Many people have asked how to use intestinal
flora and why.
The intestinal tract is much more than an eliminatory
channel with twists and turns. It is an organ of discrimination
and assimilation of nutrients crucial to the quality of life and
regeneration of worn out tissues, especially those subtle tissues
that determine our vitality and old age. Ayurveda teaches that
the nutrients absorbed in the lower intestine are used to rebuild
not just skin and bones but also the nerve sheaths, brain, reproductive
fluids, and the essence of the our being, something called ojas in
Sanskrit. It is untranslatable because the concept of ojas does
not exist in modern medicine. However, it is this precious substance
that imparts luster, effulgence, to that mystical emanation we
call magnetism or perhaps the aura.
So, the intestinal tract is much more than a sewer
line, it is a vital organ upon which we depend for nutrition of
the finer type. One might even aver that what is assimilated in
the stomach provides for our immediate needs, sugars, whereas the
further down the gastrointestinal tract food travels, the more
subtle the mechanism of assimilation and regeneration. Ergo, whether
our bones are brittle or strong and our nerve sheaths are adequately
insulated depends as much on assimilation as diet and exercise.
Our intestinal tract is populated by all sorts
of bacteria. These are roughly categorized as friendly and putrefactive.
For proper intestinal function, we need about 85% friendly bacteria
and 15% putrefactive bacteria. In most people, these ratios are
reversed. While putrefactive bacteria is necessary, an excessive
amount means that decomposing nutrients within the body are
producing a noxious gas that is the cause not only of gastric and
eliminatory distress but also embarrassing and unhealthy odor and sounds.
Ayurvedic medicine describes the colon as the place of accumulation
of vata, or air energies.
These are the cause of pain, nervousness, and premature aging.
Someone with excess vata cannot relax or rejuvenate worn
tissues. So poor colon function is more than an "irregularity," it
is a serious medical and emotional problem. I added "emotional" because
nervousness, not to mention insomnia, is draining and can lead
to the "crazies."
Types of Intestinal Flora
Most people are familiar with
acidophilus, but there are many different kinds of flora that
are natural to the lower intestine. Ex-factory, many products
have lots of live bacteria, but there is always the question
of how active the bacteria are months after being put into
a bottle or box. My rule of thumb is not to demonstrate brand loyalty
where flora is concerned. Buy a small container, use it quickly,
and then try something different the next time. This said, there
are obviously some brands that are more conscientiously put together
than others. Of these, I have always had extraordinary reports
on one of the less familiar ones, Topfer, a product from Germany
that is in a powder form that has to be mixed up like a milkshake.
There are two formulations: Eugalan and Lactopriv, the latter being for people
with dairy intolerance. One box lasts about ten days. For some
people, the change is dramatic in the first day or two. For example,
AIDS patients with diarrhea have been able to stop the fluid
loss in as little as one day with Eugalan and cream of buckwheat
breakfast cereal (made by Pocono.) Normally, people should expect
that it takes closer to ten days to several months to repopulate
the large intestine with proper flora. In the meantime, chlorinated
and fluoridated water can wipe out flora in very short order. Diarrhea,
of course, also tends to put people back at square one. Antibiotics and even excessive use of "natural" supplements such as colloidal silver or essential oils can also destroy both friendly and putrefactive bacteria.
is one of the major culinary herbs that helps to repopulate intestinal