Chiu-Nan Lai, Ph.D.
Health comes from the process of abiding nature, respecting nature, and maintaining a balanced body and mind. Failure to do so results in illness. The maintenance of health therefore requires constant adjustments and effort. Illness is a barometer that signals to us what aspect of our life need adjustment.
Since birth, people born in the 20th century encounters violation and disrespect for nature. Hence, various kinds of illnesses (some of which were formerly unknown) increase rapidly, especially in children (e.g., allergy, hyper-activity, sudden infant deaths, leukaemia, brain cancer, and new breeds of bacteria arising from the use of antibiotics). These illnesses are no longer curable by doctors, and their cure involves the need to respect and abide by nature. The following are the health hazards faced by infants towards the end of the 20th century:
- Mothers live in a polluted environment and their bodies may lack the friendly bacteria that are beneficial to the body. They may suffer from vagina infection which can lead to premature birth. Such infants generally lack friendly bacteria of the large intestines, and their immune system may greatly suffer.
- Among infants born in the hospital, the proportion delivered by Caesarean section exceeds those delivered by midwives. In particular, in the USA, the proportion of babies delivered by Caesarean section is about 23%, which far exceeds that in Japan (7%) or Europe (10%-13%). As a result, the mortality rate of infants in the USA exceeds those in twenty-four other countries (please refer to the book “Reclaiming Our Health”). Infants that are not delivered naturally from their mothers’ womb lack the friendly bacteria in their large intestines. A research study found that only 9% of infants delivered by Caesarean section have such friendly bacteria, compared to 60% for infants delivered naturally. These friendly bacteria help in digestion, manufacture of vitamin B complex, and control of harmful bacteria growth. These friendly bacteria of the large intestine secrete acetic acid and lactic acid that help in stopping harmful bacteria, and aid in the absorption and use of calcium. Infants delivered by Caesarean section generally have weaker health and immune systems, as manifested in their proclivity towards allergy, skin problems, and ailments. Because their mothers are also under anaesthesia when these infants are born, they do not have the opportunity to establish a mother-child bond immediately upon birth, and opportunities to be breast-fed are also reduced. This leads to an even greater reduction in their store of friendly bacteria. Hence, infants delivered by Caesarean section generally have weaker immune systems than those delivered by natural means and breast-fed.
- In modern society, infants have fewer opportunities to be breast-fed. They are fed on substitutes such as cow’s milk or soymilk. These substitutes do not have the same composition of nutrients as human milk, and also lack two key components necessary for good health:
- Useful antibodies in colostrum, Bifidobacterium infantis and other friendly intestinal bacteria flora present in mother’s milk are essential for infant’s digestion and assimilation. The excreta of infants who drink their mother’s milk are soft, slightly acidic, and are not smelly. In contrast, those who drink cow’s milk or soymilk pass excreta that are close to that of adults in terms of colour, smell, and pH, and also contain a relatively high proportion of harmful bacteria. Before the infant’s stomach becomes fully developed, it is easy for the friendly bacteria in the small and large intestines to propagate. However, when the stomach begins to secrete gastric juices, it becomes more difficult for the friendly bacteria to propagate unless a special effort is made to encourage this process. Otherwise, the infant will lack such friendly bacteria for the rest of his life, and harmful bacteria will breed easily in his body. His immune system will also be impaired, leading to such ailments as: constipation, indigestion, stomach gas, sensitive skin, stomach cancer, osteoporosis, diarrhoea, eczema, psoriasis, tiredness, food poisoning, and high cholesterol.
- Mother’s milk comprises nutrients that have been digested, absorbed, and transformed by the mother. Besides vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fat, it also contains the essence of the mother’s warmth, thoughts, feelings, and will. A mother’s warmth is very important to a child’s physical and mental health. A child who has been breast-fed generally has better health, temperament, and character than one who has been fed on cow’s milk. He is also likely to have a warmer character. Mother’s milk contains the special human elements that can awaken a child’s will power from the sleeping state. These elements are absent in and cannot be replaced by cow’s milk.
The knowledge and help required by mothers or would-be-mothers are greater now than in the past. To increase the likelihood that their children can be delivered naturally and with adequate ‘friends’ in the intestines, mothers should, before they are pregnant, ensure that they are healthy in the body, mind and spirit; help the propagation of friendly bacteria by taking organic vegetables; and avoid meat, high sugar, and processed food. If a mother breast-feeds, she gives her child a gift of health.
If a child was delivered by Caesarean section, or was born prematurely, and cannot be breast-fed, supplements can be given to the child to enable the growth of friendly bacteria in the large intestines (Bifidobacterium infantis). Currently, a company in California (USA) called Natren (Natren, Inc., 3105, Willow Lane, Westlake Village, CA 91361) manufactures a product called Trenev Life Start that contains live friendly bacteria such as Bifidobacterium infantis. Expecting or lactating mothers can take this supplement. Infants not being breast-fed can take, on a daily basis, one-quarter teaspoon of the supplement mixed with distilled water in a milk bottle in order to reduce stomach and gastric problems. Even for grown up children who had been delivered by Caesarean section or had been born prematurely, taking a bottle of this supplement can still be useful. Improvements will be seen in the children’s digestion, excretion, and immune systems.
A few years ago, I met a teenage girl who had serious skin problems that could no longer be controlled by western medicine. She had eczema and rashes since young. She was able to control this problem temporarily by taking and applying medicine, but the itch and rashes grew worse. At her young age, she had cataract, which her eye specialist diagnosed as a side effect from the medicine she was taking. Inquiry revealed that she had been delivered by Caesarean section and did not drink mother’s milk. I immediately suggested that she took a supplement of friendly bacteria, and her conditions improved (I was then unaware of another product, Life Start, that promotes the growth of friendly bacteria among infants). Once, she contacted some essential oil and her skin immediately became red and swollen. Upon application of acidophilus and bulgaricus mixed with water, her swelling immediately subsided within half an hour. Her mother indicated that usually western medicine was not able to reduce her swelling.
Many of our modern-day strange ailments are directly or indirectly linked to the lack of friendly bacteria which are our first line of defence against diseases. One third of the weight of faeces (excluding fluids) comprises live or dead bacteria; our digestive system contains over 400 strains of bacteria, weighing approximately 3.5 pounds. The extent of friendly bacteria in our bodies not only depends on conditions before and after our birth, but also on our dietary habits and the antibiotics, western medicine, food, and herbs (e.g., garlic, goldenseal) that we take. The long-term use of antibiotics has resulted in bacteria strains that are resistant to antibiotics; under these circumstances, only the friendly bacteria can come to our rescue.
Modern day problems require modern day medicine – respecting nature and abiding by nature.