I am a mother of a two-year-old and am completely losing my head over whether I should get my little cherub vaccinated? The questions that keep me busy are whether I should believe “Big Pharma” and the medical advice passed on for ages that says vaccinations are a must for fighting against germs that cause disease in our bodies or take a more holistic view which posits that germs are not the cause of disease but an unhealthy internal ecosystem.
I am also a seeker of answers to bigger issues related to disease- Are germs the sole cause of dangerous diseases or they have been given credit for too much? Or in short, are germs our real enemies?
This is the reason why I decided to delve deep into the ‘germ’ dogmas that require an urgent re-look.
The Germ Theory
Most of us have heard of the French biologist Louis Pasteur. He was the scientist who postulated that germs cause disease. He,in fact, came up with the Germ theory in the 1850s which is a simple story about germs and how we “catch” bacteria and viruses which make us sick, and how this has to be prevented assiduously through medicines and vaccines.
The Germ theory sets us on a tangent that tells us that germs are our enemies and they have to be killed at any cost for us to remain disease-free.
The problems with these postulations are staring us in the face now, after centuries. We have antibiotics that are failing, vaccinations that are being linked to autism in kids… And this is just one part of the story.
The Germ theory has also made us ignore another very vital issue. We have completely overlooked the role of the internal ecosystem in causing disease.
In India, ancient systems of healing talk in detail about a germ- causing ecosystem in the body due to the collection of toxins or “ama”, being responsible for various diseases.
Wherever "ama" gathers, disease follows- this is an overarching principle of ancient systems of medicine.
But, look where we are today. We have ignored tried and tested basic principles of health and wellbeing, forgotten the importance of generating a healthy ecosystem in our bodies by preserving healthy PH levels and helping more beneficial microorganisms to grow, in favour of a system that makes us more and more unhealthy.
Yes, Germs Are Not All Bad
The truth is that some species of bacteria are needed to keep us healthy. These ‘good’ bacteria present on our skin, in our airways, and in our digestive system act as the first line of defence against pathogens that can cause infections.
Bacteria also help keep our immune system in good shape so that it can respond quickly to an infection, but not over-react and attack our body itself causing autoimmune diseases.
Each of us has millions of bacteria personalized according to our body ecosystem living inside our bodies, called the microbiome.
We get our first bacteria while being born, and we add to the microbiome every day of our lives in order to live healthily.
Béchamp, a contemporary of Pasteur proposed something called the “host theory,” which supports the idea of “good” bacteria.
According to this theory, people don’t “catch” germs that give them diseases, but, disease-causing germs are actually opportunistic and thrive on people whose bodies have an unhealthy internal ecosystem.
This means that germs are not a cause of disease, but a byproduct of a disease.
Germ theory’s downfall is that it attempts to over-treat chronic diseases with drugs. It, along with Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin spawned a culture that focuses on fighting germs and disease with antibiotics and drugs through vaccination and overuse of antibiotics. This, as we know today, isn't just destroying the bad bacteria, but is also wiping out the good bacteria which keep our immune system robust and leaves us even more susceptible to new diseases in the future.
We got to where we are today- perhaps the unhealthiest than we ever were- because we believed all the bad things we heard about germs. We are thus caught in a loop where we have to develop new ways to kill superbugs without doing anything about our unhealthy biosystem that creates disease by spawning these powerful pathogens inside our bodies.
The question is whether learning about healthy eating and medicinal foods should be a priority or should we keep ourselves locked into a search for the next best antibiotic for the coming centuries too?
We all know that we can heal our bodies through healthy nutrition and life choices. There are enough people who have conquered even dangerous diseases like cancer by using principles of nature cure. Maybe we need to know more about how they did it and muster up the courage to follow these brave men and women.
There is no doubt in my mind that the time is ripe for modern medicine to return to a broader theory of health and medicine by working on a system that focuses on keeping all of us disease-free by keeping our microbiomes healthy.
What does this mean for my daughter? She will be taught to live with nature, eat healthily and stay fit without too much chemical intervention.
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Continuing, yours truly writes:-
In the modern day scenario, we are extremely conscious of outer cleanliness by using sanitizers, wearing hand gloves, etc. There is nothing wrong in using them, but excessive care which has become an obsession will only benefit the multinational companies.
To understand this we have to to the origin of germ theory. Does bacteria from outside causes disease or the inner body is conducive shelter them ?
Our whole modern medical system depends on the theory Louis Pasteur that germs invade our body. Here’s where medicine has erred and it’s the prime difference between Allopathy and Nature Cure. Nature Cure says that it’s not germs from outside invade our body, but it’s the terrain (toxic accumulation in our the body) which attracts germs into our body. Ultimately, as I said before, germs make their home in our body and act as a scavenger until the toxaemia is eliminated.
So the root cause of a disease is accumulation of toxaemia in our body and not the germs as such. Therefore, our approach in safeguarding our healthy body is to see that toxic substances do not enter our body. How does toxaemia is created in our body ?
By eating unnatural junk food which includes all packaged foods and drinks, stimulants like coffee/tea, alcohol and recreational drugs and not following the other laws of Nature Cure and lack of exercise and mental balance.
Just as outer cleanliness is important our inner cleanliness is all the importance.
Kenneth Jeffery writes:-
GERMS, like all other organisms, need a congenial environment where the amount of light is just right. The germ also needs food. The food, which is suitable for a germ is not the kind of food, which would be suitable for some other organisms, like human beings. The kind of food, which would be ideally suited to a germ, would most likely kill a human being. Conversely the kind of food best suited to a human being would not suit a germ. Each organism has its own specific needs and thrives best when these needs are met. Therefore it is not surprising to find germs in an unhealthy human body. The materials, which are present when the human body is unhealthy, happen to be the very materials, which the germ finds to be suitable for it to use as food.
The Role of the Germ:-
The true role of the germ is that of a scavenger. Germs, like all other living organisms, are constantly on the lookout for suitable food in a suitable environment.
In an unhealthy human body the germ finds all of the things it likes and needs. The human body provides food, absence of light, an ideal temperature and the presence of moisture in just the right proportion. Is it any wonder that germs, which are borne on air, dust, hands and food find easy access to an unhealthy organism.Germs are present all over the world in varying numbers according to the food available and according to the suitability or otherwise of the environment. Our atmosphere, the earth, our food, our clothing, our homes, shops and factories are all possible habitats for germs.Germs do exist but they do not necessarily exist as a threat to humanity. In fact, I would like to suggest that germs are NOT our enemies or even potential enemies, but that they are in reality OUR FRIENDS.
Great article. I completely agree. The government can save so much money if they concentrated on nutrition as compared to the medicinal approach. It would be nice if the article had some references mentioned at the end.