Salmonella Outbreak: The Soil and Seed Model of Medicine

by in Holistic Tips, Kitchen Sink, Naturopathic Theory March 26, 2009

PhotobucketBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

With all the FDA warning notices flooding my email box about the FDA recalling this product and that product for possible salmonella contamination, I am reminded of Stephen Paget’s wonderful theory in nature cure medicine called “Soil and Seed.”

The theory is that if the soil is not fertile, the seed will not plant.

Anyone who has spent some time in a microbiology lab knows that certain organisms thrive on certain mediums, while other organisms will die in that same petrie dish setting.

When we keep our bodies healthy, we become that petrie dish that only good bacteria should flourish in.

Typically, we think of fertile soil as something healthy but in the case of the seed and soil model, salmonella would be the “seed” and the fertile soil for it to flourish in would be an unhealthy body.

Think about it – why do some people get sick with salmonella and others don’t, even when we have an outbreak of such proportions that I get an hourly email from the FDA about the latest peanut product to avoid?

It all boils down to seed and soil, really.

Straight from the site, “Salmonella is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more serious illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.”

Sure there are microorganisms such as Shigella sonei that will make just about anyone deathly sick if they ingest just ten of them, but for the most part, if we maintain a healthy diet full of whole foods, fruits and veggies, a positive mental attitude, exercise and other healthy lifestyle choices our “soil” suddenly becomes much less “fertile” to the latest proverbial nasty germ or “seed” such as in this Salmonella outbreak case.

Actually many germs such as acidophilus are the kinds of seeds that should grow in our so called “soil,” and make our soil less optimal for pathogenic organisms such as salmonella.

Think of acidophilus vs salmonella as good cops vs bad cops. Whenever you travel, take probiotics such as Sach boulardii before, during, and after. Nothing ruins your vacation like a bad case of diarrhea.

On one of our trips to Hawaii, I was the only one not to get really sick from the rotavirus, and I was the only one eating yogurt every day. Yogurt and other cultured foods such as Kim Chee, Sauerkraut and Kefir are excellent sources of these friendly flora, aka probiotics, the good cops.

It is all about the seed and soil when it comes to salmonella for the most part.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table,

Dr. Nicole

Related Reading:
What is acidophilus
The Five Best Brands of Acidophilus
Preventing Traveler’s Diarrhea with S. Boulardii

  1. The style of writing is quite familiar to me. Did you write guest posts for other bloggers?

  2. I’ll share it on Twitter.

  3. […] Swine Flu just proves my point with the “Soil and Seed” model of medicine we talked about with the latest salmonella outbreak. Keep yourself as healthy as […]

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