In this episode, I am speaking with Dr. Marisol Teijeiro – also known as the Queen of Thrones. She has helped people all over the world restore their gut health. The topic of this podcast, however, is slightly different and focuses on the Fabrics of our lives. We will make a deep dive into the materials used in clothing that may be toxic to our health.
Try out Dr. Marisol’s castor oil pack. Click here to get your discount.
Table of Contents
- What are our clothes really made from – and which is safe to wear?
- Why “fast fashion” might be as big a concern as “fast food” (and which clothing items should we pay most attention to?)
- How to free yourself from contact with petrochemicals in your clothes
- A balanced approach to leveling up your wardrobe
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Ari: Hey, this is Ari. Welcome back to The Energy Blueprint Podcast. In this episode, I’m speaking for the second time with my good friend, Dr. Marisol Teijeiro. She is a renowned detoxification and GI expert. She’s also known as The Queen of Thrones. We had a super fun podcast the last time she was on the show talking about poop. She’s just hilarious when it comes to that. This one is a bit more serious conversation on the topic of what she calls The Fabrics of Our Lives in the literal sense, in terms of the fabrics that we are using our clothing, our bedding, materials, and so on, and the toxins that may be lurking in them that are lurking in them.
The big question is, to what extent are they being absorbed into our bodies? To a small extent or a large extent, I think she’s right to be concerned about this. I think that this is an issue that deserves a lot more research, and a lot more people talking about it. There’s still some speculative territory that you have to go into to have this discussion because of the lack of actual formal scientific research that has been done in this area. I think that there’s a lot of value to be heard here because of how novel this discussion is, how rare it is to be talked about. With all that said enjoy this podcast, and I hope you get a lot of value from it. Welcome, my friend, such a pleasure to have you back on the show.
Dr. Marisol Teijeiro: Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here. Honestly, this is one of my favorite subjects, newer subjects to speak about because it impacts every single one of us every single day that we live on this earth.
Ari: Let me give a little bit of background here. We met each other– we didn’t meet each other we remet each other. We saw each other for the third or fourth time in person at an event a couple of months ago. One of the latest things that is on your radar that you communicated to me. At length we talked about this for probably an hour or more is materials, is clothing. Different materials that are synthetic and chemicals that may be present on them, and how those are interacting with human physiology. As I said to you at the time, this is something that I’ve actually spent some time looking into and thinking about.
What I found when I spent time looking into it is very little. There seems to be very little science that exists on this topic, and very little discussion about it almost anywhere. There’s a few things that you can find of people talking about the dangers of synthetic fibers, but there’s not a whole lot of research present. You told me that, and we should also set this context to the fact of how ubiquitous all of these materials are. Almost everybody is wearing synthetic clothing almost all the time. I will admit– don’t hate me, don’t be mad at me.
Dr. Marisol: No, I’m not.
Chemicals found in fabrics
Ari: We met that in this moment I happen to be wearing a dress shirt of synthetic materials. Largely because it’s got anti-wrinkle functionality. I don’t ever have to– I can always put it on do a podcast episode. I don’t have to worry about does my shirt look good. It’s very convenient, but who knows what chemicals may be lurking in this thing, this toxic thing that I have on me. I can’t wait to finish this podcast so I can get this damn thing off of me.
Dr. Marisol: Exactly. I’m wearing merino wool. I’ve been really since– this is a thing. Once you start to learn better and know better you do better. I don’t expect anyone to ever be perfect because I also have my petrochemical plastic clothing, which is what we’re literally sitting in almost 24/7. I have my few things where I’m having problems letting go. I feel like over this by next summer I’m going to be doing an entire haul on my closet just because I really truly do feel that this is an area as you said in medicine, in practice, in people’s health that is undiscovered, and unspoken about.
There could be many reasons for that. I could be potentially opening up Pandora’s box on this, but we just need to become aware because every– we can do a little bit better where we’re at right now, and I think that is the most important part. That’s what I want to share with people today is that no matter where you’re at it’s not about going in and do an entire wardrobe rehaul or clothing material rehaul.
When you first started in the natural health industry all of us we all started with like, “Oh, let’s start looking at our labels of our food.” It was the first thing that we did. For me, I remember doing that. I was like, okay, this is a carbohydrate, this is a protein, this is a that. With clothing and the fabrics of our lives, it’ll be exactly the same. We need to do it in baby steps because it is going to be a challenge to completely overhaul your closet.
Ari: That was very poetic, the fabrics of our lives. I think people use that expression usually to mean something different than the actual fabric of our lives.
Dr. Marisol: Yes, of course, they’re meaning [crosstalk].
Ari: In this case, it’s literally the fabric that you are wearing in this moment.
Dr. Marisol: Yes. Wearing, sitting on, like right now I’m sitting on a couch that’s made of fabric, in our cars. Everywhere we go, life jackets, I’m here up north in Canada skiing, and I did an entire overhaul of my ski clothing. There are certain parts though that are going to be plastic because it’s a snowsuit and you want to have protection. What I think is really important to start with, with people is to have them understanding that there are natural fibers and there are fibers. The majority of the other fibers are made of petrochemical plastics.
It is absolutely no different than plastic water bottles, anything that you have plastic covers, plastic wrap, plastic bags. Many of us, because of hormone problems, energy problems we’re not using one time use plastic. We’re getting rid of those things. We’re not holding our food in plastic, but yet our bodies, our beautiful bodies, and we’re enveloping our skin. In plastic, I’m going to say about 80% to 90% of the time because– I know that when people listen to this and start hearing this and start looking through their closets and actually looking at the labels, they’re going to start to notice how much they’re enveloping their bodies with plastic.
