vs Immune Enhancing Formulas
For some time, I have wanted to write about immunity and immune
therapies to see if we can clean up the language and understanding
of what is involved in an immune response.
It's so difficult to know exactly where to start, perhaps with
the germ theory and the fallacies relating to the attempt to blame
so many illnesses on microorganisms, many of which are the response
to rather than cause of disease.
I don't know how to explain this better except to take two examples
from various stages on my own learning curve because, as I have
written before, I suffered the same indoctrination as most of you
when I was in my formative years. The first comes from childhood
and the irrepressible belief that a fever should be allowed to
run its course unless it is truly life threatening. I was a very
febrile type and it took me many years to appreciate that this
is actually a sign that my body is ingenious enough to take care
of itself most of the time, but the fever is, in fact, related
to disease processes, usually temporary and self-limiting, so the
question is what causes the fever and which part of the experience
is related to disease and which to the body's effort to heal from
Homeopathic medicine makes this very clear. The symptoms observed
are regarded as evidence of the body's attempt to heal itself so
the correct medicine is one that in a microdose causes the same
symptoms in a healthy person. In a bizarre sort of way, one that
would probably make Hahnemann turn over in his grave, elements
of this theory appear superficially similar to the rational for
vaccinations, but there really are important distinctions.
The second example I would like to use is
antibiotics. In the scheme of things, antibiotics are a relatively
new phenomenon, basically the result of two or three incidents
in the history of medicine. The first "incident" was
the infamous debate between Pasteur and Bechamp in which the
man whose name is better remembered emerged victorious, only
to admit on his deathbed that the theories argued by his opponents
were correct; however, he forbid his heirs from publishing his
true records for 75 years following his death. Many fortunes
were made because of the suppression of this information, but
if there had been a famous horse race and it was later discovered
that the only reason the favorite didn't win was because the
winner used dirty tricks, we'd be outraged and there would be
an investigation. For all intents and purposes, Pasteur is largely
unchallenged except by a passionate few who have taken the time
to fit the pieces together.
The second "incident" was the "discovery" of
penicillin by Alexander Fleming. It was a contaminant in experiments
with Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria causing the most infections
of open wounds, especially among soldiers in battle. Fleming was
not researching penicillin; he was researching Staphylococcus so
the contamination of a laboratory sample steered the ship of fate
onto a new course, just in time for World War II and more military
I plan to write a book on these subjects so this is really only
a teaser, but the point to make here is that the research took
place in a laboratory with petri dishes, not inside animal or human
bodies and the focus of the research was bacteria, not side effects
of penicillium or other fungi on living creatures.
The third "incident" was a new
and hugely profitable industry devoted to fungal assaults on
microbes, so unquestioned that countless new antibiotics found
their way into both the food chain and our medicines. This has
resulted in one known crisis and another that is seldom discussed,
probably because it is not well understood. The known problem
is antibiotic resistant organisms. The solution is believed to
be in more research (and dare we add patents) for more and more
powerful antibiotics. The problems that tend to be ignored are
the health problems of people who have ingested excessive amounts
An antibiotic, as the name suggests, is
destructive of life, supposedly merely the "lower" forms
of life, but the reality is that antibiotics kill friendly as
well as hostile bacteria and this is why patients are sometimes
encouraged to take probiotics during or after a course of antibiotics.
In fact, this is a little bit like taking an upper and a downer
and hoping somehow to remain on the level, not tilted. It's a
very clumsy strategy and has many serious risks.
Take a deep breath for a moment.
Antimicrobial or Immune Enhancing?
When a pharmaceutical medicine or natural supplement is touted
as an immune enhancing or antimicrobial agent, what exactly does
it mean? Many supplements work along the same principles as prescription
medications: they are destructive to both friendly and unfriendly
bacteria, ergo the admonition to take probiotics after using the
In live blood analysis, it is clear that
bacteria proliferate when there is a "situation." I
was alerted to this possibility by an account of a veterinary
study done with llama herds. In that study, the animals were
divided into three groups. The first was given a pharmaceutical
parasiticide. Autopsies revealed that the animals died of bacterial
infections in the places where the parasites died, like the heart
muscle. The second group was given an herbal antiparasitic formula.
They fared well. The third group was, of course, given nothing
but a placebo so nothing changed with those animals.
Based on the information from the autopsies, new herbal formulas
were developed that relied on immune enhancing formulas to be used
following the parasiticides.
Prepared by this knowledge, I went on to observe the death of
blood parasites in live blood. I realized, as I have written earlier,
that the dead parasites are, indeed, eaten by bacteria and while
the bacteria are feasting people feel a little achy and groggy,
rather like a mild case of flu, not severe enough to necessitate
staying in bed but nevertheless bad enough to affect well being.
