Microbiome/Gut Flora Protocol

(This article is not compete simply because it is a ongoing study and discovery at many levels….stay tuned for updates)

When I am in the garden, my mind teams with thoughts, ideas, possibilities and I wonder into  rabbit holes of pondering that nature of our beings and what is pure, true and sustainable health.  With the onslaught and rise of so many chronic diseases there is an obvious link to mass produced food for the need of profit.   I have always thought that health is whole, a hole, a circle and connected and like a perfect garden that feeds itself in a complete whole, so too is perfect health.  As above, so below!

Look at the degeneration of our food supply and see the link with the destruction of the soil and the onslaught of chemicals. Are allopathic medicines curing?   Are people healthier, happier?  I observe the answer is no.

Things are getting worse.If you have CHRONIC PAIN (100 million Americans), CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES (probably 90% of you reading this), or any AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES (best guess, half of you or more), then it is imperative that you understand why the colonies of bugs in your gut could not only change your life, it could literally save your life.

I keep coming back to the garden whose foundation, soil is the key to vibrant life.   What is the soil of the human body?  It is the gut.  The soil and our gut are the same.  It is the same story!   This connection the single most important and wondrous science to so many things going wrong in our modern culture.  The garden’s success is much like the success of our digestive. The kingdoms within (the bacteria and fungus) are the workers – chewing, excavating, digesting and evacuating… that create health.

Soil has a microbiome.   Humans have a microbiome.  I think we might discover, soon, the sky has a microbiome too.

I often wonder when the alien activists talk about spider and cock-roach like creatures if they are not projecting “out there” what is so very important for us “inside”?    For me, it is very obvious that destroying the soil’s microbiome (which commercial growing does) destroys our food source.  Destroying the food source destroys humans (depopulation).   It is a chain of destruction that eliminates the little creatures and as money can be made.   Quite seriously, it is effective albeit horrible.  And, please wake up to the fact that this destruction is the most powerful way to control the population of the world while making a lot a money at the same time.

So, how do we help ourselves and take back our right to health.  First, learn to compost.  Learn to garden or support a gardener for food.  Study and love the soil.     Then eat as it nourishes our internal biome which is a fancy name for internal bug colonies.  Those teeny weeny creatures feed our body systems and control our immune system (now scientifically determined to be 75% and more incontrol of our immune system). We remove the need to lean on a commercial system that is rotten.   We take health into our own hands.   We self empower the little creatures who house in our body and the result is our health.

As much as this is a science, learning about bugs is also an art…an ancient delicate art that translates as health alchemy.  For me, this journey is about learning how to alchemize soil, grow gardens, to make exlirs and decoctions of living foods, ferments, sprouts, bacterias and yeasts to grow medicine.  The creations provide vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, probiotics, prebiotics and a feast for the inner bugs.

Before you read any further, I disclose I am not a biologist nor do I have any formal education is these sciences.  My experience comes from a fascination of soil, the human body and the ancient alchemists.   I’ve studied natural health for 4 decades.   I have been very disillusioned even with the naturopath health industry.     Like you, I have information at my finger tips and do research (a lot) about human health.  I am a frantic gardener.   I shy from and I am often disgusted with the modern pharmaceutical protocols that have more side-effects than benefits.   Common sense tells me chronic disease is rising tremendously.   I love my microscope and when looking at blood, urine, stools or soil, I am amazed at this bursting microscopic world.   I am a frantic gardener. (sorry, already said that)   I do not understand why humans have stopped gardening.    The deeper my relationship with the gardens, the more I seem compelled to seek and find the well spring of health and happiness.   There is a sacred knowledge that we have lost.   What is that magic?   As above so below and everything is connected as the two natural law principles that propel my desire to turn on the fountain tap of magical medicine.

So, we all have bodies.   While the human body contains somewhere in the vicinity of 30 trillion cells, it contains 20-50 trillion bacterial cells….some say more…maybe 10 times more.   Doing some simple math, that would be 2-3 lbs of bacteria.

As I have with soil, I have fallen in love with the promising realm of the human gut microbiome.   Science is opening more emerging evidence that the millions of microbes in our digestive tract influence our immune systems, our smells, our mood, and possibly even our attractiveness to mosquitoes—and to other people.   These same little microbes live in the soil too. Modern, sterilized life in sealed-off office buildings and germaphobic tendencies are, well, ridiculous and a program to wipe us so clean we loose our humanity.  To all the mom’s who frantically wash their children hands, researchers have already found clear evidence that childhood exposure to outdoor microbes is linked to a more robust immune system; for example, Bavarian farm children who spent time in family animal stables and drank farm milk had drastically lower rates of asthma and allergies throughout their lives than their neighbours who did not.  This also means that dog’s kisses are medicine too.

In the1930s a man named Sir Albert Howard championed the idea that microbial life promoted not only soil fertility, but human health as well.  At that time, science couldn’t explain the mechanisms through which this happened, so his views were considered speculative (at best).  Now, we are deepening out understanding that the world in our gut and the world of composting soil is, in fact, the same.

Our gut is a compost pile.  It is called  microbiome or microbiota – gut flora colony – and it is as unique as your finger print. Many people still regard bacteria and other microbes just as disease-causing germs. But it’s a lot more complicated than that. In fact, it’s become increasingly clear that the healthy human body is teeming with microorganisms, many of which play essential roles in our metabolism, our immune response, and even our mental health. We are not just an organism, we are a “superorganism” made up of human cells and microbial cells—and the microbes outnumber us!

Humans that live close to the land have hundreds of thousands of gut species living inside their body.   However, for us modern people, we may have 600-800.  The mircobiome colonies have drastically declined in the last 2-3 generations and there is a strong connection to agriculture, GMO, and chemicals.   Here is a great video on ozone therapy that shows how the increase in agri(agro)culture has impacted the health of humans HERE

This inner mircobiome colony is the largest software “code” package in your body and probably equally or more important to the immune system than our our human genome (DNA).   It is symbiotic to human health.   The fact is you are more microbe than human — if you count all the cells (therefore DNA)  in your body, only  about 43% are actually human.  The rest is our microbiome and includes bacteria, viruses, fungi and single-celled archaea ( all found in soil).  The human genome — the full set of genetic instructions for a human being — is made up of 20,000 instructions called genes.  But add all the genes in our microbiome together and the figure comes out at between two million and 20 million microbial genes.  It is no wonder that the microbiome is called the second genome but maybe we should consider it the primary genome?.   And, it is linked to diseases including allergy, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s, whether cancer drugs work and even depression and autism and many more.   More than half your body is not human  It’s an intriguing concept — that an imbalance in the gut microbiome could be involved in depression.

Here is a great site listing many scientific articles on this topic of the mircobiome HERE

With this new knowledge, health has a take on a new description… symbiosis with the microbes.

Microbes have never been particularly solitary. Most live as colonies in communities of multiple species, a far cry from how they are usually studied in single-species laboratory cultures. Some stick together, literally, coating surfaces with resilient, tough biofilms. But a biofilm is more than a clump of cohabitating bacteria. The glue-like matrix that binds them together comes from a mix of proteins and long chains of complex sugars called polysaccharides that the bacteria themselves secrete. These microbial cities grow everywhere moisture clings to a surface so that includes our teeth and inner digestive skin lining. Biofilms grow in our bodies and is basically a network of bacteria. The inhabitants of these worked together to ensure the survival of as many members as possible. Biofilms can occur almost anywhere that microorganisms live on your body. Therefore, it’s essential to promote healthy biofilms in the gut and reduce your chances of developing harmful biofilms in other areas of the body with good (but not excessive) hygiene, a strong immune system, and a healthy diet. Managing biofilms in your body often requires actions specific to the tissue or area, like brushing your teeth. Consult your healthcare practitioner if you suspect harmful biofilms may be affecting your health.

Research is still emerging for solutions to biofilms in difficult to reach tissues, so there aren’t any hard and fast recommendations to address them. That said, aromatic phytochemicals like thymol, eugenol, carvacrol, and cymene have distinct biofilm-inhibiting properties, and they’re easy to incorporate into your diet.

Consume herbs and spices like thyme, oregano, and cloves to get these beneficial phytochemicals, along with many conutrients like terpenes, into your diet. You can consume the oils of these spices by adding a tiny drop to a pot of fragrant tea or a large jar of homemade salad dressing. Look to your food first to preserve your health. Relying on a diverse health-promoting diet provides you with a complementary array of active phytonutrients that offer a multi-pronged approach to keep you in excellent health.

The opposite of symbiosis is dysbiosis. .  Dysbiosis is gut flora imbalance. It is a term for a microbial imbalance or maladaptation and impaired microbiota. For example, a part of the human microbiota, such as the skin flora, gut flora, or vaginal flora, can become deranged and cause many problems, including anxiety, depression, autoimmune, inflammation, diarrhea or constipation (just to list a few).  Too many bad gut bugs and too few good gut bugs are implicated in many chronic diseases.

To understand the connections between diet, the colon,the bugs and one’s overall health, let’s first look at the metabolic fate of a meal as it travels through your system.   The digestive journey consists of the stomach, small intestine, and colon. The colon is also called the “large intestine,”  but it really is just a larger version of the small intestine.

The stomach is the dissolver, the small intestine the absorber, and the colon a transformer. These distinct functions help explain why microbial communities of the stomach, small intestine, and colon are as different from one another as an open pasture is to a dense ancient forest.

The DISCOLVER – Gastric acids start dissolving the bits of food as it lands in the stomach. On the pH scale, where 7 is neutral and lower values are more acidic, the stomach is impressive ranging in PH from 1 to 3.   Lemon juice and white vinegar are about a 2. Bacteria can not live is this acid environment. As far as we know, only one bacterium (Helicobacter pylori) thrives in the caustic environment of the stomach.

THE ABSORBER – The food slurry liquid slides down into the small intestine. The liver squirts bile to break down the fats. The pancreas too making it like a gushing river.   The sausage-like loops of the small intestine provide an entirely different type of habitat for your microbiota than the stomach.  The acidity drops off rapidly and, in combination with all the nutrients, the abundance of bacteria shoots up, to 10,000 times more than that in the stomach. But conditions still aren’t ideal for bacteria in the small intestine. It’s too much a white water of a river.   And understandably so, considering that about seven quarts of bodily fluids, consisting of saliva, gastric and pancreatic juices, bile, and intestinal mucus flow through it every day.

THE TRANSFORMER – By the middle to lower reaches of your small intestine, the fats, proteins, and some of the carbohydrates in the  slurry are sufficiently broken down for absorption and pass into the bloodstream through the intestinal wall. But, not all the slurry is digestible by humans….the complex carbohydrates have a completely different fate than simple carbohydrates.  We call that fibre.