Here’s the thing is that everyone thinks, okay, if you eat it, it needs to be extremely healthy, but the gut and the skin come from the same embryonic tissue. If the gut and skin come from the same embryonic tissue, well then they have the same ability to absorb the same type of chemicals, plastics. All types of things that are mixed up in our materials and our fabrics. It’s no surprise that research demonstrates that in the gut you require things like salt, you require fats, you require heat, and you require a microbiome in order to absorb petrochemicals and plastics.
The skin, exact same thing, salt. Salt, we have that when we have sweat. Microbiome like in the gut, the skin has a microbiome heat while whenever we’re wrapped in clothing or sitting near something, we’re heating it up. Of course whenever there are fats in the combination. Now we know in foods, obviously, we’re often eating fats with our meals. It’s like highly promoted to eat good, healthy fats. On our skin, the fats are there when we are, say, using creams, doing things like castor oil packs, or even sweating and sebaceous products are produced from our pores.
It’s fascinating to see that, hey, what’s happening in the gut the same thing’s happening out in the skin. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need 24/7 hours a day. I sure am dressed about 8 to 12 hours a day. Of course, I’d love to be naked more often, but that’s another podcast for another time. Even when I go to bed at night I’m still wrapped up in blankets, with pillowcases, and pillows, and all these materials that are in direct contact to my skin.
Ari: Everything that you said there is some logic. Some rationale around it. We know that we absorb some materials through our skin, that it is a semi-permeable membrane essentially, and that certain things get absorbed. It’s also the case that, for example, if you apply, let’s say personal care products which is its own discussion. That we could have an hour-long discussion on makeup, and lipstick, and skin moisturizer, and some of the heavy metal contamination of lipsticks, and mascara, and things like that.
Those metals and other contaminants, whether it’s endocrine-disrupting, BPA, fellates, whatever it is, some of those are going to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Sunscreens is another big thing, and they’ve shown profound absorption of many toxic compounds from sunscreens as well. However, this area of clothing I think is a bit different for a couple of reasons. One is we wash our clothing. We stick it in a washing machine and it’s got water, and it’s got surfactants, it’s got soaps, detergents in there. It makes sense to me, and you tell me why I’m wrong.
It makes sense to me that between water, which is an excellent solvent. The detergents we should be getting most of the hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances out of that clothing. To the point where the clothing that’s left maybe after two, three, four, five washes should be relatively innocuous as far as how much of those chemicals that it contains. Why am I wrong?
Dr. Marisol: Because it has to do– there is so many factors involved with skin permeation. Number one, melanocyte content of your skin. Whether you have stronger melanocytes and a stronger color of skin. If it’s on the Fitzpatrick skin tone scale. If you’re like a five with high melanocyte versus like a one, observability is completely different. That’s number one PH [crosstalk].
Ari: Who’s got the advantage, the Irish or the Africans?
Dr. Marisol: Not the Irish or the African honestly. Africans tend to have more of an acidic PH. Where the Irish, and lighter skin tones and the Europeans is more alkaline. Acidity can help observe a little bit stronger than alkaline can. That’s a science 101 thing.
Ari: Those crazy redheads have the advantage, so that’s what you’re going to tell me?
How bamboo is turned into fabric
Dr. Marisol: Yes, they have almost more protection. Ironic because with higher melanocyte you get more skin and you don’t get burnt, and so you have that advantage. Everything is evolutionary. That’s one aspect. PH is number one. Number two is the processing. Within fabric and materials, you can have a blend of something. Say for example let’s talk organic bamboo because everyone is like, “Okay, organic bamboo. This is great. It’s a natural fiber, a natural material.”
Organic bamboo you see it is as strong as steel in construction. What happens is that you have to take that cellulose fiber of the bamboo. You got to break it down like 24 to 26 caustic chemicals. These may come out in the wash, for sure. That’s absolutely possible. However, now they typically combine organic bamboo with rayon, another type of plastic material, and that the plastic fibers– the plastics and the phthalates in order to make those materials soft and flexible, phthalates are basically adjoined to these material fibers, and they leave overtime.
The potential risk of the skin absorbing toxins from clothes
Of course, the more that you wash clothing the longer that you have clothing, you’re 100% correct on that, the less of an amount of toxin it’s going to have. When I’m going through my closet I’m going to be looking at things that I’ve had for 20 years. I probably wash this like I don’t know how long. Likelihood’s not going to be too big of a deal. Some thing newer will have a higher contaminant quotient than something that will be older. The contamination remains because the fibers of rayon and polyester will constantly over time, and plastic leaches overtime with more heat.
Every single time that you have heat from your body, if you have oil, if you have that microbiome, if you’ve got that salt mixture. That’s where things are going to start to leach. Those are the big reasons why it’s– yes, it’s probably not going to be an enormous amount of toxins that you’re going to be absorbing in your body. However, they haven’t done studies overtime. They done very few studies when it comes to material testing as you said earlier on. In fact, they test food, they test air, they test water, they test everything else. Then they barely mention materials.
Ari: Right, because there’s this assumption that whatever is on our skin is not being absorbed. There’s really nobody speaking to that fact. Of course, it is a semi-permeable membrane. There’s guaranteed to be at least some minor absorption of what’s there.
Dr. Marisol: Plus on top of it too– I don’t know about you, but many people like– for example, there’s a wool challenge, a merino wool challenge going on in the internet right now. The challenge is to wear a merino wool sweater or merino wool for 30 days straight. Because wool are natural fibers they don’t get an unoffensive odor, so there’s no need to wash it. There’s no need to go through all of those different processes. Because you could literally wear it for 30 days and not wash it because it isn’t reacting with your skin in a negative manner, and creating a smell with a combination of the microbiome.
