Pick Your Nose?

Pick Your Nose?

“Should you pick your nose?

Don’t laugh. Scientifically, it’s an interesting question.”

…more…

“But the hygiene hypothesis — and when it comes to allergy, the inverse relationship between industrialized processes and health — has held up remarkably well.

As our bodies strive for balance, Madison Avenue has made a full-court press for greater hygiene, sometimes to our detriment.

We’re fed a steady diet of a hygiene-related marketing that began in the late 1800s, according to a novel study published in 2001 by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. Scientists at Columbia University who did the research were trying to understand how we became so enamored of soap products.”

[Your Environment Is Cleaner. Your Immune System Has Never Been So Unprepared. – The New York Times]

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“Should your children pick their noses? Should your children eat dirt? Maybe: Your body needs to know what immune challenges lurk in the immediate environment.

Should you use antibacterial soap or hand sanitizers? No. Are we taking too many antibiotics? Yes.

“I tell people, when they drop food on the floor, please pick it up and eat it,” said Dr. Meg Lemon, a dermatologist in Denver who treats people with allergies and autoimmune disorders.

“Get rid of the antibacterial soap. Immunize! If a new vaccine comes out, run and get it. I immunized the living hell out of my children. And it’s O.K. if they eat dirt.”

Dr. Lemon’s prescription for a better immune system doesn’t end there. “You should not only pick your nose, you should eat it,” she said. “

[Your Environment Is Cleaner. Your Immune System Has Never Been So Unprepared. – The New York Times]

You can be sure that before I will pick my nose and “eat it” I will seek the Living God for wisdom. While probably wise, certainly distasteful and I will use every stall mechanism not to do it.

However, God has a lot to say about infections and our immune system as He is the one who created both germs and the immune system. There is a wealth of wisdom hidden in that arrangement but no time at present to explore the beauty of it all.

The basic advice is don’t be over-dirty or clean. The man who fears God has always avoided both extremes. You can read it for yourself: It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all extremes. (Ecclesiastes 7:18)

“When there is a burn on the skin of one’s body produced by fire, and the patch made raw by the burn becomes reddish-white or white,  the priest is to examine it. If the hair in the spot has turned white and the spot appears to be deeper than the skin, it is a skin disease that has broken out in the burn. The priest must pronounce him unclean; it is a skin disease.

But when the priest examines it, if there is no white hair in the spot and it is not beneath the skin but is faded, the priest must quarantine him seven days.  The priest will reexamine him on the seventh day. If it has spread further on the skin, the priest must pronounce him unclean; it is a skin disease.  But if the spot has remained where it was and has not spread on the skin but is faded, it is the swelling from the burn. The priest is to pronounce him clean, for it is only the scar from the burn.  “When a man or woman has an infection on the head or chin,  the priest must examine the infection.

If it appears to be deeper than the skin, and the hair in it is yellow and sparse, the priest must pronounce the person unclean. It is a scaly outbreak, a skin disease of the head or chin.  When the priest examines the scaly infection, if it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, and there is no black hair in it, the priest must quarantine the person with the scaly infection for seven days.  The priest will reexamine the infection on the seventh day.

If the scaly outbreak has not spread and there is no yellow hair in it and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin,  the person must shave himself but not shave the scaly area. Then the priest must quarantine the person who has the scaly outbreak for another seven days.  The priest will examine the scaly outbreak on the seventh day, and if it has not spread on the skin and does not appear to be deeper than the skin, the priest is to pronounce the person clean.

He is to wash his clothes, and he will be clean.  But if the scaly outbreak spreads further on the skin after his cleansing,  the priest is to examine the person. If the scaly outbreak has spread on the skin, the priest does not need to look for yellow hair; the person is unclean.  But if as far as he can see, the scaly outbreak remains unchanged and black hair has grown in it, then it has healed; he is clean. The priest is to pronounce the person clean.  “When a man or a woman has white spots on the skin of the body,  the priest is to make an examination. If the spots on the skin of the body are dull white, it is only a rash that has broken out on the skin; the person is clean.  “If a man loses the hair of his head, he is bald, but he is clean.  Or if he loses the hair at his hairline, he is bald on his forehead, but he is clean.  But if there is a reddish-white infection on the bald head or forehead, it is a skin disease breaking out on his head or forehead.  The priest is to examine him, and if the swelling of the infection on his bald head or forehead is reddish-white, like the appearance of a skin disease on his body,  the man is afflicted with a skin disease; he is unclean.