A bit about fibre.    We have heard that fibre is good but most people only consider them when their stools are difficult to pass.  Fibre, complex carbohydrates, are called polysaccharides. In nature, it is these polysaccharides that allow plants to stand tall and resist the onslaught of natures weatherings of winds and waters and temperature differences.. The polysaccharide found in in every plant cell on this planet is called cellulose,  It gives plants strength and resilience. By virtue of the great number of plants on the planet, cellulose actually wins the prize for most abundant biochemical compound on Earth.

So, now let’s go back to the transformer, the colon.  While it is the end of the digestive journey it is the beginning for our colony of bacteria loaded with the polysaccharide-busting enzymes that human’s lack.. Deep within the colon folds are microbial alchemists that ferment the complex carbohydrates for our benefit.

The human digestive story simplified……once food is broken down in the stomach, simple carbohydrates and most fats and proteins are absorbed in the small intestine. The rest travels tot he colon where  bacteria ferment complex carbohydrates.  The result is the thriving of good guys bacterial metabolites that play an extremely important role in human immunity.

Everyone’s microbiome is very unique…but we do know that a healthy microbiome is absolutely essential for health…and an unhealthy microbiome is perhaps linked to most (if not all) dis-ease.

So, let’s get our gut bacteria healthy and happy with the 1, 2, 3

  1. Remove/reduce the bag guys (detoxification)
  2. Feed the good guys Prebiotics- Probiotics- Fibre
  3. CLEAN AND NOURISH THE GUT and its’ good inhabitants.

Two things to consider in this understanding….the colonies of your gut are as unique as your fingerprint and while it is good to clean the and nourish your gut, don’t kill the good guys!

Tending the garden of our microbiome doesn’t mean forgoing modern medicine. Realistically though, it’s going to take some time to align medical practices and therapies so that they work with our microbiome. In the meantime, we need to ensure we start out with a healthy microbiome and then maintain it with a diet rich in prebiotics. And if our microbiota take a hit, whether after antibiotics,bad guy infiltration, illness, or maybe even a colonoscopy, we might consider doing what a gardener does and replant what we’ve lost and help them get established. In the end, it boils down to some simple advice. Starve your enemies and feed your friends. And don’t kill off your allies that help keep the enemies in check.

Indeed, dysbiosis, the opposite of symbiosis, is now under investigation as a primary contributing factor to a long list of maladies. Among these ailments are leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as obesity, certain cancers, asthma, allergies, autism, cardiovascular disease, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, depression, and multiple sclerosis. Still, it is clear that exploring the microbiome is opening doors to potential treatments and cures for many modern sicknesses—including ways to kick our agrochemical habit.The microbial code within our body is out of sight and out of mind—until it crashes, and an error message pops up, or systems that once worked well start to fail. And it’s no secret that software errors are hard to fix if you don’t have the source code. We’re only beginning to understand the language of microbial ecology and the biological programming built over the long haul of evolution. So perhaps we should think twice about doing away with code we don’t understand.

It does make a lot of common sense that as our food system has been altered, our soils depleted and much focus on high yield crops, the health of the human family has declined.   So, the answer is logically, grow your own or support a local who does, compost and care for the soils, and eat fully organic, natural food.  In addition to including sprouts and mircogreens is our diet, we need to get over our fear of “dirt” and “germs”.

Nature is not out there in some distant and faraway land. She is closer than we ever imagined, right inside of us…and as we are destroying the nature out there, we are doing so inside too.

While everyone’s gut colony is unique, there are t principals of gut repair:

  1. Remove: problem foods, parasites, bad bugs or yeast.  I also suggest for a limited time being remove all dairy, soy, whey, gluten, rice or wheat products.  (4 wk protocol)
  2. Replace: digestive enzymes and/or digestive acid and cofactors/micronutrients. HCL Enzyme Elixirs
  3. Repopulate: probiotics (bifido, lactobacillus, etc) and  prebiotics. Fermented Foods, Fibre
  4. Repair and nourish the colon: aloe, glutamine, zinc, phoschol, whey or colostrum (if not dairy sensitive), antioxidants, vit D, omega 3 fats, bone broth (collagen) etc.MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT HAVE A LEAKY GUT: If you do not know what I am talking about here, take a few minutes to read my post about Dr. Oz’s program on LEAKY GUT SYNDROME. If you have a “Leaky Gut” (the medical community refers to this as “Increased Intestinal Permeability”), all bets are off as far as your ability to get well is concerned — unless you deal with it first. There are now several companies, including Cyrex, who make simple, inexpensive tests for this commonly overlooked, but very serious problem.CUT THE SUGAR: If you have any sort of Gut problem or DYSBIOSIS (too many bad bacteria or yeast and not enough good bacteria), you will have to dry up their food source if you hope to make headway. This will probably mean cutting back not only on SUGAR and HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX CARBOHYDRATES, but on many different fruits as well. This is another of the reasons I so heavily promote a PALEO DIET for most people struggling with Chronic Illness. Be aware that if you have Candida Yeast, you may have to get crazy strict with your carbohydrate restriction. Either way you slice it, a Paleo Diet high in both soluble and insoluble fiber is going to help you accomplish your goal, as these are the food-of-choice for the good bacteria living in your Gut.EAT FERMENTED FOODS: Some of those that I use or have used in the past include Sauerkraut, Beet Kavass (my favorite), Kombucha, Kefier (hopefully you have access to RAW MILK), as well as a host of others. I strongly advise people — as much as it is possible — to make their own. The internet is full of information and recipes on this topic.

    GARDEN: Gardening is an oft-forgotten link in the whole Gut Health dilema. The very same bacteria in your organically maintained garden are the bacteria that will be (or at least should be) widely found in your Gut. This is why I told you a number of months ago to EAT DIRT!

    EXERCISE: In case you did not see it, a recent study said that REGULAR EXERCISE dramatically increases both the numbers of good bacteria in the Gut, as well as the numbers of different strains of good bacteria in the Gut. Both are critical for good health.

    STOOL TRANSPLANTS: Gulp! Did I just say what you think I said? Yes I did. HERE and HERE are a couple of articles. Bear in mind that these articles are for informational purposes only, and should not be acted upon without the express written consent of your physician.

    TAKE A QUALITY PROBIOTIC: If you are taking “Acidophilus”, you are probably missing the boat on this one. Acidophilus is the name of one single strain of bacteria. We use a probiotic that contains about 20 different strains of HSO’s (Homeostatic Soil Organisms) — the most common bacteria found in organic soil. Just remember; it’s not that probiotics are somehow bad, but that they are probably not enough — especially for those of you who are chronically ill

    PREBIOTIC FOODS (FIBER)
    Include asparagus, bananas and fruit, burdock root, chives, garlic, leeks, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, peas, legumes, eggplant, honey.

NOTE: Glyphosate kills good gut bugs by more than one mechanism. Glyphosate also disrupts manganese, which can lead to osteoporosis. Manganese is also needed for dopamine synthesis and is needed by lactobacillus. More information on this video.

Further Reading
Bowel Biofilms: Tipping Points between a Healthy and Compromised Gut?  

Bacterial Adhesion: Seen Any Good Biofilms Lately?

Click on the tabs below for the recipes, nutritional needs, best sprouts, herbs and tinctures

The most beneficial to take probiotics is in naturally fermented food that house the bacteria themselves, the probiotics.

Many different fermented foods are embodiments of dense and biodiverse microbial communities, which interact with our microbiome in ways we are just beginning to recognize. This interaction can improve digestion, immune function, mental health, and many other aspects of our well-being.

Katz, Sandor Ellix. Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, 2nd Edition (Kindle Locations 397-400). Chelsea Green Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Probiotics also produce bacteriocidins, which can inhibit the growth of bad bugs.

If you are choosing probiotic supplements, get enteric coated capsules and remember more is not always better. There have been case reports of systemic infection by certain probiotics in susceptible individuals.   Probiotics need to work with prebiotics…feed your good bugs with plenty of fiber.

Some strains tend to support constipation, while others can support diarrhea. Methane producing bacteria tend to promote constipation. Too much hydrogen sulfide gas, on the other hand, tends to promote diarrhea, and may be linked with leaky gut, fatigue and fibromyalgia.

Probiotics
Bacillus coagulans: reduces pain and inflammation.
Bacillus fragilis: May help seal leaky gut, decrease symptoms of autism, and decrease anxiety.
Bacillus mesentericus: May assist in maintaining remission and improving symptoms in Ulcerative Colitis. May stimulate the Th1 immune response, downregulate pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha) and upregulate anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10). Found in AOR probiotic-3.
Bifidobacterium bifidum: Protective against allergy. Enhances B-cell IgA secretion while reducing IgE production. Helps protect against C diff. Growth supported by red grapes, inulin.
Bifidobacterium breve: Increases T reg cells, reduces inflammation. Helpful in reducing postoperative sepsis. Helps degrade mucin. Antagonizes Campylobacter jejuni and rotavirus. Growth supported by red grapes, inulin.
Bifidobacterium infantis: Mainly found in infants’ guts and less frequently in adults. Is anti-inflammatory. Breaks down histamine. Growth supported by red grapes, inulin.
Bifidobacterium longum: Metabolizes oligosaccharides. Antagonizes toxic E coli. Decreases inflammation in ulcerative colitis. Breaks down histamine. Growth supported by blueberries, red grapes, inulin.
Clostridium butyricum: May assist in maintaining remission and improving symptoms in Ulcerative Colitis. May stimulate the Th1 immune response, downregulate pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha) and upregulate anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10). Helps produce butyric acid. Found in AOR probiotic-3.
Lactobacillus acidophilus: Helps break down lactose, gluten and casein. Growth supported by blueberries.
Lactobacillus brevis: Can produce ethanol. Also produces arginine deaminase which breaks down arginine and reduces polyamines which are carcinogens.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus: Supports an anti-inflammatory environment and helps reduce LDL cholesterol oxidation. Produces histamine.
Lactobacillus casei (Shirota): Helps break down gluten. Reduces inflammation and lowers TNF-alpha, IL6 and IL12 cytokine levels while raising IL10. Suppresses Th1. Helpful in reducing postoperative sepsis. Antagonizes H pylori. Produces histamine and tyramine.
Lactobacillus crispatus: protective against HIV infection.
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus: Produces histamine.
Lactobacillus gasseri: Produces hydrogen peroxide. Helps antagonize clostridium, listeria, and enterococcus.
Lactobacillus paracasei: Decreases numbers of Enterobacteriaceae and Enterococcus while promoting growth of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterum, and Bacteroides, thus reducing expression of TNF-a, IL1b, and IL6, and causing an anti-inflammatory effect. Produces lactic acid. Antagonizes clostridium difficile and staph aureus.
Lactobacillus plantarum: Is supported by a diet high in fruit and vegetables. Antagonizes clostridium difficile. Supports the gut barrier. Helps induce IL12, and decreases inflammation. Breaks down histamine.
Lactobacillus reuteri: improves well-being but no change in inflammatory markers. Does promote T reg cells. May help make B12.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus: improves well-being but no large change in inflammatory markers. May mildly decrease intrahepatic lymphocytes and TNF-a expression in a high-fat diet model and protect microvilli in alcohol exposure. Helps stabilize mast cells. Antagonizes rotavirus and clostridium difficile.
Lactobacillus salivarius: Stimulates IL10 which is anti-inflammatory. Supports the gut barrier. Increases calcium absorption.
Saccharomyces boulardii: Known as ‘the yeast against yeast’. Helps strengthen tight junctions and lower low grade inflammation.
Streptococcus faecalis : May assist in maintaining remission and improving symptoms in Ulcerative Colitis. May stimulate the Th1 immune response, downregulate pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha) and upregulate anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10). Found in AOR probiotic-3.
Streptococcus thermophilus: Can metabolize lactose. Helps inhibit pathogenic bacteria.