The white blood cells avoid the bacteria in the beginning, but
each day, they move a bit closer and then closer yet. At some point,
the bacteria have eaten all they can of the dead parasites and
it is then that the white blood cells eat the bacteria.
|Here you see a variety of white blood
cells, mostly neutrophils, responding to an emergency, but,
as can be seen further down the page, they died and turned
to fuzzy looking debris in the plasma.
Here's the problem: antibiotics paralyze
white blood cells so if they are given as a panacea for a wide
range of conditions, often as not undiagnosed, they can interfere
with the normal manner in which the body would handle a "situation."
Let me make this as clear as possible. Doctors are taught that
antibiotics are antibacterial but not antiviral. Nevertheless,
many people are given antibiotics for every little sniffle and
others are ingesting second-hand antibiotics through their consumption
of animal products deriving from animals who were treated. These
antibiotics are not destroyed by cooking or pasteurization so they
are passed along to pets and people who eat non-organic animal
products, including milk and cheese.
Many natural "immune" products work in almost the same
way as antibiotics except that they are generally safer in that
they are not based on fungi. You more or less "know" which
products are antimicrobial and which are immune enhancing based
on whether or not you are advised to take probiotics following
use; however, many products are sold without instructions, which
unfortunately, is often necessary due to a host of regulations
that make the story hard to tell.
This is what I want to say. A natural product
that destroys microbes will also probably affect white blood
cells so it is not "immune
enhancing" but rather "antimicrobial" and perhaps
also "anthelmintic" (antiparasitic). The situation is
so confusing that even very well-trained scientists sometimes confuse
terminology and refer to parasites as bacteria and most are completely
uneducated about fungi, both yeast and mold but especially mold.
Petri Dishes vs. Internal Use
An antimicrobial agent is usually deemed
to be antimicrobial if it kills something in a petri dish. When
these experiments are done, a particular culture is used, like
E-coli or Staphylococcus aureus, and the diameter of the kill
is measured . . . in a petri dish. I want to keep saying this
over and over and over: in a petri dish. No one actually knows
exactly how the agent will work inside a body. In the petri dish,
the agent may appear to be very potent, but it makes direct contact
with the target and often a single drop is lethal. Using these
methods, many kinds of silver, essential oils, and probably even
some probiotics are deemed to be useful antimicrobial agents,
not to mention fungi . . . and I suspect the highly tauted medicinal
mushrooms (and probably some that are regarded as culinary for
which no medicinal claims are made) are also "antimicrobial."
I have waited many years to write about this because I wanted
to be sure about what I am saying and not just speculate about
what is what.
There are two more points I want to make.
As I have suggested, if the agent used affects white blood cells
as well as the targeted microbes, there will usually be profuse
mucus discharge. This is your clue. The "medicine" is antimicrobial. Now, if you
have a dead parasite floating around in your blood or penetrating
the heart muscle or bile ducts, it decomposes by fermentation rather
than microbial attack. This creates a different health challenge
than the "bacterial infection." This fermentation is
epidemic as is congestion due to massive die off of friendly and
unfriendly bacteria and white blood cells.
An immune enhancing agent is one that nourishes
white blood cells so that they become more efficient. Temporarily,
their numbers may increase. What you see in live blood studies
is that the white blood cells are more vital and they survive much
longer, meaning that when ingesting debris, they do not die as
fast. White blood cells are very sensitive. When they die, they
turn to fuzz and congest the blood.
|Here, one can see relatively normal looking
erythrocytes, one distinguishable neutrophil, one dying neutrophil,
and many that have turned to fuzz, presumably because of toxicity
from amalgam dental restorations.
They die because of medications, toxic metals
like aluminum and mercury, strong odors, and the metabolic wastes
of microbes. By giving a strongly detoxifying herb to a person
(or animal), one is actually increasing the tolerance of the white
blood cells for toxicity, often doubling or tripling the life expectancy
of the white blood cells. Thus, an immune enhancing formula is
actually one that works in cooperation with white blood cells.
It protects them from the harsh effects of toxins and sometimes
also stimulates their appetites. A very deep immune formula will
provide the nutrients needed by the body to build quality white
blood cells and here is the place where the difference between
conventional and natural medicine is greatest. In conventional
medicine, enormous side effects are tolerated in the name of various
battles against illness. In natural medicine, the patient is given
the support needed to resist disease or manage insults with minimal
side effects. Nowhere are the disparities in theory more apparent
than with immunity and nowhere is the jargon more confusing and
The bottom line is that immune enhancing
herbs are nourishing and therefore have no side effects unless
used so mindlessly that they produce "overtilt" by which I mean that if a thin
person ate until he became overweight, he would have missed the
signal that said "balance has been achieved, more food will
produce surfeit." Likewise, because most immune enhancing
herbs are alkaloidal, excessive consumption could produce some
undesirable side effects due to excess, not due to toxicity.
I hope this clarifies a lot. I have an article
on the germ
theory and a page on immunity on
Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2007