To tell you the truth, Ari [laughs] that we don’t even– that part hasn’t even been studied. What is happening when that material, that plastic material is combining with the microbiome? What is it doing with things on the skin because it hasn’t been researched enough. There’s an entire gray area. I look at it like this, there are over somewhere between 250 million to 350 million tons of plastics made per annum by big plastic companies that create our clothing, and it’s one of the hugest industries that exists in our world.
Ari: I know a guy who is very wealthy, and his wife is a stereotypical woman who loves– is stereotypical like wife of Uber, wealthy guy who loves to constantly buy new clothing and jewelry. Her full-time job is shopping for clothing and jewelry.
Dr. Marisol: Yes, I hear you.
Ari: She spends $40,000 a month on new clothes and jewelry every month.
Dr. Marisol: Wow.
Ari: What you’re saying is she’s screwed with all of her new pairs of yoga pants that she’s buying constantly. That’s what you’re really telling me?
Dr. Marisol: I am absolutely 100%. I’m looking at myself in my closet, and I’m making major changes since I started doing this. My shopping and my purchasing– listen, husbands out there this is what you have to do if your wife is spending too much. My shopping and my purchases have gone down completely on clothing area. Even my [crosstalk]- –
Ari: Oh, this is brilliant. You’re transforming the lives-
Dr. Marisol: Of men around [crosstalk]- –
Ari: -of hundreds of thousands of men right now who have problems with their wives’ spending habits. This is amazing. This is an added bonus from this podcast.
Dr. Marisol: It’s a huge bonus and I even have my son and my husband all on board and looking at it. It’s so interesting because they went shopping on their own. I was like, “Oh God,” I’m like, “Please make sure you look at the label.” What’s especially important is not necessarily all our clothing, but the most important thing is what is touching our skin in direct contact. That is what I’m hoping people will become aware of and shift over. Because it’s what’s in contact, like your underwear, your socks, your Long Johns.
When it came to skiing I knew my ski suit on the outside was going to be plastic like petrol propanol. That’s the literal name of the ingredients. It’s like if you look at the labels you start to read them and you’re like, “Okay, this is not–” Same thing goes as in food. If it doesn’t sound like you could eat it [laughs] it’s probably not going to be the most healthy material.
Ari: Can I get a jacket made out of chocolate? Just asking for a friend.
Dr. Marisol: That would be awesome. [laughs] Maybe in Costa Rica you’re going to have to source that puppy out, [laughs] but I don’t know if we can do that up here.
Ari: I’m just thinking if we are going to absorb something through our skin, I’d rather absorb chocolate than polypropylene.
Dr. Marisol: Yes, totally right. What I noticed was that now I couldn’t get everything. I could get most things within a good enough balance of merino wool or cotton, or I could get at least something. My criteria now when I shop is I’m obviously– I had a choice between two sets of Long Johns, and Helly Hansen actually had a 57% merino wool blend with the other ingredient, but then another company had I believe it was a 41% blend. That shifted my purchasing habits. It literally shifted what I want to do because I know that every little–
From being a clinician in practice for so long, every little micro move that you do makes a massive difference in the long run. We just don’t realize it because we’re used to instant results, but it’s those small little shifts and moves that you keep on doing it over and over again that really shift things. Yes, it will save– she is definitely in trouble, but husband and partners who know that their partner may have big spending habits on clothing and getting away from things like fast fashion.
The problems with fast fashion clothing
There was a company that is strongly into fast fashion from China which they were finding elevated levels of lead, heavy metals in the clothing.
Ari: What is fast fashion?
Dr. Marisol: Fast fashion is fashion which is made of plastic, or fashion that is cheap under $20. People buy it online, they buy it quickly, rapidly, they get shipped to their door. They use it one or two times it falls apart and then it’s done. Fast fashion definitely is an area of high toxicity because there’s not the washing over time, there’s not the ability for it to be cleaned out. On top of it, it’s also just like an ecological issue because you’re now disposing of clothing that is destroyed and ruined and still in its high-level of plastic state.
Ari: Got it. Okay. Let’s say I find everything that you’ve said so far very convincing, very plausible. I’m a skeptic and I want to know, what is the hard evidence? You’re saying mechanisms, there’s potential toxicity, we’re in speculative territory here. What are the studies that you can cite that say a lady who buys X pairs of Lululemon yoga pants per year has higher levels of X chemical in her blood relative to other lady who doesn’t buy so many new yoga pants?
Dr. Marisol: That doesn’t exist and that’s the sad part about this. What does exist are studies such as understanding that embryonic fluid is filled with chemicals, our blood is filled with chemicals, and we just don’t know exactly where all the sources are. Frankly, I just think it’s an area that simply isn’t being tested. Like I said earlier on with all the studies that I’ve been researching they’ll mention briefly clothing, but don’t get into them at all.
For my company, what we’ve been doing is, we wanted to investigate more, because we’re like, “This doesn’t make sense.” We started sending our products to testing centers to find out their ability to test material. The majority of them haven’t even tested materials in the past decade. This is how nonaware the system is about this issue. There are examples in industry, for example, with certain companies like period underwear who have come under attack recently with regards to PFASs and so basically violates within their materials, because, again, period underwear is right next to the skin.