Prebiotics are another name for polysaccharides that bacteria ferment, and the volunteers assigned to the plant-based diet ate plenty of them.    To nutritionists, prebiotics are fibre and they bemoan how little most Americans eat.

The recommendation for women is about 25 grams per day and about 38 grams per day for men. But few of us, only about 3 percent, come close to doing so.   A good article on high fibre foods .

The value of prebiotics lies in the indigestibility of dietary fibre. Some polysaccharides, like cellulose, are structural, and abundant in the leafy part of a plant. Other polysaccharides serve as a plant’s energy depot, like amylose, which is common in root crops like potatoes and carrots. The skin of apples and pears contains yet another polysaccharide, pectin, while onions and garlic are the source of a common prebiotic called inulin.

All these polysaccharides provide gut microbiota with a supply of things to ferment that keeps them alive.

For most people around the world, plants have always been and will likely remain the main source of prebiotics. Humanity’s great cereal grains are the seeds of plants in the Poaceae, or grass, family. They are rich in cellulose and also contain lesser amounts of other fermentable carbohydrates. Eaten in their whole form, they make excellent prebiotics, but if refined, they are transformed into simple sugars and absorbed before reaching the colon. Adding more prebiotics to your diet can support, or even change, your beneficial gut microbiota.

Probiotics are usually thought of in terms of their potential to help out with gut problems, whether due to the aftermath of antibiotics, a bug picked up while traveling, or some type of chronic inflammation.

It is wise to use food as a vehicle for getting probiotics into the body. Cabbages are a popular fermentable vegetable these days. Set lactobacilli loose on fresh cabbage submerged in water and lots of salt, and it will soon be brimming with life. A few lactobacilli can blossom into many in no time at all, as long as they have something to ferment. Eat your sauerkraut or kimchi and some of the lactobacilli join the others down in your colon—and some may turn up other places too.

The seeds of the world’s major cereal crops (grains) are a good place to start, as they account for the lion’s share of what the world eats. Lucky for us, grains offer a nearly perfect nutritional package. Whether wheat, barley, or rice, all have the basics—proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, along with many of the vitamins and minerals essential for health. They also contain many phytochemicals. So why do grains get such a bad rap these days? Much of the problem lies with what we do to grains in the field (chemicals and fertilizers) after they are harvested. Just as we now know that some fats are better for us than others, the same is true for carbohydrates. As we have seen, the sugars found in simple carbohydrates are rapidly absorbed in the small intestine, whereas the sugars that make up complex carbohydrates pass on through.

As you adapt to consuming more prebiotics you should start slowly phasing in foods high in fibers (but avoid some of the other foods such as sugar alcohols, lactose and fructose). Inulin, chicory, fructans and FOS are all fibers made up of oligofructose. Note the word “fructose” is part of oligofructose, that is what can make it problematic for some people; not so much that it bothers us directly, but that it can more easily feed the wrong kinds of bacteria that might be lurking in the gut. Once the gut is better balanced, and these unwanted strains of bacteria are greatly reduced, many people can start tolerating these foods better. Oligofructose is a great prebiotic for beneficial bacteria too, so it is worth it to keep trying to adapt to it. If you can’t tolerate it now, try again every month or so. Again, start slow, with small amounts, and slowly work your way up:

  • Garlic – an excellent choice to start with as it has many health benefits. Garlic helps to selectively rebalance the microbiome, improves the immune system, and has a lot of evidence showing anticancer properties. Best consumed raw for the medicinal benefits, but cooked garlic is still great for the prebiotic fiber.
  • Asparagus – contains inulin. Inulin is not very selective, in other words, if you have bad bacteria lurking about it may feed them too. Just start slow, eventually your beneficial bacteria will push out the bad.
  • Jicama Root – contains inulin
  • Onion – again, start slow as it contains both inulin and FOS
  • Jerusalem Artichoke – high in inulin
  • Chicory Root – high in inulin
  • Dandelion Greens – it has inulin, but isn’t overly high in it

Phages: When the phages kill unwanted bacteria in the gut, the cells of those dead bacteria become a delicious prebiotic food for the good bacteria. This has actually been shown in research.

FOODS THAT FIGHT ALLERGIES

While some foods may aggravate allergies, there are other foods that fight allergies. According to Prevention, a nutritious diet can help control underlying inflammation, dilate air passages, and thin mucus in the lungs. Here are some of the top foods that fight allergies.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 essential fatty acids contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is a natural anti-inflammatory. Good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed oil, salmon, haddock, cod, and other cold-water fish. Another essential acid, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), also acts as an anti-inflammatory, and it can be found in evening primrose oil, borage oil, and black currant seed oil. If possible, include more of both of these fatty acids in your diet.

On the flip side, too much Omega-6 fatty acid may intensify inflammation. Most people in our society need more Omega-3 fatty acids and less Omega-6 fatty acids. Foods high in Omega-6 fatty acids include cottonseed, corn, and sunflower oils, as well as processed foods like mayonnaise, salad dressing, and fast food. Saturated fats and trans fats also trigger the release of inflammatory chemicals. Avoiding foods that contains partially hydrogenated oil is not only good for your waistline but also helpful in combating allergies. Try to use monosaturated olive oil as your primary source of fat.

Fruit Juices

Fruit juices are rich sources of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, but read the label to make sure that it’s real juice and not a bottle of corn syrup. An even better suggestion is to eat whole fruit. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is an easy way to get more antioxidants in your diet without taking a supplement. Berries have especially high levels of antioxidants.

High-Fiber Foods

A high-fiber diet makes for a healthy colon. A low-fiber diet produces a lazy colon that’s more susceptible to disease. High-fiber foods like whole grains, nuts, and seeds stimulate movement in the colon and encourage the growth of “good” bacteria. In an unhealthy colon, “bad” bacteria and fungal organisms like candida may take over, which for some, could lead to leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome can be a precursor to food allergies and chemical sensitivities.

Yogurt & Kefir

Another way to increase the number of good bacteria in your gut is to eat them directly. Yogurt and kefir contain live bacterial cultures. In one University of California study, allergic symptoms declined by 90 percent when patients were fed 18 to 24 ounces of yogurt a day. If you’re trying to avoid dairy products, opt for a probiotic supplement.

Spices

Certain spices are also foods that fight allergies. Spices like turmeric and ginger are known anti-inflammatory agents that can help tamp down the overactive immune response, indicative of allergic disease.

Magnesium and Zinc

Some studies have shown that people who have asthma are often deficient in magnesium and zinc. Foods rich in magnesium include spinash, navy and pinto beans, sunflower seeds, tofu, halibut, artichokes, and black-eyed peas. Additionally, foods rich in zinc include yogurt, tofu, lean beef and ham, oysters, crab, and the dark meat of turkey and chicken.

The Mediterranean Diet

A recent study showed that children who ate high levels of Mediterranean diet foods were 66 percent less likely to have runny noses and itchy eyes. A Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, and fish, but low in red meat. Children on the Mediterranean island of Crete rarely have allergies or asthma.

Grapes in particular seem to protect against allergies and asthma. Red grape skin has high levels of resveratol, an anti-inflammation, as well as antioxidants. In plants like grapes, resveratrol helps to restore and heal plants that have been attacked by pathogens like bacteria or fungi. Conversely, high consumption of margarine, doubled the chances of asthma and allergies in study participants.

Another recent study showed that mothers who eat apples during pregnancy have a significantly reduced risk of their children developing asthma, and mothers who eat fish during pregnancy have children with lower incidents of eczema. Do you see a common theme? Many of these foods will appear multiple time. While each is unique most are beneficial in at least couple ways to anyone coping with allergies, asthma, or other allergic diseases. Lastly, you may also notice that many of the foods that fight allergies are typically better for your overall health. High in nutrients and minerals, often free of excess fats or sugars, these foods can be a part of a healthy diet for anyone.

“People with nasal allergies or asthma may want to add broccoli sprouts to their diets, if early research findings pan out.

In a study of 65 healthy volunteers, researchers found that an oral preparation made from broccoli sprouts trigger an increase in inflammation-fighting enzymes in the upper airways. The credit appears to go to a compound called sulforaphane, which is found naturally in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage.
Sulforaphane triggers an increase in antioxidant enzymes that help counter cell damage and inflammation brought on by oxidative stress — from sources like air pollution and environmental allergens.

“Based on this study, compounds in broccoli sprouts have a very potent effect in boosting the airway’s self-defense system against oxidative stress,” explained lead researcher Dr. Marc A. Riedl, an assistant professor at the University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine.”

