Germs: Friend or Foe?

Germs: Friend or Foe?

Germs are everywhere… In our homes, on our bodies, public buildings, even in our guts. There's good bugs and bad bugs. There’s a constant battle going on out there and inside you. When you’re free from colds, fungus, and bacteria like Strep, your good bugs are winning the war. When your “good bug army” is defeated, you get sick.

I used to explain it to my kids this way when encouraging them to take their vitamins: “There are soldiers inside of you. Your vitamins are their ammunition to win the war against the bad bugs that are trying to make you sick.”

The mantra I often heard as a child was, “Wash your hands!” The little people were barely through the door before the alarm was sounded. Seems grandma’s guards were everywhere. For the first four years of my life I lived primarily with my strong German grandmother. Some of her 12 children (2 sets of twins!) were around to help tend me and my sisters and believe me that tough depression era matriarch ran a tight ship.

Food was to be eaten in the kitchen and there would NEVER be messy hands anywhere in the house. She was a very busy woman and unnecessary cleaning was not on her to-do list. At night we’d line up to get our feet washed in the tub. A ritual I continue today but modified a bit using a washcloth.

Colds were infrequent and I can say we were a very healthy bunch. Of course her huge garden and orchard of fruits helped to keep us that way.

Three years later we went to live with our father’s mother. She was also a “germ guard” but to the chemical degree. Her mantra, in addition to the “wash your hands” was “Lysol will kill those germs!” I remember the acrid odor as if it were yesterday. Its assault on my nostrils made me gag and run for fresh air. Colds, and sickness happened more frequently and I remember the only smell I enjoyed there was the heavenly scent of her fresh baked rolls. For a home with three kids, two dogs, and one cat, it was just too clean.

About 15 years ago Dr. Andrew Weil voiced his concern over antibacterial soaps and lotions. His contention leaned toward avoidance in home use. Today many scientists and physicians feel that antibacterial products may contribute to resistant strains of bacteria. Seems logical since the skin is our largest organ and absorbs virtually everything it comes into contact with. And with the overuse of antibiotic today, especially in animal protein, it seems wise to question a practice that appears to harm, rather than protect.

Antibacterial products often contain the EPA registered pesticide, Triclosan. Reports of triclosan found in surface waters, the bile of fish, and breast milk, are sounding an environmental alarm. Illinois, Iowa, New York and Minnesota have banned the use of this endocrine-disrupting toxic pesticide in personal care products.

Everything we need has been given by our creator. We have plants in nature for everything we require. Peruse the article below to learn which healing foods and herbs to incorporate into your wellness journey.

Your best germ defense? Keep your immune system healthy. Eat live, organic foods, exercise, get adequate sleep, have fun, laugh and love.

Germs are everywhere. We’ll never get rid of them but we can learn to live with them.

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