There are actually a couple of lawsuits that are happening with regards to PFASs in the industry of period underwear, couple of two major companies. That’s one example of it. Truly, I believe that this is– not having research doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not true, it just means that the sun hasn’t caught up to where we’re at in this aspect of industry. To me as a clinician, as a scientist, I always have conversations deep into the science. I’m constantly on PubMed, looking and searching and finding, and hoping there’s more. I keep on running up to a wall, and I don’t know why that is. I have suspicions why that is like everything.
Ari: I think it could probably be explained just simply based on number one, there is a general assumption in the population that these things are innocuous that they’re inert. We’re not assuming that we’re absorbing toxins from them even if toxins are present. Number two, obviously, I think what you’re getting at is that these are big industries, plastics industry, and as we know, large, multibillion, trillion dollar type industries, fun science that suits them or cover up science that doesn’t suit them. Have a huge influence on the science that gets published relevant to their money-making process.
Dr. Marisol: Exactly. What I’m working on now is aiming at opening up this barrier and clearing it up and at least creating awareness. Because, again, I know in medicine I never with pharmaceutical drugs, or even drugs, or natural substances, I don’t ever see anything as bad. The reality is that petrochemicals and our clothing started back in World War I and World War II, and they were done for soldiers in the trenches because they were waterproof, and so in that way they could survive.
To me, it’s literally that clothing isn’t the devil or plastic clothing or petrochemical materials like rayon, nylon, setin, satin, there’s so many. Valore, cotton valore, there are so many words that people get easily confused that they don’t even understand what their material is and the binding of it. To me it’s more about just the balance, no bad fabric just a bad time in a place, and that which comes next to our skin is the most– so intimate areas of our bodies.
It’s so important to make sure that at least start there and make those the healthiest because otherwise, you could have the healthiest diet, you could have the healthiest, everything. You have this constant underlying source of toxins. My first thing has always been adapt your environment. Find all the areas, wherever you can make improvement, whether it be small or large, make the improvement because over time that makes big, big impact.
I agree with you. I wish there was more research with regards to this, but there’s lacking. Although I have to say like the state of California is pretty progressive with certain propositions that they have in terms of warning people about like cancer causing of materials. You could see that in things like hats. Because if you remember the story– this isn’t new. The story of Mad Hatter in Alice Wonderland is because back in the day, all the hats were made with mercury.
The hatters were crazy. They were mad hatters. This actually isn’t new. This is actually ancient. Being now it’s not so much that heavy metals are inputted into our clothing, but now it’s just all these petrochemicals, and these sallets, and these hormone disruptors that are affecting fertility rates and all other aspects of our lives. There’s deemed to be some observability that’s going to happen with the human body because if it’s next to your skin, if it’s next to a membrane, something is going to be definitely going in.
Fabric dyes in clothes
Ari: Got it. Let me ask one more question, I think relevant to this, which is let’s say we take natural fibers. Let’s say we’ve got cotton, let’s say we’ve got merino wool. One issue is the substance that the clothing itself is made of. Another issue is still there’s a chemical concern overdyes. Those materials are then dyed a certain color, have certain designs embedded into them with presumably some chemicals. What about those, let’s say you’ve got a merino wool shirt that’s dyed black. What is the chemical used to dye that black, and is that being absorbed into your skin? Is that just as toxic as the chemicals from synthetic clothing?
Dr. Marisol: Absolutely. That’s the other area and that’s where it comes to looking at what you have, taking inventory, and choosing. There are very, very few companies that are actually doing complete organic clothing or completely organic dyes as well too, but there are food-based dyes. You could be dye anything with pomegranates, beets, they use avocado shells. There are so many different ways to actually get like browns, and greens, and reds, and all different types of colors. The dyes are a source of contamination as well too.
The biggest problem is you have to choose your poison in this situation. You just need to look and see because it’s challenging. I’ve recently just been starting to change my tank tops. I’m wearing underneath of this a PACT tank top. PACT is a great company one of the closest ones to it being mostly organic in terms of stretch and material., but the dyes aren’t. It’s like we’re in a Catch-22, we can’t completely get rid of it all, but there’s steps that we can take to at least move over more towards natural fibers. Hope and pray that the dyes aren’t as toxic as they can be.
Move into over time there’s more companies that become more conscious and start to create more materials. Overall when you’re talking about materials, it seems that wool seems to be the most sustainable out of all of the materials because wool sheep it’s like the sheep is fed. It just seems to have one of the best ecosystems in terms of environmentally friendly. When it also comes to materials again is another Catch-22, is it going to be environmentally friendly, or is it going to be health friendly? I think it’s really important that we delineate the difference between those.
Because I think a lot of consumers out there think that eco-friendly organic bamboo material is good for you when really it likely isn’t. Whereas a less eco-friendly organic cotton, which uses up more water in the processing aspect of it that may not be as eco-friendly but it’s more health friendly, and especially if it’s less dyed. That is just something that we have to become aware of that any dye, any pattern, any anything is going to have impact.
Best example I can use with that is my company like Queen of the Thrones and castor oil packs everyone was constantly asking me why I wasn’t making my packs fun, and colorful, and this and that for the consumers so they would buy it in pink, or buy it in this. The reality is number one-
Ari: Yes, I have to say I was going to buy one, but I really wanted a pink one. You didn’t have that in your offering-
Dr. Marisol: -I know. I’m sorry.
Ari: -so I just skipped the whole thing altogether if I can’t get pink.
The dose makes the poison
Dr. Marisol: I know. The thing to me was that it has to be absolutely as close to natural as possible because every single input into any biological system is going to have an impact due to those. No matter what, whether it’s healthy or unhealthy, anything in any ecosystem that comes into it, and if the castor oil pack is an ecosystem and you’re adding in more dyes, those dyes are going to go somewhere. We have to be aware of that.