Reuters
March 10, 2009
Broccoli sprouts may soothe airway inflammation
Norton, Amy
http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/03/10/us-broccoli-sprouts-soothe-airway-inflam-idUSTRE5295MD20090310

  • Mushrooms – all types, all varieties. Focus on those with more medicinal properties, such as: Chaga, Cordyceps, Enoki, Lion’s Mane, Oyster, Reishi, Shiitake, Turkey Tail. But your standard button mushrooms are OK as well. Again, variety is best. Mushrooms contain “resistant sugars”, polysaccharides that feed beneficial bacteria but not us. Some of these polysaccharides, such as beta-glucans, help train, and target, the immune system and are very beneficial for gut health. The medicinal mushrooms also have strong anticancer properties and are immunomodulators; so don’t just stick to button mushrooms when cooking.
  • Seaweed – Extraordinary health benefits. Fucoidan is an active ingredient in brown seaweed and fucoidan supplements can also be very useful. Both can serve as a very beneficial prebiotic food for our beneficial bacteria. Research on brown seaweed is showing some pretty significant benefits for the immune system (which can be an important factor in healing the gut and reducing inflammation). Brown Seaweed can be chopped up and used in soups and stews where it is barely noticeable, it also comes in flakes that can be hidden in many soups, salads, or casseroles. Brown Seaweed has both immune system enhancing and anticancer properties; it is worth including in your diet.
  • Konjac Root – contains a type of fiber called glucomannan. Glucomannan is less likely to cause gut irritation than the FODMAP fibers. Glucomannan can be used as a food ingredient to thicken soups and stews, or you can take it as a supplement. It can add much needed variety to your prebiotic diet.
  • Cocoa – Yes, the main ingredient in chocolate is high in soluble fiber. Cocoa is also high in polyphenols which are known to improve the immune system. Be sure to use a natural product with no added sugars or dairy. This the cacao product that I use.
  • Flaxseeds – High in soluble fiber. Make sure you use milled flaxseed, otherwise it just passes right through you and the soluble fiber remains unusable.
  • Turmeric – can be used in many savory dishes, it doesn’t have to be used just in Indian food. Turmeric imparts very little flavor, most people will only suspect it is in the food due to the yellow / orange color it imparts. Just sprinkle in soups, stews, casseroles, etc., before cooking, until it changes the color of the food. Start slow (light color) and add a little more next time you cook. Turmeric is most beneficial when cooked with a bit of oil/fat and black pepper.
  • Cooked Brussels sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes, cauliflower are all very good choices (see Chapter 2 in The Gut Health Protocol for more choices). The point of the above is get you to expand the variety of foods you consume
Beans and Legumes

Though the book somewhat discourages the consumption of beans and legumes, this should be temporary, only lasting through the kill phase and perhaps the first month or two of the healing and repair phase. Beans and legumes are an excellent source of fiber and nutrients. They are also high in carbs, so if you are going low carb just skip this section. It should also be noted that beans can be histamine liberating for some people.  Beans should only be added if you feel your gut is in pretty good shape, you can tolerate other  fibers (such as garlic and inulin), and any histamine intolerance is mostly under control. However, for most people, beans are a very healthy choice if prepared properly.

Beans contain antinutrients (such as phytate / phytic acid and lectin), but this risk can be mostly eliminated through proper soaking before cooking. Though there are various methods for this, I think some of these methods may not be adequate. Here are the four most common ways of addressing the antinutrient issue:

  • Sprout your beans – this is an excellent way to reduce the antinutrients and gas producing starches in beans. However, sprouting is more work and requires planning ahead. This is not something I personally have time for. But there are plenty of instructions, and YouTube videos out there if you want to give it a try.
  • Overnight soak – this is the traditional way of soaking beans and it does help. It even removes some of the indigestible oligosaccharides, such as raffinose and stachyose. But many experts now believe this doesn’t help as much as we would like.
  • Quick soak stove – Bring water to a boil and cook the beans for 1 minute, remove from heat and soak for 1 hour. Drain the beans and cook as normal. I don’t think this method is very effective as boiling for 1 minute won’t soften the interior of the bean at all, so it is unlikely to change the indigestible starches there.
  • Pressure cooker fast soak – This is the method I use. Remove any debris from the beans, rinse, add beans to the pressure cooker . Add water to cover the beans, plus one inch. Pressure cook for 3 minutes, do a quick release when done, drain, rinse well, return to beans to the pressure cooker, and cook as normal (there are many recipes online).

HCL & Fermented Foods

Western culture is terrified of germs and overly obsessed with hygiene.   Children are told to wash their hands constantly.   Petting a dog or receiving a dog’s sloppy tongue kiss is considered gross by many.   Getting dirt under your fingernails disgusts many.   We have become germaphobics and, yes, our health is now compromised. We live in the midst of the war on bacteria, and our bodies are major battlegrounds. We are taught to fear exposure to all forms of microscopic life. Every new sensationalized killer microbe gives us more reason to defend ourselves with vigilance. Nothing illustrates this more vividly than antibacterial soap.

The is a hygiene hypothesis which attributes the dramatic rise in prevalence of asthma and other allergies to lack of exposure to diverse microorganisms.    We also have an epidemic of obesity.  The more “germ-free” we try to be, the more vulnerable, over wight and sick we become. Well-informed hygiene is very important, but it is impossible to avoid exposure to microbes. They are everywhere.   And, we need to be friends with many microbes and enhance their living inside our body

To appreciate the symbiosis human’s require with colonies of bacteria I have written an article HERE.   This article is about how to make and include food specifically for gut colonies so they are happy camper and we become healthy hosts…..fermented foods.

Before I go into the ferment foods that feed the good guys, we need to talk a little bit about digestion.   Digestion moves from the north to the south.  So, it is good to look at the beginnings first.   The stomach is the acid churner which begins the digestive process with strong acids that break down food preparing it for the rest of the journey south. So, it is wise to first focus on  the importance of the stomach acid and perhaps supplementing with hydrochloric acid (HCL) for anyone with digestive issues.  HCL is not really feasible to get in food form. Raw Apple Cider can certainly help, as can herbal bitters,but therapeutically HCL is sometimes required. Other things like enzymes are needed as well, but it’s so easy to get that from a good diet loaded with probiotic/enzymatic rich foods.

The Roles of Stomach Acid

  1. Stomach acid essentially sterilizes our food. It s our first line of defence against pathogens coming in to the stomach. It will kill bacteria/microbes/pathogens/yeast that come in and try to colonize in the intestines. These germs are destroyed on contact as our food is mixed with stomach acid.
  2. Stomach acid begins digesting our proteins. Namely the enzyme pepsin in our stomach juices.
    Minerals are pulled for absorption by our stomach acid. Without enough stomach acid we cannot assimilate the minerals from our food.
  3. Stomach acid also stimulates the pancreas to secrete enzymes and bicarbonate. When the food is the proper pH moving out of the stomach it will signal the pancreas to secrete its’ juices. If the pH is not appropriate this can cause damage to the wall of the small intestines.

Self-Test Instructions for HCL

  1. Begin by taking one 350 to 750 mg capsule of betaine HCl with a protein-containing meal. A normal response in a healthy person would be discomfort – basically, heartburn (or a warming sensation in the stomach). If you do not feel a burning sensation, at the next protein-containing meal, take two capsules.
  2. . If there are no reactions, after two days increase the number of capsules with each meal to two capsules.
  3. Continue increasing every two days, using up to eight capsules at a time if necessary. Build slowly to a maximum of eight capsules with each meal. You’ll know you’ve taken too much if you experience tingling, heartburn, diarrhea, or any type of discomfort, including feelings of unease, digestive discomfort, neck ache, backache, headache, fatigue, decrease in energy, or any new odd symptom. If you experience tingling or burning, or any symptom that is uncomfortable, you can neutralize the acid with 1 teaspoon of baking soda in water or milk.
  4. When you reach of state of tingling, burning or any other type of discomfort, cut back by one capsule per meal. If the discomfort continues, DISCONTINUE the HCl. These dosages may seem large, but a normally functioning stomach manufactures considerably more, about 2,000 per meal.
  5. Once you have established a dose (either 8 capsules or less, if warmth or heaviness occurs), continue this dose.
  6. With smaller meals, you may require less HCl, so you may reduce the number of capsules taken.

Individuals with very moderate HCl deficiency generally show rapid improvement in symptoms and have early signs of intolerance to the acid. This typically indicates a return to normal acid secretion. Individuals with low HCL/pepsin typically do not respond as well to so to maximize the absorption and benefits of the nutrients you take, it is important to be consistent with your HCl/pepsin supplementation.

Over time you will rebuild your own stomach acid and no longer need supplementation. If you are needing supplementation with HCl for more than one year you may need to address deeper issues and use digestive enzymes, bitters, nutrients and possibly some body work like acupuncture or learn stress management techniques.

To heal the stomach first:

Make sure to chew slowly at every meal, relax, support with herbal bitters before and/or after meals, licorice (DGL“ deglycyrrhizinated), digestive/pancreatic enzymes (gut healing nutrients), and maybe some Aloe Vera Juice if there are ulcerations. Cabbage juice, several ounces daily, could be very helpful and start to help the parietal cells of the stomach to make its own HCL (this is only if you do not have a thyroid problem goitrogenic foods such as cabbage are contraindicated in thyroid issues). Vitamins A & D and even L-glutamine may also help. Supplemental B1, methylated B12 and zinc nutrients support acid production.

Then add the HCL, keep using probiotics and enzymes daily. Working to add properly fermented foods daily would be optimal, aim to have a small serving with each meal.

Fermented food is an amazing way of introducing the “wild” of nature into our body.  It is an important connection to nature.   There is a magic and power in fermented foods that has been used by many ancient human civilizations. Fermentation practices have long illustrious histories that stretch deep into prehistory and appear to have evolved together with the crops and animals themselves.   It is actually how alcohol was discovered but it was also a way to preserve foods for our ancestors who did not have refrigerators and freezers.

There is no food that cannot be fermented, though not every food has an established tradition of fermentation.

Here are the most popular (and highly beneficial) fermented foods.

1. Yogurt

Yogurt has many benefits, mostly due to its rich probiotic content. Brands of yogurt that contain billions of live active cultures may support digestion, Raw, unpasteurized yogurt is ideal if you can handle dairy and even coconut and almond milk can be fermented.  Homemade is always best simply because I believe personal alchemizing effort adds that magic to the microbe party.  If you are buying it,  be sure you’re choosing yogurt that contains live active cultures, and try to choose plain, full-fat versions in order to avoid sugar. Yogurt that contains sugar can be counterproductive, as sugars feed pathogenic bacteria and contribute to sugar overload.

2. Natto

Natto is prepared with soybeans and is fermented so it forms the beneficial bacteria Bacillus. It’s an excellent source of calcium, iron, dietary fiber, and vitamin K2. You may not have heard a lot about it, but K2 is essential for heart health as it keeps calcium out of your arteries and gets it to your bones where it’s needed. Natto also contains nattokinase, a powerful anti-clotting agent that protects your heart and brain and lowers your blood pressure.  Natto is an acquired taste.  I have made Natto and have discovered ways to “hide” it in our family meals.

3. Kefir

Kefir is a bit like yogurt is smell and taste.. Researchers report kefir may reduce irritation in the intestines, preventing toxins and other pathogens from getting into the blood.  If you’re choosing to drink dairy kefir, make sure it’s organic and isn’t loaded with refined sugarf Once you have kefir grains, they grow and multiple right on your counter top.    I share this abundance with my goats and dog.   I also use the grains in smoothies.

