‘Mutant Messages’ from the Microbiome
I remember reading a book many years ago called ‘Mutant Messages from Down Under’ (1). What made an impression on me was what I felt represented a wake-up call to the reader; this was to let go of materialism and embrace the messages of nature. It concerned an American reporter who set out to walk into the Australian Outback with the indigenous natives of that land. She was soon led to let go of the abundant accoutrements of modern life, which she had felt compelled to bring along. This was carried out in a ritual fire assembled under the silent and watchful gaze of the elders – the first of the ‘mutant messages’ she was to receive on her chosen adventure.
This story influenced me to name this blog with a similar title. After all, the microbiome (encompassing the living ecology of the organism) also relays its messages in a mutant manner. It is connected to the brain and other essential organs of the body through the vagus nerve (the word ‘vagus’ in Latin indicates a sense of wandering).
The ancient Vedic scriptures appreciated the significance of the gut (it was not named as the ‘microbiome’ in those days). Also, Hippocrates, known as ‘the father of modern medicine’, claimed that all illness derived from this source. However, this awareness lay dormant for many centuries. In fact, Louis Pasteur, by falsely and wittingly attributing disease to the germ theory rather than that of the ‘terrain’ right up until his dying day, contributed to the delay in the more recent research. However, this has become a hot topic in the last few years with many cutting-edge publications being continuously released on the subject at this time.
It is interesting that the microbiome in infants starts to form at the age of six months. Until that time, the child’s health mirrors that dictated by the state of the mother’s microbiome. This is why so much emphasis should be placed on the mother’s health in pregnancy, pre, as well as post-delivery. It is no coincidence that the vagus nerve takes a similar time to start to form and takes a similar time to reach fruition at around two years of age.
In an article which I came across recently entitled ‘Gut Microbes May Talk to the Brain Through Cortisol’ (2), although the research was carried out on animals, it was determined that the findings could translate into the same phenomena in humans. The conclusion was that alterations in the fecal bacteria, as well as cortisol and serotonin, are found in individuals on the autistic spectrum of disease. This could lend itself to a whole future focus for research in the ‘field’, extending beyond autism itself right through to such states as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and also schizophrenia. If left unchecked, these ‘mutant messages’ will resound loud and clear by the time they reach the higher functions. This is when pathology can easily creep in. Incidentally, until reading this article, it had never occurred to me that cortisol was produced anywhere else except by the adrenal glands.
This particular understanding of the vicarious location of neurotransmitters chimes with the concepts portrayed in the book, ‘The Second Brain – Your Gut Has a Mind of Its Own’ (3). Here, much focus is particularly placed on the role of serotonin in this regard.
At a recent lecture I gave on the microbiome at the New Acropolis Cultural Association in Islington in October 2017, I talked about specific homeopathic remedies which comply with this background to disease. One of the main remedies I discussed was Magnesium Muriaticum, which has a strong digestive base with a markedly negative mindset. In fact, I have found it particularly relevant after childbirth when the adjustment in hormones and the imposed new lifestyle together plunge the mother into dark despair.
In my book published this year, ‘Touching Base with Trauma – Reaching Across the Generations: A Three-Dimensional Homeopathic Perspective’ (4),
I write the following about Magnesium Muriaticum in this regard:
“It is often better indicated after childbirth than Sepia for ‘post-natal depression’ when bonding between mother and child is absent. This is when the ‘uncompensated state’ often reveals itself, and the woman cannot cover up her true feelings with all the turmoil in the hormones combined with the huge adjustment in care-taking demanded of her. There is a tendency to use Sepia routinely for this state but, when this rupture is rooted in emotional neglect within the mother’s history, then Magnesium Muriaticum heals in a more radical way. Not only does it reconcile the presenting situation with long-term implications for both parties affected, but can also act retrospectively, reaching back to the source of distress in the mother. Interestingly, this remedy does not appear in the rubric ‘depression, childbirth after’ despite its strong indication for this state, whereas Sepia, naturally, appears in black type, with Sulphur.
Given that Magnesium Muriaticum is a major liver remedy, and that hormones are processed in the liver, it makes sense that new mothers need this remedy because childbirth is a time when hormones tend to undergo marked turmoil, challenging the ability to adapt to changes. This has lifelong implications for the symbiosis between mother and child; disruption can damage their joint relationship long-term and can extend through the generations to follow. A woman with post-natal depression who needs this remedy often comes from a family background such as described above. The missing factor of transgenerational trauma commonly plays itself out in new mothers as well as fathers”.
I would add that the portrayal of this remedy illustrates the significance of the role of the microbiome in underpinning and driving overall health. This applies at all stages of life and onwards in time through the generations to come.
Morgan, Marlo, (1994), Mutant Messages from Down Under: A Woman’s Journey into Dreamtime Australia’, Thorsons, 1st Thorsons Edition.
Mudd, Austin T., et al, 2017, Gut Microbes May Talk to the Brain Through Cortisol, University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
Gershon, Michael D., 1999, The Second Brain – Your Gut has a Mind of Its Own, Harper Collins Publishers.
Adalian, E., 2017, Touching Base with Trauma – Reaching Across the Generations: A Three-Dimensional Homeopathic Perspective, Writersworld.