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MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information
Medicinal Therapies

For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.

  • Description
  • History
  • Key Principles
  • Evidence & Research
  • Conventional Medical Opinion
  • Consulting A Practitioner
  • Treatment
  • Self Help


    Based on the idea that the environment can affect health, clinical ecology, sometimes called environmental medicine, developed from early 20th century research into allergies. Practitioners claim that many disorders may be caused by environmental factors, including certain foods, pollen, dust, exhaust fumes, and pesticides; rather than causing full-blown allergic reactions, these lead to milder symptoms known as "intolerances" or "sensitivities." Treatment aims to identify irritants with tests and then minimize exposure. Clinical ecology is growing in the West as concern about pollution increases.

    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Allergies
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Environmental Toxicity


    Abnormal reactions to food were recorded in ancient Greece by Hippocrates, the "father of medicine", but only in 1906 was the term "allergy" coined, by the Viennese pediatrician Baron Clemens von Pirquet. He realized that some of his patients reacted to certain foods, pollen, or insect stings, and used the term to describe any unusual response to the environment.

    Baron Clemens von Pirquet.

    Baron Clemens von Pirquet studied patients' abnormal responses to environmental factors and defined the term allergy as "altered reactivity".

    Allergies came to be defined as reactions within the immune system, identified by a positive skin-prick test. (See under Consulting A Practitioner.)

    From the 1920s, several American health care providers studied "delayed" or "hidden" food allergies. Reactions took longer to appear than other allergies, were less acute, and provoked no skin-test response. Most health care providers rejected these ideas about food "intolerances" or sensitivities, and there was little research within mainstream medicine.

    In the late 1940s, American allergist Dr. Thereon G. Randolph claimed that sensitivity to common foods could cause symptoms such as headaches and arthritis, and that environmental chemicals could have profound negative effects. The best seller "Silent Spring", a 1962 book by American biologist Rachel Carson, alerted the world to the dangers of insecticides.

    At this time, the term "clinical ecology" began to be used to describe this field of medicine. The system gained ground in the U.K. during the 1970s and is practiced today throughout the Western world by qualified health care providers and complementary therapists.


    Clinical ecologists believe the foods are the most likely environmental carriers of "toxins", and claim that anyone drinking unfiltered water and eating a typical Western diet is likely to ingest 100 synthetic chemicals daily. These include pesticides and herbicides sprayed on vegetables and fruits, residues of drugs fed to animals prior to slaughter, and preservatives in processed foods.

    MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index & Links

    The body usually maintains health despite an onslaught of environmental toxins. For some people, particularly those susceptible to allergies, or those who have an infection or a diet deficient in antioxidant vitamins and minerals, it can become more difficult to cope. According to clinical ecologists, these people are more prone to developing inflammatory reactions, or even changes in brain chemistry, which can alter their mood and vitality. Practitioners use various tests to identify the substances causing trouble so that they can be avoided or limited. They may also try to "desensitize" the patient to the irritant.

    A sample of air.

    A sample of air contains different plant pollens, any of which may prompt an allergic reaction when inhaled.

    Air pollution.

    Soaring levels of chemicals found in exhaust fumes are thought to overload some people's capacity to deal with allergens and pollutants.

    Pesticides & herbicides.

    Pesticides and herbicides sprayed on crops are known to have a damaging effect on health.


    The scientific basis for clinical ecology has not been well established, and the associated diagnostic tests are considered unreliable. However, the detrimental effects of environmental pollution on health are becoming more apparent, and further research is needed. True allergies, like asthma, are already strongly linked to environmental factors, such as air pollution.

    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Allergies
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Asthma


    The premise that environmental irritants can affect health makes sense, but many conventional health care providers would question the effectiveness of pinpointing them. The idea that diagnostic tests can distinguish between stress-related and environmental factors belies the complexity of patients' problems, and it is too easy to jump to an environment-linked conclusion.

    consulting a practitioner.

    The practitioner may check for pale skin, shadows under the eyes, and swollen glands. Swollen glands which may indicate sensitivity to certain substances.


    The practitioner asks about your medical history, diet, and lifestyle, to see if there is any evidence of exposure to irritants. He then checks for signs of sensitivity, such as swollen glands. A hair or blood test may be taken to determine mineral and nutritional factors thought to relate to the strength of the immune system. Other tests include:

  • Check symptoms with a health care provider if consulting a clinical ecologist who is not medically qualified.

  • Carry out elimination diets only under qualified supervision to ensure adequate nutrition. The elimination diet should not be tried by someone with severe allergic responses, which can be life-threatening.


    The simplest treatment is to avoid any irritants identified, but this is not always practical. Your practitioner may opt to "desensitize" you using the following techniques so that the body can withstand limited exposure to the irritant.

    keeping a journal

    The practitioner may recommend keeping a written record of when reactions take place, and in what circumstances, to help build up a complete picture of the problem.

    EXCLUSION or ELIMINATION DIETS: Suspect foods, commonly dairy products, wheat, sugar, citrus fruits, nuts, eggs, or coffee, are excluded for 10-14 days in the hope that symptoms will disappear. Alternately, food intake is reduced to one or two items for 5 days, individual foods are then reintroduced until symptoms are triggered. The culprit food is eliminated and added a week later to see if symptoms return.

    ENZYME-POTENTIATED DESENSITIZATION: The diluted irritant is mixed with an enzyme and kept next to the skin for several days.

    PROVOCATION NEUTRALIZATION: Decreasing concentrations of the irritant are injected or given as drops under the tongue. The neutralizing dose is identified at the point at which no reaction occurs. This is then used as a vaccine once or twice a day.

    provocation neutralization
    provocation neutralization

    In provocation neutralization, drops of up to nine different dilutions of an irritant are placed in turn under the tongue, using a pipette.


    Your practitioner may suggest ways of changing your lifestyle to avoid exposure to irritants such as house dust, pollen, exhaust fumes, disinfectants, and chemicals in food and tap water. To avoid dust mites, air your bedding regularly and invest in a good vacuum cleaner. Keep the windows open for ventilation or use an air filter. Mild forms of chemical sensitivity may respond to antioxidant supplements, especially vitamins C and E, zinc, and selenium.

    drinking filtered tap water

    Drinking filtered tap water is a simple and effective way of reducing the amount of impurities absorbed by the body every day.


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    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Western Herbalism
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Chinese Herbalism
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Ayurveda
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Nutritional Therapies
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Orthomolecular Therapy
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Clinical Ecology
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Magnetic Therapy
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Other Therapies

    MoonDragon's Womens Health Index

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    Health & Wellness Index


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    Using Essential Oils


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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute?
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy
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  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index

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