4. Kombucha

Made from black tea (and sometimes herbs), clean water, sugar, yeast, and bacteria, kombucha has amazing probiotic offerings.  Its fizzy so is like a “soda”.  This tea is great at warding off E. coli and Staph bacteria in the digestive tract, possibly protecting against illness and aiding digestion.

5. Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Pickles and Fermented Veggies

Traditional sauerkraut preparation uses water, salt, and cabbage, and very little heat is applied to the final product in order to prevent killing off beneficial microbes. The lacto-fermentation creates a sour taste. A daily serving gives you a powerful dose of healthy probiotics that aid digestion, and research has found raw sauerkraut prevents cancer cells from forming.   These are a great source of antioxidants and immune-aiding bacteria.

7. Tempeh

This Indonesian ‘cake’ has a nutty flavour and chewy texture, and because of this, it is often used as a replacement for meat in many vegan recipes. Traditionally made from soybeans and a yeast starter, it undergoes controlled fermentation that makes it a great source of probiotic bacteria. Tempeh is also a great source of calcium, iron, and magnesium.

9. Lassi

As noted above, yogurt and fermented dairy play an important role in Indian cuisine. Lassi is made by combining yogurt and milk (or water) and sometimes fruit and spices to create a great probiotic-rich drink. It digests quickly, helps restore friendly gut bacteria, and soothes irritation in the colon. Again, I don’t recommend consuming conventional pasteurized dairy. If you are going to drink lassi, it’s best to find a product using grass-fed, free-range goat milk. Goat milk tends to digest more easily. If you’re vegan, try finding or making lassi with organic coconut or almond milk yogurt.

For further reading about the microbiome 

 

Timeframe: 3 days to 3 months (and beyond)

Vessel: 1-quart/1-liter wide-mouth jar, or a larger jar or crock Ingredients (for 1 quart/1 liter): 2 pounds/1 kilogram of vegetables per quart/liter, any varieties of cabbage alone or in combination, or at least half cabbage and the remainder any combination of radishes, turnips, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, shallots, leeks, garlic, greens, peppers, or other vegetables Approximately 1 tablespoon salt (start with a little less, add if needed after tasting)

Prepare the vegetables. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and reserve. Scrub the root vegetables but do not peel. Chop or grate all vegetables into a bowl. The purpose of this is to expose surface area in order to pull water out of the vegetables, so that they can be submerged under their own juices. The finer the veggies are shredded, the easier it is to get juices out, but fineness or coarseness can vary with excellent results. (Fermenting whole vegetables or large chunks requires a saltwater brine)

Salt and season. Salt the vegetables lightly and add seasonings as you chop. Sauerkraut does not require heavy salting. Taste after the next step and add more salt or seasonings, if desired. It is always easier to add salt than to remove it. (If you must, cover the veggies with dechlorinated water, let this sit for 5 minutes, then pour off the excess water.) Squeeze the salted vegetables with your hands for a few minutes (or pound with a blunt tool). This bruises the vegetables, breaking down cell walls and enabling them to release their juices. Squeeze until you can pick up a handful and when you squeeze, juice releases (as from a wet sponge).

Pack the salted and squeezed vegetables into your jar. Press the vegetables down with force, using your fingers or a blunt tool, so that air pockets are expelled and juice rises up and over the vegetables. Fill the jar not quite all the way to the top, leaving a little space for expansion. The vegetables have a tendency to float to the top of the brine, so it’s best to keep them pressed down, using one of the cabbage’s outer leaves, folded to fit inside the jar, or a carved chunk of a root vegetable, or a small glass or ceramic insert.

Screw the top on the jar; lactic acid bacteria are anaerobic and do not need oxygen (though they can function in the presence of oxygen). However, be aware that fermentation produces carbon dioxide, so pressure will build up in the jar and needs to be released daily, especially the first few days when fermentation will be most vigorous.

Wait. Be sure to loosen the top to relieve pressure each day for the first few days. The rate of fermentation will be faster in a warm environment, slower in a cool one. Some people prefer their krauts lightly fermented for just a few days; others prefer a stronger, more acidic flavour that develops over weeks or months.

Taste after just a few days, then a few days later, and at regular intervals to discover what you prefer. Along with the flavour, the texture changes over time, beginning crunchy and gradually softening. Move to the refrigerator if you wish to stop (or rather slow) the fermentation. In a cool environment, kraut can continue fermenting slowly for months. In the summer or in a heated room, its life cycle is more rapid; eventually it can become soft and mushy.

Surface growth. The most common problem that people encounter in fermenting vegetables is surface growth of yeasts and/or molds, facilitated by oxygen. Many books refer to this as “scum,” but I prefer to think of it as a bloom. It’s a surface phenomenon, a result of contact with the air. If you should encounter surface growth, remove as much of it as you can, along with any discoloured or soft kraut from the top layer, and discard. The fermented vegetables beneath will generally look, smell, and taste fine. The surface growth can break up as you remove it, making it impossible to remove all of it. Don’t worry.

Enjoy your kraut! I start eating it when the kraut is young and enjoy its evolving flavour over the course of a few weeks (or months in a large batch). Be sure to try the sauerkraut juice that will be left after the kraut is eaten. Sauerkraut juice packs a strong flavour, and is unparalleled as a digestive tonic or hangover cure.

Develop a rhythm. Start a new batch before the previous one runs out. Get a few different flavours or styles going at once for variety. Experiment! Variations: Add a little fresh vegetable juice or “pot likker” and dispense with the need to squeeze or pound. Incorporate mung bean sprouts . . . hydrated seaweed . . . shredded or quartered brussels sprouts . . . cooked potatoes (mashed, fried, and beyond, but always cooled!) . . . dried or fresh fruit . . . the possibilities are infinite . . .

Recipe from: Katz, Sandor Ellix. Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, 2nd Edition

A lassi is an after-meal digestive probiotic drink common in Ayurveda. It consists mainly of plain yogurt, water and spices, making it a powerful and delicious after dinner digestive boost. This particular lassi recipe includes turmeric among other spices, making it a great tonic for the skin, liver and blood as well. In fact, when turmeric is taken in this manner (with yogurt), it is an excellent blood strengthener and cleanser, and is considered a great remedy for those with anemia.

See optional modifications for each dosha below.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup of plain organic yogurt
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder or 1 medium root
  • 1/8 tsp ginger powder or 1 inch sq root
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon powder – or same full/dried
  • 1/8 tsp cardamon powder
  •  pinch black pepper
  • 3 saffron stigmas – or marigold/calendula flowers
  • 1 tsp of raw honey

Optional – you can add mangoes, berries or coconut

Directions

1. Place the yogurt in a blender.

2. Add the water, spices and honey.

3. Blend thoroughly for 1 minute.

4. Alternatively one can use a hand blender or a ball jar with an airtight lid to “shake it up”.

5. Take 1/2 cup of this probiotic drink after each meal to increase the digestion, boost beneficial bacteria in the gut and strengthen the blood.

Optional Doshic Variations

Vata:

This recipe is great as is for Vata types and should be taken regularly after meals to reduce gas, bloating and constipation symptoms.

Pitta:

Pitta types should replace the honey with yacon syrup which is more cooling (and also appropriate for diabetics).  If available they should use homemade yogurt, as this is more cooling and less sour than its store bought counterpart.

Kapha:

Kapha types should use plain goat yogurt rather than cow yogurt, as this tends to be easier to digest.  They can double the amount of cinnamon and ginger and add  in a pinch more black pepper.  If there is a strong Kapha imbalance such as congestion, cough, excessive mucus, excessive weight or obesity, one should reduce the amount of yogurt in half.

Microbiome/Gut Flora Protocol

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Healing Protocols The Natural Way

My wish for this section is to help empower you in health and wholeness, and to show you that you do not need to stay sick. Almost any chronic medical condition can be helped.   When I work with a client and we investigate the live and dry blood testing and iridology,...

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Microbiome & Fibre

Article By Dr. Mercola

Your body is a complex ecosystem made up of more than 100 trillion bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa, collectively referred to as your microbiome, which must be properly balanced and cared for if you want to maintain good health.

These microbes are so numerous they actually outnumber the cells in your body 10 to one. With such a high prevalence of microbes in your system, it seems reasonable to suspect that they’re of some major importance.

And indeed, recent years have brought a scientific flurry of information demonstrating just how crucial your microbiome is to everything from genetic expression, immune function, body weight and composition, to mental health, memory, and the prevention of numerous diseases, from diabetes to cancer.

For example, in one study,1 DNA analysis of diseased sections of intestine removed from patients suffering from Crohn’s disease revealed that one particular bacterium, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, was lower than normal.

While researchers have linked the overabundance of specific bacteria to various diseases, this finding suggests certain anti-inflammatory microbes may be actively involved in preventing certain disease states and when they’re lacking, you end up losing this protection.

Recent research also suggests that genes from microbes have become incorporated into human DNA, including some genes that help your immune system defend itself against infections.

Modern Diseases Linked to Alterations in Intestinal Microflora

The composition of the human microbiome varies from person to person based on factors such as diet, health history, geographic location, and even ancestry, and it’s readily influenced by diet, chemical exposures, hygiene, and other environmental factors.

In fact, it’s become increasingly clear that destroying your gut flora with antibiotics and pharmaceutical drugs, harsh environmental chemicals, and toxic foods is a primary factor in rising disease rates.

The reason for this is because your gut is actually the proverbial gatekeeper for your inflammatory response, and inflammation tends to be a hallmark of most chronic diseases.

The inflammatory response starts in your gut and then travels to your brain, which subsequently sends signals to the rest of your body in a complex feedback loop. It isn’t important that you understand all of the physiology here, but the take-away message is that your gut flora’s influence is far from local. It significantly affects and controls the health of your entire body.

Microbial Genes Are Passed from Parent to Child

It’s important to realize that the foundation of a person’s gut flora is laid from birth. Just like other genetic information, microbes (and their genetic material) are passed on from parent to child.

A baby basically “inherits” the microbiome from its mother as it passes through the birth canal (provided it’s a vaginal birth). This is why it’s so important to address your gut health before, during, and after pregnancy.

Microbes are also passed between mother and child via breast milk and close body contact in general. As noted in a recent article by Scientific American,2 all of these transfers are crucial for the child’s health, but can easily be circumvented by medical interventions and modern “conveniences”:

“Because the critical issue is the intergenerational transfer of microbes and its timed assembly, three periods are relevant: before pregnancy, during pregnancy and in the child’s early life.

For all three periods, antibiotic use is relevant because it may directly change maternal microbes prior to transfer or the child’s microbes afterward.