I always try to go as simplistic as possible. As I move this summer I’m literally going to go through my closet. I’m going to go through every single label. I am going to bring a whole photography, videographer, we’re going to do this. I’m going to throw everything out into my driveway, and I’m going to get rid of it all. I’m going to see what I’m left with. I’m really excited to do this because it’ll be an experiment in how much petrochemical plastics are next to my skin every single day.
Ari: Are you going to donate it to someone else where they’re going to be poisoned by all that clothing, or are you going to burn it in your driveway and create a big bonfire where you then poison the earth?
Dr. Marisol: That’s the conundrum, what do I do? Actually, it’s so funny you mentioned that because I’m always like, God, I don’t want to say on Instagram or anything that I’m going to donate these because I don’t want to poison anybody else, but what do I do with it? Put it into a landfill. Again, I think that there’s a time and a place for everything, and if someone has five or 10 pieces of material that are– your shirt you’re wearing right now, we also got to think over time. If you’re sleeping in it for 12 hours like your bedsheets, I would want it to be healthy.
If you’re wearing a shirt right now made of rayon, or made of wick free, a stain-free, iron-free materials which all contain more and more chemicals, but if you’re only wearing it for an hour there’s also the time component. Time makes an impact too. I think this is really going to be an exploration in understanding how long the materials next to our clothing, what is the material using oils. In the case of castor oil packs, we absolutely want to have organic cotton next to our skin. We want to stay away from the plastics. We can have outside shelves of plastic, but we can’t next to the skin have those plastics. It’s all these aspects.
Ari: Of course in addition time and the toxicity of the clothing itself and how much chemicals are there.
Dr. Marisol: And heat.
Ari: The heat and sweat component of it’s one thing to be in an air-conditioned room and doing a podcast. Sitting at a desk versus being in super hot weather sweating your brains out wearing the same clothing.
Dr. Marisol: Hot yoga, I’m a huge fan of hot yoga and I start– my thing is I love cleansing and detox. It’s what I try to live a really cleansed and detox lifestyle, and that was my first awareness of it all. I’m like, oh my gosh, even though it’s small amount of material because it’s small little tank tops and small little booty shorts. I go that is right next to my most prime lymphatic drainage areas where all the nodes are. This area this is like a master node for the lymphatic system, of course, all the areas around the breast, all the lymph nodes there. I am sweating for an hour and a half in class like sweating. That my clothing becomes completely wet by the time I’m done, what absorbability have I had there?
Dr. Marisol: That’s scary, right? To all the women who are living in our yoga pants. During– these last two years have been so crazy and hectic, so many of us not leaving our houses, most of us just stayed wearing yoga pants most of the time, right?
Ari: Yes. Speaking of that we could talk about masks too, and other-
Dr. Marisol: Oh, yes.
Ari: -material in contact with our faces, and then indirectly through our lungs too. I forget what the particles are but there was some toxic particles that’s been found in a lot of these masks that are being inhaled into our lungs. Do you know what it was? I forget– it’s been like since we-
Dr. Marisol: I don’t remember what it was either. I just know from personal experience smelling those masks it’s like I went to material masks right away from myself-
Ari: They’ve got a strong chemical smell then you know you’re inhaling a chemical. A lot of people don’t realize. That’s a very simple observation that a lot of people I think fail to understand across the board is that– excuse me, if you’re inhaling something– if you’re smelling something people think it’s just a smell, but what it actually means is that those particles of that chemical are being inhaled into your body.
Dr. Marisol: Oh, yes. I find that in stores. Now, obviously, my nose is trained. I’ve been working and researching on this and plastics, and I’m also hypersensitive. The reason I became a naturopathic doctor was because I had health problems and I needed to create a system and an environment for myself to be healthy, but I walk into most clothing stores and the smell is overwhelming. That has to do with a variety of different things.
The formaldehydes in the boxes that all the clothing and material are contained in, and this is why they say wash your clothing, wash your sheets, everything before you use it for the first time because they’re so much contaminated into the clothing and in stores. I remember being in South America and I walked– I used to love the shoes Crocs. I used to love Crocs. I walked into the store and I literally turned around right away because all I could smell was just like a wall of plastic, and my husband’s like, “Well, what do you expect? It’s all– it’s plastic shoes, right?” [chuckles]
I’m like, “Yes, but you just don’t connect that. We’re so busy in our day-to-day doing our thing, and going for the convenient thing and thinking it’s good for us and easy for us,” but my main goal right now is for people to understand, look, we can’t get away or run away. We can’t get away from it all. It’s impossible. It’s impossible. We’re breathing it in, but there’s things that we can do to reduce our direct contact.
There’s that, and then there’s lifestyle practices that we can undertake that can help us to be better and healthier. A lot of the things that you preach about, in terms of lifestyle and diet, obviously exercise, making sure that– energy is a major. When energy is low and people are fatigued, that is a common sign that the lymphatic system is overwhelmed, and lymphatic system is what’s carrying and transporting these phthalates and the hypophilic substances that are moving within the lymphatic system because the body’s trying to eliminate them.
If the lymphatic system gets overwhelmed and– because truly, the plastics, if anything, they’re going to be moving into the lymphatic system because when they’re absorbing deep through the epidermis, they’re going past the stratus corneum. If the environment promotes it, the microbiome, the heat, the sweat, all of that, the oil substance, they’ll move into the circulation and the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system gets overwhelmed over time, and when lymphatics are sluggish, the body feels sluggish. Breathing different, all these different aspects.
