Immune System – Germ vs Terrain Theory

January 29th, 2021 by Loretta Lanphier, NP, BCTN, CN, CH, HHP

Immune System – Germ vs Terrain Theory

Have you ever read anything about the germ vs terrain theory? Most people have not idea what this entails. So let’s begin here. Have you ever wondered why some of us are more susceptible to disease than others? We all know people who seem to come down with every illness going around and others who never get sick. The current worldwide virus pandemic has caused many people to become paralyzed by fear and, as such, become strict germaphobes. Others have made another choice, which is to take the pandemic as a wake-up call to work on their overall health – specifically their immune system. The particulars of these two choices can also be labeled as the germ vs terrain theory.

The truth is when we talk about preventing illness, such as washing hands and distancing from others who are sick, we understand these things are an essential part of the disease prevention equation. However, in my opinion, they are not the most crucial part. The condition of your immune system is of utmost importance. And there is much you can do to strengthen and support your immune system. It is a healthy and supported immune system that is necessary to fight infectious diseases, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and degenerative diseases.

While there is no magic pill or one therapy that will 100% ensure a healthy immune system, supporting immune system health is the key to what your body needs to help fight off disease. Understand, this doesn’t happen overnight, but instead by consistently consuming lots of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, staying hydrated with purified water, taking high-quality supplements, eliminating refined sugar, daily exercise, effectively dealing with stress, and getting sufficient rest. Viruses, germs, and diseases will always be a part of our world. Still, by choosing to live a healthy lifestyle both physically and emotionally, you will encourage a healthy body terrain, which will create the defense your body needs to help fight off potential illness threats.

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What is the Germ vs Terrain Theory?

Much is written about the Germ vs Terrain Theory. The Germ Theory was first promoted by Louis Pasteur and adopted by science. The Terrain Theory, mostly kept popular by natural medicine doctors and practitioners, was began by Claude Bernard and then built upon by Antoine Bechamp (1816-1908). These two theories speak to the arguments about whether it is germs (Germ Theory) that we should be concerned about and thus need to keep finding ways to kill them OR the Terrain Theory that says germs are a permanent, large and unavoidable component of our bodies and we only become sick when the body’s natural homeostasis is compromised.

Health experts are currently ignoring Bechamp’s wisdom by focusing entirely on finding ways to kill ever-changing micro-organisms (germs). The fear of germs has gone viral at warp speed. Noticeably missing from all conventional medical and governmental directions are actual recommendations on how to strengthen one’s immune system so it can protect from any current pandemic as well as future pandemics.

“Germs seek their natural habitat – diseased tissue – rather than being the cause of diseased tissue.” – Antoine Béchamp

Walene James correctly summarized and greatly simplified, Bechamp’s primary message:

  1. Disease arises from micro-organisms within the cells of the body.
  2. These intracellular micro-organisms normally function to build and assist in the metabolic processes of the body.
  3. The function of these organisms changes to assist in the catabolic (disintegration) processes of the host organism when that organism dies or is injured, which may be chemical and mechanical.
  4. Micro-organisms change their shapes and colors to reflect the medium.
  5. Every disease is associated with a particular condition.
  6. Micro-organisms become “pathogenic” as the health of the host organism deteriorates. Hence, the condition of the host organism is the primary causal agent.
  7. The disease is built by unhealthy conditions.
  8. To prevent disease, we have to create health.

It is interesting to note that among those who rejected the germ theory and instead championed such things as a diet, climate, ventilation, hygiene, and sanitation in causing disease were Florence Nightingale and Rudolf Virchow. The father of the germ theory, Rudolf Virchos, commented when older, “If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat–diseased tissues–rather than causing disease.”

On His Deathbed Pasteur Recants

The battle for “disease prevention supremacy” primarily proclaimed by Pasteur and Bernard took a turn. Pasteur recanted over his entire life work on his deathbed and stated that “the microbe is nothing; the milieu is everything.” He said that it is not the germ that causes disease but rather the terrain in which the germ is found.