Elective cesarean sections mean that the child misses the birth canal transit, and antibacterials in soaps and foods directly affect microbiota composition.

Infant formulas have not been constructed with the benefit of millions of years of mammalian evolution, because breast milk contains nutrients that specifically select for the growth of preferred coevolved organisms and inhibit opportunists and pathogens.”

Unfriendly (or lacking) flora can predispose babies to Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), which can raise the child’s risk of any number of health problems, including autism and autoimmune disorders.

Babies who develop abnormal gut flora are left with compromised immune systems, which may turn out to be a crucial factor when it comes to vaccine-induced damage.

As explained by Dr. Campbell-McBride, vaccinations were originally developed for children with healthy immune systems, and children with abnormal gut flora and therefore compromised immunity are not suitable candidates for our current vaccine schedule as they’re more prone to being harmed.

Microbe Genes Found in Human DNA

Some of the latest research in this arena reveals that bacteria, fungi, and viruses may be part of the “missing link” in the progress of humans. As noted in a report by CNN:4

“Though most of our genes come from primate ancestors, many of them slipped into our DNA from microbes living in our bodies, says British researcher Alastair Crisp. It’s called horizontal gene transfer…

Bacteria slip genes to each other, and it helps them evolve. And scientists have seen insects pick up bacterial genes that allow them to digest certain foods… Humans may have as many as hundreds of so-called foreign genes they picked up from microbes.”

The human genome consists of about 23,000 genes, whereas the combined genetic material of your microbiome is somewhere between 2-20 million. According to the researchers, these extra genes may have played a role in helping to diversify our own DNA.

In this study,5 researchers at the University of Cambridge identified 128 “foreign” genes in the human genome, including the gene that determines your blood type (A, B, or O). This gene, and others—including some that help your immune system defend itself against infections—appear to have been transferred into the human gene pool from microbes.

Microbes That Ferment Fiber Are Important for Health

One of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your gut health is via your diet, as the microbes in your body consume the same foods you do. The beneficial ones tend to feed on foods that are known to benefit health, and vice versa. Sugar, for example, is a preferred food source for fungi that produce yeast infections and sinusitis, whereas healthy probiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables boost populations of health-promoting bacteria, thereby disallowing potentially pathogenic colonies from taking over.

Fiber is also important for a healthy microbiome. Some of the microbes in your gut specialize in fermenting soluble fiber found in legumes, fruits, and vegetables, and the byproducts of this fermenting activity help nourish the cells lining your colon. Some of these fermentation byproducts also help calibrate your immune system, thereby preventing inflammatory disorders such as Crohn’s disease and asthma.6,7

Source: Illustration by AXS Biomedical Animation Studio; Source: “Feed Your Tregs More Fiber,” by Julia Bollrath and Fiona Powrie, In Science, Vol. 341; August 2, 2013.8

Your intestine harbors over 500 different species of microbes, and research suggests virtually all of these have the ability to affect your health in one way or another, although we still do not fully understand all the mechanisms and pathways by which they do so. It is a quickly evolving field however, and we’re learning more with each passing year. For example, research published a couple of years ago show that common bacterial metabolites—short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)—selectively expand regulatory T cells called Tregs, which are critical for regulating intestinal inflammation.9

According to one of these studies:10 “Treg cells suppress the responses of other immune cells, including those that promote inflammation. This finding provides a new link between bacterial products and a major anti-inflammatory pathway in the gut.” Other research11,12has linked Tregs—which are fed by dietary fiber—to the prevention and reversal of metabolic syndrome, in part by stimulating oxidative metabolism in your liver and adipose tissue.

Are You Getting Enough High-Quality Fiber?

Dietary guidelines call for 20-30 grams of fiber per day. I believe an ideal amount for most adults is around 32 grams daily. Most people, however, get only half that, or less. Many whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, naturally contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. This is ideal, as both help feed the microorganisms living in your gut. The same cannot be said for grains (including whole grains) and processed foods, as the carbohydrates found in both can serve as fodder for microorganisms that tend to be detrimental rather than beneficial to your health.

Gliadin and lectins in grains may also increase intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome. So, to maximize your health benefits, focus on eating more vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The following is a small sampling of foods that contain high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Psyllium seed husk, flax, and chia seeds Berries Vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts
Root vegetables and tubers, including onions, sweet potatoes, and jicama Almonds Peas
Green beans Cauliflower Beans

A simple tip to increase the amount of fiber and biodense nutrients in your diet would be to add sunflower sprouts to your meal. They work great in salads but can also be added to virtually any dish to radically improve its nutrition. Organic whole husk psyllium is another effective option. Taking it three times a day could add as much as 18 grams of dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble) to your diet. Opting for an organic version of psyllium will prevent exposure to pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers, as conventional psyllium is a very heavily sprayed crop. I also recommend choosing one that does not contain additives or sweeteners, as these tend to have a detrimental effect on your microbiome.

Optimizing Your Microbiome May Be One of Your Most Important Disease Prevention Strategies

Optimizing your gut flora may be one of the most important things you can do for your health, and the good news is that this isn’t very difficult. However, you do need to take proactive steps. To optimize your microbiome both inside and out, consider the following recommendations:

Do Avoid
Eat plenty of fermented foods.Healthy choices include lassi, fermented grass-fed organic milk such as kefir, natto (fermented soy), and fermented vegetables. If you ferment your own, consider using a special starter culture that has been optimized with bacterial strains that produce high levels of vitamin K2. This is an inexpensive way to optimize your K2, which is particularly important if you’re taking a vitamin D3 supplement. Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary (and when you do, make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a probiotic supplement). And while some researchers are looking into methods that might help ameliorate the destruction of beneficial bacteria by antibiotics,13,14 your best bet is likely always going to be reseeding your gut with probiotics from fermented and cultured foods and/or a high-quality probiotic supplement.
Take a probiotic supplement. Although I’m not a major proponent of taking many supplements (as I believe the majority of your nutrients need to come from food), probiotics is an exception if you don’t eat fermented foods on a regular basis Conventionally raised meats and other animal products, as CAFO animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics, plus genetically engineered grains, which have also been implicated in the destruction of gut flora.
Boost your soluble and insoluble fiber intake, focusing on vegetables, nuts, and seeds, including sprouted seeds. Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water.
Get your hands dirty in the garden. Germ-free living may not be in your best interest, as the loss of healthy bacteria can have wide-ranging influence on your mental, emotional, and physical health. According to the hygiene hypothesis, exposure to bacteria and viruses can serve as “natural vaccines” that strengthen your immune system and provide long-lasting immunity against disease. Getting your hands dirty in the garden can help reacquaint your immune system with beneficial microorganisms on the plants and in the soil. Processed foods. Excessive sugars, along with otherwise “dead” nutrients, feed pathogenic bacteria. Food emulsifiers such as polysorbate 80, lecithin, carrageenan, polyglycerols, and xanthan gum also appear to have an adverse effect on your gut flora.15

Unless 100% organic, they may also contain GMOs that tend to be heavily contaminated with pesticides such as glyphosate.

Open your windows. For the vast majority of human history the outside was always part of the inside, and at no moment during our day were we ever really separated from nature. Today, we spend 90 percent of our lives indoors. And, although keeping the outside out does have its advantages it has also changed the microbiome of your home. Research16 shows that opening a window and increasing natural airflow can improve the diversity and health of the microbes in your home, which in turn benefit you. Agricultural chemicals, glyphosate (Roundup) in particular.
Wash your dishes by hand instead of in the dishwasher. Recent research has shown that washing your dishes by hand leaves more bacteria on the dishes than dishwashers do, and that eating off these less-than-sterile dishes may actually decrease your risk of allergies by stimulating your immune system. Antibacterial soap, as they too kill off both good and bad bacteria, and contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistance.

Little Miss Muffet – Curds and Whey

What is whey? From the sing-song lines of quaint nursery rhymes describing Miss. Muffet eating her curds and whey, to the body-building enthusiast at the gym grunting with their plastic containers of whey protein shakes, this health food is described in many different contexts. Some people refer to liquid whey, others discuss it in the form of powders, hydrolysates, isolates or concentrates; there is sweet whey, acid whey, chocolate whey, strawberry whey, goat whey, mineral whey…it is all very confusing! So in the midst of all this whey hype, let’s take a time out to explore what real whey is- the wonderful whole food that has been treasured by many traditional cultures for its robust nutritional profile.

Most people today think of dairy as plain, unfermented milk, and are familiar with wiping off a bright white moustache after finishing a tall glass of the cold creamy stuff. However, this was not always the case. Before the industrialized practices of refrigeration and pasteurization became commonplace, many people enjoyed their milk products soured or fermented in the forms of yogurt, cheese, kefir, clabber, creme fraiche, or curds and whey. When left out to sour or when cultured with friendly lactic-acid-producing bacteria, raw milk undergoes a process of fermentation wherein the bacteria start to digest or break down the milk sugars (lactose) and milk proteins (casein).Through this process, there is a natural separation of firm white globs from the liquid portion of the milk. These white curds are the casein-containing portion of the milk, which are further fermented and processed into cheeses. The remaining tart liquid is whey.

Whey has been used in traditional cuisine for centuries, and was known by Greek doctors as “healing water” for it’s strength-building properties. Today however, whey is considered a waste product of the cheese and yogurt industries. The wildly popular greek yogurt industry has been under scrutiny from environmental agencies recently for the gallons upon gallons of “whey waste” that they must get rid of after processing their strained yogurt products. For every four pounds of milk, only one pound of yogurt is made, and the rest is a mixture of whey, chemicals and other acidic byproducts. Industries drowning in whey have been scrambling to figure out just what to do with all of this tangy liquid and many have found an outlet in the sports nutrition industry where leftover whey is being powdered, flavoured and marketed as a muscle-building, energy-boosting supplement. Sounds like a very solid plan, except for the fact that the whey from big industry is truly waste- high heat pasteurized and subject to several acid baths. Any potentially beneficial nutrients are obliterated and mingled with nasty toxins during production. Supplement companies have tried desperately to “purify” their products by isolating different parts of the protein portion of the whey, which is why you get so many different formulations on the market such as isolates, hydrosylates, concentrates, etc. This fractioning subjects the already destroyed whey to even more sketchy chemical processes and eliminates co-factors, rendering any possible remaining nutrients completely un-bioavailable. So despite the luring claims on those big black tubs of peanut-butter chocolate whey protein, these commercial powders are certainly not going to help your body get stronger.

