For those of you who are back to school and university again; it’s education time! Now to get into some microbiology, history, gardening and YOU! Those who are not – here’s a free lesson on the gut garden, the terrain and milieu.
“Gardening” for your inside is maybe a new way of thinking for many of you. Gardening in the gut is nevertheless an important way to help our immune system work well.
In immune therapy we talk about “The milieu” – in other words the physical setting where something happens or develops. In this case, I will refer to it as our garden.
The gut “microbiome” is the ecological community inside. This consists of millions of microorganisms that share our body space. The balance between them will most certainly help us stay healthy or make us sick.
Let’s take a little look at how some of this knowledge has come about.
When I did my naturopathy training, we learned about the work of scientists like Louis Pasteur and Antoine Bèchamp. The German zoologist and entomologist Günther Enderlein was part of the curriculum as well. Their findings make out my background in Immune therapy.
So, let me introduce them to you too:
Pasteur was French; he lived in the 19th century. He was a well-known chemist and biologist famous for “pasteurization”, a germ theory and the development of vaccines. Pasteur was convinced that our blood is germ-free.
Bèchamp was also from France. We know him for his breakthroughs in chemistry and that he was a strong rivalry with Pasteur.
Bèchamp said that blood is not sterile. Especially relevant is his opinion about microorganisms that they come in many forms. Because of these finding he also says that diseases develops from inside the body. As we know, Pasteur disagreed. He said the opposite and meant that germs cannot change.
One thing Pasteur apparently did say before he died was “Le microbe n’est rien, le terrain est tout.” (The microbe is nothing; the terrain is everything). This is to my knowledge exactly what Bèchamp claimed the whole time.
Now, Prof. Günther Enderlein (1872-1968) based his scientific research on Bèchamp’s work. In his book, “Bakterien Cyclogenie” from 1925 we learn that he used darkfield microscopy (Yes, already at that time!). He found that microorganisms could develop into countless forms whilst living in human blood! Wow!
Today we know that microorganisms are pleomorphic, which means they can change and often do. A bacterium can mutate into a yeast or fungus and back again. We have this knowledge thanks to our friends mentioned above.
Now, back to the present time
Each person is unique; YOU are unique, so also the complexity of variations in our microflora. The countless numbers of the germs are overwhelming. So how can we deal with all this and stay healthy?
It is a fact that if the pathogens rule the grounds, we get sick. We would have to keep their numbers down – like keeping the weeds out of our garden.
Garden, you say.
Ah, so now we’re gardening too? Yes!
Keys to keep the garden growing and healthy we need to:
- To weed the milieu in your guts would be to remove yeast overgrowth, parasites and bacteria.
If you add fertiliser to a garden full of weed, your weed will grow but not your seed.
It is common to use herbs for this. I suggest you go on a low-stress diet for a week before you start using herbal medicine. For the herbs, you may want to use formulated products or you might prefer single herbs. They could be wormwood, black walnut, slippery elm, triphala, gentian or astragalus.
- Seeding is like adding microflora that works to your gut, so you replace what’s missing.
- Take some pro/pre-biotics.
- Look after your stomach acid and enzymes.
- Eat fermented food like kefir, sauerkraut or other fermented vegetables.
- Feed – sort out if you suffer from intolerances and/or allergies. To detect them and work it out yourself might be a rather time consuming experiment. We make the referrals. Make sure your diet is good.
- Maintaining the garden by providing water, sunshine and maintaining good soil is important. We call it to re-inoculate, which means to bring some new healthy stuff in.
Happy Gut, Happy Brain, Happy You!
What goes into your gut will directly affect your brain, your mood and your wellbeing.
It is very important to remember that a healthy mind, enough activity, sleep, rest and recovery are essential for a healthy garden too.
The milieu is everything! It might be too complex for you to do your garden alone, but we are here to help!
If you have Gut symptoms, especially new changes to gut function, get a clear diagnosis first.
This lesson has been quite long already, so I will just quickly tell you one more thing!
Your gut-garden can easily benefit from being in the hands of a well-experienced acupuncturist too. Research shows that acupuncture might have an ecological role in the gastrointestinal tract.
With acupuncture, we activate the gut functions and thereby adjust the body’s immune system.
Like many things, it is a lifelong journey or continuous process to maintain a healthy gut flora.
Let us help you look after your Gut Garden.
Chang, C-J, et al. (2015) Ganoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota. Nat Commun 6, no. 749. http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150623/ncomms8489/full/ncomms8489.html
Rau, T, (2011) Towards an Understanding of Pleomorphism, of Milieu Therapy and SANUM Treatment. http://terra-medica.com/article-display/2011/03/02/towards-an-understanding-of-pleomorphism-of-milieu-therapy-and-sanum-treatment
Schneider, P, (2001) Prof. Enderlein’s Research in Today’s View Can his research results be confirmed with modern techniques? Semmelweis-Institut GmbH. http://www.pferdemedizin.com/peter/enderlein_engl.pdf
Xu, Z T, et al. (2013) Effect of acupuncture treatment for weight loss on gut flora in patients with simple obesity. Acupuncture in Medicine, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 116-117. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796330/