but i hope it helps arm most with knowledge so they will be proaktive against potential health problems in the rainy (and humid) seasons.

    i won’t be online as long as i’d hoped today but look forward to reading more soon…

    thanks for this!


  4. In August I was in a homestay in Granada where there was a concrete patio outside my room with green mold growing on it. I explained how this was a health problem and the patio was scrubbed down with bleach, which I knew was only a temporary solution, since it wasn’t sealed. It took about 2 years for me to clear the effects of a very small amount of mould in a previous home from my body, so of course the mould in the Granada home worried me for the owner and her child. I can’t imagine the extent of the damage of growing up in a plastic-walled home in Nicaragua and breathing in that toxin for months or years at a time!

    • Cedelune, this is a huge problem in Nicaragua and all tropical countries. I never realized the extent of the health problems due to mold until I started researching. Poor Theresa. She has been battling many unknown symptoms for months, until one day she noticed the black mold growing along the baseboards of her bedroom. Then, everything fell into place. Some people are more susceptible to the mold than others. Our house is pretty good. We have a wrap around porch and the only place we have the mold is on the outside bricks of the porch. So, we’ll have to seal them during the dry season. The more I read about the symptoms of mold poisoning, the more I suspect many of the health issues with people living in the tropics during the rainy season are a result of the mold. They call it, “El grippe”, or flu..but I believe it is much more serious. Thanks for telling us of your experiences.

      • Thanks for this article. This is very interesting to me. I have lived for years in houses like this in Granada (Spain), just like ‘cedelune’ describes above. Sometimes I can even smell it. The smell of ‘moho’ if you know what I mean. I have begun to have respiratory problems etc. Walls are green outside and not perfectly sealed, black spots inside. I have always felt there could be something in the air. Thank you very much for the information.

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