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Antimicrobials 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 an insult.

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.

Antibiotics

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 hospitals.

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 of antibiotics.

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 supplement.

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.

White Blood Cells
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.

Neutrophils Dying
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 impenetrable.

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 cancerchecklist.com.

Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2007

 

 

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