Understanding this might be something for people who are more advanced in their healing journey and healing practice because now they’re getting into the nitty gritty and they’re really starting to hygienize their lifestyle, but I think it’s important for everyone to become aware because there’s something that we can do where we’re at with what we got it. That’s what’s important.
Ari: Got it. I was annoyed that I couldn’t remember the specific study, so I want to just mention that on masks, there’s a study published on science daily.com called Nanoplastics and other harmful pollutants found in disposable face masks. They found that these masks can leach– and this is just one of several studies that have found, I think there’s another one on graphene, oxide, and some other compounds that have known toxicity to the lungs, but they found that masks can leach microplastics, lead, antimony, and copper within the fibers.
You’ve got metals and microplastics embedded into these fibers that particularly as people would commonly reuse these masks over and over again, you could imagine that they’re breaking down over time and more of those plastics are likely to be inhaled. This–
Dr. Marisol: Both were studied because it was such a mass movement with everybody using masks. That’s the difference, right?
Dr. Marisol: There’s the underground of the material world and then there’s things like that come up and then suddenly become studied.
Ari: Right. One of the issues that I think is worth speaking to here is just the ubiquitousness of all of these kinds of issues, they’re everywhere. You mentioned this in passing at the very beginning of this podcast, but I surf, I wear synthetic board shorts. I get in my car after I go surfing and I’m shirtless and my skin is in contact with my leather seats of my car, and plastics material and the leather seats are presumably coated in chemicals to make them waterproof and hold up longer, look nice, whatever.
My couch has materials on it, likely coated in fire retardants and things like that. Mattresses commonly are synthetic fibers often coded in flame retardants. We are in contact– I’m sitting on a seat right now. I don’t know what the materials are of this seat that I’m sitting on. Most office chairs, probably lots of plastics and thin synthetic materials. What about a yoga mat? People are using a yoga mat. Are they absorbing something through their feet?
There can be a concern with almost everything. Given that, I wonder if it’s worth speaking to, what if this is actually not a huge deal? What if we don’t absorb that much through our skin? What if there is a harm, a nocebo that we are creating as a result of even broaching this discussion and getting people super worried and fearful of all the different clothes that are on their skin? Now, they’re creating nocebo effects for themselves by wearing something, “Oh, no, I’m stressed now because I have to wear this synthetic thing, and what if I’m absorbing all these toxins?”
What if at the end of the day, there is greater harm from the nocebo effect, from all the fear, anxiety, and stress created from worrying about these things over the actual toxicity from absorbing small amounts of chemicals from these clothing? Again, just to play devil’s advocate, have you considered that possibility and what would you say in response to that?
Dr. Marisol: I think I have absolutely considered that possibility because I’m one of the types of persons who goes down a rabbit hole and gets scared and gets anxious and gets stressed. I’m working against what I’m trying to do at the end of the day. I really can be. I think that’s where I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s literally just about awareness and what is next to your skin the most often to make shifts.
To tell you the truth, I can’t see it not not absorbing– Wait, no, I don’t want to do a double negative there. I cannot imagine it not having an impact in absorbing into the body just from what I’ve learned over a decade of working with skin permeability and materials and fabrics, that I cannot not see it absorbing and having some kind of an impact that we’re just not seeing, that we may be correlating our levels of phthalates only just to our foods and only just to our air and just disregarding this about the materials.
To me, I think it has to come from a balanced approach and an understanding that really it’s what’s next to your skin. It really is what’s next to your skin and what you’re sitting in for the longest amount of time. For example, you’re in your car, 30 minutes. Okay, whatever, we all have those leather seats that aren’t even leather. They’re like pleather most of the time, [laughs] which is another whole discussion. I don’t even want to get into the pleather discussion because I actually really like pleather with pants and stuff. I’m like, “Oh, I don’t want to–” but it’s something that I’m very aware of.
Again, I think it’s like the amount of time that you’re sitting in it. How often are you doing 8, 12-hour drives in your car? Not often. That’s on a rare occasion. Now, sleeping in your bed eight to nine hours, that’s every single night, every day of your life. That’s microfibers here, and then now the big trend is satin pillows and satin pillowcases. Satin, although it feels soft and looks like it could be a natural material or fiber, it actually isn’t. In most cases, it’s made with petrochemical plastics. Silk is natural. Silk comes from two sources. That against your head, against your ear, you’re likely salivating against your pillow while you’re sleeping and your mouth’s open.
All of these aspects, they’re all entry points into your body. You’re smelling what’s coming off of the material as well too. Underwear, the areas of the body that absorbs the best and the area of your body that has the most accumulation of lymph nodes are entry points, different skin types, the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, the inguinal canal, mixed from your lower bottom legs upwards into your trunk. Then, of course, this area here, which is all highly concentrated in lymph nodes. For women– Men, fortunately, you don’t have to do that, but for women, it’s all their bras, it’s all their tops. For men and women, it’s both their underwears that they’re using. Socks are essential as well too because socks is also– how many people have sweaty feet with socks? Hundreds, thousands, millions, I’m sure, billions.
To me, it’s about whether people believe it or not or whether they think that the research is enough to support it, I’m of the stance that I’ve seen too many things in my lifetime already be thought of by natural and holistic in alternative circles as being problematic or a problem, disregarded by the conventional world, and then suddenly, two decades later, because I’ve been at the health industry since early 2000s, two decades later, they’re proving it, “Oh, yes, that thing back there, yes, they were right.”