We must consider the current results we see in a germ theory dominated health care system. In my opinion, working on the terrain (body’s internal environment) of your body by making it inhospitable to viruses and parasites, etc., is crucial. This is something you must work on every day of your life. Eventually, you will find that it will become a habit. You will notice that you feel better, lose excess weight, have more energy, and don’t catch every sickness that is going around. Overall, your immune system will become robust and easily recognize “outside” attacks.

Germ vs Terrain Theory – Both are Needed

Both theories are necessary. As has been said, “There is no medical doctrine as potentially dangerous as a partial truth implemented as the whole truth.” Toxicity in our world from poor soil management, toxic chemicals and metals in our air, water, food, and personal care products often result in a weak immune system and a body more prone to illness and disease. When we add to this mixture fast foods, radiation, EMFs, and on-going physical and emotional stress, we have a perfect storm for a sluggish immune system, which, at times, may require medicines to help fight fast invading microbes that are trying to take over. Employing necessary precautions to protect yourself from getting any illness that is going around, such as the Coronavirus, is essential and should include frequent hand washing and avoiding large crowds.

“It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has.” – Hippocrates

Natural Ways to Improve Your Internal Terrain

Below are some things you can employ to help support and improve immune system health.

top 10 ways to improve your internal terrain

In Closing…

As I mentioned above, your body is bombarded every day with endocrine-disrupting chemicals, toxins, environmental pollution, noise pollution, and even electromagnetic frequencies — all of which, over time, can have a detrimental effect on your immune system health. While the above suggestions to help boost your immune system health are essential, remember that we are all individuals, and not all of these recommendations are necessary for every person. Be sure to speak with a trusted healthcare provider who knows your health history and is knowledgeable to help you naturally improve your immune system health. In my opinion, cleansing and a very healthy diet are foundational in supporting your immune system and helping your body get well and stay well.

Let’s walk away from the belief that illness is normal. It doesn’t have to be. There’s no reason one should be laid-up multiple times every year with viruses such as colds, the flu, or other illnesses. If you find yourself coming down with every illness that’s “going around,” it’s definitely time to pay attention to your immune system health. Believe it or not, there really are individuals who stay healthy for years on end. Many people say they are blessed with “healthy genes,” but is that the real reason? Probably not. Most likely, it’s because they choose to focus on their immune system health every day by eating a healthy plant-based diet, exercising, taking high-quality supplements, focusing on restful sleep, eliminating stress, and avoiding toxic environments as much as possible. All of these are very powerful in transforming one’s health. There’s no reason you shouldn’t do the same.

References and Resources

Young, Robert O., Who Had Their Finger on the Magic of Life – Antoine Bechamp or Louis Pasteur?. Internal Journal of Vaccines and Vaccinations. Volume 2. Issue 5.

Olien, D. Pasteur Versus Béchamp: The History of Germ Theory. SuperLife July 22, 2016.

Bechamp A. The Third Element of the Blood. [out of print, an excerpt from the book, published in 1912].

James W. Germ Theories. Whale [Undated].

Loretta Lanphier is a Naturopathic Practitioner, Board Certified Traditional Naturopath, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Practitioner, and Certified Clinical Herbalist as well as the CEO / Founder of Oasis Advanced Wellness in The Woodlands TX. She has studied and performed extensive research in health science, natural hormone balancing, anti-aging techniques, nutrition, natural medicine, weight loss, herbal remedies, non-toxic cancer support. She is actively involved in researching new natural health protocols and products.  A 14-year stage 3 colon cancer survivor, Loretta, can relate to both-sides-of-the-health-coin as patient and practitioner when it comes to health and wellness. “My passion is counseling others about what it takes to keep the whole body healthy using natural and non-toxic methods.” Read Loretta’s health testimony Cancer: The Path to Healing. Loretta is a Contributor and Editor of the worldwide E-newsletter Advanced Health & Wellness. Check out Oasis Advanced Wellness and our natural skincare site Oasis Serene Botanicals.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Oasis Advanced Wellness/OAWHealth does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Oasis Advanced Wellness/OAWHealth are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician of choice.

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