Recipe: Homemade Whey

When made properly in small batches from cultured dairy, whey has incredibly unique healing properties. Rich with biologically active proteins and protein fractions, it has a high concentration of essential amino acids that are readily used to support vital biological functions in the body. Among these beneficial factors is:

  • Lactoferrin, a multifunctional protein with iron-binding properties that acts as a powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory
  • Bovine serum albumin (BSA), a substance high in amino acids that has been shown to support infection-fighting white blood cells, increase antioxidant activity and maintain healthy cholesterol levels in the body
  • Immunoglobulins to support disease control by bolstering immunity
  • Probiotic organisms to promote optimal digestion and full nutrient absorption by balancing the gut flora
  • Essential amino acids in a highly bioavailable form to act as building blocks for proteins
  • Glutathione precursors, to boost production of the body’s most powerful antioxidant
  • Minerals such as potassium, iron and zinc in balanced amounts
  • Vitamins notably vitamin B2 or riboflavin which helps the body to convert carbohydrates into fuel

Homemade whey has many uses including making lacto-fermented vegetables, condiments or beverages; soaking and sprouting nuts or grains; or as an additive to smoothies, sauces and stocks. The process to make whey is simple and uses things you probably already have around the house.

 

Raw Milk (as much as you want/need)  left at room temperature for 2 days
Juice of 3 limes/lemons or a cup of good quality yogurt (or kefir grains)
1 large glass bowl
1 strainer
1 thin, clean dishtowel or unbleached cheesecloth
1 wooden spoon
1 pitcher

Prepare the raw milk.   Add the lemon juice, kefir or yoghurt and let stand for 2 days (more might be required).  It will appear to “sour” and the curds separate (solidify).   This is good.   I prefer to do this this with yoghurt or kefir for the probiotic profile.

Line a large strainer with an unbleached cheesecloth or thin, clean dish towel and set strainer in large bowl. Pour soured milk into the cloth, cover and allow to sit out at room temperature for several hours. The liquid whey will begin to drip into the bowl, while the milk solids will stay collected in the cloth.

When the dripping slows, tie up the cloth into a sac with the milk solids inside. Although tempting, do not squeeze the curds to get the remaining liquid out. Instead, tie the cloth to a wooden spoon, placing it over a pitcher so that the sac containing the milk solids is suspended inside. Allow this to hang for an additional several hours (I generally leave mine overnight) or until the dripping completely stops. At that point, pour the liquid whey from the large bowl or pitcher into a small glass jar for storage- it will last 6 months refrigerated. The curds left in the strainer are a tasty cream cheese rich with healthy fats, that can be used as a nutrient dense spread or dip.

This second step ensures that you are getting all of the whey to  separate from the curds. There is no one way to do this either; get creative with straining methods! For example, you can tie the cloth to the kitchen faucet and place a bowl in the sink to collect the whey, or onto a knob on your cabinets so that the whey collects into a container on the counter.

 

 

Timeframe: 3 days to 3 months (and beyond)

Vessel: 1-quart/1-liter wide-mouth jar, or a larger jar or crock Ingredients (for 1 quart/1 liter): 2 pounds/1 kilogram of vegetables per quart/liter, any varieties of cabbage alone or in combination, or at least half cabbage and the remainder any combination of radishes, turnips, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, shallots, leeks, garlic, greens, peppers, or other vegetables Approximately 1 tablespoon salt (start with a little less, add if needed after tasting)

Prepare the vegetables. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and reserve. Scrub the root vegetables but do not peel. Chop or grate all vegetables into a bowl. The purpose of this is to expose surface area in order to pull water out of the vegetables, so that they can be submerged under their own juices. The finer the veggies are shredded, the easier it is to get juices out, but fineness or coarseness can vary with excellent results. (Fermenting whole vegetables or large chunks requires a saltwater brine)

Salt and season. Salt the vegetables lightly and add seasonings as you chop. Sauerkraut does not require heavy salting. Taste after the next step and add more salt or seasonings, if desired. It is always easier to add salt than to remove it. (If you must, cover the veggies with dechlorinated water, let this sit for 5 minutes, then pour off the excess water.) Squeeze the salted vegetables with your hands for a few minutes (or pound with a blunt tool). This bruises the vegetables, breaking down cell walls and enabling them to release their juices. Squeeze until you can pick up a handful and when you squeeze, juice releases (as from a wet sponge).

Pack the salted and squeezed vegetables into your jar. Press the vegetables down with force, using your fingers or a blunt tool, so that air pockets are expelled and juice rises up and over the vegetables. Fill the jar not quite all the way to the top, leaving a little space for expansion. The vegetables have a tendency to float to the top of the brine, so it’s best to keep them pressed down, using one of the cabbage’s outer leaves, folded to fit inside the jar, or a carved chunk of a root vegetable, or a small glass or ceramic insert.

Screw the top on the jar; lactic acid bacteria are anaerobic and do not need oxygen (though they can function in the presence of oxygen). However, be aware that fermentation produces carbon dioxide, so pressure will build up in the jar and needs to be released daily, especially the first few days when fermentation will be most vigorous.

Wait. Be sure to loosen the top to relieve pressure each day for the first few days. The rate of fermentation will be faster in a warm environment, slower in a cool one. Some people prefer their krauts lightly fermented for just a few days; others prefer a stronger, more acidic flavour that develops over weeks or months.

Taste after just a few days, then a few days later, and at regular intervals to discover what you prefer. Along with the flavour, the texture changes over time, beginning crunchy and gradually softening. Move to the refrigerator if you wish to stop (or rather slow) the fermentation. In a cool environment, kraut can continue fermenting slowly for months. In the summer or in a heated room, its life cycle is more rapid; eventually it can become soft and mushy.

Surface growth. The most common problem that people encounter in fermenting vegetables is surface growth of yeasts and/or molds, facilitated by oxygen. Many books refer to this as “scum,” but I prefer to think of it as a bloom. It’s a surface phenomenon, a result of contact with the air. If you should encounter surface growth, remove as much of it as you can, along with any discoloured or soft kraut from the top layer, and discard. The fermented vegetables beneath will generally look, smell, and taste fine. The surface growth can break up as you remove it, making it impossible to remove all of it. Don’t worry.

Enjoy your kraut! I start eating it when the kraut is young and enjoy its evolving flavour over the course of a few weeks (or months in a large batch). Be sure to try the sauerkraut juice that will be left after the kraut is eaten. Sauerkraut juice packs a strong flavour, and is unparalleled as a digestive tonic or hangover cure.

Develop a rhythm. Start a new batch before the previous one runs out. Get a few different flavours or styles going at once for variety. Experiment! Variations: Add a little fresh vegetable juice or “pot likker” and dispense with the need to squeeze or pound. Incorporate mung bean sprouts . . . hydrated seaweed . . . shredded or quartered brussels sprouts . . . cooked potatoes (mashed, fried, and beyond, but always cooled!) . . . dried or fresh fruit . . . the possibilities are infinite . . .

Recipe from: Katz, Sandor Ellix. Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, 2nd Edition

A lassi is an after-meal digestive probiotic drink common in Ayurveda. It consists mainly of plain yogurt, water and spices, making it a powerful and delicious after dinner digestive boost. This particular lassi recipe includes turmeric among other spices, making it a great tonic for the skin, liver and blood as well. In fact, when turmeric is taken in this manner (with yogurt), it is an excellent blood strengthener and cleanser, and is considered a great remedy for those with anemia.

See optional modifications for each dosha below.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup of plain organic yogurt
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder or 1 medium root
  • 1/8 tsp ginger powder or 1 inch sq root
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon powder – or same full/dried
  • 1/8 tsp cardamon powder
  •  pinch black pepper
  • 3 saffron stigmas – or marigold/calendula flowers
  • 1 tsp of raw honey

Optional – you can add mangoes, berries or coconut

Directions

1. Place the yogurt in a blender.

2. Add the water, spices and honey.

3. Blend thoroughly for 1 minute.

4. Alternatively one can use a hand blender or a ball jar with an airtight lid to “shake it up”.

5. Take 1/2 cup of this probiotic drink after each meal to increase the digestion, boost beneficial bacteria in the gut and strengthen the blood.

Optional Doshic Variations

Vata:

This recipe is great as is for Vata types and should be taken regularly after meals to reduce gas, bloating and constipation symptoms.

Pitta:

Pitta types should replace the honey with yacon syrup which is more cooling (and also appropriate for diabetics).  If available they should use homemade yogurt, as this is more cooling and less sour than its store bought counterpart.

Kapha:

Kapha types should use plain goat yogurt rather than cow yogurt, as this tends to be easier to digest.  They can double the amount of cinnamon and ginger and add  in a pinch more black pepper.  If there is a strong Kapha imbalance such as congestion, cough, excessive mucus, excessive weight or obesity, one should reduce the amount of yogurt in half.

Microbiome/Gut Flora Protocol

(This article is not compete simply because it is a ongoing study and discovery at many levels....stay tuned for updates) When I am in the garden, my mind teams with thoughts, ideas, possibilities and I wonder into  rabbit holes of pondering that nature of our beings...

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Healing Protocols The Natural Way

My wish for this section is to help empower you in health and wholeness, and to show you that you do not need to stay sick. Almost any chronic medical condition can be helped.   When I work with a client and we investigate the live and dry blood testing and iridology,...

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DMSO or DIMETHYL SULFOXIDE

This is an excellent article by Walter Last

DMSO (CH3)2SO is a natural substance derived from wood pulp.

It is generated during the normal decomposition of plants and therefore is in low concentrations present in many foods. DMSO is an antioxidant, by taking up oxygen it is converted into methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Unlike MSM which is sold as a powder or fine crystals, DMSO is an odourless, clear liquid which is completely water miscible (describes two or more liquids that can be mixed together). It has a high boiling point of 189°C and solidifies at about 18°C. It has all of the beneficial properties of MSM but often at a higher degree, and it has some additional healing properties. These are based on the combination of its antioxidant nature with its excellent solvent properties for a wide range of nutrients and remedies. There is no other biological solvent that can so easily penetrate the skin and carry such nutrients and remedies into the body.

There is a very long list of health benefits from using DMSO, the main ones are:

  • It is an all-round microbicide effective against bacteria, fungi, mycoplasmas and viruses  It improves the immune system and reduces allergies
  • It is strongly anti-inflammatory with good antioxidant properties
  • It blocks pain when rubbed onto affected muscles or joints
  • It improves blood circulation by inhibiting formation of blood clots and hypercoagulation
  • It even dissolves newly formed blood clots
  • It dilates blood vessels and improves the function of the heart
  • It efficiently transports molecules across cell membranes and moves through the blood-brain barrier
  • It improves connective tissue, softens collagen and stimulates wound healing
  • It is a potent diuretic and very effective with chronic bladder inflammation/cystitis

Equally impressive is the long list of diseases that have benefited from its use, including some that may not respond to other remedies, such as brain and spinal cord damage, Down’s Syndrome, Schizophrenia, and ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) also often referred to as Motor Neurone Disease. It is able to dissolve blood clots and prevent damage after a stroke, improves skin conditions such as psoriasis and scleroderma, and is effective with autoimmune diseases, arthritis, ulcers, cystitis and other inflammatory conditions. With diabetes it can improve insulin control and blood circulation. Also eye problems have been successfully treated with DMSO, including macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma and cataracts, sometimes just with oral use but sometimes also with added remedies as eye drops.