For me, personally, and people can choose to do what they want to do, for me, it’s about that middle ground, is I’m going to assume the worst that potentially we are absorbing things. Then I’m going to take at least some balanced step and balanced approach to shift it over to what I can do with what I’ve got. I think that would be what I would recommend to all my patients, and that would be what I’m actively doing myself. I might go a little bit more hardcore just because I’m leading this. I want to really just see what the impact is over time. We’re going to be looking and seeing how we can research this, how we can study it, what we can do.
The problem with laundry detergents
Ari: There’s one more layer to the story that I think we haven’t mentioned thus far. I think you and I probably take it for granted because we’re already doing this. I sometimes meet people and I can smell the detergents that they wash their clothes with, sometimes really strongly. It’s in your face, just this overwhelming smell of whatever synthetic detergents, chemicals they’re using as their laundry detergent. It’s all over their clothes.
Some of these things are scented as well and designed to stay on your clothes to create this long-lasting scent, which people in North America grow up associating with a clean clothing smell. It’s worth saying that those things are toxic too, and you also want to use natural laundry detergents and soaps without synthetic perfumes and things like that.
Dr. Marisol: Dryer sheets. Avoiding dryer sheets. It’s using dryer balls or wool balls that are fantastic as well too. There are so many different ways now. There really is a lot of variety. When I first started 20 years ago in this industry, there really weren’t very many. [chuckles] It was really hard. It was slim pickings. I remember being like, “How am I going to do that? There’s no way that I can do that.”
Absolutely, anything that comes into contact that is going to have a major impact. I can’t even walk through the laundry aisle at this point. I’m so sensitive to it because I’ve eliminated it all out of my life. The same, if I had somebody, I’m like, “Wow, I can truly, truly smell it.” There are so many factors coming into our lives and so many things that impact us. It’s about taking a balanced stance, not stressing out about it. Doing what we can, and not stressing out about it, and then moving forward. Yes, really becoming aware I think is the biggest key, right?
The health benefits of castor oil packs
Ari: Yes. This is also something that you’ve worked on with your castor oil packs. Castor oil is something we talked about heavily last time on the podcast, but give us a quick rundown of castor oil, the benefits, and what you’re doing with your castor oil packs.
Dr. Marisol: Long story short, what got me down this road of understanding material fabrics was the castor oil pack because the castor oil pack to me, initially sounded very wu-wu because it was literally an organic cotton flannel, something like this, where you would put castor oil on it and place it on the liver area for treatment. That would help the body to cleanse better, relax, eliminate better, sleep better, so lots of great benefits to it.
To me, it sounded odd and weird. This is the entire way that I started is back in the day how they were– Again, this is back in the 1980s, back in the 1950s and ’60s with one-time use plastic, they would take a flannel or wool, and then they would put the castor oil on, and they would wrap the body with Saran wrap or plastic cling wrap, which is the softer the plastic, the more that absorbs into the body, the worse that it is.
I was looking at it ` and my training was from Germany in Homotoxicology. I’ve literally been training for over two decades just in the study of toxins within the human system and the impact it has in progression of disease and regression of disease when you start to eliminate out these toxins out of the body. I was like, “This makes absolutely no sense because here people are trying to do this cleansing, calming therapy, and they’re adding in plastics to the mix just to gunk up the lymphatic system and gunk up the system and make it heavy and harder to do.”
I was against these packs. I thought that they were not well done, not smart, and maybe didn’t do much because you were having a little bit of improvement. Then because of the way that it was doing, it was worsening things. During school, I got very sick and then I had been doing everything, supplements, exercise, absolutely all the different natural things. The one thing that I hadn’t done was a castor oil pack. Finally, I sewed myself up one and did the castor oil pack. I experienced what everyone else had experienced with castor oil packs and why I was being told to do them, was that I slept better, I felt better, I pooped better, I calmed better.
I was just overall feeling a lot better. I could tell that I wasn’t bloating. I was feeling very good. My supplements were absorbing well. I started making it part of my regular practice. Once I got back and better and went back to clinical practice, I was running to see if my patients would do it and no one would do it because they couldn’t find the materials, they couldn’t do it because organic cotton flannel, these things are hard to find, especially back 10 years ago, a decade ago.
I then created the pact, the Queen of the Thrones Castor Oil Pack in order to make it easy to do because, again, following along the same present line that we were speaking about, it’s ubiquitous. These chemicals are everywhere. You’re not going to be able to get away from it all.
What you can do is you can implement natural healing practices, good food, looking at labels in your clothing, looking at labels in your food, doing castor oil packs when you go to bed at night to calm your nervous system and augment how your body’s naturally detoxing because if you’re sitting into a bed or going into sleep into a bed at night that is made with materials that are toxic, say, organic bamboo sheets, I got stuck in that band train being greenwashed, thinking that, “Oh, organic bamboo sounds so good, must be awesome for me,” but here I was sleeping in them for 8-12 hours at night when I was sleeping in.
Would you imagine that organic bamboo is enormously toxic? It’s one of the most toxic materials, but while you sleep is while we cleanse and detox naturally according to chronobiology. What we do and what we wear while we sleep is probably one of the most important times of the day, is what I’m getting at, to make sure that we’re wearing the healthiest, the cleanest materials, and whatever is touching our skin, the last thing we want to do is wear polyester to go to bed in underwear or even a pajama set that’s polyester or microfiber sheets or anything along those lines.
Especially if you have a fever or if you’re perimenopausal or you’re in menopause because you are sweating, so you’re sweating and drenching and night sweats, any of those situations, you’re going to be absorbing more, and a classical symptom of night sweats as an example, that’s typically a red flag for cancer diagnosis. These are populations who really need to be aware of their clothing and understanding in the pediatric world, in the women that are perimenopausal or menopausal, cancer area, that what we’re sleeping in is very important.
