The Germ or the Terrain?
The Germ Theory vs. the Terrain Theory
Everyone has heard of Louis Pasteur who popularized the Germ Theory of Medicine and invented pasteurization. The practice of vaccination is based on Pasteur’s germ theory.
But there is another Frenchman, the scientist Claude Bechamp, who was constantly finding fault with Pasteur’s work. For instance, Pasteur’s experiments that “proved” his germ theory did nothing of the sort because Pasteur had injected healthy animals with the blood of a sick animal. The healthy animals got sick.
Injecting a sick animal’s blood did not prove anything. Béchamp said that Pasteur poisoned the experimental animals and that was what got them sick, not germs. Béchamp said Pasteur poisoned the terrain of the animal and the germs attacked the already diseased tissues.
According to Bechamp, it was the terrain, the overall health of the person’s tissues, that determined whether germs would or would not grow. In one dramatic event, Claude Bernard considered one of the greatest men of science, performed a fascinating exhibition before a professional audience of scientists and medical doctors. Bernard said, “The terrain is everything; the germ is nothing,” and he then drank a glass of water filled with cholera. He didn’t get sick! (1)
Germs seek their natural habitat
Rudolph Virchow, the Father of Pathology, agreed with Bechamp. He believed that epidemics were social in origin and were caused by poor diet, poor waste disposal, bad water, toxins, and other unsanitary conditions. He considered the germ theory as a hindrance to true prevention and cure. As he said:
If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat-diseased tissue-rather than being the cause of the diseased tissue; e.g., mosquitoes seek the stagnant water but do not cause the pool to become stagnant. (2)
Michio Kushi, the founder of modern macrobiotics had strong words for Pasteur and his legacy:
Pasteur originally conceived the idea of germs and destroying them … it has mushroomed into DDT, killing beetles and worms, resulting in food contamination, much sickness, and trouble. Although he is regarded as a hero by modern medicine, Pasteur will be treated in much the same way as a warmonger when he is judged in the spiritual world. (3)
The study of epidemics tells us that Bechamp, Virchow, Bernard, and Kushi were correct. Germs can’t bother a healthy person. Deaths from measles, mumps, pertussis, polio, and many other diseases had dramatically fallen decades before antibiotics and vaccines. As our living conditions improved, our terrain became stronger. We are poisoning our world with our obsession to destroy germs.
Don’t fear germs. Germs don’t make you sick. Sickness occurs first, and then the germs feed on weak tissues (terrain or land). The key to health and healing is proper function, detoxification, and rejuvenation.
This understanding is ancient. The Empirical or Vitalistic school of healing has always emphasized that to avoid sickness, and to recover from sickness, we need proper nutrition, elimination, avoidance of toxins, and detoxification. To that, we’d add chiropractic spinal care.
Spinal care is ancient and is absolutely necessary for the proper function of the body organs to keep germs in their place (eating diseased tissues) and keep your body strong and in balance.
- Claude Bernard quotes. https://www.azquotes.com/author/1304-Claude_Bernard
- Cayleff SE. Nature’s Path: A History of Naturopathic Healing in America. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. 2016:59.
- Michio Kushi quotes. https://www.azquotes.com/author/22254-Michio_Kushi
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