With cancer it specifically zooms in on cancer cells and can be used to carry remedies along, good for treating brain tumours which are otherwise difficult to reach. It is also beneficial with other cancers such as with breast and prostate cancers, leukaemia and lymphomas. Relatively weak (2%) solutions of DMSO were killing leukaemia cells and, with the addition of suitable remedies, induced a variety of cancer cells to become normal cells. DMSO has been shown to protect against radiation damage, especially in regard to cancer treatment. kills the pleomorphic microbes that are the basic cause of cancer and autoimmune diseases.

One of its most impressive functions is its ability to easily enter cells and kill viruses and mycoplasma that may hide there. There are patents combining DMSO with antiviral remedies, anti-tumour agents, and amino acids and other nutraceuticals to enhance memory and other brain functions. DMSO is also excellent for healing deep tissue, muscle injuries, burns, and other wounds. It has extensively been used in sports medicine and horse racing.

Because it is so rapidly absorbed – it can be tasted in the mouth only minutes after applying it to the skin – and combined with its ability to block pain signals to the brain, DMSO also acts very fast to stop or greatly reduce pain from arthritis, muscle injuries, insect bites, and other sites of pain or inflammation. While the pain may come back after several hours, it tends to lessen with each reapplication of DMSO.

Unlike other pain relievers, especially of the medical kind which may cause long-term damage, DMSO greatly speeds up healing of damaged areas. This is due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and its ability to improve blood circulation, nutrient supply, dissolve obstructions, and remove stress.

After oral use or skin application DMSO not only penetrates all soft tissues but also the bones. This is not only good for treating tumours and cancer of the bone, but also jawbone infections and cavitations. Molecular or elemental iodine easily dissolves in DMSO. Therefore I would dissolve a small amount of iodine or Lugol’s solution in DMSO and frequently dab that from both sides on the affected gum. Dilute sufficiently so that it does not irritate. DMSO with iodine is also effective for fungal problems of nails, skin or scalp, e.g. manifesting as hair loss.

DMSO seems to inhibit Helicobacter pylori and help heal peptic ulcers in relatively low doses but higher doses are required with Candida. I found the research on DMSO and Candida somewhat amusing. Different researches got inconsistent and varying results for investigated fungicides until one recently had the bright idea to test DMSO which is commonly used as a solvent for antifungal drugs. It was found that the more DMSO was used as a solvent the stronger was the effectiveness of the investigated fungicides. DMSO protects body cells against oxidative stress but increases stress on fungi.

If given soon after a stroke, DMSO has been shown to dissolve the stroke-causing clot, restore circulation and prevent paralysis. It is best to start DMSO therapy within a few hours. In one reported case a male with a stroke refused to go to hospital and waited for 11 hours until his wife had talked to Dr Jacob. Then she gave him one ounce of 50% DMSO in orange juice every 15 minutes for two hours and afterwards every half hour for two hours. The next day, he was better and soon returned to normal.

In another case a 16-year-old girl broke her neck while diving into a pool. and became a complete quadriplegic. She was on DMSO for an entire year and gradually her organs began to function again until finally she could also walk. Another quadriplegic did not start DMSO therapy until two years after his accident. Six months later he could lift both arms over his head, and sensation began to return to his lower chest and right hip. Later he also learned to move both of his legs. Dr Jacob helped two other quadriplegics recover completely when DMSO was started within one hour after the accident.

How and what to use DMSO has been described as a clear colourless, very hygroscopic liquid, with practically no odour or slight garlic odour, slightly bitter taste with sweet after-taste. Because cheap industrial grade DMSO can contain dangerous impurities, only good quality products with at least 99% and preferably higher purity should be used. Because DMSO is hygroscopic (it attracts water) the main impurity at the higher grades is water. Commonly used as a Laboratory reagent and medical/pharmaceutical grades with about 99.5 to 99.9% purity.

While glass bottles are best for retail sales, even highest grades of DMSO are commercially stored and shipped in HDPE (Type 2) containers which do not seem to cause any leaching problem. Pure DMSO is not toxic and generally very safe but some precaution needs to be taken. For instance when applying DMSO for transdermal treatment the skin should be clean and free of undesirable chemicals, such as from commercial lotions or sunscreens.

DMSO can be used on its own and applied over inflamed, stiff or painful muscles or joints, or over troublesome organs, or it can be used to carry remedies or nutrients through the skin into the body. However, it does not carry microbes, large molecules or chemicals into the body that normally cannot penetrate the skin, it only enhances the absorption rate of those that are able to penetrate on their own but at a much lower rate. To avoid skin irritation apply DMSO only in diluted form at 70% or less. Some products on the market are already diluted.

For common use you may make a treatment solution, e.g. in another glass bottle, by diluting full strength DMSO. To make it about 70% mix 2 parts of 100% DMSO with 1 part of water, and for a weaker solution (50%) mix equal parts of DMSO and water. If you also add other dissolved remedies, such as Magnesium Oil, Glycerine, MSM or Lugol’s, then you can count this as part of the water. It is alright to mix DMSO with non-acidified MMS/sodium chlorite, but the acidified MMS will probably become inactive by oxidising DMSO to MSM. Be careful, the solution gets warm when mixing DMSO with water, and while it does not harm the skin, spills may damage painted or plastic surfaces. Strength for topical use may vary according to the sensitivity of the skin.

DMSO is not normally used on broken or open skin, but it has been applied to fresh cuts and other wounds and greatly speeded up healing without causing pain or other discomfort. Depending on the degree of pain or inflammation DMSO may be applied several times during the day over the area of pain, but the need for multiple applications may reduce on following days. The effect may be felt within minutes. Also swellings such as from sprained ankles can quickly disappear if kept covered with DMSO.

While DMSO mixes freely with water and glycerine, it does not mix with oils or kerosene. It does not dissolve magnesium chloride but it can improve absorption by carrying along water in which the magnesium is dissolved. The same seems to apply to vitamin B12 which also does not dissolve directly in DMSO but can be better absorbed with its addition. For general applications it may be good for the skin to add a small amount of glycerine. Alpha lipoic acid dissolves very well in DMSO, and Glutathione and Coenzyme Q10 to some degree.

Transdermal application of these may give a better absorption rate than oral use. Generally strong oxidants oxidize DMSO to MSM while microbes reduce it to Dimethylsulfide or DMS which creates a strong sulphur smell. It has been noticed that during periods of infection individuals emit a much stronger garlicky smell when using DMSO than when they are well. This is actually the main drawback of DMSO, and why some individuals do not like to use it – it can lead to social problems, especially at the workplace. Not everyone has this problem, and one may be able to minimize it by using only a relatively small amount in the evening or experiment with spraying or rinsing mouth and exposed skin with diluted non-acidified MMS (sodium chlorite) solution (e.g. 1 teaspoon of MMS in 500 ml of water) which can oxidize and so deodorize smelly sulphur compounds. A

nother problem that may arise with skin application is reduced nerve conductivity which is the basis for the quick pain relief. Individuals with paresthesia such as tingling or numb fingers, toes  or other skin areas may temporarily get increased symptoms if they apply DMSO over the nerve that leads to the affected area. This effect can last for several hours after application but is best avoided, and does not seem to be a problem if DMSO is applied to other parts of the skin or used orally.

Oral intake is the other major form of DMSO use. As to its safety: Dr Stanley Jacob who pioneered the medical use of DMSO has taken an ounce (approximately 29 mls) of it orally every day for more than 40 years. The only side-effect seems to be that he has not been sick in years. Others have taken even higher doses for weeks or months. DMSO is effective in heart attacks and angina; prompt use of it in heart attacks has been credited with preventing damage to heart muscle but rather high doses should be used. Dr Morton Walker suggested 2 grams per kilogram of body weight in the treatment of heart attacks. Except for emergencies, it is always best to start with low doses, such as half a teaspoon in a drink, and increase gradually to the intended maximum or until there is some unexplained reaction.

Generally effective healing methods tend to induce some kind of reaction, be it microbial die-off effects or skin eruptions or gastro-intestinal effects, such as diarrhoea. In such case temporarily cut back and when the reaction subsides gradually increase again. A suitable daily maximum intake with chronic diseases may be 20 to 30 ml in divided doses, good to take it in a drink together with specific supplements to enhance their absorption.

As with all supplements, It is also good not to remain at the same dose for a long time but rather slowly cycle up and down between a maximum and a minimum level. Finally, as long as there are problems in specific parts of the body it is preferable to use topical applications in addition to oral use. While DMSO is widely used in most countries as a medical drug, in the USA it is only approved for the treatment of interstitial cystitis. In Australia DMSO is a prescription poison and cannot be used for treating humans but it can be sold and used for veterinary purposes and as a solvent. For a good account of the DMSO saga see http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/1347.

With DMSO having so many superb features you may wonder if there is still a place for MSM. I believe there is. MSM provides the many benefits of a high sulphur intake for detoxifying and regenerating connective tissue without any apparent side-effect, while DMSO can cause an odour problem in social and work-related settings. DMSO can also cause excess intestinal gas and loose bowels. It has the ability to carry not only desirable but also undesirable chemicals through the skin and into the brain, therefore one needs to be much more careful, and it can induce microbial die-off reactions which are ultimately beneficial but need to be understood and managed.

I do not believe that there is a genuine allergy to DMSO. Instead some individuals react because they are deficient in the trace mineral molybdenum which is required by enzymes to oxidise sulphur compounds such as sulphites to sulphates. Overall I would say that it is good to continue using a daily teaspoonful of MSM in addition to DMSO.

Source: by Walter Last: http://www.health-science-spirit.com

Microbiome/Gut Flora Protocol

(This article is not compete simply because it is a ongoing study and discovery at many levels....stay tuned for updates) When I am in the garden, my mind teams with thoughts, ideas, possibilities and I wonder into  rabbit holes of pondering that nature of our beings...

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Healing Protocols The Natural Way

My wish for this section is to help empower you in health and wholeness, and to show you that you do not need to stay sick. Almost any chronic medical condition can be helped.   When I work with a client and we investigate the live and dry blood testing and iridology,...

read more

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