What kind of practices can we add into our lives like the castor oil pack, dry brushing in the morning when you wake up, that can help us to sleep better and therefore cleanse better? Then the amount that we intake in our daily day-to-day won’t be as grave and impact us as much because it’s not just about what’s coming in, it’s our body’s ability to get it out.
How to start changing your wardrobe to be more natural
Ari: Got it. To wrap up, can you give us a brief practical summary of what we should do with all this information?
Dr. Marisol: Awesome. In general, the materials that are more natural, that are pretty easy to find are going to be cotton, wool, linen, soy is quite good as well too, but those are the top four that you can find, and hemp, five, those are probably going to be your top five that’ll be the most simplest to find and to buy.
What is most important, first and foremost, if you’re going to look at anything in your closet, go look at your underwear, go look at your socks, go look at your bras, go look at the undershirts, go look at your ski clothing that might be underneath where you’re sweating. Those are the ones that we want to first and foremost shift on over time into– and our sheets because our sheets we sleep in– I sleep naked, many people sleep naked, many people are highly exposed while they sleep, those are the things that you want to look at and focus and concentrate on first.
Number three, let’s keep it simple. Let’s do the KISS rule on this one. Keep it simple and sassy. Let’s just start with blends. It doesn’t have to even be organic cotton or organic wool or anything like that at the beginning. If you’re able to, go for it. If you can go all organic and shift over everything, do it if you can. If you cannot, start small and just keep on, first with all those next-to-the-body clothing, and then let’s look for blends.
The same thing as I said earlier on, when I was skiing, I found one company that had a higher blend of Merino wool versus the petrochemical plastic fibers. I bought that one instead of the other one. Looking at your clothing like that, like, “Okay, which one has the most amount of natural fibers? That’s the one that I’m going to work with.” I think if we start from that place of calm, then adopting tools like castor oil packs, cleansing enemas, colon hydro therapies, making sure you’re drinking enough fluids and waters, breathing practices that move your lymphatic system, dry brushing, adopting a cleansing practice in your lifestyle that you do regularly.
Not just seasonally, every spring and fall is the only time I cleanse. Understanding that, adapt your environment, move out the toxins that you can. B, balance your lifestyle, eat well, drink well, think well, do well things. C, cleanse regularly. The body cleanses nightly. We should be focusing on cleansing regularly, doing practices that cleanse us regularly, and then a big detox. That happens seasonally. Just thinking about it along those lines, A, B, C, D as simple as can be. Just start wherever you are right now with what you got.
Ari: Beautiful. Thank you so much, my friend. This was a great pleasure having you on the podcast again. Do you want to let everyone know where they can find your castor oil packs or anywhere else that you want to direct them?
Dr. Marisol: Absolutely. You’ll have a link here where they can take a peek at our website and check out our main kit that most people use for detoxification and cleansing, regular cleansing practices. It’s a day and night-detox kit. It’s something to be done regularly while you sleep and then you wake up in the morning, there’s that.
There’s also a wonderful link at the bottom that can give people a tool, which is like a wallet-sized card that you can easily put in your wallet. If you’re shopping for clothing on Amazon, wherever you are online in the store, you can at least start to become aware of the materials that you are– your key signs that you’re going to look for. That way, you’re not easily confused by what the name of the material, which sometimes might sound natural but isn’t. Those are two great resources. If anyone wants to follow me more where I have more conversation about this, it’s on my platform on Instagram at BewellQueen. Just simple. B-E-W-E-L-L-Queen.
Ari: Excellent. Since we’re friends, can you hook my peeps up with a discount on your castor oil?
Dr. Marisol: You bet. Well, that link that they’re going to click on, absolutely has a special– It’s a combined package, which has an awesome discount for them. Just click on that link. It’ll be available through this link only, so go and take advantage of that.
Ari: Okay. You’re going to set up a special Ari link, unique to me.
Dr. Marisol: You got it.
Ari: I better be the only person in the world who gets–
Dr. Marisol: You’re almost the only person.
Ari: All right. The other people better be very special to you.
Dr. Marisol: They’re very special to me.
Ari: I will put that link in the description for the YouTube video for this podcast. Also, put it on the website at– what should I title the URL for this episode?
Dr. Marisol: Fabrics [unintelligible].
Ari: Okay. Let’s do the energyblueprint.com/fabrics.
Dr. Marisol: Awesome.
Ari: Work for your very poetic fabrics of our lives. The energyblueprint.com/fabrics will give you the special hookup link that is unique only to me. I’m the only person on the planet that gets this discount. That’s what you said, right? Everybody can get hooked up with the castor oil if you’re interested in that. Otherwise, apart from that, enjoy applying all of this info about clothing and apply it to your life and see what needs some overhauling as far as the fabrics of your lives that you’re being exposed to clothing, bedding, other materials that maybe you can figure out ways of replacing with more natural less toxic versions. Thanks, everyone, for listening. Thank you, my friend. Always a pleasure. I look forward to our next conversation.
Dr. Marisol: Sounds awesome. Thanks so much. It’s a pleasure.
Chemicals found in fabrics (03:33)
The potential risk of the skin absorbing toxins from clothes ( 09:19)
How bamboo is turned into fabric (12:10)
The potential risk of the skin absorbing toxins from clothes (13:35)
The problems with fast fashion clothing (19:45)
Fabric dyes in clothes (26:35)
The dose makes the poison (30:20)
The problem with laundry detergents (46:46)
The health benefits of castor oil packs (48:40)
How to start changing your wardrobe to be more natural (54:15)