The ancient ritual of smudging has regained popularity in the modern world. In recent years, people have used plant smoke to “cleanse” a space, clarifying the energy of negativity. The practice involves burning herbs and plant resins for spiritual and medicinal reasons, and it was used by indigenous peoples around he world.
The stomach plays an important role in digestion. It receives and further breaks down the food we have chewed (at this point referred to as bolus), getting it ready so that nutrients can be absorbed from it in the small intestine. Among the things that can go wrong in the digestive system are stomach ulcers and stomach cancer, and scientists have discovered there is often a causal relationship. Cancer can occur as a result of mutations in the cells that line the stomach. This risk factors include age (people over 55 are more apt to develop stomach cancer), gender (males are more vulnerable), smoking, genetics and diet choices. Finally, stomach cancer is closely correlated with the bacterial infection Helicobacter pylori, which is responsible for many stomach ulcers.
Oil pulling is a natural remedy that originated in India thousands of years ago. It was first brought to the United States in the early 1990s by Dr. F. Karach, who introduced it to his patients, and it is becoming increasingly popular. Oil pulling uses natural substances to remove bacteria and toxins, to clean and detoxify the teeth and gums.
As society has evolved, so have germs. Millions of people die prematurely every year due to illnesses and complications caused by bacteria.These days, with overuse and abuse of antibiotics, microbes are evolving and getting more and more difficult to fight against.
Now, a new class of antibiotics have been discovered that could make a huge difference in disease control. Its name: Teixobactin. This antibiotic has been shown in lab tests to kill many types of drug-resistant bacteria in lab mice. Among these bacteria are Clostridium difficile colitis (C. dif) which is commonly implicated in gut disease, as well as the species that cause tubercolosis, septicaemia, staph infection and strep throat.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Teixobactin is that it got rid of these infections not only completely, but without any noticeable side effects whatsoever. It even outperformed Vancomycin, which is the antibiotic currently most used in the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by over a hundred times.
Another exciting thing about this new antibiotic is the way in which it was discovered. Traditionally, antibiotic discoveries happen by mining and isolating the lethal compounds that bacteria and fungi release to protect themselves against other microbes. However, 99% of these germs cannot be grown in laboratories. In the case of Teixobactin, the research team used a device they created called the iChip, which cultures bacteria in their natural habitats (dirt) instead of a lab. When the iChip was removed from the ground, scientists were able to isolate the natural antibiotic producing bacteria by layering other pathogens on top of the iChip and observing which bugs killed those pathogens off.
Using this method, 25 new antibiotic compounds were actually discovered, and Teixobactin became the clear winner of the bunch very quickly, as it appears to prevent microbes from developing any kind of resistance by obstructing cell wall construction – which means widespread death for the microbes. With no survivors, there can be no resistance. Kim Lewis, lead researcher and director of the Antimicrobial Discovery Center at Northeastern University said,
My guess is that if resistance is going to develop against Teixobactin, it will take up to 30 years for that to occur.
It will be awhile before Teixobactin is ready to be on the market, as vigorous testing and trials still need to be performed. But this discovery promises to be the tip of the iceberg on manipulating natural microbes to win the struggle between man and germs.
In Part 1 of this article, we looked at 3 different studies done which had the same conclusion: Your gut microbes have a huge influence on your health and weight.
Our microbiome begins to build up from birth, and increases as we are exposed to more things like breast milk, food, water, animals, soil and other people, to the point where we are basically a vessel for microbes. In numbers, we are something like 10 percent human and 90% microbe.
Most of these microbiobes live in our colon, where they help break down fiber, process calories, and protect against infection, being a hub and foundation for our immune system.
As evidenced by many studies, including the ones in part 1 of this article, scientists are just now starting to see the undeniable, major connection between our microbe population and our overall health.
In the case of the experiment by microbiologist Zhao mentioned in part 1, the study was expanded even further. Zhao brought in a 385 lb man who was inflamed, diabetic, had high bad cholesterol and high blood sugar. When analyzing this man’s microbes, it was found that 35% of them belonged to the species “Enterobacter cloacae”. He put the man on the same diet he was on, and not only did the man lose 113 pounds in 23 weeks, but the Enterobacter clocae numbers went down, as did the endotoxin and inflammation markers.
Zhao then introduced Enterobacter into mice. Astonishingly, they developed endotoxemia, diabetes and became obese – but only when eating a high fat diet. Different mice introduced to bifidobacteria or kept microbe free, remained lean on the same high fat diet.
The implication of Zhao’s findings as well as the other research out there is that there is a huge area of knowledge to be explored on radical medical treatment via microbe manipulation and treatment.
In the meantime, what kinds of foods should we eat to promote healthy microbes?
Ideally, foods containing high amounts of oligosaccharides – prebiotic fibers that allow the bacteria in our gut to feed and thrive, producing byproducts that are essential for our bodies such as vitamin K and B vitamins. The food list: plant foods, especially raw plant foods where possible – fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. Potatoes, bananas, yams, apples and oranges – these all provide healthy servings of good starches and prebiotics that will help your micro flora thrive.
On the other hand, refined and fatty processed foods will change your gut permeability and alter your entire microbial system, turning it against you by leaking toxic byproducts into your bloodstream.