‘It is folly to attempt to escape disease by attempting to destroy or escape germs.’
Dr H M Shelton (1885-1985)
Viruses and bacteria are held responsible for most of the world’s health problems. After all, microbes are deadly, aren’t they? Is it not scientifically proven that every disease has its microbes?
The germ theory of disease, which suggests that microorganisms are the cause of disease, is rarely questioned in medical circles. But wait – it’s not that simple. Microbes are everywhere – so how come we aren’t all ill all of the time? The answer is, microbes are not always harmful. They’re not even usually harmful. Evenso, it’s convenient for the bio-chemical industry to over-emphasise the influence of microbes because it helps increase sales.
Think about it: viruses and bacteria are present in our system 100% of the time. We are literally teeming with them. But only around a hundred bacteria are potentially harmful to us.
Moreover, the same microbes affect people differently. Some get ill, most don’t. So it can’t be the microbes alone that make us ill! Something else must happen – something to do with each individual.
There is nothing new about this. In his 1928 paper, ‘The Causes Of Disease, Herbert Shelton points out that germs are a cause of disease, but they do not constitute the cause of disease. The full text is available at http://naturalhygienesociety.org/review/0801/shelton-disease-causes.html
Medical science’s response to potentially harmful microbes centres on two approaches – antibiotics and vaccines. The first kills the microbes, the second aims to strengthen the body’s immune system to it is better able to withstand the invaders.
The word antibiotic came from ‘antibiosis’, a term coined in 1889 by Pasteur’s pupil Paul Vuillemin, meaning a process by which life could be used to destroy life.
Traditionally antibiotics were natural substances that were used to inhibit other organisms. The ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Native Americans all used moulds to treat infected wounds, although they did not understand exactly how the antibacterial properties of mould treated diseases. Honey, lard, garlic, onions, wine and vinegar are also among the many other substances traditionally used for this purpose.
As Pasteur’s Germ Theory became widely accepted, it triggered a search for more effective antibiotics. In the late 19th Century, Joseph Lister looked into the reasons why urine contaminated with mould would not allow bacteria to grow. Then two German doctors, Rudolf Emmerich and Oscar Low, grew the germs from infected bandages in a test tube and used this to kill other types of germ. This became the first antibiotic to be used in hospitals, but results were inconsistent so it was abandoned. However, the idea that the germs that could cause one disease could be the cure for another was not lost on he scientific community.
The biggest breakthrough came in 1928 when Sir Alexander Fleming noticed that colonies of the bacterium Staphylococcus Aureus could be destroyed by the mould Penicillium Notatum. At the time, the importance of his discovery was not recognised. Only in the 1940’s did the use of penicillin become widespread. Seventy years on, penicillin is still one of the most widely used antibiotics.
Until the 1990s, most antibiotics did a good job at eliminating infection. They were so effective that doctors were convinced they had solved the problem of bacterial infection once and for all. But what they hadn’t reckoned on was the over-prescribing of antibiotics to treat relatively minor ailments like colds and minor inflammations which unwittingly allowed bacteria to build up their resistance. It is now widely recognised that bacteria are continually mutating and multiplying into even more deadly strains and finding ways to beat our defences.
Microbes are intelligent. They are just as capable of defending themselves when their survival is threatened as we are.
Today the over-use of antibiotics – once seen as the ultimate cure for all infections – is a major health concern. ‘Superbugs’ like MRSA are impervious to our best efforts to eliminate them and some microbiologists fear that the problem has gone beyond our control. An estimated ten thousand people a year die from a hospital-acquired infection in the UK alone, of which 70% are from MRSA. An even more deadly strain, C-difficile, is on the rise, and a new bug, PVL, has already killed several people. And that’s in spite of a highly publicised government initiative to promote cleanliness and better infection management in hospitals.
The problem with antibiotics arises precisely because they are so effective. They are indiscriminate. They kill all bacteria with which they come into contact, good and bad alike. Many of the body’s functions rely on bacteria, so killing of the good bacteria makes the body more likely to succumb to harmful bacteria.
Just as worrying, antibiotics are widely used in factory farming. Virtually all animals are given them. Then they end up in meat, which contributes to our society-wide resistance to antibiotics. This is a direct result of factory farming: when animals are free to roam in large pastures, the risk of disease is much lower, so the ‘need’ for antibiotics is dramatically reduced.
That’s not to say that antibiotics don’t have a place in modern medicine. They have saved many lives and helped to restore many to full health. But they must be used correctly and sparingly, and anyone tasking antibiotics must be sure to replace the bacteria in the gut by taking probiotics.
The truth is, except in severe cases of infection, antibiotics make us more, not less, vulnerable to disease. Medics admit that bacterial resistance is growing faster than the ability of new antibiotics to control them. Bacteria divide rapidly and you only need one to mutate to start an epidemic.
In future, better ways of eliminating harmful microbes may be found. For example, a ten second blast of ultraviolet light correctly targeted has been shown to kill harmful bacteria. It is already being used in hospitals, and recent technological advances have made it quicker and more effective than before. Modern UV devices are as small as a mobile phone and far less messy to use than disinfectant and a cloth.
Similarly, sophisticated PEMF devices like the AcuPearl (www.feelinggoodallthetime.com) help strengthen the body’s natural rhythms and immunity at cellular level creating an environment which discourages microbes from taking hold.
Microbes exist for a reason. They share this planet with us and to eliminate them would be both impossible – and undesirable. Remedies designed merely to kill microbes are often ineffective in the long term and sometimes self-defeating since microbes fight back. That’s a hard lesson for some.
©David Lawrence Preston, 2.5.2016
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