The priest must pronounce him unclean; the infection is on his head.  “The person afflicted with an infectious skin disease is to have his clothes torn and his hair hanging loose, and he must cover his mouth and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean!’  He will remain unclean as long as he has the infection; he is unclean. He must live alone in a place outside the camp.  “If a fabric is contaminated with mildew—in wool or linen fabric,  in the warp or woof of linen or wool, or in leather or anything made of leather—  and if the contamination is green or red in the fabric, the leather, the warp, the woof, or any leather article, it is a mildew contamination and is to be shown to the priest.  The priest is to examine the contamination and quarantine the contaminated fabric for seven days.  The priest is to reexamine the contamination on the seventh day.

If it has spread in the fabric, the warp, the woof, or the leather, regardless of how it is used, the contamination is harmful mildew; it is unclean.  He is to burn the fabric, the warp or woof in wool or linen, or any leather article, which is contaminated. Since it is harmful mildew it must be burned up.  “When the priest examines it, if the contamination has not spread in the fabric, the warp or woof, or any leather article,  the priest is to order whatever is contaminated to be washed and quarantined for another seven days.  After it has been washed, the priest is to reexamine the contamination. If the appearance of the contaminated article has not changed, it is unclean.

Even though the contamination has not spread, you must burn up the fabric. It is a fungus on the front or back of the fabric.  “If the priest examines it, and the contamination has faded after it has been washed, he must cut the contaminated section out of the fabric, the leather, or the warp or woof.  But if it reappears in the fabric, the warp or woof, or any leather article, it has broken out again. You must burn up whatever is contaminated.  But if the contamination disappears from the fabric, the warp or woof, or any leather article, which have been washed, it is to be washed again, and it will be clean.

 “This is the law concerning a mildew contamination in wool or linen fabric, warp or woof, or any leather article, in order to pronounce it clean or unclean.”

(Leviticus 13:24-59)

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“At the center of our defenses was our immune system, our most elegant defense. The system is the product of centuries of evolution, as a river stone is shaped by water rushing over it and the tumbles it experiences on its journey downstream.

Late in the process, humans learned to take steps to bolster our defenses, developing all manner of customs and habits to support our survival. In this way, think of the brain — the organ that helps us develop habits and customs — as another facet of the immune system.

We used our collective brains to figure out effective behaviors. We started washing our hands and took care to avoid certain foods that experience showed could be dangerous or deadly. In some cultures, people came to avoid pork, which we now know is highly susceptible to trichinosis; in others, people banned meats, which we later learned may carry toxic loads of E. coli and other bacteria.

Ritual washing is mentioned in Exodus, one of the earliest books in the Bible: “So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not.”

Our ideas evolved, but for the most part, the immune system did not. This is not to say that it didn’t change. The immune system responds to our environment. When we encounter various threats, our defenses learn and then are much more able to deal with that threat in the future. In that way, we adapt to our environment.

We survived over tens of thousands of years. Eventually, we washed our hands, swept our floors, cooked our food, avoided certain foods altogether. We improved the hygiene of the animals we raised and slaughtered for food.

Particularly in the wealthier areas of the world, we purified our water, and developed plumbing and waste treatment plants; we isolated and killed bacteria and other germs.

The immune system’s enemies list was attenuated, largely for the good. Now, though, our bodies are proving that they cannot keep up with this change. We have created a mismatch between the immune system — one of the longest surviving and most refined balancing acts in the world — and our environment. ”

[Your Environment Is Cleaner. Your Immune System Has Never Been So Unprepared. – The New York Times]