Would you purposely drink a cup of Cholera to prove your point? Ilya Metchnikoff did. He was a Russian researcher and is considered the Father of Immunology. He had such a thirst, pun intended, for inquiry that he drank a cup of Cholera to understand why some people were affected while others left unscathed. He wanted to understand the immune system.
Imagine if a medical doctor tells you at your physical today that all disease starts and ends with the way you think. The energy of your thoughts create all physical ailments. Many of you would consider this person nuts. Well Metchnikoff was considered to have wild ideas by his peers as well. He was a pioneer and a century ahead of his time.
While in France working at the Louis Pasteur Institute a Cholera epidemic broke out. Metchnikoff turned himself into a test subject by drinking a cup of cholera but nothing happened. He needed a greater sample size so he recruited another willing participant with similar results. Needing to increase his sample size still more he found a third volunteer who would not fare quite so well. Metchnikoff analyzed the experiment through the lens of the microscope. Eureka!
Certain microbes were inhibiting the growth of cholera while others stimulated its growth. After distilling this he hypothesized that bacteria of the human intestinal flora played a role in disease prevention. He reasoned that if swallowing a pathogenic bacteria made you ill then swallowing a beneficial bacteria would make you healthier.He proposed over a century ago that health could be enhanced and the negative effects of old age could be delayed by manipulating the intestinal microbiome with host-friendly bacteria found in yogurt. He paved the way for probiotics.-Via Nautilus
Like many great thinkers, Metchnikoff left this world before the world truly embraced him. Some people of his day saw his genius though. One Barcelona company began to market yogurt as medicine as early as 1910. They were was paying attention to Metchnikoff and eventually brought this product to the US. We know this company as Dannon named for Daniel the son of the owner whose nickname was Danon.
I return to my original question of “Would you purposely drink a cup of Cholera to prove your point?” and I will ask it again in a contemporary manner. Are you willing to face the unhealthy parts of your life so you can face your fear and find compassion for yourself? I ask this question because science is beginning to reveal that emotions create disease.
Denver Jewish National Children’s Hospital proved this to be the case and published their findings in the early 2000s in the Journal of Pediatrics. A mother’s ability to handle family stress inhibits or creates asthma in her children irregardless of a family history of asthma. That is, if mom is stressed out and if the family has no history of asthma, mom’s stress alone can create asthma in her children. A state of mind leads to disease.
Metchnikoff would say we are what we eat. Research has proven that we are what we think and feel. I would go on to say what we eat determines what we think and feel and visa versa. We all have the ability to face the cholera in our lives by setting our houses in order. Eat, play and love well. The solution will then find you.