Known as the father of medicine, Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician that wisely stated ‘all disease begins in the gut.’ And he was spot on, more so than he ever realized. Recent understanding of the dramatic influence the microbiome (aka the ‘gut’) has on our health has propelled researchers to dive deeper into the ways this maternally-derived colony of microorganisms is influenced by our environment, what we eat, our emotions and whether we were born at home, in a hospital, vaginally or via C-section. These microorganisms contain 99% of our genetic material, making up the overall blueprint of who we are as humans. And if we were to remove these trillions of viruses, bacteria, and fungi, only 1% of our genetic material would remain. This is hard to even conceptualize! The mature microbiome weighs approximately 3-4 pounds in the average human, which is pretty impressive considering it’s made up of microscopic organisms. Not only do they impact how well our digestive system works but they influence the way we feel (our emotions), how well our immune system functions, and the way our brains work. However, this is where modern medicine has failed us. We’ve been taught that germs such as viruses and bacteria are bad and should be eliminated when in actuality, this is not always true. Many of the so-called ‘bad bacteria’ are actually required to facilitate the body’s normal immune response. In fact, the mere presence of these microbes in our bodies helps to keep our own immune system in tip-top shape and able to diligently protect us from harm. When we attempt to eradicate these microbes from the body using toxic interventions such as pharmaceutical drugs or vaccines, we can disrupt the microbiome causing an imbalance to occur. This can lead to a weakened immune response which is a set-up for even more issues, disrupted digestion, mood and emotional disorders, and an inflamed and angry gut. And when the gut is inflamed, the brain is inflamed. So instead of trying to eradicate anything and everything that ‘might’ be harmful, a better approach would be to strengthen our own immune system by enhancing and nourishing the microbiome. This is a safe option that allows the immune system to do its job as the protector. Our bodies will be healthier and happier at the end of the day!