The "All Natural" Trap

Patients often seek out skin care, and other products that come into contact with the skin, that are "all natural".    We get it; natural is good.  Just the same, it is easy to get caught up in the aura of the "all natural" product and forget that natural and harmless are not, at all, one and the same.   

Think about it, snake venom is one-hundred percent all natural, and also a fatal poison.  So is salmonella, certain wild mushrooms, natural elements like arsenic,  and lead, and many many plants -- which, by the way, we process and use as a drugs.  Digitalis,which helps to regulate the heart,  is derived from foxglove.  Aspirin is extracted from the bark of the willow tree. Medical marijuana is, obviously, a plant extract.  We can all think of dozens of such examples.  So, keep this in mind the next time you are tempted to make a purchase because the item is "all natural".  The term, unfortunately, is just a hackneyed marketing device.   Its presence on a product label provides no real assurance of safety.  

Know exactly what is in the "all natural" product, and be aware that even, otherwise benign substances, may cause severe allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.  Lately, dermatologists have been seing allergic dermatitis in response to the use of products containing, jasmine, lavender and mint.

 Virtually nothing comes with an assurance of safety. Use botanicals with caution and stop immediately if you react in any way.

Here's a sobering thought:  Pure H2O can be toxic.   Ingesting too much water, too fast poses real danger.  Athletes trying to stay hydrated during intense effort are most at risk.  The condition is known as exercise-associated hyponatremia, in which the kidneys become overwhelmed by the large quantity of liquid it’s forced to process. The body's naturally occuring sodium can’t keep up with the amount of water, leading to swelling in the cells and in severe cases, death.  So much for staying hydrated.